Eileen Glick is proof you can take the girl out of Detroit, but you can't take the Detroit out of the girl.
She moved to Phoenix in 1979, but can't shake her Detroit roots. "Detroit was such a great place to grow up. We took so much away, now it's time to give something back," says Glick.
So nostalgic is she for Detroit days gone by that she's put together a Detroit reunion, subtitled "Can't Forget the Motor City." The party is open to everyone — Detroiter, ex-Detroiter, suburbanite and city kid — and takes place at various locations on July 19 through 22.
There are certain Detroit memories, shared experiences, that Glick and the organizers have tried to bring into the reunion: trips to Bob-Lo Island, Tigers games, Vernors ginger ale, and the entertainers from local TV and radio.
So reunion participants will take a cruise on the Detroit River, have a dinner dance, go to a Tigers vs. Whites Sox game, check out a play about Catholic school and have breakfast with Detroit TV hosts people grew up with.
While the reunion is a walk down memory lane, the hope is to give attendees a new experience of Detroit, too.
"I think Detroit's starting a rebirth," says Glick. "They're revitalizing the core of the city ... .We wanted to create an experience for those who haven't been back to Detroit in awhile. They're in for a very pleasant surprise."
Faygo, Sanders, Bob-Lo, Soupy ...
Glick began a Web site called www.detroitmemories.com in 2003 after receiving a few forwarded a few of those "you know you're from Detroit if ... " e-mails. The lists would reference tidbits of Detroit iconography such as drinking Faygo, Towne Club, Sanders and "Lunch with Soupy." She began compiling these Detroit memories and posting them on a Web site dedicated to the culture and history of the Detroit she grew up in.
The Web site's popularity grew and connected her with other ex-Detroiters; those who left the city but never forgot the place. Glick's co-coordinator, Daniel Boyce, who currently lives in Mexico City, contacted Eileen and told her he would like to do something for Detroit in appreciation; she had been thinking the exact same thing. Glick came upon the idea of throwing a reunion to showcase downtown's revitalization.
Glick, who's flying in from Phoenix, says that she's excited to get everyone downtown together. Though Detroit's changed a lot since the days of Johnny Ginger and Bob-Lo Island, she's anxious to promote a new chapter in Detroit's history.
"Every city runs on a cycle. I really think Detroit is experiencing a rebirth, there's a vitality that I haven't seen in 30 years," says Glick. "I just want to give something back to the city that taught us so much."
For a full schedule of events and prices, go to www.detroitmemories.com or www.detroitreunion.com. Some of the reunion events include:
• Opening reception at the new Boll Family YMCA, downtown at 1401 Broadway, at 6 p.m. July 19. Speakers include Gordon Castelnero, author of TV Land - Detroit
, and Gary Glaser, director of a documentary film about Tiger Stadium, also to be shown that night.
• Tigers v.s White Sox, July 20. The reunion has a reserved section. Tickets are $40.
• A dinner cruise on the river on the Detroit Princess in tribute to Bob-Lo Island and the Bob-Lo boats, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
• Breakfast at the Roostertail,100 Marquette Drive, at 8:30 a.m. Friday. Many of Detroit TV's biggest stars of the '50s and '60s will host, including Jerry Gale (Johnny Ginger), Marv Welch (Wixie the Pixie), Irv Romig, (Rickey the Clown), Art Cervi, (Bozo the Clown). Moderators will be author Tim Kiska, author of From Soupy to Nuts
and Ed Golick, creator of www.detroitkidshow.com
• Late Nite Catechism performance at the City Theatre, 2301 Woodward, 8 p.m. Friday. A one-woman interactive show starring Karen Sheridan.
• A '50s and '60s dinner and dance at Cobo Hall's Portside Dining Room, One Washington Boulevard, at 6 p.m. Saturday. Special guests include popular Detroit radio DJs Paul Cannon, Lee Alan, and Robin Seymour.
Photos:Downtown Detroit Copyright Dave KriegerBob Lo Island PostcardJoe Short, Captain Bob Lo