We’re still recovering from your vintage Michigan moms photo submissions, but we’re already thinking about what your Michigan dads have in store for us for Father’s Day. So if you’ve got a great vintage photo of your dad sporting short shorts, oversized eyeware, or some lovely 80’s locks (or in the case of Lou’s dad’s photo above, all three), send ‘em in. 700px or larger is preferred (though we’ll take any size you have); some info about the photo for a caption is also helpful.
The week of Father’s Day we’re also planning a piece called “Michigan Dads: In Their Own Words,” which will feature stories from Michigan dads about their lives in Michigan as told to their kids. If your dad’s got a great story about a quintessential Michigan experience that you want to share, please contact us at hello [at] foundmichigan.org for some more details.
So, we tried this last year and didn’t get enough submissions to make it happen, so we’re trying again! Send your awesome (or awesomely bad) vintage photos of your Michigan mom(s) and we’ll put together the best of them in a “Michigan Moms” photo essay in honor of Mother’s Day. Think big, bad 70s/80s hair, your mom when she was hottest thing in the Motor City (we’re not saying she still isn’t), or, really, any stellar vintage photo of your mom (or you, if you’re a Michigan mom) that tells a story. Even better if it’s got some Michigan tie-in. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, May 7, and if we get enough, we’ll put them up on Found Michigan the week of Mother’s Day. Even if we don’t get enough, look for a very special “moms” edition of Photo Friday on May 11.
OUR INSPIRATION, PICTURED: Found Michigan contributor Emily Bingham’s mama, Sue, caught mid-chat with a photographer friend at a mid-1970s Meadow Brook Hall art show in Rochester Hills.
What we’ve learned over the past year of doing Found Michigan? Well number one: We’re not bloggers.
About a year ago we started this site as wayward Michiganders living in Portland, Maine, and long story short, doing stories about Michigan life and culture from a thousand miles away is kinda hard. Still, we managed to pull off a few good stories even before our official move back to Michigan in April 2011. But add to that two more moves since—including one to the center of the lost civilization that is Detroit—and it wasn’t long before other things took priority over this project. We got in the habit of not updating this site very frequently and, when we did, our posts tended to be what we could actually accomplish with our scarce free time: first person accounts of what was going on around us. We had become what we’d feared most: bloggers, writing about our lives. Dear god.
Not that there is anything wrong with that. But it’s just not what we do or really set out to do when we started Found Michigan. We are both journalists by training and storytellers by nature, and we wanted to really get at the kinds of stories that made us—and you all—think of life here in Michigan in fresh and interesting ways. The kind of stories you want to repeat over dinner with friends. Quirky ghosts of Michigan’s past. This American Life-style stories about Michigan, but without the annoying soundtrack and everyone talking like Ira Glass. We wanted to start cultivating a storytelling ethos centered around the idea that, to quote Emily, “just because you’ve lived here a long time doesn’t mean you have to think about living here the way you’ve always thought about it.”
And now about twelve months since we took the plunge back into the Great Lakes State, life is starting to get back to normal again. And with that comes an opportunity and the energy to give this site some new life. We still have day jobs and such, but we’ve set aside some time and money to make this thing happen the way that it should. So we’ll be back to the weekly updates, with amazing stories about Michigan life and culture that hopefully make you think differently about your own place here. And we want you in on it too, both as readers and as contributors. For more info on that, please check our submission and freelance guidelines.
Lou and Emily