Friday, February 19, 2010

The Grosse Ile-Grand Circus Park connection

As I wandered through John King Books earlier today looking to bolster Island Girl's Danielle Steel collection (hey, everybody gets a Kage nickname - even mothers-in-law!), a book called "Grand Circus Park U.S.W." caught my eye. It wasn't the title that grabbed me, but the author's name.

Kage readers with Grosse Ile ties (there must be hundreds) will recognize the name, on account of there's a street called H.C.L. Jackson off Church Road where they probably got silly on Bartles & James back in high school. Now we know who H.C.L. Jackson was. It turns out, he lived on the island and was a well-known columnist for The Detroit News back in the 1940s. He was apparently a pretty funny writer, and readers were fond of his newspaper column, "Listening in on Detroit". It was kind of like Grosse Ile was the home of the Mitch Albom of his times. I don't believe "Grand Circus Park C.S.W." sold as well as "Tuesday's with Morrie", but still...

"Grand Circus Park C.S.W." (he never did divulge what the C.S.W. stood for) is a collection of brief stories that all, in some way, have a connection to the downtown Detroit park, which Jackson wrote about for The News during the days when the park was being planned and built. I didn't buy the book today, but I'm thinking about heading back over to King Books next week and grabbing it. If you're interested, his other books include "Ups and Downs", "Round Corners", and "The Paper Bag and Other Stories", and he wrote a forward for a book titled "Pot Shots from a Grosse Ile Kitchen".