Archive for October, 2010

Mauricent Poems Number One

October 30, 2010

You should be able to “click on” this, in order to better read it.

This is the first in a series of Poetry sheets I did.  Mauricent Poems were done on a manual typewriter, with some drawings included.  They were extra poems I’d written, besides what I was putting out in the Poetic Express.

I also did a number of typewritten, double-sided pages before I did The Poetic Express, starting in 1976 or so.

Memorial Events in Detroit this Year

October 28, 2010

Faruq Z. Bey on Sax at a memorial for Ron Allen

This has been a rough and sad year for the Detroit Arts Community.  In the past, we’ve lost such people as Jacques Karamanoukian and Matt Blake.  Just one such loss can leave holes which are difficult or impossible to fill.  They can really shake things up. 

In 2010, we’ve had far too many.  The three I knew best, Mick Vranich, Ron Allen and Mary Laredo Herbeck, I’ve already written about them, here in this blog.

But I wanted to talk about the memorial events.  Last April, there was  a memorial for Mick Vranich at the Trumbullplex on Easter Sunday.  I missed most of the ceremony but did get by there.  They’d had some speakers and a procession.  There are photos from that here at the “tribes” site:

We heard that Ron Allen was going to die, so there was a gathering in Detroit at the time of his death.  I missed that one.  He was in a coma and they were turning off the respirator on August 10.

There were at least four memorial events for Ron.  On August 20th at the Trumbullplex, they turned an already-planned event into a memorial reading.

On Sunday August 22, Broadside Press sponsored a memorial event for Ron at Hart Plaza.  It was part of the African World Festival.  There were some good readings and memories of Ron.  I read a new piece I’d written about him.

The next day was his funeral.  My ride fell though and I had to bus it,  so I missed the first half of it.  It was very moving and there were a lot of people there.

On Sunday afternoon, September 26, there was a memorial at Cass Cafe (pictured above).  This was also quite memorable and included song and music.

Then there was one final memorial on Tuesday, September 28 at the Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple on Trumbull, in Detroit.  I got there late again (due to work and busses).  I was glad I got by.  Ron was a Buddhist priest or monk.  There were some lively remembrances and stories.

Then, October 1, Mary Laredo Herbeck died.  On October 7, there was a memorial event at historic Ste. Anne de Detroit church.  This was on a Thursday evening.  There was quite a crowd there.  It was a mixture of friends and family along with various portions of the Detroit arts community.

Sad events like this often remind us of how much we are a community.  It makes me reflect on the complexity and vibrancy of our “scene.”

It was very moving.  There was a mariachi band, singers and various memories shared.  Yes, you could really feel her presence there, at that memorial.

All of the old Zeitgeist crew (except Karl) sat together in a row.  Vito and Mary were both a big part of what we did at the Zeitgeist.

Afterword, many of the people went to the church hall for food and conversation.  There was also a slide program of photos of Mary’s life and films of her dancing.

The Metro Times reported the deaths of Don Thibodeaux Sr. and Ameen Howrani, along with Mary.   I didn’t know Don Thibodeaux Sr. and Ameen Howrani very well.  Yet I knew who they were.  It was always good to see them and/or their work.

There’ve been other wonderful people lost this year as well.  I always liked Marty Quiroz.  The last time I saw him is when my Space Band was doing a performance in Southwest Detroit.  He died in June.

I didn’t know Woody Miller as well, but had met him.  He sent me an email saying that he really liked what I was doing in my blogs.  He died in July, at age 65.

I’m sure that this will be remembered as an especially rough year for the Detroit arts scene.  To those of us in our workrooms and studios, or those merely “in the trenches” well let’s try to stay sane and healthy and keep working.   As the time goes by, there’ll be other bad years, hopefully not too many.

Poet Kenneth Patchen wrote about the duty of the artist/poet to stay alive!  That is, to make an effort to stay strong, to keep creating and to persevere.  So take care, “watch your back”, work and communicate.   Let’s to make our community more of a community while we’re at it.  Ah Detroit, what a city and yes what people!

Metro Times coverage:

Mick Vranich:

Ron Allen:

Mary Laredo Herbeck, Don Thibodeaux Sr. and Ameen Howrani:

My earlier blog posts:

Marty Quiroz:

Woody Miller:

Mary Laredo Herbeck 1955-2010

October 6, 2010

We heard Saturday that Mary Laredo Herbeck had died the day before, October 1.  She’ll be greatly missed.  I offer my condolences to her friends and family and to Vito Valdez.

Mary was a visual artist as well as a flamenco dancer.  She was also an important part of the local arts community.   She’d always help and encourage her fellow artists. 

Recently, she did this through helping run two Detroit arts spaces.  She was gallery director at the Ellen Kayrod Gallery.  She was also a founder of SWAN (Southwest Artist’s Network of Detroit).

I knew her too, through the Zeitgeist Gallery and Performance Venue.  In 2006, when she first became ill, we had a benefit, to help with her treatment, The Dance of Life.  It was a memorable evening, magical even.  I performed with the Don’t Look Now Jug Band.  There was music, flamenco dancing and more.  In 2007 she was part of the exhibit AZUNTUNARASHAREDO.  I enjoyed seeing her art and her dancing. 

It was always great to see her.   There were many excellent exhibits at the Ellen Kayrod and Swan Galleries. 

Earlier this year, I heard she was ill again.  In July, there was another benefit in Southwest Detroit.  I was concerned about her.  Then came the word of her passing.

It’s been a rough year for the Detroit Arts scene.  Mick Vranich, Ron Allen and Mary Laredo Herbeck were three of our very best and brightest.

TODAY:  A memorial will be held at historic Ste. Anne de Detroit, 1000 Ste. Anne, Detroit, Michigan 48216 (next to the Ambassador Bridge) on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception in the church hall.

Mary’s blog:

The 2006 benefit at Zeitgeist:

On the 2007 AZUNTUNARASHAREDO exhibit at Zeitgeist:

On a 2008 show at the 555 Gallery:

Information on the art bench project: