This old city tavern in the heart of Detroit is long gone. I think I was in the place maybe twice. Brightly lit, smokey, individuals and couples sitting at tables while mostly men were bellied up to the bar. Maybe a pool table at the rear of the room, a jukebox at low volume and cigarette vending machines just inside the front entrance. The street is Cass Ave. near Mack Ave. which is north a couple miles of downtown Detroit. I was employed nearby and frequently walked these streets looking for something interesting to shoot. I don't believe I ever printed this shot until just a few years ago while scouring old proof sheets (again) for something interesting to print that perhaps I'd overlooked. I was in the process of hopefully finding several old negatives I'd made around the city going back to the late 1950s when I first began taking pictures. I knew early on the importance of dating and cataloging.     


Having just stepped out of a SoHo bistro
I heard the melancholy wail of a distant
tenor sax. Then in rapid succession; a car door
slammed, a taxi sped past and a solitary crow
cawed his lonely song. The clickity-clack of
running heels echoed off wet alley walls. A red
neon flickered LETOH on a beaded windshield.
All ominous warnings to take care this night.


Cadillac Square, where by sun-lit day, moneyed
suits and pretty secretaries co-mingle with
the panhandlers, bus station drifters and cautious
tourists. This late night, a lone woman exits
her Birmingham bus clutching purse and cane
with scrub bucket knuckles and drags her old
bones through the shadowed maze of steel &
glass & marble to her Gratiot Ave. redbrick
walk-up. I watched as she diminished in the
distance beyond the brown pools of lamp lights.
A faint flickering neon rimmed her figure in blue
before she faded to black.






A cold, damp January night on Cass Ave. The Detroit Masonic Temple
is around the corner and this bar takes it's name from that massive
mystical structure.