JFS Fall Fix Up friendly faces

Featured photo courtesy of Ben Falik

This isn’t about me except sort of. That’s what I remind myself each time I set out to tell someone’s story. It’s theirs after all. Except sort of. I remember to wipe my feet before entering their world, to use only the oxygen I need to breathe it in deep, to seem self-aware in said selfies.

I cherish the quality time we spend together, though quantities vary — as does their awareness/aliveness.

I would like to think I’m just a medium through which the tales travel — journeys toward justice, soul searching, trying to make sense of this crazy, mixed-up world. But, as my mother-in-law has informed me, I’m not a medium.

Here, then, are updates on some of my upstanding and unwitting subjects, along with one of my own.

According to the extensive Wikipedia page for MasterChef Junior, Huntington Woods’ Sammy Vieder was eliminated just one week after his Blue Apron mystery box tour de force. Along with Ariana Feygin — the pride of Excelsior, Minnesota — and Henry Hummeldorf(!), Sammy was undone by none other than egg-yolk ravioli. Dio santo!

Sammy appears to have transitioned back into private life better than the child stars of the 1980s. Last year, I bumped into him at Berkley High School, where I was running the Young, Optimistic and United (YOU!) club for the Tri-Community Coalition, but I just got really nervous and said “Hola” for no reason. (Sammy, if you’re reading this, Como estas?)

Speaking of brushes with celebrity, Ramy Youssef — whose show Ramy was renewed by Hulu for a second season, coming this spring and featuring two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali — thought my column about him was “so dope.” I know this because our dear mutual friend Muhi Khwaja sent it to him and he replied, “This is so dope.” I have the screenshot of the Instagram DM to prove it and screenshots are forever.

Matt Prentice has 27 lives. Or at least Three Cats, his new restaurant in Clawson. Last winter, at the tail end of his non-compete judgment, Matt told me he was looking forward to running a restaurant, rather than a restaurant group. Meow he gets to serve up great stuff on small plates and in martini glasses at the former movie theater space next to Leon and Lulu.

I got to see Matt in action last weekend and delighted in the Roasted Indiana Duck, Michigan Cherries, Hash, Fall Vegetables (large plate). True to form, his September opening doubled as Three Cats Cash for Cass, a benefit for Cass Community Social Services.

After reading about Selma Goode, Judge Michael Goodman reached out to reconnect with her. He presided over countless administrative hearings and confirmed that she was a force to be reckoned with, arriving late only once and only because her car broke down in a snowstorm — and only then by a half hour. In a political and regulatory environment increasingly hostile to welfare recipients, she knew the law better than the lawyers, who underestimated her at their peril.

Selma was a zealous advocate, no matter who was on the bench. After speaking to the retired judge, she told me, “He was helpful with his favorable decisions. I am sorry that at that time I didn’t know that he was a leftie.”

In brief:

Randolph Bowersox is looking forward to seeing the films — and audiences — headed to the Birmingham 8 this year. He’s especially excited for Ford v Ferrari, having grown up in a Ford family in the 1960s.

Aaron Foley — author of How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass, chief storyteller for the city of Detroit and current John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford — reminds people to read thoroughly, think critically and post responsibly. Lest ye be a jackass.

It is unclear, based on the state budget impasse, whether Maxine Berman is haunting Lansing or Lansing is haunting Maxine Berman. Has to be one or the other.

… Me? This isn’t about me except sort of. Last week, I started my new job as a chief program officer at Jewish Family Service.

I’m not burying the lede, just busy learning as much as I can as fast as I can to be as useful as I can at an agency that has been moving mountains for more than 90 years.

I will have lots to report on — and recruit for — over the next 90 years. In the meantime, be a doll (or transformer or baby shark) and sign up to adopt a family at jfsdetroit.org. Talk to you next month.

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