US Navy Rear Admiral William Leroy Messmer – Park 77

Location:  Bremen, Bluehill and Minneapolis  

Super clean park just south of East English Prep Academy, formerly George Ham Cannon playground.
Super clean park just south of East English Prep Academy, formerly George Ham Cannon playground.

THE GIFT OF MUSIC AND LEADERSHIP

As a youth, Bill Messmer [1903-1973] found his love of music while attending Detroit’s Eastern High School.  Musically gifted, he directed and organized a 16 piece orchestra as a teen.  His mother recollected how Bill would purchase his sheet music at the Jerome H. Remick music ‘house’ in Detroit. One day, she ran the errand of picking up his sheet music and had an encounter with the famous composer Richard Whiting, [nice story at that link] who managed the desk as a fledgling composer.   Continue reading “US Navy Rear Admiral William Leroy Messmer – Park 77”

Sergeant 1st Class Harold R. Cross Jr.  – Park 55

 “I just want to thank all of you and let all you fathers, mothers and wives know that this field is not dedicated to my son alone.  It is dedicated for all those who died for this country.”   — Harold Cross, Sr.  at his son’s playground dedication in 1953. 

80 Minutes Before the End

There were 8 yeas and 0 nay votes from the Detroit Common Council at the passing of a resolution proclaiming Harold Cross Jr. Day on August 7th, 1953.  There is always a last – the last to be picked for elementary kickball; the last time you see your beloved; the last kiss, the last donut.  Unfortunately, iterations of wartime stories are told far and wide with the insertion of similar details and different names. This story is different though; heroic and a heartbreaker. Continue reading “Sergeant 1st Class Harold R. Cross Jr.  – Park 55”