Building bridges between the people of Ypsilanti and the police, vomiting cheese sticks, southern transplants, the music of Modern Lady Fitness and Blake Elliott, and ‘Two Gays and a Jew’ …on episode 17 of The Saturday Six Pack


There was a lot to like about this last episode of the Saturday Six Pack, which began with an original composition by Modern Lady Fitness that included more obscure, inside references than Glass Onion. [They not only sang about Brigid’s fancy lady parts, which, for some reason, are often a topic of conversation on the show, but they name-checked our favorite call-in troll, The Who Guy.] It was really a lovely way to start the show.

This, by the way, was the second week in a row where our musical guest went to the effort to write a song especially for the show, and I’ve really been touched by the effort. It’s one thing to have people come in and visit, but it’s exponentially better when they make an effort to actively participate by creating something for the show. [If you’d like to hear the opening Saturday Six Pack theme written and performed by Fangs and Twang, click here.]

Our first guest was Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department Director of Community Engagement Derrick Jackson. We opened a few bottles of Controversi-ALE from Shorts Brewing, which, we’d learn from a guest later in the show, had first been brought to market under the name Hangin’ Frank. [The folks at the brewery apparently caved to pressure when customers complained that they’d rather not drink beer with a victim of suicide on the label.] Jackson and I talked about everything from the difficulty of gaining the community’s trust in the wake of recent events like those involving Eric Garner in New York and Walter L. Scott in South Carolina, to the recent backlash he encountered when he advocated for leniency in the case of a young man being prosecuted for attempted murder. I could go on, but you should really just listen. It was a fascinating conversation about the intersection of social work and law enforcement. [Jackson is a Social Work grad who worked for Ozone House before joining the Sheriff’s Department and going through the Police Academy, and his career has been about exploring the intersection of those two worlds.] Here’s Jackson talking about building trust within the community, and working with fellow officers to better understand the communities they’re serving.


[If you missed the live broadcast, you can now hear the episode in its entirety on both iTunes and Soundcloud. Or, if you want, you can just scroll down to end of this post, where you’ll find it embedded.]

Then, at the 42-minute mark, we introduced musician Blake Elliott, who was in town from Traverse City with her band The Robinson Affair for a show at Bona Sera. [While Elliott set up, we played the most recent musical contribution from our friend in Kenya Dr. Peter Larson, whose song this week, I believe, was about being robbed at gunpoint and encountering lions while jogging.] Between songs, Elliott and I talked about growing up in Ypsi, her past as an employee of several Zingerman’s businesses, and the evolving food and entertainment scene in Traverse City. Here’s Elliott talking about the decision to leave Ypsi for Traverse City.


Then, at about the 56-minute mark, I welcomed in Mike Nix, the owner of the Ypsi Running Company. My intention had been to ask him about doing business in Ypsi, but, when he opened his mouth to introduce himself, and I heard his southern accent, we ended up going off on a tangent, comparing notes on the years we’d spent in the suburban hellscape that is Marietta, Georgia. I shared my story of meeting a red-faced Newt Gingrich coming out of the woods with a younger blonde woman, and Mike shared his story about the day he, as a 300-pound man, sitting on his couch, deep frying cheese sticks and watching Barbarella, made the decision to get up and start running. Here Nix is telling us about the path that brought him north to Ypsilanti.


Then, at 1:20, local photographer Chris Stranad came by to discuss our collaborative Six Pack Portrait Project (which was just recently featured on the cover of The Ann magazine), and our plans to show the portraits that have been captured thus far during the Ypsi First Friday event on June 5. Here’s Chris explaining how the Six Pack Portrait Project came together, and what you can expect to see at the June 5 opening.


And, at 1:34, the folks from Modern Lady Fitness came back into the studio to take calls, share their memories of the influential San Diego band Daltrey’s Fringe, and make musical magic. Here we are discussing Three’s Company cast changes between songs.


The highlight of the show for me happened after the six pack was gone, and we’d moved on to the reserves. We got a phone call from a group of people listening in New York who introduced themselves as “two gays and a jew.” They were interesting people to talk to, but what I think I liked best about their call was the fact that they had absolutely no tie whatsoever to either me or Ypsilanti. We’ve had calls from big cities around the country before, and from other countries, but, in all of those instances, I think there’s always been a connection of some kind. In this instance, though, it was just a group of three people who, while making dinner with one another in New York, had apparently stumbled across the broadcast online. And I think that’s pretty beautiful. [I’d like to have a regular “Two Gays and a Jew” feature. I hope they call back.]

I could go on, but you should just listen for yourself. It really was a good, solid show.

Thanks, as always, to AM 1700 for hosting the show, Brian Robb for running the board and keeping the bills paid, and Kate de Fuccio for documenting everything that happens. [All the photos above come courtesy of Kate.]

If you like this episode, check out our archive of past shows at iTunes. And do please leave a review if you have the time, OK? It’s nice to know that people are listening, and, unless you call in, that’s pretty much the only way we know.

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  1. Posted May 26, 2015 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    It appears that everyone had a fabulous time.

  2. XXX
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I never thought that the phrase “jew dog” could be uttered in a non offensive way.

  3. Eel
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    What do you do to make them smile like that?

  4. Kim
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    deep brain stimulation via neural implants

  5. DK
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    After listening to your interview with Derrick, I’m hoping that, if I’m ever arrested, it’s by an officer of the Sheriff’s Department and not one of the other local agencies.

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