Most of my lifetime, Michigan has been bleeding population, largely the result of the collapsing manufacturing sector as factory jobs were outsourced to other countries (this largely as the result of decisions made by millionaires who just weren’t satisfied with all they already had). We’ve been enjoying a slow but steady recovery over the past decade thanks to some savvy marketing and a few sane, practical politicians, adding jobs, revitalizing cities, reimagining derelict factories and warehouses as loft housing and small businesses and incubators. We’ve been attracting a lot of good press, a lot of tourism. Sure, we’ve had some spectacular failures — but the harder the winter the more glorious the spring.
Actor, playwright, and musician Jeff Daniels is just one native Michigander who knows the true value of living here. And PBS News Hour did a nice little segment on what he’s been up to in his small hometown of Chelsea (which they describe as being an hour west of Detroit, because everything in Michigan is described to outsiders in terms of its proximity to the Motor City; it’s also about an hour southeast of Lansing). Hope you enjoy it.