This weekend we went up to Houghton Lake (right hand -- locate spot on upper palm right under middle finger) to go to a large arts-and-crafts store there, and just to sightsee) -- in many ways the experience was similar to our trip to downtown Detroit. There were dozens and dozens of boarded-up, out-of-businesses stores; countless "For Sale" signs in residential areas. Several of the still-extant stores were holding going-out-of-business sales. Once popular, if kitschy, "up north" recreational venues -- putt-putt golf courses, miniature midways, go-cart tracks and such -- were either closed or devoid of customers.
Houghton Lake was always a popular blue-collar resort area. If you lived in southeastern Michigan and worked for the Big Three, you could afford a weekend cottage there; with any luck you could one day retire there.
I fear that those days are gone forever.
I'm really not sure that people from other states understand how badly our state is hurting. And evidently neither do our legislators, many of whom seem to spend most of their time shilling for social-morality legislation safeguarding "traditional marriage" and Ten Commandments statuary while our economy continues to swirl the drain, and our residents continue to flee. A recent poll showed that most new college graduates intend to leave Michigan.
It's a sad state of affairs.