On Saturday evening, I had the privilege of being invited to a dinner party at the home of our friends Jerry and Betty Stone who live in Lathrup Village. I’ve written about them before. Jerry was the City Administrator of Lathrup Village until 1991 when he retired. He hired me in 1990 in my first position in local government management. After all of these years, we still remain in contact.
Jerry and Betty come to our house every year for the holidays, and then we go to their home too. This year, their holiday party was between Christmas and New Year’s and on the day of their party, I ended up with the flu so we couldn’t go. So, Jerry and Betty continued to leave their Christmas decorations up and had a dinner party on Saturday to continue celebrating the holiday season. Jerry and Betty are very special to me. Jerry gave me my first break in the business of local government. Also at the table was Dorothy Warren. Dorothy was a former Councilwoman and Mayor of Lathrup Village and most recently, until this past November, served on the Bingham Farms Village Council. Dorothy is someone I have always admired and she has been a part of my professional development over the years. That night I sat across the table from Birmingham artist Julie Dawson (www.juliedawsonartist.com). What a fascinating and talented woman. You can check out her work at the website I provided and see the amazing things she has done as a watercolor artist. She is currently doing a lot of work with the Girl Scouts.
And as to not leave out the remaining guests, my wife Leslie and Betty and Jerry’s son John and his wife Marie also attended. Like his Dad, John has also chosen the path of public service as an employee of the City of Southfield. It’s pretty amazing to continue interacting with these folks all these years after I have left the community in which I got to know them. They are truly great friends. The early 90’s seem so far away now. I’m blessed that in 2017, they are still an important part of my life.
Tom Tanghe, City Manager