Keith Owens Award-Winning Author

Keith A. Owens is an award-winning author living in Detroit, Michigan.

About Keith Owens

Keith Owens is a freelance writer, columnist, blogger and musician whose most recent work has been featured in Model D Detroit, BLAC Detroit, and the national political affairs blog PoliticusUSA. He has also published three novels through Detroit Ink Publishing (www.detroitinkpublishing.com), the eBook publishing company he co-founded with his wife, Pamela Hilliard Owens. Keith and Pam live in a 100-year-old home in the Historic Boston-Edison District a few miles north of the El Moore.

The life and times of Elvira Moore

You might say we have the same bones, she and I. “We Moores are made of strong stuff,” is what my father used to always say. “Same stuff made this city.” Daddy was right. Harlan Moore lived to be 106, and he had that same flash of fire in his eye right up until the day he died in my apartment, three years after my mother. The two of them actually met when each of them happened to be out for an evening stroll, standing out front of here admiring this beautiful red brick building that was soon to become the El Moore. It must have been quite a conversation because they got married several months later. Several months after that they were among the first to secure an apartment in the El Moore, I think as much for sentimental reasons as anything else. There were only eight apartments in … [Read more...]

The Dragon of the El Moore

If you know anything at all about castles, then you know you can't have a castle without a dragon. That's just the way it works. Ask around, and you'll see I'm right. Or you can just take a trip to England and ask someone over there. Whole lotta castles in England, and those castles have been there for eons. No such thing as a brand new castle. A real castle has some serious history attached. Which, of course, would explain why there aren't many castles over here on this side of the pond. America ain't old. It's what you might call a kiddy country, and castles ain't for kids. Most castles reach back to a time when history was a lot more fun than it is now. Way back when everything was once-upon-a-time and certain things may or may not have happened as reported, but whatever was reported … [Read more...]

El Moore phone home…

"Tell me more about this ...Detroit..." Deputy Supreme Commander and Captain Vixra 5!, seated in the command navigation module next to Vixra 5?, who had asked the question, waved his five arms back and forth in the commonly understood demonstration of joy and exultation. His three sets of eyes, located at the ends of long branch-like stalks that extended from what appeared to be a forehead glowed a comforting green, then purple. "Seriously?" asked Vixra5?, a look commonly recognized as perplexed amongst the Vixren muddling his otherwise smooth face. That is, the face located on the front of his third head, most commonly used for intra-species communication. The other faces appeared non-committal and somewhat bored. Vixra5! began waving his arms about even more furiously, this time … [Read more...]

Cass Corridor’s own Casey Kasem

Remember Casey Kasem? If you do, you’re probably among that group of us who mumbles our age when asked. But whether you actually remember the days of Casey Kasem, or know enough about music history to know the significance of the man who single-handedly revolutionized the music industry with his Top 40 format (some would say for the best, others not so much), perhaps not as many know that Kasem is from Detroit. But not just Detroit. The larger-than-life radio personality, who ruled the airwaves for more than 30 years from 1970 on with a worldwide listenership that at its peak reached nearly 8 million, was raised right here in the Cass Corridor (it definitely was not Midtown at the time). But not just in the Cass Corridor. Casey Kasem’s childhood home was located in the exact spot … [Read more...]

Ralph Rinaldi remembers a Cass Corridor in full dimensions Part 2

  If you closed your eyes and listened to Ralph Rinaldi reminisce about the Cass Corridor that surrounds the El Moore, the way it used to be before Midtown was barely an idea, you would see it at first, then you would hear it and smell it. Then suddenly you’re there, looking around at a very different place in time. It is a counter-cultural neighborhood, but also exceptionally tolerant. A diverse neighborhood of artists, students and professors as well as junkies, pimps and prostitutes. But there was room for them all, and somehow they made it work… Because that's what neighborhoods do. This is Part 2 of a fascinating discussion with longtime Cass Corridor resident/activist Ralph Rinaldi. (Read Part 1 here.) The following is a slightly edited transcription. Mr. Rinaldi … [Read more...]

Ralph Rinaldi remembers a Cass Corridor in full dimensions – Part 1

If you closed your eyes and listened to Ralph Rinaldi reminisce about the Cass Corridor that surrounds the El Moore, the way it used to be before Midtown was barely an idea, you would see it at first, then you would hear it and smell it. Then suddenly you’re there, looking around at a very different place in time. It is a countercultural neighborhood, but also exceptionally tolerant. A diverse neighborhood of artists, students and professors as well as junkies, pimps and prostitutes. But there was room for them all, and somehow they made it work… Because that's what neighborhoods do. An Education for the People “I used to go there in the mid '60s and everything was rip snorting around then. The anti war movement was the most popular thing going around, if you wanna call it … [Read more...]

A.C. Varney and the Varney Room

I must say they have done quite well with the old girl. Quite well indeed. And I must also say that I am not one who tends to be easily impressed. I did not make my name by being accommodating to mediocrity, and I simply will not tolerate its presence. There is no excuse for it. When I designed the El Moore over a century ago (for the sake of time we will skip the admittedly remarkable details of how I came to be a guest in my cherished building so long after my death, but believe me, this is a story you will want to hear at a later date), my desire was to create a luxury accommodation for only the finest of Detroit’s residents in one of the city’s most fashionable areas. I recall the neighborhood surrounding the El Moore as a wonderfully busy thoroughfare, a perfect residential … [Read more...]

Nighty night, St. Benedict

"Saint Benedict of Nursia, Nursia also spelled Norcia    (born c. 480, Nursia [Italy]—died c. 547, Monte Cassino; feast day July 11, formerly March 21), founder of the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino and father of Western monasticism; the rule that he established became the norm for monastic living throughout Europe. In 1964, in view of the work of monks following the Benedictine Rule in the evangelization and civilization of so many European countries in the Middle Ages, Pope Paul VI proclaimed him the patron saint of all Europe." He was a small man, strangely dressed (for wintertime Detroit, anyway) with a long grayish robe made of a very coarse material, sandals, and a staff that nearly equalled his own height.  But more than the relative strangeness of his clothing and … [Read more...]

El Moore

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