It was buggy and muggy on this Monday morn.

08-04-14

I left early enough to head down to the foot of Emmons and Wyandotte to catch a glimpse of the Detroit River. I figured I’d beat that train that comes through around 8:20 or so … and I did. The air was still and it was very humid and I had overdressed again, so I rolled up my shirtsleeves a few blocks from home. As usual, my mind was a blank canvas as I strode out of the house, ready to ruminate, reflect and recollect on whatever came my way. I’ve often told you that, depending on what I see on my morning walk, I may have that day’s blog post written in my mind, headline included, before I come back into the house. Sometimes I need to jot down my notes, lest I forget a good idea before I get a chance to sit down at the computer. This morning, however, as I walked along to and from my river destination, my thoughts kept returning to the Lawrence DeLisle story. It was a hot August night, 25 years ago yesterday, that Lawrence DeLisle piled his family into the car and drove off a pier in Wyandotte after nightfall. It shocked the Downriver residents and beyond – it made national headlines in fact. I can recall, just like it was yesterday, watching the 11:00 o’clock news that night. There was a media frenzy then, as well as in the following days and months, as the authorities obtained evidence and facts of that horrible night. The public glommed onto every detail. Of course, there was no internet coverage back then, and so we waited for news tidbits that came on the radio, T.V. or newspaper. This past weekend, WWJ featured an interesting recap of the accident and a series of interviews aired last night to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the tragedy. The interviews involved all the main players from the story, including eyewitnesses, the primary investigating detective, defense attorney, prosecuting attorney and even the judge who presided over the case. A series of articles, including a letter from Lawrence DeLisle, who declined to participate in an interview with WWJ’s Robert Jasina, was posted on the radio station’s website, and, for me, it served to bring that tragic story back to life. It also brought alot of memories back to me, especially seeing that photo of the four innocent children, immortalized forever after they lost their lives August 3, 1989 when the family car plunged into 30 feet of water at the foot of a pier in Wyandotte. Downriver residents discussed this case ad nauseum. My next-door neighbor at the time had been diagnosed with cancer, and his son, who had just completed his second year of law school, came home from Ohio to help take care of his father. So, this up-and-coming lawyer, and me, a former journalism student and legal secretary, had a friendly nightly debate about Larry DeLisle’s guilt over the backyard fence while tending to our respective yards. This went on for months as new evidence surfaced. Ultimately, the jury made its decision, but to this day, some are doubtful it was the right decision. Larry DeLisle writes that he has been crucified for something that was an accident and he has had to bear the grief of losing his four children all these years. Alas, many tidbits about the case weighed on my mind as I trudged slowly home from that same river, in the buggy, muggy atmosphere on this Monday morn. But, though I was warmish and swatting a few mosquitoes along the way, my mind was not on my creature comforts, but instead it was on the fate of those four beautiful children and their watery death all those years ago.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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