Photo by Lowell
The Fall of Hudsons
On the bank of the
river of cars
So many people wait.
The distant, hollow mountain
Aluminum lawn chairs-
Cameras, binoculars point.
Excitement carried on the drone
Of stories about the store
About to implode.
We hear the explosions
A suspended moment before
The slow-motion signature
Of a monumental fall-
My wife breaks into tears.
Dust rises like a deep
Like the wave of a May-Day
To ripple through history
Asking "Must all change?"
The cumulative disappointment
Of all the ends of all the eras.
We are panicked and
Running in the streets
To escape this new-dead past.
To escape this wall of time
That drives us
Involuntarily into the future.
Boswell's full name is William Guy Boswell;
most call him Boz, old
friends call him Boz or Bill. I was the one who started calling
when we formally met in Alvins in 1981. That is a story in itself.
As you know, all of us art students hung out at Alvin's. By 1981,
I had participated in shows at the Artist Guild of Detroit [with
Stephanie Crawford], had just had a one-person show at the Willis
that past March, and had been graduatedfrom WSU for a year.
I was living a dual life of budding second generation Cass
Corridor artist while commuting from my parent's home in Northwest
Detroit. I had a studio in a flat over my father's dentist office
on Clairmount and 12th [the epicenter of the 1967 rebellion]. I
had not yet moved down here. On July 29, 1981 I was celebrating my
27th birthday [yes, I was STILL living at home!].
One of my buddies, Linda Centivany and I decided to spend the
entire day and night at Alvin's, eating all meals and drinking
inbetween. We were holding court. Coincidentally, it was the day
that Diana Spencer and Prince Charles got married!
Up to this point, I was not an alcolhol drinker, but wanted to
that situation. I sat at the bar where Boswell was tending,
and my girlfriend and told him it was my birthday. He said he knew
that I was
one of those art-student-girls because I was in there so much,
usually at a
table along the brick wall. He congratulated me, and presented me
piece of Alvin's cheescake with a match in it for a candle. As the
on, we all talked and Boswell showed me his poetry. At 6 when his
ended, he joined us at the bar. I stayed there all night. When the
closed, I left with somebody else but I never forgot the cheescake
poetry. I met up with Bill a few days later, and the rest is
introduced me to the literary and theater worlds, I took him to
art shows. We
went together until 1987, when we got married. All I can say is,
Bill and I
are still together; Charles and poor Diana ended up taking
Bill Boswell is the one who can give you the
lowdown on Alvin's Finer
Delicatessen's history. I have heard so many stories about
Bobby McDonald [I
met him just before he died], Gordon Newton, Sestok, Luchs,
etc, from Bill. He was Alvin Stilman's first employee when he
opened it in
1968. Alvin's first directive to Bill was "Boswell, load the
and fire it!" in a raspy low growl. Stephen, the next time
you see Bill in
the Cass Cafe, pick his brains! He has a million stories.
Also, I am sure I have in my studio somewhere copies of the flyers
done to advertise Alvin's entertainment. I especially kept the one
week of May 30th, 1987; that is when we got married, and had our
reception in Alvins. The Rockabilly Cats played, and at the end of
evening Bill was so drunk he couldn't sign the check to pay them!