Gary McDonald


Gary McDonald


Gary McDonald and his family moved to the city from Bloomfield Hills following the unrest of 1967 to take advantage of life in the city.


Detroit Historical Society




Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI






Written Story


My story is different, I was raised in Bloomfield Hills but grew up in Detroit.
Despite everything we heard about the city; the urban decay, the crime and the racial strife, we moved back to Rosedale Park, where the elms still canopied the Boulevards. It was just blocks from the house I was born in, and a year after the riots, in 1968.
I hated it at first, I thought it was paradise to live off of a lake. But my mom was a city girl and got tired of being lonely and stuck out in the sticks. It didn't take me long either to see she was right. The Catholic school I went to, now, was closer than my bus stop used to be and I didn't miss being the first picked up and last dropped off. And just blocks away was a drug store, bakery, Dairy Queen and a bus stop that could take me where ever and when ever I wanted, without asking my folks for a ride.
The lake and beach may have been nice in the summer but now the sidewalks and street light let me do all kinds of things year round. Besides all the things going on at school ,which was within easy walking distance, there were playgrounds with organized sports, a community center with planned activities and even an ice rink (that wasn't deep enough to drown you if you broke through). and best of all were the tennis courts where I spent most of my rec time after High school. We could even play at night under metered lamps.
In 1967, Detroit was the last place I wanted to be, yet after moving there and for the next 10 years, it was the only place for me. That is, until the metered lights went out in Palmer Park.

Original Format


Submitter's Name

Gary McDonald

Submission Date





“Gary McDonald,” Detroit Historical Society Oral History Archive, accessed October 1, 2023,

Output Formats