Patricia Ashford Manley was born in 1945 in Ann Arbor, and she was raised by her mother. She remembers attending Jones Elementary School and trying out for cheerleading at Ann Arbor High School. Manley graduated from Western Michigan University in 1970 and later earned her master’s in counseling from Eastern Michigan University. She worked as a teacher, cheerleading coach, and guidance counselor at Huron High School for thirty-one years, and was principal of Thurston Elementary School for ten years. She and her husband Lamont Manley enjoy traveling and going to concerts together. They have been married for 43 years.
Michael Thomas Bass was born in 1945 to Thomas and Louise Bass. His parents–a doctor and a teacher–were influential members of Ypsilanti’s Black community. Bass excelled in football, basketball, and track. He was senior class president of Ypsilanti High School in 1963. He received a BA in Education from the University of Michigan. Bass is best known for playing in the National Football League for the Washington Commanders (formerly Redskins) from 1969 to 1975. After retiring from the NFL, Bass ran a resort in the Bahamas. He and his wife Rosita now reside in Florida and they have two daughters, Kimberly and Louise.
Shirley Northcross was born in 1936 and grew up near Dayton, Ohio. Her father ran the Miami View Golf Course, and she recalls visits from famous athletes like Joe Louis. She was the first Black student to graduate from Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio. After getting a degree in physical education from Michigan State University, Northcross started out a substitute teacher and a counselor for the Camp Fire Girls of America. She taught physical education at Northwestern High School in Detroit for over 30 years.
Shirley Northcross was interviewed in partnership with the Museum of African American History of Detroit and Y Arts Detroit in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Shirley and David Northcross have been married for over 50 years. They met in the late 1950s at Michigan State University, where Shirley played field hockey and David played football. They were married in Shirley’s hometown, Dayton, Ohio. After a few years in California while David was in the Marine Corps, they returned to his hometown, Detroit. David was a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch and Shirley taught physical education at Northwestern High School. They had three boys who were active in swimming and baseball. Shirley and David coached Little League for 19 years, and they enjoyed playing golf and tennis.
Shirley and David Northcross were interviewed in partnership with the Museum of African American History of Detroit and Y Arts Detroit in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Web Kirksey was born in 1933 in Saginaw, Michigan. His father worked at a Chevrolet factory and his mother ran a beauty shop in their home. He was a star basketball player in high school and was recruited to play for Eastern Michigan University. Kirksey got a master’s degree in special education and taught for the majority of his career at W.J. Maxey Boys’ Training School in Whitmore Lake. In 1978 he was inducted into Eastern Michigan University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Web Kirksey was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2018 as part of the Legacies Project.
Dick Kimball was born in 1935 in Rochester, Minnesota. He was the Minnesota high school diving champion four years in a row, and he also excelled in gymnastics, trampoline, and cheerleading. At the University of Michigan, he was the NCAA springboard champion in 1957, and in 1963 he was the Professional World Diving champion. Kimball coached the University of Michigan diving team for 43 years, and several U.S. Olympic diving teams. He has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor.
Dick Kimball was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2018 as part of the Legacies Project.
After writing 9 books about the joy of canoeing & kayaking rivers, lifelong Michigan resident Doc Fletcher moves to dry land for his latest book: The History of Tiger Stadium: A Love Letter to Baseball at Michigan & Trumbull, honoring The Cathedral at The Corner where - together with great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, children, godchildren, & friends - we have cheered our Detroit Tigers. Although the structure is gone, the memories remain...
"It was a night game, the field a shade of green that was the most beautiful color I'd ever seen, the smells, sounds, and sights of the pre-game action delightfully overwhelming... the air filled with the bouquet of hot dogs, spilt beer, and a cigar aroma much like that of the House of Windsor stogies preferred by my Dad. Cries of the vendors peddling those items pierced the air. Several Tigers were engaged in a game of pepper along the box seats down the right field foul line, as nearby Bill Freehan tossed a ball back 'n forth with a teammate, entertaining the fans by playfully catching the ball behind his back."
Doc shares stories from the book of the characters on the field, in the stands, and those in the neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark, as well as about the broadcasters who brought the action to us when we couldn't be there ourselves.
Kim Darst from Husky Haven Sled Dogs shares her experience competing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska. Husky Haven Sled Dogs was established in 1999 with two Samoyeds and a dream to run the Iditarod. In 2009 that dream came true, and they were the first team from New Jersey to qualify, enter, and run the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Learn about what it takes to train for the Iditarod!
Michigan native Zach Gowen came to AADL to share his unique and inspirational story chronicled in his 2018 book High Risk Maneuvers: How I Turned My Handicaps Into Opportunities. Zach lost his left leg to cancer at the age of eight. It was his dream to become the first one-legged WWE Superstar, which he achieved in 2003. During his time with the WWE, he wrestled such stars as Brock Lesnar, the Big Show, and John Cena. In 2016, Zach was a contestant on American Ninja Warrior.
Zach's message of life being not about what happens to us, but about how we respond to what happens to us, permeates every aspect of his life. Zach has wrestled with demons, climbed the highest peaks, and has overcome some of the biggest obstacles life can offer.
Daring to defy the odds, expectations, and limitations society imposed on him, Zach became one of the most inspirational athletes in the world. He now travels the country sharing his message of hope and empowerment to people of all backgrounds.
The 1968 World Series remains one of the most iconic in major league history. Featuring Bob Gibson in MVP form, Al Kaline, and Mickey Lolich, it was baseball at its best.
Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mickey Lolich and journalist Tom Gage discuss this historic series as well as their book "Joy in Tigertown: A Determined Team, a Resilient City, and our Magical Run to the 1968 World Series."
Told with the vibrant first-hand perspective of Lolich himself and the expertise of award-winning Detroit journalist Tom Gage, this is the remarkable saga of that 1968 season which culminated in Tigers glory.