Monthly Milestone: Dough Re Mi

Huron Hills are alive with the sound of music

Editor’s note: The monthly milestone column, which appears on the second day of each month – the anniversary of The Ann Arbor Chronicle’s launch – is an opportunity for either the publisher or the editor of The Chronicle to touch base with readers on topics related to this publication. It’s also a monthly reminder to readers who read The Chronicle’s material with a feed reader or some other ad-free mechanism to click through to have a look at the recent ad archive. Some of them are very pretty.

Physically attending various events for The Chronicle has its rewards. Had I stayed home and watched a recent League of Women Voters candidate forum on television, I would have missed the pre-event sound check at CTN studios where the event was taped. The Ward 2 and 5 city council candidate debate is now available online offered through CTN’s video-on-demand feature. [Chronicle coverage of that debate is forthcoming.]

The city council forum combined the races for the two wards. Seated on the CTN stage – at a table decked out with red-white-and-blue bunting – from left to right were the Ward 2 candidates, Democrat Tony Derezinski and Libertarian Emily Salvette, followed by Ward 5 candidates: independent Newcombe Clark, Republican John Floyd and Democrat Carsten Hohnke.

Before taping at the CTN studios, the mic check began with a request from CTN studio technicians for candidates to say something. They began with Tony Derezinski, seated farthest to the left. He deadpanned: “Doe, a deer, a female deer.”

Next up was Emily Salvette. She followed suit: “Re, a drop of golden sun.” Newcombe Clark, whose most ardent critics might accuse him of being self-centered, seemed to weigh those implications, but forged ahead with, “Me, a name I call myself.” John Floyd was next, who obliged with, “Fa, a long, long way to run.” However, Carsten Hohnke did not tie off the Sound of Music thread, but instead made some remarks about the availability of compost carts.

That tear in the community fabric was repaired by Derezinski after the event, when he accepted with good cheer The Chronicle’s good-natured accusation that his “Doe, a deer” gambit was a fairly transparent attempt to re-introduce into the community discourse the idea of culling the city’s deer herd. Derezinski has mentioned this idea more than once.

It’s also possible that what inspired Derezinski’s humor was one of our city golf courses, which came up during the debate. That is, his heart simply wanted to beat like the wings of a birdie recorded at Huron Hills, which are reputed to be alive with the sound of  music.

On reflection, the allusion to Do Re Mi was most likely just a subtle attempt by Derezinski to establish some folky cultural cred – to complement his penchant for quoting people like Alfred, Lord Tennyson and William Jennings Bryan – while at the same time highlighting the importance of the financial challenges the city faces. That is, he may have – subconsciously, unbeknownst even to himself – not been thinking of the deer herd or the golf course, but rather Woody Guthrie’s famous lyric: “If you ain’t got the dough re me …”

Which brings me to my point, which is often the point of these monthly milestone columns: Part of the business model for The Chronicle are voluntary subscriptions by readers. To current subscribers, thank you. For readers who’d like be subscribers, we’ve put together information on how to voluntarily subscribe. We hope you will.

About the writer: Dave Askins is co-founder and editor of The Ann Arbor Chronicle.


  1. By Jan Barney Newman
    October 3, 2010 at 9:57 am | permalink

    What a pleasure to be afforded a loud chuckle while reading Dave Askins Monthly Milestones account of the taping of Ward 2 and Ward 5 candidates at CTN. Though the antics of our local politicians can often be called laughable, this account of their literary allusions interpreted as psychological revelations of the candidates interests tickled me.

  2. By Rod Johnson
    October 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm | permalink

    Hohnke the c-c-c-combo breaker.

  3. October 3, 2010 at 8:11 pm | permalink

    I had a blast “singing” the song on your Facebook page HD! I met my new pal Wendy W. too! Thanx for use of your page and for your way cool reporting.