Liz Seymour

2 years at the News

I hated Detroit when I moved here from New York City in May 1993. "Where are all the people?" I would wonder each night when I left The Detroit News building. "Where is the culture, where is the life?" This is the farthest west anyone in my family has ever lived. One cousin moved to Akron, Ohio, but only because her husband the doctor got a residency at a hospital there. They returned to the East Coast within two years. I stayed in Detroit, I told my friends and relatives, because I had a good job. It was a reporting job at a big-city daily. More money than I'd ever made. Blue-chip health insurance. Three weeks vacation. But in the back of my mind, I knew it was just a matter of time until I headed back East. I knew that one day the resume and clips I kept sending to East Coast newspapers would catch someone's attention. Detroit was a stop along the way. It wasn't home; it was just a place with a good job. And then came the strike. There wasn't much question about crossing the picket line. My father was a member of The Newspaper Guild for 28 years and suffered through seven strikes. He never crossed the line. There were other influences. Reporters who cross picket lines are tainted. So here I was in Detroit with no job and a weekly income of $160. But I found a life. I met dozens of people who became friends. I moved from the suburbs to the city. I fell in love. I wrote for The Detroit Sunday Journal. I learned to stretch my dollars as if they were made of lycra. I took pride in my perseverance. I was happy. After 18 months on strike, I'm leaving Detroit. I'm returning to the city where I grew up to work for the newspaper where I've dreamed of seeing my byline. I can't bear to go.

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