The moment their last shift as police officers ended, Sgt. Danny Fields and Lt. Harry Reynolds headed over to John Barleycorns, a bar in Mt. Clemens, to celebrate. Never mind that it was Saturday morning at 7 a.m. — the duo, who had been to police academy together and started service the same day, had both decided to hand over the badge after 25 years with the Mt. Clemens force, and they wanted to party.
Manager Annette Tillison was there to open the doors to early-rising friends, family and co-workers. "Free at Last," read a balloon floating from a cake.
Tim and Leslie Roberts, longtime friends of Fields, sipped coffee and talked to his wife, Betty, as well as Detective Leo Melise of Clinton Township and his girlfriend Julie Kolar.
At least 25 people were laughing and carrying on by 8 a.m., and spirits were high even though it was so early in the morning — lots of pitchers of beer, lots of Bloody Marys. (Tillison makes one of the best around with lots of spice, big olives and pickles served in a pint glass.)
Fields walked up as I was eating an olive and said, "Look, they took everything but my second grade picture." He opened his wallet and showed me that indeed it was empty except for a little black and white picture. I laughed. Lovable Danny is always telling people he loves them and that today — whatever day it is — is his birthday, which has scored him an obscene number of free drinks over the years.
When the thunderstorm hit that afternoon, the party was still going. The power went out, and they passed out free drinks to everyone at the bar. April Zbikowski, stylist at Salon Dion Day Spa, and boyfriend Terry Templin, manager of Shepherd Motor Sales, were sitting at the dark bar with me two hours later when co-owner Shawn McDonald walked in. Instantly, the power came on. Everyone cheered as McDonald opened his arms wide and asked, "Is there anything else you need?"
POISE, TALENT AND CPR
Salon Dion Day Spa in Clinton Township, where I happen to do my day job, was doing all the contestants’ hair for the Miss Boat Town USA pageant, held last Friday night at J.D.’s Club Hollywood.
Salon owner Dion VanKehrberg brought his brother Mark, as well as helpers Cathy Johnston, Kelly Kirchinger and Aubrey, a student at Blue Water Beauty College (which Mark owns) in Marysville.
I arrived backstage at 7 p.m. to see all 17 girls doing their makeup and getting their hair done. Some were reciting their speeches and others were smoking and talking about partying later. A few were just standing around calm, cool and collected. You could tell some were taking it a wee bit more seriously than others.
Alicia Rose Ambozy, representing Total Sports in Harrison Township, was leaning against the wall saying she didn’t want to be in the swimsuit competition because she has thunder thighs. Pleeease. She has a great body.
Upstairs, people in lovely dresses, well-made suits and even a few tuxedos were walking up the plushly carpeted foyer with an air of excitement and anticipation.
I saw Roger and Angela Petrie, general manager and banquet manager of Mac & Ray’s in Harrison Township, there to support their representative, Mercedes Teutsch. Angela looked stunning in white and Roger dapper in his tux.
When the show started, the contestants introduced themselves and talked about their sponsors. Carrie Klein, representing Carlo’s Pizza, stumbled over her words when she said they only use the freshest ingredients.
Sylvia Gonzales, a cute sophomore at Macomb Community College who represented Cracker Jacks Bar ’N’ Grill, was crowned Miss Boat Town. She was also given a special award because she recently saved a 2-year-old boy who almost drowned in a swimming pool, by performing the CPR she remembered from eighth grade.
There were several intermissions, during which numerous bottles of champagne were served. Two guys in their early 20s got a little mouthy with Matthew Angel, a bartender. Another bartender called security on her walkie-talkie and got their little butts thrown out. An older gentleman (father, maybe?) went after them and five minutes later they were back.
Despite this, Angel ably kept up with the call for cocktails from a crowd five people deep. His friend, Joshua Parton, told me they had both just bleached their hair. Parton was talking to a woman who seemed totally out of place, with big, blond hair, shorts two sizes too small, and a white Wild Woody’s tank top. Where are the fashion police when you need them?
Sunday night, The Post in Mt. Clemens held a fundraiser for the Darren McCarty Cancer Foundation. Darren himself, clad in jean shorts and a T-shirt, was taking pictures with different people while Jody, a wonderful one-man band, played Cat Stevens, Harry Chapin, Rolling Stones and Van Morrison songs, singing and strumming on his guitar.
There were about 15 bikers there, with their hogs lined up out front near Post mastermind Steve Wheeler’s silver Corvette.
Around midnight, McCarty went up on stage and sang Violent Femmes and Pearl Jam songs with another guy, who, after about five tunes, needed an arm to lean on to walk out of the bar while McCarty sang on. Ow.