I remember being in a Canadian online chat room many years ago and having another participant make all sorts of fun of the geographically impaired "south of the border", meaning people from the States clueless about Canadian geography.
I replied that I didn't see any more ignorance of geography among those of us in Detroit than people I'd met south of the border in Canada.
Much chiding of me on his part ensued for what he saw as typical ignorance of those in the States about geography. He couldn't believe that I would insist that Canada was south of Detroit.
I insisted that he check it out on a map.
Seeing that this was a number of years before a lot of folks had a nice graphic interface to the Web, there was silence from him as I think he went to a book (remember those?) to look and see what this crazy Detroiter was on about.
I wish I had these photos ready at hand at that time.
Here you see the marker in a park along the riverside in Windsor, Ontario, that points to Detroit's distinctive skyline.
The marker's text clearly shows that some folks in Canada do know that Detroit is north of Canada!
Journey's Steve Perry said the song originated when the band was playing some Detroit gigs. Detroit was at the top of their minds when they began to put the lyrics together. Perry liked the sound of "South Detroit" then and only found out many years later that there really was no such location.
Meanwhile, remind me someday to tell the story of being in a club in Ottawa and, when someone introduced me as being from Detroit, a Canadian there said, "Detroit? Is that anywhere near Boston?" Yup, true story.
© Dominique King 2012 All rights reserved