The city of Kalamazoo, Michigan is in shock and mourning this week after Saturday’s shooting rampage that left six people dead and two wounded. The attacks were carried out in three locations in this city in the western part of the state, where lived before moving to Connecticut.
As soon as I heard the news I checked in with friends who still live there, and thankfully all were okay, but are they really alright? Kalamazoo is a small, closely knit city, with a strong sense of community. For my former colleagues in the television news business, such a horrifying crime means there is little time to stop and reflect on what has happened in their hometown, but rather working more to cover the story as best they can.
I worked at WWMT-TV for two years, as a reporter, midday anchor, and sports anchor. Channel 3 is the CBS station there, part of the Grand Rapids market where the NBC, ABC and Fox stations are located. It’s a similar setup to the Hartford New Haven market. I shared an apartment with a couple of fellow reporters near the campus of Western Michigan University. One summer I lived in the beach town of South Haven on Lake Michigan, coincidentally in an apartment on Kalamazoo Avenue.
My experiences in Kalamazoo were all positive and I found it to be an interesting place, with warm caring people. While working there, I interviewed an up and coming baseball player from Kalamazoo named Derek Jeter. I covered stories at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, and the city’s biggest employer then, Upjohn, now Pfizer.
During this awful week, my prayers and thoughts go out to all who live in the city with the funny name and the big heart.
By the way, my wife Kara Sundlun also has a Kalamazoo connection: https://dennishouse.tv/2012/05/29/did-she-say-battle-creek-michigan/
Categories: Growing Up