Detroit by E. M. Parmelee My own idea for an evening drama: the Hull family was one of the oldest in Detroit. Hull House is a mansion and horse farm north of the city (see Meadowbrook Hall), open to the public with horse breading, shows and polo. While the house is open to the public, the family lives in apartments with the oldest in a subdivision mansion. They use the house for family, business and social entertaining, but they do not live in the house. HFBC is a giant New York bank with a large share owned by Atwater Investment, the Hull family office and investment company, head quartered in Detroit. HFBC stands for the Hull Frankfort Banking Corporation. Other Atwater assets include insurance and other financial related matters in an effort to remake Detroit the Fintech capital of the world. The company is heavily diversified and includes many real estate projects in an effort to diversify the Detroit economy. The Hull Building is a skyscraper in Detroit owned by Atwater Investments. There was once a Hull Motor Company and a Hull Bank in Detroit. The most prominent use of the name is with the Hull Foundation. The story takes place after the death of Charlotte Hull. Noted for her many marriages and her jet-set life; she leaves behind a son and two grandsons. The protagonist, Peter Milligan, is a, single, handsome and well-dressed young man who has been taken under his uncle's wing to head up the family, its investments and, most importantly to his uncle, its legacy of charity. Where his uncle is pretentious, Peter is sincere. Peter works his way up at Atwater starting out as a project manager on special assignment. Peter is surrounded by what his grandmother called the "Rainbow Tribe," a most diverse group of friends, including his half-brother, Thad. Thad is his side kick, though older, sometimes on his side, sometimes against him. The main antagonist is Angela Barnes, a hard woman focused nearly exclusively on cultivating power, the mother of his oldest friend, and who runs one of the world's largest chemical companies, Barnes Chemical. When it appears that Atwater is coming after her company, she plots to go after Atwater and the family that runs it. Detroit, home to gritty and technologically advanced, hands on companies where what they do is move the world forward, giant manufactures, chemical companies, and pharmaceutical businesses. They’ve built the machines that won the world wars and they survived tearing themselves apart. Detroit is hard, inventive, and above all resourceful. Iconic song: Starring: John Stamos as Andrew Dellis, Charlotte's son by her third husband Chris Zylka as Thad Hunter, Charlotte's grandson by her missing daughter Dustin Milligan as Peter Bryant, Charlotte's other grandson by her missing daughter Eugen Bauder as Mujeeb Nasser, Peter's best friend. Marlon Heixeira as Porfirio Rubirosa, "Rubi," Peter's most down to earth friend Tequan Richmond as Darnell Woodward, Peter's oldest friend and Angela Basset as Angela Barnes, Darnell's mother. A small gathering stands around an open grave as a casket lowers into the ground on a bright and warm afternoon. A television news broadcaster says, "The streets of Detroit were quiet today morning the passing of Charlotte Hull, heiress, socialite and patron to numerous Detroit institutions from schools to hospitals, the DIA to urban farming. The granddaughter of automobile pioneer Jesse Hull. Oddly enough, her father, David Bradly Hull the third, came from an unrelated banking family of the same name. Charlotte Hull is survived by her son Andrew Dellis and two grandsons, Thad Hunter and Peter Bryant." A long black Rolls Royce slowly makes it way down a winding, tree covered driveway before coming to a stop in front of a massive Tudor mansion. A chauffeur gets out and opens the back door for a handsome and dapper man in his mid-fifties, a man with a Greek look about him, with gray temples and a Cary Grant like presence. At the same time, on the other side of the car, two younger men get out on their own, the one in his late thirties, the sun having bleached his hair and the other in his late twenties, with darker, wavier hair. The three walk in the front door of the quite mansion. In the massive entry hall the older man says, "I asked the staff to leave us alone. Feel free to look about for whatever you want." Taking a deep breath, he sits on an antique looking chair and looks about the space mournfully. The youngest places his hand on the man's shoulder and asks, "Are you're sure you're OK, Uncle Andrew? We donft have to do this now." Looking up Andrew replies, "Yes. Thank you Peter, but letfs just get this over with. My mother would want it that way. Just press on so that tomorrow we can return to our lives as is." The other young man says, "I'm all for that. I'm getting sick of well-wishers and people referring to me as your son." A smile crosses Andrews face. "When my sister married mother's brother-in-law she has a thousand fits. My mother's fourth husband and your mother's first made for a tabloid scandal that we could have done without. They were certainly characters weren't they? Our mothers. Anyway, Thad, Peter, just look through the house for whatever personal things you want. Then we'll leave them to it. By the Christmas season, they'll have the house open to the public and we'll have all the cousins over for hors d'oeuvres just like my mother did on Christmas day." The two young men stand and watch their uncle rise back up out of the old chair and walk back out the front door. Thad says to his brother, "He's taking this really hard. Harder than Ifd expect." "She was his mother." "Well ya. I get that. Our mother's gone too, but you don't see me morning her. Honestly, how much was she really part of our lives?" "We don't even know what happened to her? Do we mourn? Do we worry? Should we be angry with her?" "True. But I know what she did when she was around. Whatever the hell she wanted. Had nothing to do with me or you for that matter. But still, Ifd rather go by her maiden name Hunter, then my fatherfs name. My fatherfs a worthless piece of shit, except for his brotherfs money and the money of each of his x-wives. I donft think Ifd mourn hearing if either one of them were dead." "God help you Thad." "You know I don't believe in God." "I know you say that enough." "You really that into being a Jew?" "I'm not fanatical, if that's what you mean." "A lot of crap if you ask me. Sorry, not religion, this house. Itfs full of a lot of crap." "Then why are you here?" "There is one thing I want." "What?" "If you don't mind, I'd like her vanity set." "Yea sure. Why?" Thad hesitates to answer before just letting it go. "I use to sit and watch her brush her hair at night, when I'd spend the night, and we'd talk. Sometimes it seemed for hours while she sat there just bushing her hair, talking, listening. I use to think at those times . . . I use to think she really cared." "She did,Thad." "I hope so. And you? What is it you want, Peter?" "Her backgammon set. Kind of the same thing for me. We'd play and she'd listen and talk, tell me all about her life and listen all about mine and I knew she was listening, just how she'd comment. Wouldn't take her eyes off the board, but I knew she listened." Andrew walks out to the stables, through to the back, watching the horses and their riders train for equestrian jumping. An older man, obviously a hand on the farm, comes up and says, "She's a beauty. That girl's going to take her right to Olympic gold." "You think so?" "Sure do. Your mother did too." "Thank you Mr. Brown. I know my mother would appreciate that." "We've got high hopes for a couple of her horses next season,down in Kentucky too." "Glad to hear it. Keeping this going would mean a lot to my mother. I appreciate it too." "And you'll be out all the time, right?" "Of course. Riding is the one thing we shared in common." "We've got a polo game later this month. The Detroit Polo Club verses Orchard Hill." "I'll be here." "Counting on it. They raise money for Humble Design." "Awesome. Count me in." "Always do, Mr. Dellis, always do." His driver lets Andrew out of the back of his Rolls Royce in downtown Detroit, in front of a modern Philip Johnson building. The dapper man strolls into the quite, polished and near empty lobby. The man saunters up to the elevator, pushing the button for up with a bit of a jaunty, carefree style. Except for the puffiness around his eyes, no one would think that Andrew Dellis had a care in the world. Elevator doors slide open and Andrew steps out into an empty hall, glass doors to his right, glass doors to his left. He walks to his right and into an office suite. The door shutting behind him reads, eAtwater Investments, LLC.f Greeting people along the way with all the charm of a retired playboy,he enters a board room and says, "So Peter. How is the Medical Mile going?" Peter turns around in his chair to follow his uncle walking into the room and sitting at the head of the table. "Going well. We've acquired all the properties we set our sights on and hit all our price targets or less. We're now in the process of talking Henry Ford Hospital into moving it's behavioral sciences operations into a Kahn inspired building on the corner of Woodward and Grand." "Excellent. Then itfs my job to get them to sell to the foundation the building between Third and Second so they can donate it to U of M and St. John's to create a new clinic in the middle of the stretch wefre going to get the city to designate the Medical Mile," Andrew announces to the room full of project managers sitting around a long table with a commanding view of the city. Peter says, "And then the value of Atwater's properties up and down the mile will significantly increase and we can get the financing we need to develop them. Win, win, us, the city, the people needing medical care, people need jobs. Everything's on target." "Good. I've got a meeting with Dan Gilbert about endowing this idea of a Cleveland Clinic Gilbert Research Institute at the DMC. If he bites we'll have a combination of some of the nationfs most impressive medial facilities. I'm also off later this week to New York. Since the Pfizer deal to move to Ireland fell through, I'm thinking they might like to talk about moving to Detroit. They've got history in this state having absconded with Parke Davis and UpJohn. I'm going to talk to them about some property we have on the river, which could be your next project, the Westside. On both sides of the river. They could build a truly international headquarters right here. I've been in talks with Dow and DuPont that when they merge and subsequently split up, the third of the company holding health care should be in Detroit." "Medtech," Peter states. "That's it. Anyway, good job. Keep it up. You come up with your own project idea yet?" "Not really. I've thought about your challenge, but with everything, I just haven't had the time to think about what I want to do." "By the way, I took a look at your friend's resume. I'll talk to Edgar about bringing him in to finance. But, we both have one question." "Why isn't he going to work for his mother?" "Barnes Chemical is much bigger than Atwater and they're in the middle of financing some pretty big mergers. They could use a brain like his. Is there a family issue?" "Not that he's mentioned. I asked him. He just wants to branch out on his own. He's been in London with UBS since he finished his Ph.D." "In economics from LSE. Undergrad from Chicago. He certainly isn't interested in following in his family footsteps. But then, Angela Barnes casts a wide and intimidating shadow. OK. Onto the rest of our projects." Andrew begins to engage the rest of the room. A beautiful and strong looking black woman sits at a desk with a view of Detroit behind her. Two men face her. She stares the on down with her best Lyndon Johnson glare. "So why has Atwater purchased so many shares in my company?" "Honestly, we all know that it's undervalued. It's an excellent buy. I'm sure nothing more." "You're sure?" "Not everyone is out to get you." "Everyone in his position is. My grandfather started this company without a thing to his name but a fall back to his dad's small subsistence farm an a degree for the University of Michigan. And every time he turned around someone was trying to steal from him, backers, lawyers, all the big chemical companies. People in business don’t care about anything but making money. They’ll use whatever means necessary, and being a black man, well he was supposed to be easy pickings. I’m not easy and I don’t give a damn about money. I care about power and they just grabbed a small sliver of power within my company.” The other man says, “I’ve already started digging into the family. We’ll get you everything you need.” “I want to know everything. When he gets up. What tooth paste he uses. Who he’s screwing and who’s screwing him. When my grandfather died, they pushed my father out of the way, not that he wanted to be in the way. Soon as my dad was dead, before his fifth birthday, I sat in on a meeting. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then I remember what my grandfather said. If you're in a meeting, and you can't figure out who's getting screwed, it's you. I don't ever walk into a meeting, Ben, where I don't know everything there is to know about everyone there." The first man speaks up, "Does that include me?" She looks at the second man and he says to the first, "You've been happily married since you were twenty-three to your college sweetheart, of course you've lied to yourself since day one. About two months after you got married she lost her job and suddenly all the pressure to take care of the family fell on you. She hasn't worked a day since. Six months later she gave birth to you first child. She's deprived you of sex since the birth of your third child. You drink a lot. A lot meaning you fall asleep inebriate ever evening. Your financial record is clean though. HFBC can rely on you because you're as clean as a cub scout. You've never paid a bill a day late in your life. Of course you live well below your means, a means you've lied to your wife about since the day you got married." While speaking he turns in his chair and take out a paper from his briefcase. Handing it to Ben he says, "And this is a list of your most visited porn sites." Ben takes the list, quickly looks over it and blushes. He does not look up. "Think of me like AA," Angela smiles, "Where we go over every lame ass thing you've ever done and tried to cover up." Thad and Peter walk into a club, loud music and strobe lights. Thad comments on the room being full of kids. Peter laughs, "You aren't that much older then anyone here." They reach a grouping of sofa's and a bunch of guys. Peters says, "Thad I'd like you to meet my crew. Guys this is my brother Thad. Thad the boys, Mujeeb Nasser, he works for his dad and uncles, Nasser Brother's, a construction company with some sizable real estate investments. Porfirio Rubirosa. Call him Rubi. He started up his own car shop right out of high school with nothing but his own tools and some fliers, going to the car, not the other way around. Now he's got his own little business empire he's building up, Motor City Motor Care. And Darnell Barnes. My oldest friend in the world, from Hillbrook. He's coming on to work with us at Atwater." "With us?" Darnell asks. "My uncle wants Peter on a team at Atwater." "He doesn't exactly know what to do with me yet but I'm expected to stick around. So this what you guys do for fun around here? I got to say, some very attractive ladies." They all grin and appreciate the room. Darnell says, "We're all headed this weekend over to the other side of the state for the Grand Rapids Buck's game." "Football?" "Yea Darnell's mother owns the team. They're playing the Bears." Rubi rubs Darnell's back. "Not really my thing," Thad says, "But that little tight end over there, I bet she could provide a lot of entertainment." He leaves them behind to walk over toward his intended target. Thad sits at a quiet, hotel bar nursing a drink late at night. The guy next to him, the man who had meet with Angela earlier, says to him, "You here on business?" "Came in for a funeral." Thad looks him over, a moderately handsome, older businessman with a wedding ring. "Oh sorry. Buy ya, another? Was it a close relative?" "Grandmother." "Sorry. Ben McCallister." The two shake hands. "Thad Dellis." "Oh, I've heard of you. I work for HFBC back in New York. Here on business. Sorry about your grandmother." "Thanks." "You're that playboy in the family." "Something like that." "Wow. Quite night?" "No. I was out with my brother and his pals at some loud club. There were a few agreeable girls." "Oh so just coming in from a night of fun?" "Wasn't really my kind of thing." "What'd you mean? What is it you're into?" "I like my pry to give me a bit of a challenge." Thad downs his drink and says to the man, "Buy ya the next one?" "Sure." About an hour later, Thad helps the drunk man back to his room. Totally out of it, the man rumbles something about it being the wrong room. Thad assures him its OK. With the door closed Thad kisses Ben. The man says, in a totally wasted and helpless state, "Sorry, I'm not into that." "Don't worry. You will be." Thad holds a bottle to his nose, with his hand over Ben's mouth he forces the man to breathe deeply. Thad's hand rubs the man's crotch, bringing a deep moan up his throat and past his lips. On his hands and knees on the floor and totally naked, the man says, "No I don't think I can handle it . . . Oh my god . . . Please, no." "It's OK." "Oh god," the man cries. "Something to think about when you go back to New York to run my family's bank." The second man from their earlier meeting says to Angela back in her office, "All the usual stuff so far. Andrew sits on the board of Atwater Investments. A team of advisers run the business, but everyone knows Dellis is in charge. Same thing at the Hull Foundation. Of course you know where he lives, a nice, old brick house on the city's east side. Nothing as grand as Hull House." "Something I don't know." "He spends a couple of weeks or more of August and January in Sun Valley, Idaho where the rest of the Hull family gathers. He travels to Europe mid-May through mid-June and mid-October through mid-November. He spends February in Hobe Sound, Florida and July in Harbor Springs, Michigan." "You better be coming to a point." "Point is there is no point. You know as well as I do, he considers himself the nearest this state has to royalty. He's always where he should be. His clothes come from Savile Row. He takes the rebirth of the city very personally. Hefs also on the boards of HFBC, Brewster-Douglass, the Bellings Institute, the Retinger Group, the DIA." Angela gives him an angry look. "I'm serious. If his man has anything to consider nefarious, he's kept it well hidden. Never married. No children. He's taken his sister's sons under his wing. Thad's a bit interesting. He took his mother's maiden name,Hunter,as sort of an f-you to his father. Thad did some modeling in college. Went to Yale like the rest of them, but didn't finish. He likes race cars and polo ponies and is rumored to be extremely well endowed." "Why buy into Barnes Chemical?" "That led me to Thomas Watson, nVice President of Atwater brought in to oversee a portfolio of securities. His team includes Thad Hunter." "Why would someone like Thad Hunter be involved with securities?" "Apparently his uncle wants him to be part of the family business. Securities make up one third of the businesses investments. Another third is in land and the rest in tangibles as they call them. So, Mr. Watson is overseeing a large bit of the family's money, and placing a very large chunk of that in your company, which seems to contradict their policy of diversification. It does go along with their rule of buying when others are fearful and right now fear is driving down the price of Barnes's shares, but to invest so much in one venue, goes against what they've done in the past." "So they are up to something?" "I'd guess so. We haven't stopped digging, but I'm more interested in Thomas Watson at the moment. I'm wondering if Dellis put his nephew Thad right next to him, just to keep an eye on him." "I'm getting antsy to get a hold of something." "Have I ever let you down?" Angela smiles, "No. Not as of yet." *** On a bright sunny morning Andrew walks out of the front of his subdivision mansion toward the waiting Rolls Royce by the curb. Well dressed, pinstriped suit, two vents in the back of the jacket, strolling with a long black, closed umbrella, Andrew nods and smiles at his drive, holding the back door open for the gentlemen. A large house, built somewhere between the World Wars in a subdivision of equally large and all very distinct houses. Out on Lake St. Claire, a large cabin cruiser races to find a place out of site of the shoreline. On the deck, three gorgeous and voluptuous young girls in bikini's sunbathe. Rubi and Mujeeb bring out brings and hand one to each of the two ladies. The one asks about Peter and is told he's inside working on something. She gets up and makes her way into the spacious cabin where she finds Peter. "Hey," he says looking up from some papers. "What are you doing?" "I told you I had some work to do. I've got to get all this read by Monday morning." She turns and looks at Darnell. "Can you please excuse us?" "Oh. Sure," he says fending innocence. She follows him leave the room before turning to Peter. "How can you stand him being around?" "What? Darnell?" "He so obviously has a crush on you." "He's my oldest friend and we talked about that. Not that it's any of your business." "Not my business that some queer is constantly checking out my boyfriend." "Since when did I become your boyfriend?" "Since we slept together." "So you're also by brother's girlfriend? And Rubi's too." "Rubi was a long time ago. Before we meet." "Whatever. Just let me finish this up. Go work on your tan." "Listen to me Peter if you don't so me some attention . . ." He cuts her off, "You'll what? Jump overboard? " He stands up and walks to the stairs leading down to the hall where Darnell disappeared, "Go on. Get some sleep. You know you need your eight hours in the afternoon or you start looking haggered by one in the morning." Peter descends the stairs. Pater knocks and opens one of the small stateroom doors, "Darnell." Inside Darnell sits up on top of the made bed and says, "Your tart done with you?" "Don't get me started on her. I don't know what makes her think anyone pays her to talk." Darnell chuckles. "Anyway. I wanted to talk you remember?" "Oh yea. What about?" "Why has Atwater bought so many shares in Barnes Chemical?" "Why are you looking at what the Securities Division is doing?" "It came to my attention. Do you recommend the purchase?" "No. I did sign off on it when Thomas Watson asked my advise. I certainly didn't agree to such a large investment. Right now the shares of Barnes Chemical are pretty low, law suits that are coming to a head, a chemical spill in Ecuador they had to finally put on the books." "So Watson personally oversaw this investment?" "He personally oversees every investment, but I get your point. Yes, he came to me himself. He also wanted to talk to me about Thad taking a seat on Barnes's board." "Thad?" "Pretty much what I said. He asked me first, but I declined it." "What I'm reading this is way out of proportion for an investment of ours." "It is. What brought it to your attention?" "Someone with Brewster-Douglass mentioned it. We were working out buying some property they owned along Woodward between Mack and Grand and they just sort of mentioned it. Asked why such a large stake." "Why would someone at Brewster-Douglas mention an Atwater investment to you." "I guess people at his company asked him to bring it up. See what I knew. Brewster-Douglas also owns a large share of Barnes." "This is true. So they were feeling you out. But, you don't know anything." "Knew even less then, than I do now. Uncle Andrew called me this morning on his way to the airport. Your mother just made an offer on some of our property on the river. She wants to build that world head quarters she's been talking about. Apparently she wants out of Oakland County where they moved the company after your grandpa died. My uncle had been mentioning this idea for an office building on both side of the river, and apparently she wants to make it happen." "She didn't say anything to me, but I know she hates L. Brooks Paterson ever since his comment in the New Yorker about walling off Detroit and tossing in the blankets." "Yea that didn't set well with my uncle either. He said she's looking to hire Nasser Brothers to head up the construction team." "That'll be good for Mujeeb." "That's what I said. Anyway, come on. Lets go get a drink and sit out on the deck." "You sure your girlfriend will let you talk to me." "Well if she keeps at it, I'll have to find another use for her mouth." "Damn Peter," Darnell laughs at they walk out of the room.