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For a few weeks, I’ve been compiling some Mad Men-iana for the blog — notes and sources and photos, with an eye toward exploring the first few years of the ’60s as they played out in Detroit. Because the perfectly constructed, jewel-like ’60s of Mad Men is the ’60s of Manhattan white-collar professionals and WASPy suburban New York, and its not-WASPy characters and elements — the Jewess Rachel Mencken, the Draper’s maid Carla, even the specter of Dust Bowl Dick Whitman — are there to remind us of the worlds outside of Mad Men’s own orbit. It’s not a fault of the show. But in so many places, like Big Labor, blue collar, black middle class Detroit, the ’60s were experienced differently.

But I can’t not write about this week’s episode, as long as we’re on the subject. So, if you don’t want to read any spoilers, or if Mad Men‘s not your thing, do not follow the cut. However, please do enjoy this photograph from LIFE of Sebastian S. Kresge, who founded K-Mart in 1962, playing with his dog (or … a deer?). Check back throughout the week for posts on the stained glass windows of Old Mariner’s Church, coureurs de bois songs from Detroit’s bygone fur trade days and self-guided tour itineraries for the city — from the 1930s. I had a really good run at the library yesterday.

sebastian kresge with dog

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neidermeyerbetty and francine

Dear Mad Men fans, Milwaukeeans, and friends of Mark Metcalf:

One day this summer, I called Mark Metcalf to confirm our regular weekly recording session for the podcast we produce together.

“Uh, I don’t — I can’t make it this week,” he said. “I’m in California. It’s kind of — sudden.”

I was worried that someone had died unexpectedly, so I didn’t ask any questions and asked him to call me to reschedule.

Several days later, I found out through Milwaukee’s film grapevine that Mark had landed a role on Mad Men. And after some gentle persuading from his friendly senior editor, Mark agreed to write about his experiences shooting the show for ThirdCoast Digest. (Read “Mark Metcalf does Mad Men” here.)

And finally — finally! — tonight is the night. The man you know and love from Seinfeld, Animal House, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that Twisted Sister video and, of course, Backstage with Mark Metcalf makes a guest appearance as the Mayor of Tarrytown, the city with development plans for that reservoir in Ossining that Betty’s all riled up about.

Mark, ever modest, claims that his costume and hair cut did all the work. I can’t wait to see that three-piece suit!

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