April 15, 1951 – February 3, 2021
Gregory Charles Piazza moved to Detroit from Wisconsin to attend Wayne State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s in speech. He soon became enmeshed in local gay culture and in 1974 moved into the Palmer Park apartment district. His research was instrumental in having the neighborhood added to the National Register of Historic Places. Piazza was also long active in the leather club Tribe.
Between The Lines, February 11, 2021 [online only]
February 19, 1956 – March 14, 1999
George Edmund Potts, resident and booster of the Palmer Park neighborhood in Detroit was born in Highland Park and worked for many years in administration at Henry Ford Hospital. He later worked as a grant writer for the Detroit Department of Parks and Recreation. Potts was a familiar customer at Menjo’s.
Cruise, March 24, 1999
April 9, 1958 – August 14, 1989
Lawrence Richard Burns was born in Detroit and for nine years worked at the Backstage restaurant, first as a waiter and later as assistant manager and bookkeeper. A onetime resident of Palmer Park in Detroit, Burns lived in Westland. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.
Cruise, August 23, 1989
October 1, 1976 – April 3, 2012
Coko Williams, a 35-year-old transgender woman who sometimes worked as a hairstylist, was found shot to death in Detroit’s Palmer Park neighborhood. After Fox 2 Detroit identified her as a “male prostitute” in its report of the crime, activists launched a protest against the station for being transphobic. There was also no evidence that Williams engaged in sex work.
Between The Lines, April 5, 2012
May 22, 1941 – February 24, 2011
Joyce Kershner was a board member of the Performers Awards of Detroit, manager of the Palmwood, resident of the Palmer Park apartment district, and longtime staff poet for Metra magazine.
Metra, March 9, 2011