Twenty Questions/Answers: How much trivia do you know about Livingston County?

Rich Perlberg

I’ve added the answers to the Livingston County trivia questions that were posted last week. But I submit them with great humility. I’m pretty sure most of these are correct, but I am more than willing to accept corrections from those with better information. In the spirit of much-needed diversions, here are my answers:

Name any of the restaurants once located in the current Summit sports building. Bonus: Name the first restaurant to open there.
There were many restaurants at this site including: Paisanno’s, Windjammers, and the Livingston/Michigan Inn. The first restaurant there was McGuinness’s (sp?) which was trying to branch out to Livingston from its original location in the Farmington area.

Where was the W. T. Grant store located?
In the Brighton Mall. Later that footprint was filled by Kmart.

Which U.S. Representative, who once represented Howell, was named one by People magazine as one of the sexiest members of Congress?
U.S. Rep. Bob Carr, a Mark Spitz-lookalike who, the magazine assured us, slept in the nude. Carr, a Democrat, represented most of Livingston County for 18 out of 20 years starting in the mid-1970s.

The Pink Hotel

Where was the Pink Hotel?
It was on West Main Street in Brighton near the railroad tracks. It’s the current location of the stylish Brewery Becker, but back in the day it was a bar and boarding house that was notable for the distinguished pink siding that was the source of its name.

Before there were ATMs, what drug store would cash a personal check for up to 20 bucks?
Those in the know who needed a little cash would go to the pharmacy window at the back of Uber Drugs, now a CVS Pharmacy next to Sushi Zen in downtown Brighton.

Where was the Clock restaurant?
At one time, the Clock was the only all-night restaurant in Livingston County. Located off Grand River on Howell’s east side, the building is now empty but last served as the original site of Brunner’s Restaurant (which moved a little to the east to the former Big Boys).

Who was the most famous Livingston County government figure who originally hailed from Louisiana?
That would be Joe Ellis, who as Livingston County clerk, was a political kingpin in the 1970s.

Who were Ed Davis and John Rushford, and what is significant about them?
Ed Davis from Green Oak Township and John Rushford from Hamburg Township were both elected to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners in the 1970s. What made them significant is that they were both Democrats.

Can you name four locations that housed Lynn’s Café in Brighton?
Lynn’s was originally on Brighton’s Main Street until it was destroyed by a fire. Then it moved to a building near the Mill Pond which the city eventually demolished. From there it found a temporary home on Main Street where Bourbon’s Restaurant now sits. It now is located on the ground floor of a two-story building across the street from Brighton’s District Court.

What was the name of the book that erroneously claimed that a traffic light perched on a home in Pinckney was in fact a signal for whether the Klan was meeting that night?
“Devil’s Night and Other True Tales of Detroit” is the book. For some reason, the book contained a chapter about Livingston County and the author, Ze’ev Chafets, got snookered by some locals with the traffic light story. There was indeed a traffic light on a home in Pinckney but it did not serve as a secretive signal for Klan meetings.

What was the name of the company founded by Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick Chrysler?
Chrysler, a Brighton High School graduate, founded Cars and Concepts a company that modified cars with features such as t-roofs. Prior to that he was vice president at Hurst Performance where – so the legend goes – he first worked as a janitor.

How many state champions in football and baseball did Brighton win when Drew Henson was in high school?
Zero. He played on football and baseball teams that were very good, but the teams were always derailed shy of the state title game.

Who put on the fall beer fest called Oktoberfest and where was it held?
The Oktoberfest was a joint effort put on by the county’s numerous Jaycees clubs, which were civic organizations of men (such clubs were all male at the time) under the age of 35. It was staged in the fall at the Fowlerville Fair Grounds.

Who is the most famous basketball player ever to play a game in Livingston County?
A subjective question, to be sure, but it’s hard to come up with a better player that Earvin “Magic” Johnson who played at the old Howell High School gym when his Lansing Everett team played the Highlanders. There may someday be room for debate. Emoni Bates, a 16-year-old from Ypsilanti, is considered one of the best high school players in the country and he has played at Pinckney High School against the Pirates.

Where was the county’s one-and-only disco? Where was the county’s one-and-only topless dancing bar?
“The Main Event” on Grand River Avenue east of Brighton had a short-lived run as a disco bar. “The Anchor Inn Bar” on McGregor Road just north of the Washtenaw County line had a topless bar. It lost its liquor license after six Plymouth teenagers were killed in a car crash after being served alcohol at the bar.

Which township famously had the term word “joke” used in its name after it actually went to court to determine who in the township hall had the right to open the mail?
Former Brighton Argus reporter Chuck Nusbaum coined the term Green Joke Township when he wrote a column about the many shenanigans going on at the Green Oak Township Hall, including a lawsuit that went to circuit court over a dispute about who got to open the mail.

Where was the first-ever McDonald’s in Livingston County located? How many McDonald’s are there today in Livingston County?
I am willing to stand corrected on this one. But I believe the first McDonald’s was the one just east of Howell near the former Big Boy’s location. It was demolished long ago. It’s possible the Brighton McDonald’s in front of the Brighton Mall predates it. At any rate, I am pretty sure there are currently nine McDonald’s in Livingston County: One each in Hartland, Fowlerville, Pinckney and Whitmore Lake, two in Brighton (Grand River and Lee Road) and three in the Howell area (Burkhart Road, west of town, and near Meijer east of town).

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