Mayor authors second book, ‘Legendary Locals’

By: Sara Kandel | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 17, 2013

 Mayor Suzanne Pixley and business owner Francis Andary pose with the book, which features his time in the Korean War.

Mayor Suzanne Pixley and business owner Francis Andary pose with the book, which features his time in the Korean War.

EASTPOINTE — Mayor Suzanne Pixley paid tribute to notable residents, past and present, in the Eastpointe installment of Arcadia Publishing’s Legendary Locals series.

Released April 5, “Legendary Locals of Eastpointe” memorializes in photos and words the accomplished Eastpointe natives and locals who have made great contributions to the community.

Some of the men and women featured in the 127-page book are renowned far beyond the borders of the tiny eastside city, like Eastpointe native and NASA astronaut Jerry Leninger. Others are known across the community, if by nothing other than their name.

Hailing from a long line of servicemen, Leninger’s story can be found on pages 100-101 in the military section.

Not everyone in town knows Francis Andary, but most people know Andary’s. A community staple for 17 years, Andary’s is a popular eatery on Gratiot. On weekday mornings, almost every booth is filled with regulars. Pixley had a book signing at the restaurant April 1.

“Most people would look at Francis Andary and would have no idea he (is a veteran) from a very horrendous time in our U.S. history,” Pixley said. “What was so cool is during the book-signing, he invited his kids, and they brought their kids, and his grandkids were reading the book and none of them ever knew their grandfather was in the Korean War. It was really cool. That was one of the highlights for me.”

Andary’s story is featured in the military section on page 98.

Still others featured in the book might not be known at all by most residents. They are the quiet heroes of the community who do their part to make the city a nicer place without asking for gratitude or acknowledgement.

“I put Bobby Brown in the book because he goes around and takes pictures of everything, and he updates us and gives the pictures to people, and people like to have their pictures taken and given back to them,” Pixley said.

For years, Brown has been cruising the city on a bicycle, picking up trash and taking pictures of things he finds interesting. He shares his photographs with friends and strangers, alike. His story is featured in the artists, entertainers and educators section on page 45.

“(Brown) didn’t realize he was on the cover of the book, and then when he realized he was on the cover of the book, he didn’t realize he was inside the book. He just kept looking at it in shock.

“I highlighted the fact that he was the one that went over to St. Veronica’s with Sue Young, took all those pictures and got all the stained glass windows listed in the MSU Stained Glass Census. That was a really big thing he did to highlight our community because that is history that is now documented. He didn’t realize how important he was.”

It’s celebrating locals like Brown that gives Pixley the most pride in her recently completed project, and she did a whole lot of it in this book. From longtime resident Sue Young’s “Picture Lady” days to the Semrau family history, this book encapsulates unsung heroes that make up the heartbeat of Eastpointe.

“One of the things I like the most is when you have somebody that is in a book and it tells their story and they don’t think they are important, but they are, because they are the backbone of the community,” she said.

Pixley will be sharing the stories of the legendary locals in her book at upcoming readings: with the Eastpointe Kiwanis Club at noon April 18 at Cloverleaf, 10 a.m. April 19 at First State Bank, 2 p.m. April 19 at the Eastpointe Memorial Library, and at 2 p.m. April 20 at Books-A-Million in Macomb Mall.

“We are very pleased to have Mayor Pixley come to the library and talk about her latest book,” said Eastpointe librarian Sue Todd. “We have one book at the library right now, but I am looking into getting some additional copies.”

“Legendary Locals of Eastpointe” is available for $21.99 at Second Story Bookstore, Books-A-Million, and