December 22, 2021
You can grow up in a city and live there all your life. Your family and multiple generations can grow up there too. You can even have a business in the central business district and be the President of the Genesee County Historical Society. All of that can be true for you, as it is for me, and you can still always learn more about the rich history of your home town- just like I did by hanging out with Michael Melet!
The Melet family legacy is writ large in downtown Flint. Melet’s father came to Flint in the 30’s to manage C.H, Robinsons department story, and later moved to lead Maas Brothers, another iconic downtown retail store. Eventually the family became best known as the owners of The Vogue- second only to perhaps Smith Bridgman’s in popularity. The Vogue was eventually repurposed as The Copa Night Club.
During all of those years Melet and his family were on the vanguard of watching Flint mature in to one of the most important cities in the world. Along the way there were many successes - until things changed. Melet was in the middle of this cataclysmic change and he both profited from the boom and was punished by the downturn. Along the way he saw it all play out in real time.
He is a walking history book of downtown Flint, and an astute observer of the the decisions, choices, good timing, bad timing, great fortune, and bad luck that made it all happen. Melet filled in voids for me in the history of Flint that I didn’t even know were voids. He remembers his facts, dates, places, and times, and he tells the stories with great skill in an entertaining way. For a Flint history nut like me what could be better? It’s a terrific episode of Fish and The Flint Chronicles, fun, and informative, the one two punch we like to deliver every time out in The Aquarium!