Buffalo Droppings

The Life and Times of Jerry Lemenu


One of the most helpful moments in my life almost killed me.   It was late at night in January, 25 years ago, and I was in a deep funk.  I’m prone to fits of depression so it wasn’t anything especially new. I’d learned how to put a good face on things and I thought […]

The Sparrow

I was an escapee from a Jesuit Retreat House. Walking the sidewalks of suburban Cleveland on a hot July afternoon, I didn’t know where I was going and didn’t really care.  I was walking away from a six day silent retreat.  The safety of this wooded sanctuary seemed an illusion.  I didn’t really know anymore […]

Valere Spetebroot

It’s a Belgian custom to photograph the newly dead and send this photo on to family and friends. Betty, Valere Spetebroot’s widow, asked me to perform this service so there I was camera in hand not wanting to believe what I was about to document. Valere, in life, was constantly in motion and always the […]

Happy Birthday, Father Bill Cunningham

You looked at a stuffed bear and saw a brotherhood festival, full of games and rides and inspired music.  An empty bowl was a reminder  of  empty stomachs and you saw a food program where mothers with their young, hungry children would receive desperately needed food with dignity. You walked through a gutted building and […]

Stan Connelly

The mounty shot his gun into the air, half-wolf sled dogs howled on cue and one hundred crazy people launched themselves into the icy mist on top of the world.  The gunshot thrilled even as it woke the demons that would chase us for twenty-six miles.  There was no turning back. The thrill transformed into […]

LeRoy Foster

LeRoy Foster was missing. LeRoy, a short, black, gay, 66  year old, blind, artist with two useless legs lived in a dilapidated, abandoned theater on Livernois in Detroit.   He was my friend and I used to visit him and sometimes we’d go on small adventures.  In the winter of  1992 I called and knocked […]

Valentines Day

There’s nothing like spending Valentines Day at a catholic seminary.  Its what I did 40 years ago and it may have been the worst day of my life.  There have been a lot of  cards and flowers and girlfriends since that day and you would think that my older, wiser self would would be able […]

Aunt Simone

Its the holidays and I didn’t get a Christmas card from my Aunt Simone. Nor did I receive my birthday card this year-the card with those words so full of love I can feel it busting through the envelope before I have a chance to open it. Because she’s lived in Paradise, California and I […]


My name is Jerry Lemenu and I am proud to call myself a buffalo. Anyone of Belgian ancestry from the Detroit area shares this distinction. Why a buffalo?  Well there are a few possible explanations.  Valere  Spetebroot said it was when Belgians fought they led with their heads like buffalos. Henry Verlinden says its because […]