Society Confidential: Dancing in the Ross garage, and Martha Reeves celebrates 50th anniversary

Susan Whitall and Chuck Bennett

Syd and Elizabeth Ross hosted their annual “Garage Party” on Wednesday night at their Bloomfield Hills home that featured two bars, a culinary spread prepared by Big Rock, and entertainment from a band made up of all physicians. It included an impressive display of vintage vehicles on the grounds. “Only some of these are mine,” said Syd Ross, pointing to the couple dozen shiny cars. “I encourage my friends with antique cars to bring them and show them off, too.” The highlights of the evening were the presentations of three checks totaling well over $100,000 to three children’s charities, and a surprise performance from Detroit’s own Martha Reeves, who sang “Heatwave,” “My Baby Loves Me” and “Dancing in the Street.”

Martha Reeves to be feted at ‘Dancing in the Street’ 50th anniversary bash

Speaking of Reeves, 50 years ago “Dancing in the Street” by Martha and the Vandellas was released to become the hit of the summer. To mark the anniversary, Martha Reeves will be celebrated at a party next week at the home of Kevin Mayer, a new friend who just met her Memorial Day weekend. The Motown star happened to be taken to a Memorial Day gathering at Mayer’s Livonia home, and everybody hit it off.

“No more than two minutes after she walked in, it was as if I’d known her forever,” said Mayer, 51, who’s been Motown fan since he was a child. One of Mayer’s gigs is working on the restoration of the St. Clair, which was one of the Bob-Lo boats, and his house and yard are a veritable Bob-Lo museum (For more on that, go to There’s even a working Bug ride in his backyard, that Reeves had fun riding. “And of course, I gave her a Bob-Lo sailor hat that they used to give you afterward,” Mayer said. For the “Dancing in the Street” bash, he’s ready with food, a cake and DJs, and even a red carpet.

Honoring Ricardo

The life and work of the late Detroit News photographer Ricardo Thomas will be celebrated Sunday at the Carr Center in downtown Detroit. There will be an exhibit of his photography, “BLACK & WHITE: The Work, Love and Life of Ricardo Thomas.” The event will include music by Chuck and GwenScales, Marion Hayden, Alvin Waddles and Lori Waddles, and a silent auction, with proceeds funding the Ricardo Thomas Scholarship that has been established to assist students pursuing a career in photography. The exhibit of Ricardo’s work will be at the Carr Center through Sept. 10. “Please consider making a donation to the scholarship instead of sending/bringing flowers and gifts of condolence, especially if you are not able to attend,” said Katherine Biles Thomas, Ricardo’s widow. “And don’t forget to bring your favorite Ricardo story to share.” For more info, contact Katherine at