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Having Fun Yet, Mr. Mayor?
MICHAEL ROSENBERG
January 18, 2010
Running Detroit isn't a job, it's a sentence. That's no retirement gig for a 66-year-old NBA Hall of Fame guard turned millionaire entrepreneur, is it? Dave Bing thinks differently (though he won't begrudge you thinking he's crazy)
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January 18, 2010

Having Fun Yet, Mr. Mayor?

Running Detroit isn't a job, it's a sentence. That's no retirement gig for a 66-year-old NBA Hall of Fame guard turned millionaire entrepreneur, is it? Dave Bing thinks differently (though he won't begrudge you thinking he's crazy)

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"He called me a fool—with a few more other names too," White says. "He was just through with me."

For a month the two didn't speak to each other. Then White wrote a letter explaining his decision, and Bing said he understood. White would come back to and leave Bing's company three more times.

Employees at the Bing Group learned quickly: The workday starts at 8 a.m. Not 8:05; not after you finish your doughnut and catch up with the guy in the next cubicle. Bing's world was built around achievement. Sometimes he would pay for somebody to go to college, even if he didn't know the kid. He'd call his own children together, even when they were young, for formal meetings. Cassaundra, Bridgett, Aleisha, come here. It's time to talk about estate planning.

Every Saturday at 8 a.m. Bing would get up and turn on the stereo. He always played the same song: Wake Up Everybody, by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. His daughters still know the lyrics by heart.

Wake up everybody no more sleepin' in bed

No more backward thinking, time for thinkin' ahead

The world has changed so very much

From what it used to be

There is so much hatred, war an' poverty....

By the time Melvin got to the chorus (The world won't get no better ... if we just let it be), Bing would be peeling back the sheets on his daughters' beds. Wake up, everybody. Time to do your chores.

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