19 August 2011

Friday Follies...
Another weekend is awaiting us....
So, we're going to jump right in with both feet today and get it all going.
We're hearing about even more drought down in Texas.
There is an interesting story about a town called Robert Lee.
Here's the link to their plight:
Granted, the story is dated 2 August, but little has changed for the population of 1171, sad to say.
I'm hoping they get relief from somewhere soon...maybe a few rain dances couldn't hurt at this point.
(Hey, Obama, stop pointing that HAARP array at the USA)
*** Speaking of small towns and other places...
Do you remember the saying "You can never go home"?
How many of you are currently living in the same CITY you were BORN in...the same STATE? The same COUNTRY (even)?
Those of you that managed to remain in the same city all these years...I applaud you all.
It's certainly NOT easy to stay put because in the last 30-40 years, we've become a lot more "nomadic" people, and by that I mean (many times) we have "to move where the work is", or maybe we have to relocate for health conditions (they still do that), or even just to get the hell away "from the rat race" (where often times, the rats seem to be winning).
Our highway system, wonderful as it is, has made moving from *A* to *B* a lot easier - a small consolation.
Yet in today's crazy world, complete with recessionary parameters, tenuous incomes, no guaranteed pension or retirement, and once-secure jobs moving away from US (mostly AWAY from the USA), WE have to figure out how best to proceed with OUR lives, and the lives of our families.
I know when I was growing up, we moved around...a lot (it seemed).
I attended THREE different elementary schools (George L. Horn, Watson Comly, and Edwin L. Forrest, all in Philly), because we were (dare I say it?) ...RENTERS. It wasn't because Dad's job was moving all over....it was simple economics (read family income, or the frequent lack thereof).
Dad didn't quite make enough money in those days to BUY a house outright (even if they only DID cost around $12K...man was that ever a bargain, looking back), so we went from house to house, dictated by either rising rental costs, or lousy landlords (my folks WERE a tad picky with where they lived).
Still, in those days, a ROW HOUSE could be rented AS CHEAPLY as an apartment.
Dad finally managed to buy a house in 1966 (when I was in high school), and we settled in...finally.
Time passes, as do loved ones, and eventually, I found myself here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
And that's about 1100 miles AWAY from a lot of what I knew (both people AND places).
So, the other day, I brought up some online MAPS of the neighborhoods I used to live in back in Philly. Was kinda curious.
What I found was considerably more disturbing than what I remember...
Most all the old areas were looking a lot more GHETTO than urban, if you get my drift.
Gone were ALL the places I recall, like Phil's barber shop, the corner deli, the TV repair shop, and the "five and ten" (Dan and Ann's).
Cripes, even the Victoria Bar was no longer open...now that amazed me.
Replaced by "nail shops", credit places and BBQ joints...some stores were even converted into housing. The streets were filthy (in the day, store owners would be out front SWEEPING DAILY as we went to school), and the cars were all too many in too small an area.
My old house in Frankford had been "tagged", and I could only imagine WHAT was living there now.
In another neighborhood, it looked to have fared better...didn't look nearly AS ghetto as the first place I "visited".
In fact, the house had some nice AWNINGS on the windows, and the block was relatively clean.
In still another neighborhood, the evidence of Section 8 housing was apparent.
Houses on the block were starting to look a bit less "friendly", and a lot more "government-sponsored".
The vehicles on that street told that tale...
And I know people that still live (and work the streets) there, and THEY say the areas are going downhill real fast.
That's a damn shame, because you remember your childhood, and that you had some great times with playmates in those areas of the city.
You were mentored by teachers in schools that USED to be open in those neighborhoods.
You were protected (and chastised) by neighbors who once looked out for one another.
That has changed...all of it.
And it makes me really sad to see it.
So, I suppose that old saying IS true...
You CAN never REALLY "go home"...again.
I certainly would never recognize the area these days.
And I definitely would NOT want to live there.
Gee, that almost makes where I live NOW kinda sorta worth it....just a little, mind you.
My wife can attest to much the same, as she grew up IN the house we now own, and knows what this neighborhood USED to be like when she was attending school. And what SHE sees today is also a far cry from the way it was.
One school she went to closed (Geier), the hospital she was born in closed, and in just the 14 years we've lived in Fort Wayne, she has seen over a hundred businesses go "bye-bye" from the SE side of the city, as have I.
Places we used to frequent when we first were married and living here are gone, like Frank's Nursery, and Southtown Mall. Even the Richards restaurant along with Casa D'Angelo and Lambros are all closed now.
It seems even when you "stay put"...too much changes around you.
Some would argue that change is GOOD.
I would agree, PROVISIONALLY.
If it's change that makes things BETTER for EVERYONE...works for me.
But, if it's change for change sake...I can't deal with that nonsense.
That simply helps no one but the damn developers, and the cash cow they create in the wake of such "progress".
(and we all know what the OPPOSITE of PROGRESS is, right? LOL)
Sometimes, even when you DO "go home", you never really are THERE totally.
You might be PHYSICALLY there, and you might even enjoy some emotional presence, but when you look about you and see what has happened over the years, it does wear on one's mind.
What we wind up doing is nothing different as how we deal with getting older...we ADAPT.
We adjust our lives accordingly, so that we might maintain a level of serenity, while acknowledging the fact that the cities we live in WILL "evolve", if such a concept can be attributed to them.
To me, evolution is about moving FORWARD...becoming BETTER (and not bigger like a lot of cities choose to pursue).
And as WE, the human race evolves, we don't do it peace-meal.
Our bodies evolve, our minds evolve, our technologies certainly evolve (often outpacing our ability to properly utilize them) and our goals may also evolve as we view the cityscape.
What we need to realize, is that evolution may include leaving things alone for a time...let them settle in and get comfortable (like a pair of shoes you're trying to break-in).
Evolution of a species OR a city cannot be "helped along"...it happens in IT'S OWN TIME...to prolong it's existence...period.
That's just the nature of the universe.
So, maybe we should stop trying to change so damn much so damn soon, and for all the wrong reasons.
Maybe, it would be better if we DID learn some lessons from times past, instead of sweeping it all under the carpet.
Then, perhaps we could stopping chasing our nomadic existence, and sink some roots into the soil...for a change.
That would involve this nation reclaiming it's place in the world...when we made more things, had more people working, had less poverty, and basically did a lot more...with a lot less.
And we seemed a lot happier.
It's just a thought.
Have yourselves a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and as always...
Stay safe out there, America.


Anonymous said...


Glad to see you're going back to the old standby topics: Growing up in wonderful Philly and your southside neighborhood going to hell. But you didn't mention guns once. What gives? I guess it's like the song says "Two out of three ain't bad". Come to think about it we didn't get the Friday grocery report either. Oh well, enjoy your weekend.

Bob G. said...

(who shall remain nameless - how "original")

I decided to allow my READERSHIP the opportunity to view your pithy and yet pathetic attempt to demean MY blog - you want to gripe...create your OWN, or at least don't BOTHER to read mine and THEN complain.

I don't need YOUR readership that much...or at all.

And YES, MY "old standy" means something to those that VALUE what the hell this damn nation USED to be...which was a LOT BETTER.

You don't like this nation?
(Mexico might suit YOU better)

--Yes, Philly USED to be nice, and from what others tell me, THIS city used to be nice as well...even the SOUTH side.
--Yes, the southside IS going to hell...ask anyone.

OK, followers...have at it...it's YOUR TURN...he's ALL YOURS...

Momma Fargo said...

Great post, Bob! Love the African-Jamaican themed restaurant. LOL. My friend lives in Texas and it is WAYYY bad there. Very desperate times. Seems that is the way Wyoming used to be and now we have been experiencing floods. Climate change.

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
That Jamaican food joint USED to be a shoe repair place...small stores used to be everywhere, and not all the "niche" crap we see today.

Yeah, that drought IS very bad in TX (watering trees with bath water - no sh*t!)...they're working on a "plan B" to get water to towns before they dry up and blow away...FOR REAL!

We're not being told ALL the facts about this climate thing, and it's NOT about global warming (Mr Gore)...
We might be seeing something we (as the human race) can't FIX...

We might have to adapt, instead.

Hey, thanks for taking time to stop on by today.

You sray safe out there.

Phil Marx said...

What are the odds that 'anonymous' is Nancy Nall?

Bob G. said...

I wouldn't know what her "axe to grind" is (with me).
Like I say, if someone doesn't find any of my posts "entertaining enough" for their (discriminating)ADHD mindset, then they can go elsewhere.

I never said that the TRUTH was fun...only that it needs to be puit out there.
And you know where I'm coming from there, right?
The only thing I would ask is for people to prove me wrong.
(haven't heard a peep yet...)

I wish to hell I could find all that sunshine and lollipops down here...it just ain't happening, thanks to our city & community "leaders".

Thanks for stopping on by and commenting,Phil.

You stay safe up there, buddy.

Phil Marx said...

I was recalling some long-ago discussion you and her had on another blog. Her rant went something like "Fort Wayne does not have neighborhoods full of drug dealing criminal fiends. It's the perfect place to be. So if Bob doesn't like his neighborhood that is filled with drug dealing criminal fiends, he should just leave."

Bob G. said...

I believe you are right, and it might have been on Leo Morris' blog, now that you mention it.

I countered with "I'm the good guy, why should *I* have to leave?"...something to that effect.
(BTW, if she thought it was SO nice down here, why did SHE move away?)

Gee, you'd think IF it WAS her, she'd be "man" enough to use her REAL name...LOL.

I'm just sayin'

Thanks for the update.

Stay safe up there.

indy said...

well bob, beleive it or not your post was timely to me. and it was relaxing to read. i havent been reading your blog lately becouse i've been super busy being a grandma that is making sure her daughter graduates from high school. and things in that areana are fantastic. my daughter is doing better now then ever before. guess she needed a little cheerleader in her life. lol. but, in my life there is a wee bit fear of the unknown. i'm turning my life around. working hard to keep paying on my bankrupcy as i get my other things squared away. like earlier this year i paid off my military buy back for federal retirement. then the baby. then i started getting rid of the furniture that hurt my back. or was so worn out it was silly. and moving on with cash on the barrell head. now that i am getting my life back in order i see this in the news.

and all i could do was poop my pants. so i went for plan b, c and d. i might have to move back to the fort and live in public housing if the worst comes down the pike. at least i'll get back my tsp and perhaps use that to pay off my bankrupcy and move on. but, if i have my housing taken care of then my daughter can go to college or some type of tech school get her first job then move on out to a house. i'd get a vet perferance up there, and have a little one to help the getting in happen. down here in marion county and the surrounding area sect 8 has closed down and there are no more vouchers till they open it back up again and they even said on their web site it could be years. and i think all of public housing is filled to the rim. moving back to the fort was not the option i wanted but at least there is an option.

Bob G. said...

It's good to see you again...I was getting concerned not seeing you around for a while.

There is ALWAYS fear when "braving new ground", but having a solid trust and a belief in your OWN abilities goes far to make that trip a lot easier.

SOmetimes we jump in with both feet and didn't even check the water temperature.

If you were to somehow find your way back here, and wound up living close to US, I'd consider that a win-win all around.

You might not be able to go "back home", but that never means you can't find another home where you can thrive .

You do what you have to do.

THanks for keeping in touch and catching me up.

ANd thanks for taking time to stop by and comment.

Stay safe down there.