Posted by: 12stepgolf | December 28, 2009

If You are from Michigan-This will make you cry

Having grown up in a small town about 30 miles south of Detroit, I have seen the falling apart of this city over the years.

It was a great treat to go see Santa Claus at J. L. Hudson’s department store.  Mom would pack us all up and head for Detroit right after Thanksgiving, it was always our little secret about that Friday, there wasn’t anything called Black Friday in those days.

There was Peck and Peck where Mom would get my school clothes.  We loved Winkelman’s and Helmohols.  We had so many wonderful stores to shop at.  We would always stop at Sander’s Candy’s store for one of their wonderful treats.  Stouffers would be our lunch break.

As I grew older and began to be on my own, I would go shopping by myself “downtown”.   I had a standing appointment with Mr. Philip to have my hair done at the beauty salon at Hudsons.  He got that Vidal Sasson cut just right.

In 1968 there were the riots, we didn’t venture into Detroit for a long period of time after that.  When we started to inch our way into going back, we discovered Detroit wasn’t Detroit anymore.  Coleman Young became mayor in 1974, and it was downhill for downtown after that.

By 1983 Hudsons was closed, it had been closing departments and parts of the floors for years prior to that.  Most of the shops were gone from downtown and most of the neighborhoods were burned out, since 1968.

I made a decision to finally not go near Detroit in the late 80s, there was nothing there anymore.  I would not travel north of the Southfield freeway anymore.  The old Briggs stadium was now Tiger Stadium, and it just wasn’t the same anymore.  Mom and I stopped going to the Fisher Theater years earlier, once Topinkas closed, it just wasn’t safe any longer.

The Verner Street rail station (Michigan Central Station), once a place that held so many stories in its walls became an abandoned building and is still sitting there falling apart since 1988.

What has been most difficult is the inability to go to my grandparent’s graves located at Evergreen Cemetery.  We hadn’t been able to go there for years, too much crime occurring at Detroit cemeteries.  What is sad is my mom passed away in 2006 without having gone to her parents graves for 15 years.

Those wonderful casinos have been a den of corruption for Detroit and the decline has been accelerated.  I am so grateful that I voted against them.  The amounts of money that have been generated have only gone to the already “fat cat” politicians of Detroit.

The citizens of Detroit still suffer and have no hope for a future.  We can all pray that Dave Bing will be different.  Detroit seems to be doomed, I wonder if Coleman Young sold Detroit’s soul when he sold his.



  1. I came to this city in Dec. 1966 to work for GM. The following summer we had the 67 riots! I remember the bullet holes in the firetrucks as they drove back down Jefferson to Grosse Point from trying to help put out the fires in Detroit. I lived in an eastside apartment, just inside the Detroit border and could here the machine gun fire and smell the smoke from just a few blocks away.
    When Coleman Young was elected, he drove the whites and middle-class blacks to the suburbs and built his invisable wall south of 8 mile, along Dearborn and across the Downriver borders.
    I remember when he pissed-off Roger Smith, GM CEO, and noted that GM closed 11 plants in the city during the following 2 years.
    Things went quickly downhill after that!
    We all rooted for the city to make a comeback, but were not allowed to comment when we lived outside the wall.
    “Divided we fail”, just like today!

  2. I am not from Michigan, but that video made me very sad. It looks like a post-Apocalyptic wasteland. Seeing the wild dogs was heartbreaking too. And now the people are living like wild animals too, sleeping outside and rummaging for food. Why on earth would the people of Detroit continue to elect leaders who perpetuate such ruinous policies?

    Do you have any old photos of what Detroit looked like before its demise? I would love to see them, to contrast them with the corpse that is Detroit today.

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