Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gran Torino, pt. 2


I got myself together for my run, and guess who pops up? My thievin' nephew. I did not feel like being in the house with him so I would not call to get my results until Tuesday (which were normal FOR ME, but not 'other people', if you get my drift ... hearing that stuff will always remind me of my hearing with Social Security ...). Instead I took off and headed downtown.

Similar to someone in New York who rarely leaves their borough, growing up in Detroit I didn't have a lot of reasons to go past Belle Isle. Why? The East Side of town has this 'where the weak are killed and eaten' reputation that the folks seemed determined to live down to. Going out Jefferson, the places all looked like the same as places on my side of town. I mean, you see one abandoned store front ...

And that makes the contrast I would find at Jefferson and Alter so stark. Crossing over to Grosse Pointe Park it was like going from black and white film into Technicolor. Traffic moved steadily at posted speeds and were really smooth. Now THESE were some 'safe and stable homes!'

The reason I was on this particular sight see, is that at the end of 'Gran Torino', there is a shot of the cat driving along Jefferson out this way. As soon as I saw it, I remembered riding with Moms, my brother and Jan (the twins had yet to make the scene) for Sunday rides.

For a brief moment, I flashed back to the situ I found myself in Sunday. I woke up to find 5 hungry children in the house. The SFC had called (she is up EARLIER than me!!) and was on the phone as I moaned about the Mom's leaving them here and not leaving anything for their care. I had wanted to go and get myself something to eat, but what was I going to do? Bring my food back into a house full of elementary age children, who were unable to do for themselves?

I have grown ill of some of this irresponsibility. But before I get taken off tack, the SFC would NOT let me be the person that she knows I am. While I was talking about 'doing me', she wouldn't let me simply 'abandon my post'.

Scrambling through the dirty kitchen, I found enough eggs, sausage and toast to put into their bellies. Gives the kids a start, a hot breakie. So many things could be improved in ghetto families by simply making a breakie or having dinner. Why aren't the Mom's even interested ...?

Because that would not have been my Sunday, it put what prolly would have been my Sunday on my mind. That, and wanting to ride past through that movie ending shot.

Park, Woods, Shores. Went through all of them pretty much. Saw some big ol' Academy and I pass through the shot. There were a couple of slow moving girls on bikes and the sidewalk was too narrow to pass. So I hung behind them for 1/4 mile until they noticed me. At 9 mile I hung a left and began to come on home.

I haven't been able to put my finger on it, but I keep noticing differences in how blacks and whites socialize around here. There was a pair of little girls that were elementary school age riding their bikes. Together. It was very sweet and made me think that there is hope for the divide between the 'burbs and Detroit to get along.

Roseville was nice ... then I rode past the Mound Chrysler Plants in Warren where Mom did her thing. The buildings looked sad, with a banner hanging over the Daimler-Chrysler sign on one, and the other with a GM sign but looking very empty. I didn't know if the plants were shuttered or on a layoff, with the faintest hopes that maybe they will be filled with workers at some point in the future.


Or at least they did. There would be times we'd ride out here to either pick up Mom's check, or she'd take us to Hazel Park Raceway, to 'see the turtle take water'. There used to be a big donkey on the roof which caught my attention as a kid. The place is nice and shiny now, a far cry from the greasy spoon that I remembered.

My NCOIC called while I was in that area and we talked for a few minutes. I had put in another long day of going nowhere. She asked about the explosion that I hadn't heard about. She asked if I knew anything about it. I told her that Detroit IS a big city. It could be on the far side of town and I wouldn't have even felt the tremors. She asked if my Dad's house was nearby. I don't think there are any big industrial thingys around here, so I told her that I didn't think so.

Eventually I would come upon the overpass where there was an earlier bad accident. A car cut a truck off on I-75 and there was a huge explosion. No injuries, but the street was thru. Decided to go back to Detroit via John R. Road.

I'd use it as an excuse to go near my ol' stomping grounds in Palmer Park. This area is supposed to be an enclave for the rich. Last year, they were trying to close off access streets because there were so many people breaking in and running off with stuff. Didn't see where they'd put anything like that up, but I would think the barriers were a bad idea. How could emergency vehicles get in and out if there was an emergency?

Pedaling up the ol' 'Avenue of Fashion' as this strip of Livernois once was called, back to Grand River I pass by a place where I read a book about the Fermi II plant in Monroe. Seems like a possible 'China Syndrome' went out there back in '67. I haven't heard too much about the place and I guess that is a good thing. I mean what kind of news do you want to hear coming from a nuclear power plant?

As I make the stretch run home, I am finally tired. So my nephew , still at the house, is safe. Everything about my Monday was about celebrating how good my life has been and still is. When I got the phone call from my SFC, you can put in how good it will be, for sure.


miss alaineus said...

glad you had no new damage from the spill.

i have ridden down the jeff in that area with mr. mischief and noticed that stark contrast at alter road-- it is almost like one of those invisible fences is there, or like when the wizard of oz went to color when dorothy got to oz....

you did the right thing on the breakfast.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Fermi I did have a partial meltdown in 1966, but it did resume operations for a few more years before being shutdown. If you are interested, here is the Wiki link :o)

Beth said...

So glad to hear that you got a good report from the doc!

Kind of sounds like you're doing a Detroit Farewell Tour...? Hmmm?

XO Beth

Cathy said...

You may have a cogent point about our collective mind-set at different stages of technological advancement. Growing up with "I like Ike" I recall there was such a paucity of media coverage on anything, no one knew about those back-room antics in the corridors of power. It's not a new thing, WE'RE a new thing, we techy-savvy people. Think of it - my family didn't have TV in the 50s it was NEW now you can call New Zealand and SEE the person you're talking to. Puts another thing in perspective: greedy corrupt pols can get away with more incredibly, even though we have high-powered surveillance (even in space) it's a condundrum but we just keep evolving along lol. Glad to hear about SFC, find what you love and love it more :-))