Thursday, June 17, 2010



There is actually a lot of things going on. Nebraska is helping me find housing and that is a chore. Then I had a big finacial setback, having to go to the dentist because one of the kids bopped me in the mouth as we played. That knocked loose a couple of teeth and I went to get them repaired.

For a moment I thought about leaving as it was, briefly. I DON'T have the money lying around to get the repairs but I remember when I got the teeth knocked out in high school. At first, I thought it made me look fierce but my Mom thought it made me look like a bum. I remember her telling me that I have such a nice smile and I shouldn't go thru life with it ruined. So I got it done.

Went to the same dentist as I did last year and the staff were super friendly. Even gave me a deal... saving me about a third of the cost (which was still two bills... ouch!). I thought it was cool of the dentist to give me some slack.

Had a decent rapport with the DA. She was in a good mood and I reflected it back at her. I want very much to be in a better frame of mind and I took the
opportunity to be in one for a change. We needled each other a little bit, and she even called me 'young', as in she thought I was younger than she is. I told her I have quite a bit of gray and though we never revealed our ages, she held firm to the thought that she is a little older than I am.

Decided to take the Hamilton Bus from downtown, where the dentist is located. Peaceful trip. But unsettling.

I like to think that I could pick up and locate anywhere in the country, pretty much. Riding the #23, I would pass through some sketchy looking places, but like most roads that were taken, looked to me to be none the worse for wear. Until the bus made its way unto Hamilton and into the city of Highland Park.

Now I have never known Highland Park to look like it ever was anything. I think it is where Henry Ford had his first factory and it once was a fancy place. Looking at some of the old houses as you move from Boston-Edison into 'the HP', you can see where it was more than what you will find there now, a lot more. The decline for HP begun long before the current troubles with the auto industry... predating even the gas and quality crunches that dinged the big three in the 70's and 80's.

When I lived in Palmer Park and would do my roadwork into HP, I remember feeling that it didn't looks so tough. I remember running down Hamilton, sometime at night, and making it back without FEAR. But today in the light of day I would call myself a liar for trying to convince me that I ran down and thru these neighborhoods, at night or in the early morning.

The store fronts were desolate. Cars were parked on the curbs but you could not have convinced me they were serviciable. So many business were burned out and eroded that calling them an eyesore was too kind. Moreover, when I asked myself 'couldI live there?', the answer came flying back at me at the speed of sound, at the speed of the bus motor as it roared to life.

No. I couldn't live there. Not me, not now.

Crossing over 6 Mile Road (or McNichols... you know, same as in Kristy..!) into Palmer Park, I looked to see down one of the winding roads if I could catch a glimpse of where I used to live. I found that I didn't want to really see it, even where I able, so I stopped craning around as it wasn't going to improve my observation point anyhow. There could have been a sign for vacancy there, I know there were at other places. Didn't matter because I wouldn't have moved there, no matter the deal or special they may have been running.

I think that I am ready to move from here. Nebraska has scouted out some places but with my 'Leon Spinks' look needing attention, I have to come up with a new timeline ... was thinking middle of July but now, who knows?


That corgi :) said...

I'm glad that Nebraska is helping you with your move to Nebraska, Mark, but it is wise to get your teeth fixed before you take off; it does sound that it will definitely be sooner than later; I do hope it works out good for you


Tawnya said...

You know when I first got here I walked about Oak Park at night, just to get out of the house. Now not so much. One night I had a semi run in with a group of men. I will not say they were a gang because I don't know for sure, but it scared me! No more night time walks for me.

Thomas said...

Dental problems have been a life-long thorn in my side. I get tense just reading about other people's teeth.

I hope it all works out okay.

mrs. miss alaineus said...

i was driving around down that way a bit on the way home from a training session at gesu (across from ud- mercy) and eveything mark said is true. highland park is like the bastard child of the detroit ghetto, who refuses to acknowledge paternity.


Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Mark, that's sad about the Highland Park neighborhood. In Austin, it seems like the poorer neighborhoods are being taken over by realtors and torn down to build condos. I don't know what is worse -- decent people are displaced in either scenario.

mac said...

Good call on getting your teeth fixed.

I was in New York City last. I dropped my companion off at her place and figured I'd walk back to my hotel, the night was beautiful.

I ended up getting lost and walking for hours through some rough looking neighborhoods.
I may have seen more of the "real" city that way.

Not to mention I discovered how old and out of shape I had become by the stiffness in my joints the next day....
Damn, that's a big town for a dumb old country boy like me.

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

Glad you and Nebraska are communicating well again and that she is helping. Check your e-mail.