Detroit

“This used to be a city.”

That put this country on wheels.

“This used to be a city.”

That a President called “The Arsenal of Democracy.”

“This used to be a city.”

The fourth largest in America.

“This used to be a city.”

Of champions.

“This used to be a city.”

That was called “The Paris of America.”

“This used to be a city.”

Of parks and Outer Drive.

“This used to be a city.”

Of Motown. “Can’t forget the Motor City.”

“This used to be a city.”

Of Hudson’s and SS Kresge’s.

“This used to be a city.”

Where people went to work.

“This used to be a city.”

Of the first radio station.

“This used to be a city.”

Of  Henry Ford. And General Motors, Chrysler and Stroh’s.

“This used to be a city.”

Of innovation.

“This used to be a city.”

That came within one vote of getting the Olympics, twice.

“This used to be a city.”

Of majestic buildings.

“This used to be a city.”

That I was born in.

“This used to be a city.”

With 98% home ownership.

“This used to be a city.”

Of grand hotels and theaters.

“This used to be a city.”

Of the Husdon’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“This used to be a city.”

Of legends. And hero’s.

“This used to be a city.”

With two great newspapers.

“This used to be a city.”

That had the best Public School System in the nation.

“This used to be a city.”

Of the Old Red Barn.

“This used to be a city.”

The Corner.

“This used to be a city.”

Of leaders.

“This used to be a city.”

Until July, 1967.

“This is a city.”

That burned.

“This is a city.”

That has lost 60% of it’s population since then.

“This is a city.”

That has become synonymous with riots and crime and decay.

“This is a city.”

That built a Renaissance Center, but never experienced one itself.

“This is a city.”

From the Motor City to Murder City.

“This is a city.”

That has bred corruption and clowns in place of leaders.

“This is a city.”

That has lost population every year since 1961.

“This is a city.”

Of relics. Decaying and dying.

“This is a city.”

Of blame, and the hypocrisy of it.

“This is a city.”

Of distrust and wounds that haven’t healed.

“This is a city.”

Where 45% of the city is empty.

“This is a city.”

Who elect names, not leaders.

“This is a city.”

Who’s culture and obstinate behavior have turned into arrogance and ignorance.

“This is a city.”

Where every speck of hope is doused by some loudmouth or dummy.

“This is a city.”

That has foolishly turned down help at every turn.

“This is a city.”

That is broke.

“This is a city.”

Of the Packard Plant and Michigan Central Station, symbols of what was and what is.

“This is a city.”

That spends too much time in the past and not enough thought of fixing what is now.

“This is Detroit.”

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7 Responses to “Detroit”

  1. Dan Riley Says:

    Half way through, Kent, I expected you to break out in a verse or two of “We built this city on Rock ‘n Roll…”

  2. rollingwheelie Says:

    Well, if it was going to be anything it was going to be Seger. “Hidin’ out in the backwoods…with a couple six-packs of Stroh’s.” But I did put in Miss Martha’s “Can’t forget the Motor City.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLiV1WUUums

  3. Judy Clay Says:

    Ya know. I don’t even fell snarky. This is beautiful and horrible and true and depressing. It’s Detroit, It’s Philly, I’m sure it’s Boston, and Chicago and Baltimore too

    • rollingwheelie Says:

      Yes, but none of those cities have been featured on “Life After People.” And plus, Detroit is big enough to hold two Boston’s and one San Francisco. Other big cities have lost population, but not as bad as Detroit.

  4. sharondymond Says:

    Oh, Kent, I weep. This could be the song of New Orleans…a national treasure….ruined and neglected but trying mightily to survive. I love it so much.

  5. sharondymond Says:

    Where the middle class took root and grew…

  6. sharondymond Says:

    Once I built a railroad, now it’s done. Buddy, can you spare a dime.

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