Detroit's Free Fall 
Sunday, July 21, 2013, 01:39 PM
Posted by Administrator
It didn't seem that long ago I was cruising the streets of Detroit in my new 1965 Plymouth Street Wedge. I had a regular route from Telegraph Road south to Michigan Avenue. Once there, I headed east towards Dearborn ending up downtown to catch Woodward Avenue. At the foot of Woodward I'd make a left turn and head north, driving through such places as Highland Park, Ferndale and then up to Royal Oak, where I'd turn around and head south until I hit 8 Mile, which would eventually take me back to Telegraph Road. I never thought twice about making this journey because it presented opportunities to show off my car, meet girls and pick up a few street races along the way. Things were different in 1965 and never once did I ever fear for my safety or worry about losing my ride to a car jacker.
Fast forward to 2013. The thought of doing the same thing 48 years later scares the bejeezus out of me. The streets I once drove have become nothing more than a war zone and the institutions we all looked up to have become fraught with corruption, fueled by greed.
I didn't realize it at the time but Detroit was a great town to grow up in. Downtown businesses were thriving, the streets were safe, the police and fire department came when you called them and everyone, all 1.8 million of us, seemed to have a job.
Thursday's announcement marked a new low point for a city that has been on the ropes for decades. The theories of how things got that way are not as important as the human costs that will continue to be realized until someone or something comes along to make it better. For a native Detroiter, it seems incomprehensable that it has come to this.

J.R. Andres/SMM Editor-in-Chief

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