Motown is Dying

The mountain's sides were green with woods and all the sheltered valley rich and pleasant in the days when the bells rang in that town. - Tolkien, The Hobbit

The mountain’s sides were green with woods and all the sheltered valley rich and pleasant in the days when the bells rang in that town. – Tolkien, The Hobbit

With all the royal baby news, you may have missed a recent news story.  The city of Detroit has filed bankruptcy.  Yes, the once great “Motor City” is seemingly beyond repair.  The sad truth, however, is that no one is surprised and no one seems to care.  In this ever changing world, no one seems to give one thought to the fact that the once great metropolis that gave us Motown and automobiles is dying.

I have spoke about my hometown a couple of times on here but never with any frankness.  Ashtabula.  That’s the city of the first twenty-six years of my life.  In my memories there simply is no better town in the world.  It’s a bustling factory and fishing town.  The type of place where everyone knows you.  Where you have the same teachers your parents had and nothing ever seems to change.  You’re surrounded by astounding natural beauty and a rich history.  The houses are aged but loved.  Yes, in my mind, it is all as I remember it.

However, Ashtabula shares a lot of the same tragedy that Detroit has.  The industry has left, the crime rate has skyrocketed, and the town is on the brink.  We used to have a saying, “The last one out turns out the lights.” It’s dying.  Slowly but surely, my beloved hometown is wasting away.

Maybe that is why I can relate to Tolkien’s dwarves.  I can understand their longing for Dale.  I can perfectly grasp that feeling of profound sadness.  I weep for Detroit because every dying town has a history that deserves to be treasured, Detroit deserves to be treated better than this.  It should be lovingly preserved as an icon of American ingenuity, if nothing else.  I’m saddened because I know that like Dale, Detroit has someone who longs for what once was.

Challenge Chapters: 12 &13

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