Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Everyone just walked away"

At Sweet Juniper!
A few months later and I find myself stealing again. I am in what must have been a records room for a K-6 elementary school built in the 1920s. The floor is covered in paperwork that dates back to the 1940s. My flashlight on the attendance records highlights a name "Kermit Nowicki" [last name changed] born in 1946. A baby boomer. I flip through the rest of the names and wonder where these people are today, old now and off in some suburban life so far from the 1950s city they once knew with backyards and alleys full of neighborly noise and activity and white kids in all the streets, milk bottles on the porches. Kermit missed a few weeks in January for the mumps. Would he find it strange to know I was sitting in the dark with the history of his body pressed against one of these chairs, the history of his warmth missing from these rooms?
"[D]ocumenting the waste at recently-vacated, unsecured Detroit Public Schools..."

I have never seen anything like that happen around here, and it all seems very alien, strange and sad to me.

via Billy Beck

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