My hometown has changed quite a bit over the decades. Where some of my maternal Granfather’s relatives lived used to be the part of town where everybody wanted to live. Now no one wants to live there. There used to be a street near there called Royal Street because the richest people lived there. Now the poorer people live there. The rich people left in my town all live in the northern part of town where my Mom wants me to live. However location is everything in real estate and the rents are more expensive there. The public transportation is the only way to cross the interstate which is pretty much the tracks for this town and I happen to live on the wrong side of them. There are few bus stops in the northern part of town and my Mom’s house is 4 miles from the nearest one. All the private schools are in the richer part of town and the public schools are generally substandard. A lot of businesses have moved out of the part of town I live now or have shut down. Most of the private schools are religious but there’s one called University School and true to it’s name everybody who graduated there are going on to Universities. A few people from the area I now live in have gone on to live successful lives but average to sub-par children don’t stand a chance. So if I bothered to be a father my kids would have 2 strikes against them before they even went up to bat. As the Randy Newman song said “It’s money that matters in the USA” and I don’t have much of it and never will. So I will probably die alone in my hometown while the rest of my family carries on. That prospect doesn’t bother me like it used to.
My hometown is similar to yours, in that the formerly wealthiest part of town is now one of the poorer neighborhoods. Back around the 1920’s Muskogee was an up and coming oil town. There are all these sumptuous mansions in the center of town that now are showing their age. There are a lot of big, two story houses all over town that are falling down. Sometimes people will buy these homes for practically nothing and fix them up and have a nice home, if they get to them in time. There are a lot of this kind of house that are now uninhabital because no one fixed them up. There are neighborhoods with very nice, modern houses that are going down hill because of the drug trade. There is an interesting relationship between the drug trade and property values in Muskogee. All Muskogee is turning into a slum, and stable families are moving out of town.
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