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Sunday, September 18, 2011



A year ago, and for a long time before, this was a hopeless dump. Someone fixed it up real nice. I love that color for a house. Enos Park Neighborhood, North Fifth Street, Springfield.

* Do you remember what you were doing in the summer of 1971?

Sam Navarro and Duffie Clark met under odd circumstances. This was in the summer of 1971, in the neighborhood in which both men lived—a pocket of Back of the Yards between 51st and 53rd Streets, Halsted and Morgan. Small apartment buildings here were mixed with single-family bungalows. The lawns were trim, the streets clean and safe. Many of the breadwinners cashed city paychecks, and on Election Day, they and their wives flipped the levers the precinct captain told them to flip. Catholics—Irish, Polish, German—predominated. Until Clark's family moved in that January, only whites lived there.

A must read. (Thanks for the link, Pete.)

Posted by Marie at September 18, 2011 7:14 PM


Lovely house. It's always a pleasure to see one of those beauties get restored. The Back of the Yards story really resonated with me, partly because my great-grandparents once lived not too far from there, though they were already gone by the time the white flight era arrived. The story collection I'm working on has one story that involves white flight (although from Austin, on the far west side), and though the first draft is already done, as I revise the story I already know I'll be borrowing from the Reader piece to get at the mindset of those who abandon their neighborhood under such circumstances.

Posted by: Pete Anderson Author Profile Page at September 19, 2011 10:22 AM

From where we left: When we moved from the suburbs to the country for the acreage we both wanted and the dark skies I wanted, we were accused of "white flight" by some. It's a twist on the wife beating question. No answer is good.

From where we went: The sentiment that's just below the surface, the one that is spoken in hushed tones here is something the locals call "arrivism". They think those who left the city want them to change their country ways.

Posted by: Rob Author Profile Page at September 19, 2011 3:17 PM

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