...everywhere I roam. Off for a bit of a wander around the south over the next few days before I dig in to subbing in Ferguson. As much fun as the romance of travel in one of these gripped my heart...I don't think it would make me happy for very long on I-55! Have a great rest of the week and I'll be back when I can!
Jeske Park nestles at a bottom of a steep hill behind behind my parents' house, between Thoroughman and Robert. I've been wandering through this park on foot, by bike, alone, and often on walks with the boyfriends of the moment, since 1973. A lot can change in a park over the more than 40 years since I left Ferguson to move to New Orleans.
Interestingly, this sweet, small neighborhood park has a couple of things in common with City Park in New Orleans.
First, it was the oaks that grabbed me. They are obviously a different variety than our ancient oaks in City Park, but they are huge and beautiful. They are brilliant when they dapple that sunshine they capture in their leaves. And then the sun, bestows even more power and magesty upon them when their shadows fall.
The second similarity...I'll leave Eric to guess what it might be. I'll be back with it tomorrow.
Today began with a morning of no internet connection and trying to get to the source of the problem. I finally surrendered after a couple of phone calls to just wait and see what happened. Almost time for my friend from High School-Regina Ahrens-to pick me up to go to dinner in Ferguson this evening. Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow. Happy Saturday!
After seeing the Ferguson Jolly Trolley at Walgreen's earlier in the week, I decided to take a peek at their criteria, offerings and schedule. And yes, as of the end of August...I am eligible as a 60 year old "senior citizen". As my sister said: "One more choice for you." I'll be back with more as I investigate their services a little further. Happy Friday!
Wouldn't you enjoy saddling your bike up to lock it at this coffee cup in front of the Corner Coffee House and Cafe in Ferguson? You'll find them at the corner of Darst and Florissant Road. I didn't have time to stop on the days that I've passed, but I'll be back.
Today, I was on the other side of the street heading to the grocery store. A young woman stopped me and asked me if I was registered to vote. I explained: yes, but in New Orleans. She was out in front of the Ferguson Public Library scooping all of us as we passed by. EVERYONE needs to be registered to vote and to get out and do it every time. She made my day.
Let's all get on our bikes, register to vote, and support our local Ferguson businesses.
I've been noticing lots of "seating spots" around many of the I Love Ferguson signs. The interesting thing about them is that they seem to be welcoming passersby to stop, rest, and maybe even ponder Ferguson because they are close to the street.
I wonder whether it is an offer. I wonder if anyone would have a seat. It's a small thing, but I wonder what would happen if we put another sign there: "Welcome Neighbors" beside the I Love Ferguson signs and seats. Oh, most people are zooming by in their cars. But what about the joggers, the dog and baby walkers, the kids on their way to school, and many other passersby on foot? This has given me an idea for an experiment that I think I'll try here shortly. I'll keep you posted.
While I was home, this card from the City of Ferguson came in through the mail slot. I was pleased to see that the Mayor and the City Council are actively seeking feedback from the community.
I hope that everyone will respond with thoughtful, realistic, suggestions that can move us forward. I have some of my own. I plan to ask Mom and Dad and my siblings if they have anything they'd like to share. It's important.
There is a looming question for me that may require a telephone call. Once gathered, what will be done with this information and how will it be used?
As a member of the community, I will be looking for a report that includes recommendations, a budget and plans for implementation.
I grew up and lived in North St. Louis County until I moved to New Orleans to go to graduate school in 1976.
From the time I was 2 years old until I was 19, my family lived on Kappel Drive in Dellwood, only 2 houses from West Florissant. During my freshman year of college at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, my family moved to Elizabeth Avenue in the heart of Ferguson, MO.
I am here. I arrived on Elizabeth Monday night to see every house on the street sporting "I Love Ferguson" signs. I am here to support my aging parents through some difficult times. I am here to substitute teach in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
The Ferguson you see in the media is not the Ferguson I knew then. The Ferguson you see in the media is not the Ferguson I know now. My plans are to be here for four months, but that could change. There is much to be done. I'm not really even sure what that means, but I'm sure I'm going to find out.
If you read my blog regularly, I tend to write about where I am...I've written about Ferguson before, but it's usually been about New Orleans or France. You are going to get MORE Ferguson. I hope that you will see our Ferguson in a more accurate and balanced light.
This is personal. I'm reminded of the times after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Deluged with people from other parts of the country coming down to help with insurance, debris removal, rebuilding, and on and on; a man from the SBA turned to me and said: "We didn't know that people like you lived here." What a smack in the face of New Orleans. We are so much more than what could ever be portrayed in the media. I've felt similar smacks in the face of Ferguson. Here too, we are so much more than what is portrayed in the media.
The judging, labeling and damning of a whole city and people is unforgivable in the damage and havoc that results. The impact of those labels often means that the people who need help the most can't get it and the survival of those areas will be questionable.
Over the next few months, I hope to show you "Our Feguson". We are more than what you have been shown. We are more than what you may think you know.
--Corner of West Florissant and Kappel Drive-Dellwood, MO-As my brother said: "Grandma used to get off of the bus at that corner to come and visit us from south St. Louis."