And so, I’m back. Back from outer space. With that sad look upon my face, but I will survive. Sorry for taking that mini-blog vacation for the last few days, but I hope that you enjoyed the picture show. We are back in Saint Louis now. Anne, Dan and I, having driven yesterday across the foggy Midwestern plains. The new Toy Yoda handled like a dream. The Force was definitely with us. David had jetted off to Rochester the day before. He is spending New Years with Maren’s family. With his new job, he has limited vacation time. Technically he is a writer now too. I guess you could say that I am also technically a writer, but don’t say it very loud or too often. It might go to my head. Britt lands in the Lou today. Dan will pick her up in his “new” Prius. Before Dave took off, Anne and I and the boys luncheoned at Zola Bistro, which is across Washtenaw from Chez Harry’s place. Both Anne and I had the pictured Shakshuka. Zola was a very impressive establishment, in an interesting, if too crowded upscale strip mall. It came complete with a My Urban Toddler store, for future yuppies of America. The next day, on our way out of town, Jane joined us at Mark’s Mid-Town Coney Island for more conventional breakfast fare. There, I think that I am all caught up on all the news that you need-to-know. I’m ready to slide into 2020.
I’m living the thug life now, here in the former 313. Not life as a criminal. I’ll leave that to my outlaw inlaws. But as Tupac once said, thug life is a life with a determined and resilient attitude to succeed, in spite of other’s nativism and injustice. I’ve busted out of Chippy county and I’m headed home to my homies. No more Michi-gangsta life for me. No more Trumpster fires on every corner. No more Confederate flags flying within earshot of Canada. No more SUVs riding my ass on the interstate, when we are the only two vehicles in sight. I’d much rather deal with grandpa tooling along in the left-hand lane, with his left turn signal on for twenty miles. I can deal with that. That feels like home. Tomorrow, I’ll flee the former 313 and move on to the 314. It’s over. I’m out.
There is a Confederate flag flying on Davitt Street in the Soo. I have not seen it, but Anne saw it yesterday. I can think of only one reason why someone would do such a thing, racism. I think that we are too far north up here to entertain any so-called southern traditions. It is a cowardly act, because in the five weeks that I’ve in the UP this summer, I have only seen one African American and he was a musician, performing at Pickles, so it is unlikely that he lives here and is gone.
There are two minority communities in the area, the Ojibwa and the Amish. The Bay Mills tribe are indigenous and have been living here since before the white man arrived. Their reservation serves as a focal point for their community, but intermarriage has allowed tribal members to spread out from there. When I first began coming up here “the Res” as it was referred to, was stereotypical of the “poor Indian”, with three derelict cars in every front yard. That was then. With the advent of their casinos and other commercial enterprises, they are now a prosperous community. Bicycling through it yesterday, I was amazed at the extent of the tribal services that are now available to members.
Where as the first peoples have always been here a relatively new addition to the Soo are the Amish. They are another prosperous community. In the past, they were known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, but hard work, combined with large families has led to their westward expansion. They have a thriving community in Missouri. Chippewa County is another new frontier. They’ve been here for more than a few years now, but as their numbers swell, so does their impact on the Soo. I mainly see their members driving their horse buggies down the roads leading to town, But I have also seen them in both Meijer’s and Walmart. They always seem to me to be a bit out of place in these stores, but I understand why they shop there too. We’ve counted three new Amish dwelling being erected this year, including one in town. Normally, they opt for a farm outside of town.
So, we have one racist reactionary, but there is also plenty of hope for the future. If this coward had tried his flag waving, an you know that it has got to be a he, in Saint Louis, losing his flag would be the least of his worries. It is high time to tamp down this kind of racist behavior and lock it up in the closet again.