The Stockton Sandwich

I just spent a few days in Stockton, California visiting old family friends. They’re a recently retired Lutheran pastor and his wife who relocated from Southern California and returned to their hometown. Being lifelong members of the church has many benefits, but making lots of money isn’t one of them. They run a lean operation … Continue reading The Stockton Sandwich

Hialeah

In keeping with recent posts I’m following the trajectory my family took over the generations. This path isn’t unique. In fact, it’s merely one version of what the overwhelming majority of the American population experienced at the time. My grandmother became a young widow when my grandfather died of multiple sclerosis. She left Brooklyn and … Continue reading Hialeah

Memphis Bluff

I was chastised by one of my readers for focusing exclusively on the negative aspects of Memphis without depicting the flowering of some of the historic neighborhoods. Evidently they’re much better now than just a few years ago. So I’ll highlight one of the select spots in town that are currently flourishing after decades of … Continue reading Memphis Bluff

Marsupial Urbanism

Does this landscape look familiar? There are places like this all over the country. Half forgotten neighborhoods populated by vacant parking lots and semi abandoned buildings can be found everywhere. The tide of history has left them behind. People don’t want to live here. Folks with resources can afford to be elsewhere. The more property … Continue reading Marsupial Urbanism

Solvent Savings

Memphis is full of commemorative plaques that declare the spot where so-and-so once lived or operated a successful business, or where a prominent religious or cultural center was erected. These were genuine millionaires, bankers, insurance executives, war heroes, political figures, scholars, and philanthropists. I learned a lot about the trajectory of the city and its … Continue reading Solvent Savings