Friday, June 14, 2019
Places To Live
When I first arrived in Detroit my husband and I stayed with his brother and family until we found an apartment on the East side. We lived just a few blocks from the Detroit River.
Our apartment was on the second floor. There was another apartment on the same floor. The first floor was occupied by a young family with several children. The husband was a veteran. The wife was from Germany.
The third floor was not much more than an attic. A strange man lived there. He drank to excess. When he was drinking he would play records of Hitler's speeches. He was sure that would attract the woman from the first floor.
The day he went out into the street and stopped traffic was the day they finally did something about him. Because the traffic was backed up the police came. He was delirious and violent. That was the last time we saw him.
Eventually we moved to another apartment. It was in the Cass Corridor near downtown Detroit.
The Cass Corridor is a bad area. Not the worst but bad.
Across the street from our building was a hotel. That was where the prostitutes took their 'clients'. Sometimes some of us who lived in the apartment building would choose a hooker and see how many men she would entertain in an afternoon. It became a game.
When the riots in 1967 happened that area was dangerous. We happened to be visiting my husband's brother and family that day. A mutual friend came into the house in the evening to watch the news to see what time the curfew started. We all thought he was crazy.
We stayed there for a week until it was safe to go home. In the meantime there was a high-speed car chase down the street as we were standing in front of the house talking to neighbors.
My parents were frantic. They had not yet come to the big city. They had no idea where I was or whether we were safe. They sent a telegram that I did not receive because I was not home. I had no idea that it was national news.
My family was relieved when I called them to let them know that we were all safe.
Later that year was when I took my baby to meet his grandparents. Then they came to the big city.
More next time.