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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Born in the "D" the 313

Yeah, I was born in Detroit.

Downtown, streets of Detroit.

Bad azz Detroit.

Well, kinda.

I was born in Detroit, but in the 50's. Hardly bad azz at that time. Sure, no one was rich where I lived, but it wasn't ghetto. When my parents just had my older sister and brother, they lived in the "projects" on Conner Street. Yeah, bad azz projects. Kinda.

The ones my parents lived in, on Conner, were brand new. My mom told me they even had fancy-schmancy , state-of-the-art (at that time) underground garbage cans. She and my step-father drove by there a few years ago and it was pure ghetto ... like what the heck were they even doing there?

I Googled a map of the street and address ... looks kinda bleak.

Diana Ross of The Supremes talks about growing up poor in the projects. She did, but they were the Brewster-Douglas projects. Other side of the tracks I suppose.

By the time I was born, my folks had moved. Just a mile or so over. On Beniteau Street. These were older duplexes. We lived in the bottom unit, my aunt and uncle and cousins lived above us. The house behind us was rented by another aunt and uncle and cousins. I Googled Beniteau also. Yikes, nasty!

I do recall us cousins playing in the upper unit while the parents partied visited below. We'd hook hot dogs to fishing lines and lower them to my other cousins below. I think more ended up falling off and landing on the driveway.

Here I am, being all street smart, bro.
Check it out, only one strap holding up my overalls. Yeah, that's how I rolled. (probably because of the baby fat rolls)

When I was four, it was time to get out of the city. So they moved to the extreme opposite. The country. They moved to Troy, Michigan. Not a thing happening out there, except fields. Today, Troy is home to many major corporate headquarters.

One thing about Troy ... the development of this city in part, is proof that engineers really can have a sense of humor. One of the major main roads running through the city is called Big Beaver. If you are on I-75 and need to get off (ahem) on Big Beaver, it's exit 69.

13 comments:

San said...

Ha-Ha-Ha...you look like a little "toughie" in that picture.

I never noticed that exit.

delmer said...

Way back, probably 1980, my buddies and I stopped on the way to Columbus to get our picture with the Exit 69 sign on I-71.

One of my favorite road signs is for Big Bone Lick, in Kentucky.

Candy said...

My husband was born in Detroit in 1946 and lived on Outer Drive till he was 10. Maybe you knew him? Name's Bill?

Michael said...

LOL, I never noticed that about Big Beaver. And I never knew you all lived in Troy.

Ree said...

Can't tell you the number of times I returned from Pistons games and laughed my ass off as we turned off onto Big Beaver.

I know someone who works in that building. Used to be my next door neighbor in Royal Oak!

Sherry ~ Cherie ~ ms. herbes de provence said...

I'm not sure I'd want to "get off" on Big Beaver Road!! But thanks for the offer!! You were such a cutie patootie -- one strap and all!! Bet nobody messed with you!!

I remember Detroit in the 60's. My aunt and uncle lived in Windsor and we'd go over -- the zoo mostly and some shopping. It was okay to be in Detroit at that time -- it wasn't scary. I remember going over to have dinner in the Ren tower when it first opened.

I also remember driving through Detroit in the late 70s and hurrying through (on our way to Ohio for some boat race or some boring thing) .. but I think it's like any major city -- it has it's good parts and it's bad parts and you just keep your head up.

sgk213 said...

I never noticed the exit number 69 and the name Big Beaver. Too funny. Where do you come up with this stuff?

Terri said...

ahahaha; having driven by there on many occasions towards Great Lakes Crossing or "up north" I'm surprised my husband NEVER noticed. I'll take pleasure in pointing it out to him. His ofc building is on Dix-Toledo and he LOVES to tell people to "get off on Dix" (from 75). Funny; you and he seem to think alike!

js said...

I got to your page from a link on someone else's, happens quite frequently, and I always enjoy what you write. You forget that to add to the humor of Big Beaver being Exit 69, that either 68 or 67 was skipped. I think it's 68. I frequently drive that way and laugh. Every. Single. Time. :)

Fightin' Mad Mary said...

You look so tough in the photo. Only a gang in the mid-west would make you wear overalls. Ha. You are so cute!

dkuroiwa said...

"big beaver"...*snort*

I used to teach in south texas with a group of ladies from michigan and, when asked where in michigan they were from, they always held up there hands and pointed to a place on their palms. do you do that too??

loving' that overall action...tuff chick, huh? :-D

Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said...

In Texas it's illegal to get off on beavers even if they are big.

lis said...

So you've been tough your whole life, great picture!!
In this state we have a town named 'Beaver', oyee..
Perceptive JS exit '69'..