"In this vast and troubled world,
We sometimes lose our way..."
I got Rhythm
My grandparents on my mother's side, lived their entire lives in Minneapolis. Mr grandpa worked right in town. They lived a good portion of their lives in South Minneapolis. My mother grew up in South Minneapolis and went to South High. My grandparents didn't to South High - they both (as was common for that generation) only had an 8th grade education. In their "golden years" they lived within spitting distance of Powderhorn Park. I have great memories as a young boy, spending some time with grandma and grandpa and going to the park, and then walking down to Bloomington Avenue and sitting at a soda counter in a store.
I grew up on the border of Minneapolis. When I got into Jr. High, my mother worked downtown at Dayton's (part time). During the summertime, I would often walk to the bus stop, and hop on the old "5C". It would travel through a respectable North Minneapolis and then into downtown. How was it back then? Although not perfect, it was pretty close to living in a Norman Rockwell painting.
So what in the world has happened to the once safe, sane and fun downtown Minneapolis? For starters, the 60's. The anti-war movement, the protests, and in July of 1967, the Plymouth Avenue race riot. All of a sudden, Minneapolis started to change. Not the homogeneous city of the 1950's - it was starting to fracture. The "prairie populist" leftist politics started to take over. Gentrification started, poverty became entrenched, and all of a sudden, kids having kids was no longer uncommon nor shameful.
I often wonder what my grandparents would think if they were alive today. Would they look at the changes in Minneapolis as an evolution or a devolution? Would they feel happy and safe living by Powderhorn Park, or not? Would they even what to live in or visit Minneapolis?
When I was discharged from the Navy in January 1973, I was anxious to get home. Stationed up in the wilds of Maine for my last duty station, I thought a healthy dose of enjoying the nightlife in downtown Minneapolis would be the right ticket. It took me about a week, and I could not believe how Minneapolis had changed. My dreams of spending a lot of time downtown, soon went right out the window.
Some like what Minneapolis has changed into. And that is fine - to each their own. I do not - not a bit. When I think of what Minneapolis has become, I think of lyrics from the song I got Rhythm by The Happenings:
In this vast and troubled world,
We sometimes lose our way...
Yes Minneapolis, I think you have lost your way. Not just a little bit, but a lot. Good luck in the future going forward - you will need it. That is my opinion, and I am sticking with it.