There are a couple of Facebook pages set up for people who attended my high school, brand new in ’62 and still a little shiny by the time I showed up 10 years later.
Spring-boarding off the original Levittown model, John F. Long created this textbook suburbia on the west edges of Phoenix, a city that has never stopped expanding. I suppose it’s still considered west, but when I was growing up I could ride my bike a few blocks and be in farmland, probably not too different from when my grandfather knew those fields.
It’s an old story, expansion and deterioration, enough that I don’t have much interest in ever returning to the old neighborhood and absolutely zero at night. Some areas have done OK, others less so, and it happens. Maybe there’ll be a rebirth at some point; the high school has been remodeled, at any rate, enough that I have little interest in returning there, either.
The FB pages are mostly about nostalgia, which I’m all for. They also seem to lean heavily towards a crowd 10 years older than I am, so I mostly just dip in, see if there are names I know and read some commentary.
A thread took off the other day, some mourning the loss of their old neighborhood to crime and time, some defending it, and a few hackles were raised in a polite way. That didn’t particularly interest me either; give enough people enough time and a place to spout, and spout they will. There was a whiff of racism or chauvinism or some ism (old white people complaining that the community was now majority Hispanic, not a surprise in Phoenix and not racial in the sense that Hispanic is not a race; mostly just us vs. them, same old same old) but it was civil for the most part, giving me some insight I probably already could imagine anyway.
There’s irony, though, in glancing at these pages from time to time. Most of the “those were the good old days” comments come from, again, those graduates who were close to the original students, back when the neighborhood was new and pale, and while they go on (and on) about how grateful they are for their wonderful memories and how bad everything is now, I note that some of the worst spelling and grammar I see online (which is saying something) comes from these slightly older alumni.
Dunno. It’s such a small relative sampling that I can’t honestly and intelligently even speculate, but there it is. Normally I wouldn’t even pay attention, but since these are sites dedicated to a high school, and since the commenters are mostly going on and on about what a fine time they had while attending, the fact that they seem to have forgotten to actually learn some stuff while there is odd.
And one of the regulars is truly amazing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read one of her posts, and then re-read. An example, copied and pasted as it appeared on the “going to hell in a hand basket” thread:
It been since 67 was the last time,folks bought on Oak an 34 st now it a getto both was folks died had pass before it came then move to Scostdale, I was In Apache Junction it was 85&Winter visit: kids were more scared off the wild off snakes human our crawling!
I take it that she’s disappointed in the neighborhood. I have no idea how the neighborhood feels about her.
I have three days without much on my plate in terms of a schedule, although there’s plenty to do. After a bunch of hours a few weeks ago on weed/vine detail, the morning glory and blackberry brambles are off and running again, so there’s that. My son needs some attention, as does the basement. And I start my weekend off with another trip to the dentist, finishing up our reclamation project started last month, this time with a filling that needs refurbishing.
I also have some idea about making this last stretch of blogging a little livelier, but it can wait until tomorrow, when the numbers line up in an interesting way. Now I just have to find a way to be interesting.