To The Editor:
Like everyone else, I have watched the series of events following the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
I grew up in Ferguson on South Florissant Road, until we moved to Union in 1958. At that time Ferguson was a white, middle class blue collar community. My dad worked the nightshift at what is now Boeing and during the summer months he mowed lawns before he left for work. He worked hard so my brother and I could attend a parochial school. We attended church and school at Our Lady of Guadaloupe just a few blocks from our house.
My mother was a stay-at-home mom in an era with no automatic washers and dryers, relying on Maytag wringer washer and solar energy to get the laundry done.
My grandparents lived behind the Ferguson police and fire departments.
I haven’t been back to Ferguson since my grandparents passed away in the early ’60s. The lot where our house stood is now a used car lot. The house was actually picked up and moved to the street behind its original location. The city eventually bought my grandparents’ house and tore it down to make room for a parking lot.
I never had the inclination to return to Ferguson to see our old house or where my grandparents’ house once stood. Too many things took priority — college, marriage, working and raising a family, to name a few.
A few months ago I commented to my brother that I would like to go back to see if I could recognize places I remembered as a child. Now I realize it’s best to cherish the memories I have and not see the reality of what it has become.
Undoubtedly, there are many hard-working black people living in Ferguson who are as appalled as we are at the violence, destruction of property and looting that has occurred.
I pray that in the midst of all this madness a community can be re-established and that the city and citizens of Ferguson can return to some semblance of normalcy.