I remember going off to school many a day with a Salay's honey ham sandwich. The good old days for Flint have come and gone, that's for sure, and who's to blame?"Those were the days, my friend..."
I think part of what's so frustrating about what's happened to Flint is the fact that there is no clear-cut culprit.
You are correct. Times and people change, period. Those "good old days" are nothing but a memory. If you've visited the eastside of Flint within the last decade, you won't witness a resurrection (or some souls may call it, "The Rise Of The Phoenix"), you are witnessing a city taking its last deep breaths of life, and the possibility of the residents in the area either insolvent, aged, or just too lazy to flee. Reminiscent of Salay's Meats, Flint Michigan is dying a slow, ugly death. Thank you.
I'm sorry to say that's the sense I got when I went back to Flint three years ago and toured my old grade school, St. Mary's, now shut down and empty.
True, that beloved school has ceased to function, but if there is ever a next time to visit that sad, somber eighty-three year old building, close your eyes and stand quietly in one of the classrooms or its vast hallways, and take a deep breath of the familiar aroma of the structure that has stood there for so many days and educated many good people. It's almost an automatic assurance the memories will be resurrected...a small recollection of youth, which was a much more undemanding moment in time.
I moved from Flint five years to Seattle, Washington. I did that because I saw my beloved hometown dying. That and I love the pacific northwest. Seattle is a great city.At Christmas time I visited family and friends. I took what you might the "Grand Tour" of Flint. What I saw just made me want to cry. I can't believe that Flint has gotten that bad. My family told me it was bad, but wow I didn't think it could degenerate to the point it has. I truly am sicken by what has happened to Flint. Sickened yet grateful that I'm where I am. However I still get homesick. There aren't any Coney Islands out here!At least Paul's Pipe Shop is still downtown I'm glad that I can get Paul's blends via US Mail. My family sends me Koegal's Viennas Vernor's is available here, and I know how to make coney sauce. I worked at a coney island when I was in high school.I never ate Salay's Meats my parents were sworn Koegal's consumers. I am saddened that it is gone. I remember seeing their commercials when I was a kid. Needless to say I felt like I was escaping when I got on my flight at Bishop Airport. That is sad because the airport. I hope it turns around soon. I hope that city some day returns to it's former glory.
I escaped Flint when I was 21. Joined the Navy. You would be amazed at how many people from Michigan are in the service.I moved to Newport News, Virginia after the Navy. I assemble aircraft carriers, instead of automobiles. This city reminds me of Flint, but there is work to be had here.Within my first 6 months here, 3 cops were killed, also taxi drivers killed. I thought I went from the frying pan into the fire.
I hear ya there man. There's crime here in Everett yet I feel secure. Know what really sad? Bishop Airport is one of the nice airports in the country yet after you go in town and want to shake your head. Believe me when I saw that space needle on final approach, it was bittersweet.I miss Flint and hope it gets better so I may 'come home' and better taste in my mouth when come back to my 'adopted home'
This picture is very sad to me. My grandfather, Emil Salay, founded the Flint Sausage Works (Salay's Meats)close to 90 years ago. My mother's brothers spent their entire careers working there, and with great love and dedication. And they produced truly outstanding products. I have not lived in Flint since I was a baby, but I have lots of happy memories of visits there. I would like to know if those remaining orange letters have been removed from the building yet? The only way I can soften that so-called "humor" is to think to myself the plant is stating "Now I lay me down to sleep."Amen.
Brenda,My uncle is Emil Salay, husband of Eleanor who was my mother's, mother's sister. We haven't been able to make contact with him in years. He live on Kun-Nur Drive in Flint. Is he still alive?
well put. It is so sad the company was closedwithout notifying family members.
Emil Salay was my husbands uncle, his wife being my mother-in-laws sister. Can anyone tell me if Emil is still alive? A former Stevens
What's your name?
Brenda,Thanks for commenting. I think just about all Flint residents have feelings similar to yours about some part of Flint. I felt the same way when I learned that St. Mary's grade school had closed. Sometimes humor is all you have left. I'm not sure if the letters are still up or not.
I think the biggest culprit is the city management. When you call the police it takes 30 minutes to never for them to come out. By that time the theives are gone and the house sits there stripped of copper, water heaters, furnace, sinks, water meters and even windows and doors. The water department back bills for water that was never used and the property values are overrated so taxes are out of site. The house is abandoned and the city gets it back and has to tear it down. You be the judge.
If I am not mistaken, Salay's were Hungarian and the Koegels were German.Wasn't there a big competition between the 2 companies? Obviously, the Koegels won. But, I remember they both made good stuff.
Koegels was German. What actually made their companysuccessful was the big payment they recieved whenI-475 was built and they were paid seven figures forthe property.
Koegel being anywhere but Bristol Road predates me, so forgive me for asking: where were they located before?
> they were paid seven figures for the property.<Of course, it's not like they grabbed the money and ran. They spent a sizeable chunk of that on their new plant near Bishop Airport, and on other upgrades to their market commitment. And, over the years Al Koegel has been a good local citizen. I had occasion to interact with him several times as he went out of his way to support the Flint Art Fair, for instance.
I was born in Flint in 1946. The first job I had when I got out of the service was at Salay's working on the loading dock. I still remember unloading trailer loads of "Bull Meat", and making pickled bologna on Wednesday's. Nothing tatstes as good as fresh ring bologna right out of the oven. Later I was promoted to route sales but I couldn't put up with the public and the ungodly hours. I left Flint in 1969 or 1970 I can't remember which, never to return. It sounds like I didn't miss anything.
Emil Salay is alive and well, anticipating his 100th birthday party celebration with family and friends May eighth. Sally Salay Stevens
I worked there from mid 70's to late 80's in production. There is nothing like sausage right from the smokehouse.
Thats what she said.
I worked there in the late 60's. You sure wouldn't go hungry!!!!
Hey Greg its Gordon, i worked with you when i was just a 16 year old.In late 1977 to 1979.It says bob smith on my post i use a fake name lol
I had a route with salay's in the 80's they called me. Hollywood started by Paul Jr. Great people!some of the best times in my life.
Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.