Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Cats of Dayton Street

BJ has left a new comment on your post "Memories of Civic Park and Sears Kit Houses":

"Rereading this older post reminded me of a cute childhood memory about the Dayton and Dupont St. A&P. They had a great fresh fish counter in 1956 that puts our modern grocery stores to shame. This was before freezing everything was popular so every Saturday afternoon before closing they would reduce that week's leftover Great Lake smelt to 10 cents/pound. By today's cost even the fresh price must have been awesome but I don't remember it. They packaged them in amounts too large for immediate use so my mom allowed me to throw several to a few neighborhood cats along Dayton St. No one had inside cats in 1957, so it didn't take too many Saturday's until the cats caught on and brought all their friends. My mom and I usually led a parade of screaming cats down Dayton St. to our house every Saturday afternoon."


  1. Ah, the Dupont/Dayton A&P. What great memories. As I recall, Mt. Elliott had several real pretty girls in the mid-50's. There was also an older couple who had a bleach and window cleaner business in their home. One of my first jobs was bottling bleach in their basement. I recently traveled thru that neighborhood and was amazed at the destruction. The strip of stores across the street on Dupont and running west on Dayton for a short distance are completely burned, destroyed, demolished and generally abused. Reading the threads to this post I can't help but notice the differing opinions about who is responsible. I must add, I am a little tired of everyone blaming GM for all of this. Before during and after WW2, GM provided many of the homes in Flint. When the war was on, house payments were suspended for GM employees who had financed thru GM. GM isn't a saint, but they certainly aren't the devil either. How about expecting a person to clean up the piles of garbage and trash sitting in their front yard. That could be a start towards bringing Flint back. Talk about ironic: When visiting this spring, the best looking houses and yards I saw were near Industrial and St. Johns streets. Very neat and clean. For us old time residents, that was considered the worst neighborhood in town.

  2. Gordon, thank you for highlighting my coments as an article. KL is very brave to go back and see these neighborhoods. I was saddened when the other day I read Wikapedia's qoute from their write up for "the Dayton Family" that the Rap group took their name from one of the the roughest most crime ridden streets in Flint. What irony that St. John and Industrial no longer wear that honor. The Pyramids of Eqypt have lasted over 3,000 years while the ruins of Dayton street appeared only within 50 years of my childhood.

  3. Åmæricån Family InsüüråncæApril 15, 2009 at 6:46 PM

    Sounds like the 1950s were a glorious time for kitties, although the outdoor thing just doesn’t fly in this day and age. Wandering pussycats are now ripe FIV, FLV, and all sorts of abuse from dog fighting bait to teen torture.

    Big ups and much love to the cats of Flint. Things aren’t looking so good for the strays nowadays.

    The story below is a real sad one. The last few lines are most bittersweet. Oh little Mustard, who will take care of you now?

    Here is the 12 News story. Is that Mustard in the background at :21 - :31? I hope somebody is taking care of him.

    …however not all is sad and blue. Three cheers for the FFD and Ralphie. A punch in the face to the scwanzbags who said his rescue was a waste of money. Typical Flint trash.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. 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