Friday, April 23, 2010

The Flint of Your Dreams

Stay Positive asks readers to get dreamy:
How about a thread about the Flint based dreams of Flint Expatriates?

While I have had a few recurrent nightmares about the Flint area, I had one very vivid and positive one. But just once.

There was a Flint resurgence that rivaled the early 20th Century. There was a complete rebuilding of the city and unbelievable prosperity.

I know. It was a dream.

But you could share your Flint nightmares, too. Where you were, what time of day. Had you ever been there in that part of town before your dream?


  1. I'll share one recurrent nightmare.

    I am walking south down a north south main road, possibly DuPont St., or even more likely, Fleming Rd, since it is more residential. It is around sunset, and I am crossing over at a light.

    Keep in mind that I have never walked along that street before in my life, and have probably traveled that road in a car no more than 20 times at the most in a half century.

    I am very frightened, as I am very unfamiliar with the area, and each block goes by painstakingly slowly. After a few blocks, I wake up.

    Any interpretations? Perhaps someone is warning me to never walk down that road? I don't know why I would walk down that road, but it is recurrent.

  2. Interesting... I used to have a recurrent nightmare about having to walk home (Miller & Ballemger area) down Fleming, from Pierson & Fleming. Other variations head me into the setting sun, orange sky trying to pierce the purple & grey clouds as I struggled for each step close to Clio road. I'd wake up shaking from the exertion. Something intense about that area...

  3. When I was in college, I worked at Laimbeer Packaging (yes, Bill Laimbeer owned it) at the corner of Pierson and Dort. The second year I worked there, I worked second shift. I had to drive home through some of the nicest neighborhoods in the city. To get home, I went Pierson to Clio, around to Welch. I lived a few blocks off of Welch, west of Ballenger. Those summer nights where I was coming home at midnight had my heart racing 100 miles an hour for about 95% of that drive. The Friday nights when the cops would park across the street from the night club around Clio and Myrtle, and have all of their spotlights lighting up the front of the building were always fun. I was just waiting for a gun fight to break out. Who needs nightmares when you can live them.

  4. It was a dicussion here about the Civic Park area that brought this to memory.

    It is never clear to me what the exact route is. It could be to a place I lived, but it never got that close.

    If I were you, Anonymous, I think I'd use Forest Hill, wind my way though Mott Park, Nolen Dr., "University"/Sunset, and Bradley Ave. Ballenger is kind of scary near the river.

  5. Nightmares about scarey routes through Flint! This may be more prevalent than I would have thought. Can their be such a thing as a post traumatic Flint Expatriate syndrome? My nightmare still reoccurs periodically after 40 years of leaving Flint. I board a city bus in front of Kreskee's downtown. Its suppose to take me to Chevrolet Avenue by Longfellow School so I can walk to my old home, but the driver always "goes rougue" on me and lets me off somewhere near Detroit (MLK) St. and Garland (where I first lived). I wander around lost the rest of the night until I wake with a pounding heart. Although the Garland/MLK area was still intact when I left Flint, in my dream it is always visualized even in much worse condition than whenI saw it again in "Rodger & Me.

  6. I think there =is= a post traumatic Flint Expatriate syndrome. Whenever I drive by an apparently vacant lot, find myself in a 'bad' part of town, hear voices where I'm not expecting voices... you would not believe my physiological reaction, or where my mind goes. I still lock my car every single time I get out and my door every single time I go out.

  7. I know what SJS means. While working in NYC, I once had to work late in Hartford, CT. I remember getting dropped off at the Hartford train station at 8pm and there was no one around, couldn't even buy a ticket because everything was shut down.

    I was soooo relieved when the train pulled into Penn Station at 11pm and the Penn was packed with people. Probably just the opposite of what most people from CT would be thinking about pulling into NYC at 11pm. :)

  8. To the other Anonymous about real frightening experiences, I once had a scary bicycle ride. Someone threw a chunk of cement at me from the Grand "Funk" Railroad pass on Fenton Rd. They missed, but I never went back. Later there were articles in the Flint Journal about people being hurt or killed within a few blocks of there by someone throwing rocks from overpasses. I'd rather "whistle" past Glenwood Cemetery on my suggested route above.

  9. I had recurrent nightmares about the elevators in the "Morrison's" building (First National Bank Building). The elevators had glass doors and you could look right down into the elevator shaft, see the cables, etc.

    Nothing catasprophic ever happened in the dreams, but there was always a malfunction of some sort that threatened a catastrophe, like the car not lining up with the floor or the door opening without the car.

    It was also scary to look down the center of the stairwell from the upper stories.


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