"This is a turning point for me and looking at Flint's future.
"I didn't grow up in Flint, but moved here from a smaller berg about 10 years ago after finding a house that cost a third of what it would cost anywhere else in the county. Growing up I heard horror stories about the city of Flint. However, after moving here I found that much of what I had heard didn't really line up with what I was seeing in my neighborhood. I was amazed to have sixty or seventy kids come to my house the first year I gave out candy for Halloween and was happy to see kids as young as seven or eight walking past my house by themselves to go to school in the morning. I love the library, the College/Cultural area, the folk music festival at Kearsley Park, Carriage Town and going to the Mott estate whenever they open it up for garden tours.
"Lately things have changed though. About a year ago I awoke to find a man trying to break into my back door and have since noticed the screens on some of the windows have been moved after returning from work. I've really enjoyed learning more about the great history of Flint and am sickened to see that the Jackson Hardy house was burned down and anyone who cares about Flint and Genesee County should be sick as well. Sadly, I've found that most people don't care. In almost any other city historic structures like this would be cherished and protected but not here.
"I think this area has some sort of screwed-up defeatist psychological mindset that makes it difficult for me to want to stay. I mean if someone can burn down a house like that then they don't have respect for anything."
UPDATE: A follow-up comment from a reader via Facebook:
"This breaks my heart and I understand. Thanks for sharing, Gordon. This writer is correct. Whoever lit this match and (most likely) watched that amazing structure burn, not only has a lack of respect, they has no soul. Whoever is burning Flint obviously, for whatever reason, does not want Flint's renaissance to continue. This structure was not an eye-sore, was not boarded, and was in the 11th hour of completion. This is pure strategic sabotage. And even though the devastation I witnessed on Sunday still has be sullen and continuously teary eyed- the anger has stirred something in me that makes me want to fight harder... The wind, that the senseless demolition of Manning Court took out of my sails, is back. I only hope others will shake off their overwhelming dismay and join me. We're so close... we can't give up now and let the inmates run this asylum."