Thursday, July 11, 2013

Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City by Gordon Young

From Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City by Gordon Young:
Delarie was the only one of six children still living in Flint. “I’ll stay here as long as my mom stays,” she said. “I see this block as the soul of the neighborhood. Every night you hear shots from the other streets, but not on our street. But I still don’t leave home without my gun. I just feel better carrying it.”

She showed me her nine-millimeter handgun, a black Taurus Ultra Slim she kept loaded with hollow-point bullets. She carried it in a small holster on her waist. The gun shattered the reassuring sense of normalcy that had enveloped me, the feeling that Civic Park wasn’t that far removed from the place where I grew up, a neighborhood where three people could spend a pleasant afternoon sitting on the porch and talking without the need for firearms. She left the gun on the table, and it was distracting. I kept glancing at it.

“She’s concerned about my safety,” Betsy explained, sensing my

“I’m concerned about my safety, too,” Delarie added.


  1. Delarie is fiercely protective of her family. I miss her & Betsy and hope they're doing well.

  2. Born and raised in Flint (moved in the early 80's), boy did this book not only bring back some lost memories, rekindled some very fond ones, but also enlighten me on some facts I never knew.

    I work where I come across people from all over the country and all over the world and whenever I met someone from Michigan I would tell "me too" but would always whispher 'Flint'. Not anymore, I am from Flint and I hold many wonderful kid-hood memories very dear to me in my heart ... plus I still many family and friends still there.

    Thank you for some great reading !!!
    Julie Sny Cordero

    1. Hey sister! where did you get the book? I hail from that same city.

    2. Although I'm not your sister, try amazon or call your local bookstore. Here's the Amazon link:


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