Sunday, August 11, 2013

Flint Artifacts: Bill Knapp's Matchbook

13 comments:

  1. It was a sad moment for many of us when Bill Knapp's closed down. It had been a favorite of our parents, and it was very sad for them also. Part of the problem is that most "family" restaurants now serve alcohol, because the mark up is so high, and are able to get by on less food generated profit as a result. The other old style family restaurants that don't serve alcohol continue to struggle, and many locations have closed. Flint lost one chain, the nearest location being 10 miles away now, the last I checked. And it is happening statewide.

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  2. My family enjoyed many a Sunday dinner at this restaurant. I remember ordering off the kid's menu.

    Just the other day, my dad was telling me he was going to go to dinner at Bob Evan's... Except he called it Bill Knapp's by accident. Old habits die hard.

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  3. My family used to go there. My dad usually got the chocolate cake for dessert. I didn't like chocolate cake as a kid, so I got ice cream instead.

    So many memories....

    My mother, brother, and I moved from Flint to Kentucky a couple months before I turned 13 (this was in 1989), and I've lived in Kentucky ever since. Trying to talk about all this stuff with the denizens of my adopted state is incredibly frustrating at times. You explain the snow, the cold, the merciless, featureless iron grey sky overhead for 7+ months out of the year, the drugs, the gangs, the hopelessness, the crime, and unless they've seen Roger and Me, they look at you like you're exaggerating. You tell them that the damn place needs martial law with a 'shoot on sight' policy for looters, arsonists, drug dealers, and so on, and they look at you like you're some kind of a fascist. They just don't GET it.

    I'm glad I found this place. :)

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    1. I was born in 1975 at FOH. I lived in Beecher and went to to Summit Middle School. My family moved 2 miles before 8th grade to Mt. Morris. I have in or around Flint since graduating. Technically I live in Mt. Morris, my children go to Kearsley, now and Flint is right across the road. I have never been beaten, shot, stabbed, or robbed. I've never done crack , cocaine or been part of a gang. I wont deny it happens but good people live here. That shouldn't be forgotten in your storytelling about Flint. I'm sure there is a "bad" part of town where you live now.

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  5. The problem is, Flint is in a vicious cycle.... hell, it was even when I was growing up in the 70's and 80's. A lack of employment leads to poverty, and a loss of hope. (And people can put up with being poor, but they can't put up with the belief that things will never improve. I think it's the loss of hope that's actually the most poisonous. What incentive is there to do the right thing when you have no hope that you can improve your situation in doing so, or at least avoid things getting worse?) This loss of hope leads to lawlessness and a soaring crime rate. The crime rate makes it virtually impossible to attract and retain sufficient employment opportunities to the city. The lack of employment leads to poverty and hopelessness, and the cycle just continues.

    This cycle must be broken. A lot of attempts have been made to break it at the level of employment, but most businesses either will not come to Flint because of the crime rate, or will come for a few years, but then leave. And as concerns hope, really, how many uplifting, idealistic speeches and empty promises have Flint residents heard over the past few decades? Politicians throwing empty words at the problem hasn't helped, either. Poverty continues, crime continues, the diaspora continues.

    If the cycle cannot be broken at employment opportunity and cannot be broken at poverty/hopelessness, it must be broken at crime -- that's the only thing left. Any initiatives to get Flint back on its feet MUST address the out of control crime rate, or they will fail.

    Frankly, most people -- even in a place like Flint -- are decent people, and they have the right to live without being beaten, raped, shot at, or worried that their house is going to burn down in the middle of the night because some numbnuts with a Molotov has nothing better to do, or is too high to know he's on this earth, or has some kind of asinine 'point' he thinks he's making by destroying innocent people's lives. Screw that. If wanting to protect innocent people and having a desire to see the city prosper makes me a fascist, so be it. I've been called worse.

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  6. While many of us who left Flint live close enough that we occasionally still drive through, it may be limited to the safer areas, and we really don't see what's happening. The last couple of times I was within the Flint City Limits was when I was diverted to I-475, and similarly to I-675 in Saginaw. I admit that I am a little scared, and pray that the car doesn't break down. But it sounds like all you're hearing down in KY and other states is the worst possible scenario. You have to be careful where you go in any town. I pick and choose the places along I-75 where I will stop for gas, relief breaks, and food, and avoid areas based on crime statistics (I don't stop near Holland Avenue and I-75 near Saginaw for instance), and I hope and pray that is enough, but I think you are overreacting if you avoid the whole state Elistra.

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    1. Let me be clear...I am opposed to martial law in any form. I am opposed to a rank private with an M-16 having the authority of an entire police judicial and penal system. This is fascism, and I prefer anarchy to it.

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  8. Ah yes, Bill Knapp's.

    My girlfriend took me there for my birthday years ago. I think you got your age as a discount off the birthday cake. If I'm not mistaken, it's location in Flint was on Miller rd just west of Ballanger & across from a K-Mart. Isn't there a Cottage Inn Pizza joint there now?

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    1. No, the Cottage Inn is next door; the Bill Knapp's building got torn down in 2008 (?) for a Sonic Drive-In.

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  9. You can get Bill Knapp's bakery products in the grocery store.

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  10. Does anyone know exactly when Knapp's opened on Miller Road?

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