Saturday, October 30, 2021

Requiem for Washington Elementary


Washington Elementary on Flint's East Side. (Photo by Paul Rozycki)

Gary L. Fisher reflects on the late, great Washington Elementary in East Village Magazine:
"She was nearly half a century old by the time I showed up. Creaky wooden windows, stifling forced heat, so thick you could taste it, zero air conditioning, lead paint everywhere, and asbestos-covered pipes. The ancient bathrooms with the old radiators (an especially egregious artifice when some miscreant relieved himself on it), with wooden stall doors, long ago removed, meant zero privacy.
"Really tough kids, and playground brawls. Giant concrete drainage tubes as our clubhouse, and dangerously engineered monkey bars so perilous they kept orthopedic surgeons in business at nearby St. Joe’s Hospital.
"Playground bark chips with razor sharp edges that shredded skin when tackled in to them. A gravel-filled baseball infield where a short hop could turn a bassist into a soprano, or remove a couple of teeth with more efficiency than the best dentist.
"God I loved the place."

Read the rest here.

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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