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No More Ice-Cream Man
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To whom it may concern:
Forgive me for coming out about one of my home-away-from-homes' so so late. In the military we had this cadence, "Hey Air Force where have you been...I've been to Kuwait fighting for liberty,fighting for freedom...Hey Air Force where have you been,I've been to Gernmany fighting for liberty,fighting for freedom...!" And it goes on and on. And amongst other things I have been serving my country as an Air Force cop.
My last bit was in Kuwait and on September 11th like many of my fellow soldiers I was called back to active duty on 911 to fight the war on terrorism. I titled this ##"No More Ice-Cream Man. A well known radio personality whom I am sure you are well acquainted with Rollye James once told me that the Germantown I knew of my childhood had changed because of so-called "white flight" and I guess gentrification? I'll never know because I left Germantown so so many years ago.
And then one day in 1985 I flew back Germany and visited my Auntie in Pennlyn PA. That's as close to Germantown as I got. But I can still see the Germantown I grew up in. Though my relatives didn't have the best area to live in as a matter of fact many times when I visited I remember a giant landfill. But home is not in having the best or the biggest and nicest of everything. It really boils down to the love of family and the caring.
I am African-American so perhaps thinking back to that early 1970's time period perhaps I could have been on the so-called wrong side of the tracks and perhaps maybe things were better in the white neighborhoods. I don't know that answer either but maybe Rollye James does but I think not. In fact I have to put up with her bloviating even here way down south in South Carolina.
Anyway I remember the ice-cream man. That memory was brought back to me one hot day here a couple of weeks ago. When I heard an ice-cream truck come driving down our street. I couln't believe it because you hardly ever see the ice-cream man today. I fished in my pocket for some change but now it was more like a couple of dollars,the high price of change in a changing society. My mind went back to northwest Philly and to memories of chasing down the ice-cream man to get a an Italian Ice or a chocolate pop. Now those are empty sounds and empty memories. Crack and Gangsters took care of that. Sure good people (black & white and from countries,cities,states and all over)still live in Germantown.
My relatives moved out long ago some may still be in the area. But life got dangerous. Police didn't like to patrol on the other side of the tracks. You couldn't sit on the stoop and think about things without having to worry about getting robbed,hurt or killed. And leave your house or apartment open. Your odds of coming back to empty house or apartment would win you a bank-roll in Las Vegas. I guess I was too busy fighting and helping in other peoples neigborhoods while mine went down.
Rollye your wrong Germantown will come back...if you don't believe me,then you will when you see the next Mayor of Newark NJ Cory Booker win the election.
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btw: 12th Apr 2006 - 18:10 GMT
jack: 12th Apr 2006 - 18:49 GMT
ssgt sheldon, your right on with cory booker he is a good man. i had many clients in newark and am well acquainted with every street there and i know the dangers and bad areas not to go into. it is changing to families again and that will help the area. i'm from italian grandparents and lived in an all white neighborhood in brooklyn and when i see families build up in an area then i know that the area will become better. i did have a friend, black, but we never thought of him as black, he was our friend. imagine, growing up in brooklyn and you have one black friend.
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