Home » Featured »Popular Culture »Real Estate »St. Louis County » Currently Reading:

‘Spanish Lake’ Documentary Overly Simplifies North St. Louis County In/Out Migration

June 27, 2014 Featured, Popular Culture, Real Estate, St. Louis County 45 Comments

Last week I finally saw the documentary ‘Spanish Lake’. Director Phillip Andrew Morton grew up in Spanish Lake, an unincorporated area of northeast St. Louis County. I suggest you see the film, showing at the Tivoli through July 3rd, but do so with a few grain of salt.

First, what the film got right:

  • St. Louis County leadership guided federal low-income housing to the area
  • St. Louis County has many municipalities
  • Nearby Blackjack was incorporated in an attempt to keep out low-income public housing
  • Real estate interests actively engaged in “blockbusting” and “steering”

If you take the film at face value you’ll walk away falsely thinking:

  • All residents from Pruitt-Igoe moved to brand new apartments in Spanish Lake
  • Spanish Lake would be perfect today if not for poor blacks moving in and quickly ruining things

The Spanish Lake area has a very long history, famed explorers Lewis & Clark camped here at the start and end of their trip (1804-1806), residents have lived in the area since. This was a rural farming community for many years, but in the 1920s new housing subdivisions were platted. Northdale, the subdivision where filmmaker Morton first lived, was among the first tract housing planned for Spanish Lake, it was platted in March 1929. The depression and World War II meant the subdivision were nothing more than a drawing on file with St. Louis County. . Northdale was platted for a parcel on the east side of a freight railroad line, Northdale 2 was platted just two weeks later, in March 1929, for the west side of the railroad line.

Before farmers began platting home sites on their property, in the City of St. Louis property owners were busy placing deed restrictions to keep non-whites from buying. One example from 1911 went all the way to the Supreme Court in the 1940s:

On February 16, 1911, thirty out of a total of thirty-nine owners of property fronting both sides of Labadie Avenue between Taylor Avenue and Cora Avenue in the city of St. Louis, signed an agreement, which was subsequently recorded, providing in part:
“. . . the said property is hereby restricted to the use and occupancy for the term of Fifty (50) years from this date, so that it shall be a condition all the time and whether recited and referred to as [sic] not in subsequent conveyances and shall attach to the land as a condition precedent to the sale of the same, that hereafter no part of said property or any
Page 334 U. S. 5
portion thereof shall be, for said term of Fifty-years, occupied by any person not of the Caucasian race, it being intended hereby to restrict the use of said property for said period of time against the occupancy as owners or tenants of any portion of said property for resident or other purpose by people of the Negro or Mongolian Race.”
The entire district described in the agreement included fifty-seven parcels of land. The thirty owners who signed the agreement held title to forty-seven parcels, including the particular parcel involved in this case. At the time the agreement was signed, five of the parcels in the district were owned by Negroes. One of those had been occupied by Negro families since 1882, nearly thirty years before the restrictive agreement was executed. The trial court found that owners of seven out of nine homes on the south side of Labadie Avenue, within the restricted district and “in the immediate vicinity” of the premises in question, had failed to sign the restrictive agreement in 1911. At the time this action was brought, four of the premises were occupied by Negroes, and had been so occupied for periods ranging from twenty-three to sixty-three years. A fifth parcel had been occupied by Negroes until a year before this suit was instituted. (Shelly v. Kraemer, 1948)

The 1948 decision meant the government courts couldn’t be used to enforce private restrictive covenants.  Real estate interests pounced on neighborhoods, playing up fears of whites that they’d better sell while they could. Go back up and reread the quote — black families had lived on that block for years. The big fear was going over a “tipping point” where all white neighborhoods would gain just enough non-whites to make the remaining whites leave; roughly 10%.  This has been the case for more than a century now.

1951
This is the house ‘Spanish Lake’ filmmaker Philip Andrew Morton lived in during the 80s, it was built in 1951

Presumably because of the Great Depression and WWII, the homes in Northdale weren’t built until 1951; each virtually identical 864 square foot slab on grade boxes (no basement). A decade later Northdale 2 homes were built on the lots platted the other side of the tracks. These homes were built in brick, with a full basement, and 3 bedrooms instead of just 2. Those early Northdale homes were the very cheapest new housing available, and with government loans cheaper than renting in the then-overcrowded city.

The now-dated Belle Parke Plaza strip mall was built in 1963 to serve the new residents
The now-dated Belle Parke Plaza strip mall was built in 1963 to serve the new residents
The 336-unit Spanish Gardens Apts/Colonial Meadows condos on Parker Rd were built in 1964, a decade before Morton says the blacks were moved from Pruitt-Igoe.
The 336-unit Spanish Gardens Apts/Colonial Meadows condos on Parker Rd were built in 1964, a decade before Morton says the blacks were moved from Pruitt-Igoe.
The 40-unit Kathleen Apts, shown in the film, were built in 1966
The 40-unit Kathleen Apts, shown in the film, were built in 1966

At the same time as the strip mall and initial apartment buildings were going up so were nicer homes, such as those in the Hidden Lake Subdivision behind the Spanish Gardens Apts and the Belle Parke Plaza strip mall. These houses face a private lake, are 1,500-2,000 sq ft  with 2-car garages.

Meanwhile…

The county had adopted a master plan in 1965 which embraced the 1,700 acres which were later to become the City of Black Jack. That plan designated sixty-seven acres for multiple-family construction. In 1970, 15.2 of those acres were occupied by 321 apartments, 483.1 acres were occupied by single-family dwellings, and the rest of the land was undeveloped. (source)

Apartments were planned before Congress changed the Urban Renewal program into Model Cities (1966).   Many many factors play into people’s decisions about where to live, when to move, etc… Yes, race may be a part of the decision; humans like to self-select to be with like individuals. Economics is another. For years General Motors had a factory in north city (Natural Bridge & Union), the Corvette was assembled there until 1981 when “production shifted from St. Louis, Missouri to Bowling Green, Kentucky” (Wikipedia). The entire plant was closed in 1987, but in 1983 a new plant opened in the St. Charles County town of Wentzville. The movement of blue collar jobs meant blue collar workers would follow.

Why keep living in a 30+ year old 2-bedroom 1-bath house without a basement or garage when you can get a newer & nicer home closer to work?   I’ll have more on the Spanish Lake area in the coming weeks, but I do suggest you get to the Tivoli to see it.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "45 comments" on this Article:

  1. guest says:

    Want the crib notes version? Whites in St. Louis in the 70s and 80s didn’t want to live next to blacks. Big surprise. So they moved to St. Charles County. This has got to be the most tread worn narrative for the STL region ever. We give this movie “4 yawns”.

     
    • backprop says:

      That’s all you got out of it? I lived in Spanish Lake for 25 years and that’s not what I saw at all.

       
  2. John R says:

    I’m totally unqualified to comment on the film, however, I will say that the Spanish Lake community has great access to some fantastic public lands. Every Saint Louis resident should enjoy Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area and Spanish Pond Lake, Fort Belle Fontaine and Sioux Passage County Parks. These are all remarkable resources located either in, or just minutes from, Spanish Lake. Moving forward I hope that these underappreciated jewels can be harnessed in a sustainable way that boosts both environmental stewardship and community economic vitality.

     
    • guest says:

      What do you want to bet the filmmaker had no interest in showing any of the great scenery or amenities in the area? (Guilty: I haven’t seen the picture, so this is just speculation on my part. But Steve, you saw it. Did he take folks on a tour of the scenic areas?)

       
      • backprop says:

        So you didn’t actually watch it and you’re complaining about it?

        Yes, he went to Columbia Bottom, Fort Bellefontaine, some of the farms, the blacksmith shops and “Old” Spanish Lake, and it of course the film opens in Spanish Lake Park.

         
  3. Sean McElligott says:

    White flight just speed up the decline of Spanish lake but the decline would have happen anyway with out the white flight. Cahokia IL in the late 90s the town was already decline due to people moving to Monroe county for newer and bigger houses. Then in the early to mid 2000s the vacate houses on the market were starting to be converted to section 8 then the hold outs started to move out due to white flight.

     
    • guest says:

      If that’s true, then how do you explain how neighborhoods like the Hill in the city have held together?

       
      • The Hill is an anomaly, most of the other ethnic immigrant neighborhoods in the city succumbed to natural migration. On the Hill people razed 2-3 small houses to build new McMansions.

         
        • guest says:

          If that true, how do you explain the Dogtown neighborhood holding together? Shaw? Soulard?

           
          • x laker says:

            Those issues are creeping as I type. The city is……………

             
          • Eric says:

            As a Shaw resident, I don’t know that I would describe Shaw and Soulard, as “held together.” Shaw organized its neighborhood association in 1958, to address the increase in flop houses – formerly single family homes, in which, the original occupants left for cheaper, newer suburban housing. Things in Shaw went from bad to worse, through the 60s and 70s, while the neighborhood gained transplants and banded together in the 70s and 80s. All the while working out various tensions. This continued through present day, helped, in no small part, by the historic tax credit. Shaw of today is a completely different neighborhood, sought out, in part, because it’s a mixed-income, mixed-race community. Soulard’s story is one of almost complete resurrection, which began in the 1970s, with what would later become the Soulard Restoration Group.

             
      • x laker says:

        They,the resident sold to other family members. There’s a strong church influence. I have no proof but I suspect the church floated loans to new residence for down payments.

         
  4. Michael A says:

    I agree with earlier posters: this inevitably leads to kicking a dead horse. Most whites do not want to live in neighborhoods with certain levels of blacks and the cultural differences they bring. I would argue that there is a basic human instinct/desire to associate with folks of similar background, appearance, and strata.

    The argument about housing size or a monlithic auto plant is baloney. If that was the case, middle class whites would have departed much of South County long ago. This applies to several other areas as well.

    We must accept that we cannot change these basic preferences. If property values were higher, crime lower, and schools better in black areas, I’d bet that whites would have no problem living there.

    If we try to change these patterns through artificial means, we will be shooting ourselves in the foot. The middle class whites will simply move further away or out altogether, see Memphis or Detroit…

     
    • You’ve missed the point — there’s no one single reason why whites moved here in numbers or why they left in numbers. As I said, yes was a factor — one of many. Ignoring all the factors other than race is foolish.

       
  5. tonydoss says:

    how about this, Black people were steered to north county a long time ago, the so-called CWE was entirely Black except for the gated areas. During the early and middle 70’s black people started moving to north county and surrounding areas. All of North County was predominatly White, not just SL. As soon as the area became diverse, the White people moved away in droves for whatever reason. The majority of Black people were homeowners, for most, first time home owners. The apartments were no longer profitable, your mortgage payment was the same as renting, so no one was renting. The apartments were able to change over from market-rate to section 8. This is where things started going downhill. Homeowners will take care of their property, at least the area of NC that I lived for 10 years. Once the renters came in that did it. Whole apartment complexes became low income housing, which I am sure was not the intent. You can’t compare the city, it is block by block, not like a subdividsion. If you are a city resident, and you also work in the city, other than the SLPublic School, why would you want to live all the way out in ST Chuck, or West County. Random thoughts Steve.

     
    • In some cases yes. In other cases people’s jobs moved to St. Charles County, or they decided to buy a newer/bigger house there. As they sold it opened up opportunities for blacks moving from north city to buy. Sometimes the move by both whites and blacks was motivated simply by a desire for a different house. There is no one single right answer to this complex issue.

       
      • guest says:

        Steve, it was white flight. Let’s be real. There are small houses all over the St. Louis area, but not white flight everywhere. White flight is a North City/North County thing (and now more and more South City). The question posed by the film is why did Spanish Lake turn black? Was it housing policy or white flight? It was white flight, fueled by block-busting and steering.

         
        • Wrong, white flight was certainly present — still is. But middle class blacks who first bought have also moved. I know people want to say “white flight” and move on but it’s far more complex than that.

           
      • guest says:

        humans are creatures of habit. the size and or location of a home is irrelevant. people left because they were in fear for their property values — whether that be by real estate blockbusting, school violence, or racism. black people were not shown houses in south county or west county. social engineering by st louis county.

         
        • guest says:

          They also didn’t want black males mixing with white females.

           
        • backprop says:

          As the film mentions, there was racial integration going on slowly in the 70s and 80s and it didn’t cause problems. I went to kindergarten and grade school in those decades with black kids and the thought didn’t really cross my mind, nor anybody else’s.
          Yes, people were in fear of their property values, but it wasn’t solely race. It was that their neighborhoods, which had backed up to apartment communities for 20+ years, all of a sudden backed up to poorly managed, section 8 apartment communities with a higher-than-average basked of bad apples. But as I mentioned above, racial integration had been going on long before the Section 8 floodgates opened, and most people didn’t give it a thought.

           
          • x laker says:

            These beliefs about
            blacks just didn’t start in the 60′ or 70’s. Our parents grew up in the
            segregated area of the city. The crimes that we all read about today or see on
            TV our parents read about in morning and night in the two news papers The morning
            Globe and the evening Post. Blacks have been killing or stealing from one
            another for generations. This is in my opinion what drove the white flight
            after the government got involved in gerrymandering neighborhoods with section
            8(War on poverty) Plus most of you haters on facts will not like this, but
            Fathers feared for their daughters being around black males while attending
            public schools after desegregation.

             
          • Yes, whites have never stolen anything ever. All crime is committed by blacks. Please…. Like so many, you’re trained to see blacks as criminals but ignore white crime, see http://youtu.be/MuyMuLGXxTs

             
          • Michael A says:

            People of all colors commit crimes. Some groups commit far more than others. You can post videos and soft evidence all you want, but the hard numerical statistics sugges that there is a pervasive problem plaguing black soceity.

            Change can only come from the inside. When black neighborhodds are as safe and have schools that perform equally, then white flight will effectively end. It is the only solution and it starts with a culture shift within black soceity.

            The murder map below says enough. That has to end before white flight ever subsides.

            Source: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/11/17/us/a-divided-st-louis.html?_r=0

            And I’d also argue that there is nothing wrong with wanting to live around folks who are more similar.

             
          • tamaralig says:

            I’m glad you posted this video, this is one of the reason why a lot of the comments that have been posted above are out of line; it’s perception over truth more than anything. I found a little golden nugget when I was 11 in the library. It was an actual book written in around the 1960s that talked about St. Louis History and the various municipalities and how they came to be I’ve tried my best to remember the title to purchase to keep. It’s accurate for a lot of information that I’ve researched. But one big thing stuck out there to me. West County used to be predominately African American and there was a gate that ran the length of Highway 40 and the City of St. Louis (not the one we know today that starts near 40 and Forest Park but started at what’s now know as Brentwood Rd and 40 was predominately Caucasian. North St. Louis County was still undeveloped for the most part and consisted of farmland and one of the only established communities was Riverview/Bellfontaine Neighbors and was predominately African American with the school district also being created by African Americans.
            I won’t see the film by Director Phillip Andrew Morton because I like stories that tell pictures from all aspects. If you want to say why one race moved to area and others left, find someone of that time frame and ask them directly and make sure you are getting equal numbers of stories to get a more accurate view.
            The real value in properties does lie in St. Louis City, it will just take people to realize that those all brick buildings that are going to waste are being sold and bricks shipped to other states for thousands, and there was always more house for your money in St. Louis City.

            We all as a people need to seriously wake up and stop letting race fuel and fire us up into a frenzy, we all live together now whether we like it or not. Start taking better care of your neighborhoods, teach our kids to respect where they live, support whatever school district your taxes go to and work to build community forces that used to be common in the 1900s.

             
          • x laker says:

            Oh such BULLCHIT! Properties reaches there pinnacle after 30+ years. The cost of maintaining them increases exponentially. The reason areas such as Ladue and Creve Coeur and others maintain their property values is many parcels with older homes are knock down and updated buildings are built +(strong code enforcement) The same is not true for areas where minorities gravitate because of the reduced property values. Florrisant Mo is case in point. They have a strong mayor system of government. When it had a mayor such as Egan he’d sicked the dog of Code enforcement on all people to maintain their property. Now since he died other mayors have not kept up that kind of enforcement. The reason is the migration of minorities into the Florrisant area, believe this, butts up to Spanish Lake which is unincorporated run by the county. The fear of being labeled a racist when comforting these landowners which are minorities, becomes the PERFECT STORM.

             
  6. GarySFBCN says:

    First, I haven’t seen the movie – yet – and I am totally unfamiliar with the area. And maybe what I’ve written below is all well documented and widely-known, so please forgive me if I am being redundant or appear to be a know-it-all.

    Steve’s analysis seems apt but it doesn’t go back far enough. Why were there large concentrations of blacks living in inner-city decay? How is it that so many whites had sudden mobility to move to suburbs and out of the cities? It was the post-WWII GI Bill, that allowed for cheap and easy to get mortgages.

    The GI Bill has been called the biggest middle-class wealth builder in our country’s history. And while many blacks served in the military during WWII, because of the the racial restrictions discussed above, FHA ‘redlining’ of neighborhoods, meaning they would not give mortgages in certain areas, supposedly based upon risk but really based upon race, and other instances of ‘institutional racism’ (such as neighborhood ‘divestment’), blacks were shut-out of this remarkable wealth-building mortgage program that changed this country.

    All of this resulted in pockets of poverty and urban decay, with more than 33,000 homes in St. Louis having communal toilets in 1947.

    It is within the above context that everything else flows. The architects, urban planners, social engineers and housing officials tasked to improve this situation may or may not have had pure motives. But not recognizing that it was institutional racism that caused the problem, history almost guaranteed that this scenario would be repeated.

    Add to the mix that people made a lot of money scaring whites into selling, convincing blacks to buying etc, and surely some of those profiteers were ‘connected’ enough to influence policies and laws, it’s no wonder we find ourselves with many Spanish Lakes around the country.

     
    • x laker says:

      Yes you are correct
      about institutional racism. But you, like many forget
      that Racism of the past (some is still going on) is now front and center with
      Black Racism. They as a group ignore social norms. When there’s
      valid condemnation of them and their culture that they as a group provides
      us in this society, the person will be TAGGED as a
      Black hater (Racist). Our jails are filled with results of their anti
      behavioral problems with most inflected on those whom look like them, but that
      is changing. I could give you links to stats to show what I’m saying. The FBI
      and the Uniform
      Crime Reporting (UCR) are two in which our
      law enforcement agencies uses.

      The next fifty
      years will be interesting. I wonder if the Hispanic’s will be as kind and
      forgiving towards blacks as the whites in this country. My guess is NO!

       
  7. JZ71 says:

    White flight is real, and it’s not limited to Spanish Lake, north county, the city or the region. It’s a nationwide phenomenon and it’s been going on for decades. But I’m going to argue that economics plays just as big a role as race, and “race” is not just black and white, it’s any demographic versus another. If a person or a family has the financial resources to look at a variety of “better” options, they will. If they don’t, or only have limited financial resources, their options will be limited, and usually be limited to “less desirable”, deteriorating areas / neighborhoods / complexes / houses – money talks. Successful people, of any ethnicity, will seek out better neighborhoods, ones with better schools, safer streets and nicer housing – it’s one of the big perks of being successful. Unfortunately, racial discrimination plays a big role (and probably a bigger role than it does in housing) in business success and employment opportunities.

    People also tend to self segregate for a variety of reasons. My immigrant grandparents settled in an ethnic neighborhood in Chicago for many reasons – language barriers, familiar foods, people “like them”, affordable housing. They distrusted blacks, for a variety of reasons – sensational crime reporting, competition for jobs, simple unfamiliarity, different religious traditions and, yes, some outright racism. However, most of these “reasons” were rooted in self preservation, and not in any sort of outright, irrational hatred of another human being – it was more a fear of the unknown than a fear of the known.

    One big difference between how the various European ethnic groups moved from immigrant enclaves to “mainstream” America and the African-American experience is, unfortunately, based in physical appearance. Northern Europeans look different than southern Europeans, but we’ve reached the point where intermarriage between various “white” ethnicities barely raises an eyebrow and all European groups are just “white”; this simply is not the case, yet, with black-white couples. Add in a distinct, and distinctively different, dialect among many members of the African American population here, and you get down to the “melting pot” versus ethnic heritages and traditions. If you choose to be viewed differently, you will be! You can’t have it both ways. And, unfortunately, the current fascination with gangsta style does nothing to help young African Americans be accepted as part of the “mainstream”, whether it’s jobs or housing. Still, coming full circle, we all discriminate, we all discern differences – this is not necessarily bad, it’s what we do with the information that matters . . . .

     
  8. ex norh sider says:

    Did not come away with the conclusions that you suggest. 1) Of course all of Pruitt-Igoe didn’t move to Spanish lake but there was a lot of migration because of it and black migrating from southern states. I grew up Walnut Park neighborhood in north St. Louis which went from all white to almost all black in a few years. This happened a little before Spanish Lake. In fact many whites from Walnut Park moved to Spanish lake an nearby areas. Eventually they moved to St. Charles County. 2) What gave you the impression that Spanish Lake would be perfect if not for these events? I thought the movie gave an even handed presentation of events without trying to lay racial blame. I believe that it was correct in focusing on class as an even bigger problem than race. Then as now the root of the problem is poverty.

     
    • chris87654 says:

      The root of the problem is dishonesty and laziness for all races – is just that some cultures have more of it – education could be thrown in there but it doesn’t matter when the people are lazy thieves. I grew up in Spanish Lake from 1966 to 1977 – parents died there (naturally by 1988) then sister/brother in law bought the house and stayed probably until 1995. Was a shame to watch the area degrade. Big problem was crime at shopping centers aggravated by increased theft by employees/customers and parking lot crime by the increasing local element. I watched River Roads, Northwest Plaza, Jamestown, and Northland shopping centers go to the dogs. Belle Parke lasted longer because it was small and North County cops set up a substation there. We still go there but go armed. First multi family to go down was Spanish Gardens (was a bit white trashy in the day, but got worse when the element changed), Cordova got bad (I saw it go down from new) when same happened (maybe went S-8), and then Sierra Vista also hit the skids (same reason). At some point the condos on Partridge Run (Paddock Forest? or was that the big subdivision that went all the way back) went down (accelerated when resident elements quit paying condo dues) and then Paddock Village went down (Terry Metcalf, Cardinals football lived there for a while – turned off his heat in the winter and froze pipes – indication of a problem was after it melted and icicles were hanging from second floor to his garage). The big Paddock (Woods?) subdivision took a while to go down, but crime from the condo and apartment people drove them out (they stayed long even though the area got dark because people watched out for one another) when robberies, smashed car windows, etc (not many/any shootings back then) drove them out as time went on. Property values didn’t matter so much because their houses were paid for and moving to St. Charles county was cheap. When I was there, we had a few blacks at Hazelwood but everyone was cool (early 70s) – a few years after I graduated things were heating up between the Columbia Bottoms boys (white tough guys) and low-class blacks who moved up from the city – wasn’t long before bathroom stall doors etc was getting ripped up in the new Hazelwood Central High School. So yeah it was race related but mostly because of low-class blacks (not the cool guys who had good parents/families) bringing their inner city trashing into Spanish Lake (actually all of North County). It was a shame, but it’s still a cool area… I go back and visit places once in a while (during the day time) and have no problem. Blacks who work at stores in the area have good attitudes, but too many businesses have been decimated because they couldn’t survive employee/customer theft when overall shopping traffic died down. All those shopping centers dying says a lot – it also takes away jobs for many good black people who want to work… same as how jobs went away when the neanderthals destroyed Ferguson and Dellwood – I expect many of those business owners will retire or move to St. Chas county. Most Ferguson people (aside from too many out of Canfield Green) all get along good – is a solid little community except for a few rabid instigators who mess it up for a LOT of people.

      Old thread but was searching for North County stuff and ran across this.
      Now wondering if Chain of Rocks bridge area will reopen – it was sectioned off with concrete barriers last time I drove by a couple months ago. My niece was friends with those two girls (Julie and Robin Kerry) that were killed by bad element in 1991.

      And haven’t been there for a long time, but Sioux Passage and those backroads are cool areas to cruise. Nieces and friends had a great outing at Spanish Lake last summer aside from a lot of yellow jackets aggravating their picnic. Enjoy life – it’s great but goes too fast once you start rolling…

      I didn’t proofread so please overlook bad grammar, sentence structure, or mispelling … I’m a techician and we don’t do words so good. North County is still beautiful and I hope it goes the way of Soulard (renovated from ashes)… biggest disappointment for me is Jamestown Mall.

       
  9. ME says:

    I remember my parents buying our first house on Larimore Road in Spanish Lake. I was only five years old at the time, but I still remember it, because my parents had a bedroom, my sister had a bedroom, and my brothers and I slept in what was then the garage. Dad expanded the house by adding two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and converted the garage to a dining room. He added a patio of the kitchen. Next he added a “breeze way” and then a two car garage. Unfortunately, the depression of 1959 took its tow on my father’s business and we moved from St. Louis. I still google map the house and see the trees we planted in the front yard and the remains of a circular walk around a small pool dad installed for us kids. I remember many things and see many changes such as the Strickland’s tomato field gone from the back of our house. The baseball diamonds gone from behind Larimore School. St. Aloysius no longer around (I remember when the church was built and dedicated). Even Sun Fish Lake, where we use to fish as kids, was surrounded by “woods” and had lots of dead trees rising from it. We use to ride our bikes to the Columbia Bottoms country club by the Chain of Rocks Bridge to swim. We frequented “Wee Gees” at the corner of Larimore and Trampe. Sodas were a dime and Hostess Cup Cakes were ten cents a pack of two, and who could forget the penny candies (actually two for a penny). I always thought of driving back there, knocking on the door of the “old house” and talking to who lives there.

     
    • chris87654 says:

      If where I’m thinking Wee Gee’s building is still at the Trampe/Larimore triangle (that’s where we used to go the back way to Sunfish Lake). Not sure if you were there when Church’s (or Charlie’s?) Chicken was there, but the building’s still there too. Is kind of trippy how so much hasn’t changed over 40 years other than the size of the trees.

       
  10. angel says:

    I grew up there in the 70’s and 80’s, The film depicts exactly what is going on in Spanish Lake and other communities. Be a white person and go to the gas station or store, you will be treated differently because of skin color when paying with cash. Thanks and have a great day.

     
    • JZ71 says:

      . . . . and you won’t be treated differently when paying with a credit / debit card?! I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make, and cash is the least likely form of payment to be questioned by a retailer – just try writing a check!

       
      • chris87654 says:

        Out where I live now they don’t use checks because the homeboys can’t sign them with sprayed paint.

         
  11. angel says:

    Oh and by the way, everyone who chooses to raise their children with morals and values choose to have their children exposed to the other side of life. Ethic groups choose to have kids and let them run loose on the street. You have to be an active parent in their lives so you know what they are doing. Some parents act just as bad as their kids and these children do not know how to respect and behave and get a job and do the right thing. Culture clash is right when different groups choose to act up. Drive down Bellefontaine and roll the car windows down and just listen. Do you hear the birds chirping??? BIG FAT NO!!!

     
    • tamaralig says:

      WOW….really? I’ve never been into drawing a line due to race and never will start even if it’s what jumps in the front of other people’s minds. But I do have friends and family of all races that make up the US. And let’s just say, discipline is discipline, times have changed. Being an active parent has worked wonders huh, start picking up the newspapers of the world. I think the biggest thing is laying blame on different races and feeling one race is more superior than another. No one is better than the other, the media portrays and reports the biggest stories and guess who tends to draw them, not because of color either it’s because it’s what’s expected.

      I watched different races with their children and discipline often comes to how you were brought up, if you were allowed to be a child and if you were then allowed to be an adult (without a purse string holding you up).

      I know for a fact where I came from as a child and where I am now as an adult, there was discipline and not all this talking and taking it to social media. I forced myself out of the house at 18 and off to college, why? Because I wanted to stand on my own. If I failed I couldn’t blame a race, a town, a society, US doctrines, the President or my neighbor.

      I’m African American and so damned proud of my skin, my neighbors (no matter the color), my home (because I worked for it), my education (because I attended everyday and furthered it with degrees and other licenses)

      FYI Birds chirp everywhere there’s green land.

       
      • x laker says:

        BLAH BLAH,the same old I’m a successful black, story. Lest see have you been telling those whom you sprung from stop killing one another? Have to instructed all those 13 to 30 girls/women to stop producing children until that have a stable life? have you told those whom live in Spanish Lake stop with the trash,cut your grass,paint your home.No My guess your just to successful for all that!

         
  12. NYGiants4246 says:

    Blacks are animals and destroy anything they get their grubby hands on.

     
    • splnoco says:

      Wow, just Wow…I pity you and your small life, that you would make such a comment. REALLY??? That’s how you choose to view an entire race of people? Shame on you!!! Therapy (including Anger Mgt), prayer, and a couple of hard knocks to your hard head are what you need. Jeesh

       
      • NYGiants4246 says:

        Yes really spinner, that’s how i view them. They are savages, sorry my opinion offends you. No anger management, therapy or prayer will change that either. All i need to do is read the news every day to see how these savages act.

         
    • All humans are animals; we’re not plants, rocks, etc.

       
      • NYGiants4246 says:

        I’m sure you’re familiar with rocks as you have one planted in between your ears you liberal puke.

         

Comment on this Article:

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

This message is only visible to admins.

Problem displaying Facebook posts.
Click to show error

Error: Server configuration issue

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe