The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life     
. . . still learning how to think    

Sunday, January 25, 2009


THE OLD AMERICA: This is what America looked like maybe 50 or 60 years ago; this is where America once worked. But now the factories and watertanks and smokestacks are getting quite rare; mostly just reminants from the a different industrial era. Here are some views of what's left of the old industrial zone in Dundee (Passaic) NJ, along the Passaic River. This is where my grandparents worked after they came over from Poland around 1912. This is what America looked like to them. Not exactly breathtaking, but compared to war and agrarian poverty in Russian or Austrian-controlled Poland, it probably looked just fine. And it probably looks pretty good to the Mexicans and Dominicans who hold down what few jobs are left here.

There are a lot of places in the U.S. like the pictures you have here. Lots of places in Gary, Indiana, (steel mills) and Chicago (more steel mills)--vast areas of acreage and buildings that simply are desolate now. Nothing going on in any of them.

Real evidence of the way things used to be.

But you are also right that American certainly looks so much better to the present day immigrants who hold down jobs here.

As evidence of that I live in a town where a lot of Mexican people have settled. I have learned not to go to the Post Office on the early days of the month. It is packed with lines out the door--mostly Mexican people sending money back home. I admire those people a lot. They work very hard and then send the fruit of their hard work back to their families in other countries.

And when I think of my young years, I realize I lived in a German ghetto at the time where German was still spoken by a lot of people. Who knew? I certainly had to grow to an adult, get a perspective on my childhood to realize just what the situation was.

America still is what is has always been--a place for people from other countries to come and make their lives better for themselves and their children.

But then, of course, one has to think of the Native Americans who did not fare well at all under the people who came here; nor did the Black people for a very long time. Hopefully, they are doing better of late.

And time marches on....
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