when I go by the ferguson exit on I70 I will wave in your general direction...
Actually, we're a lot closer to the airport, which is a relief, but not far enough away to have the area completely untouched. They looted and vandalized businesses all the way from the Canfield Drive area to New Hallsferry which is quite a ways down West Florissant, the main "Ground Zero" area.
At one point, out of four entrance directions in to the subdivision where mom lived only one was untouched. I was really getting concerned because the unrest and damage was starting to surround her.
And they have appeared at Malls from North County to South County to West County. You never know when a group of them will block a highway or show up somewhere, so I wear my panic anxiety alert card ALL the time now, in case something happens and I can't handle it. Large crowds really trigger it.
For those not familiar with the area, when crossing the missouri river on I64 from east St louis Indiana and getting on I 70 towards the airport you are leaving an industrial graveyard. After crossing into St Louis and proceeding North towards the airport you will be greeted by an Industrial miasma on the right and wonderful looking mansions on the left that were cut into multifamily apartments years ago, then destroyed by graffiti, gang wars until finally today it looks like a piece of a city in Iraq after the airforce and marine corp went thru it except not as clean. Very heartbreaking to look at. Once thru that area you will see smaller homes, still in the hood as there are bars on every entrance and window but kept up. On the edge of that you see the Ferguson exit. A few miles later you will get to the airport, and west of the airport you fimally get the impression it might be safe to stop to get gas or eat without a reconnaissance in force with heavy weapons in hand. Now I know from prior experiences in many parts of the country that the areas that look bad are safe as long as one is aware, just trying to describe what it looks like during a drive by.
You pretty much nailed the description down. And if you actually were to exit on Airport Road into Ferguson, you would see more desolate areas just like it. All of this unrest caused me to do some research, and I discovered that Kinloch, a ways down from Ferguson, had a similar rioting incident in the 60's:
"An Officer Shot A Black Teen, And St. Louis Rioted — In 1962
As we unpack St. Louis' long, tense history of racial unrest amid continuing protests in Ferguson, Mo., we find striking parallels between the events of years past and those of the past few weeks.
This story about riots in Kinloch, Mo., appeared in The New York Times on Sept. 27, 1962, days after a police officer shot and killed a black teenager.
Amid the flurry of coverage about Michael Brown's death and the reaction in Ferguson, Mo., journalists have been unpacking St. Louis' long, tense history of racial unrest. In some of these stories, the parallels between the events of years past and those of the past few weeks are striking."...
The AP headline "8 Fires Set In Negro Suburb Of St. Louis After Shooting" stood out. Not just because of the story's physical proximity to what we're watching unfold today, but also because of its brevity. It was followed by four short paragraphs about a string of fires and violence in Kinloch, perhaps triggered by the death of a black teen.
(The AP wrote, as if explanation enough, that "The Negro community has been the scene of violence since an elderly policeman killed a young man Sunday.")"
You can read the entire article here: http://www.ideastream.org/news/npr/341417443
What is so sad, is that a lot of Kinloch never recovered from it. There are still areas of desolation to this day. That is what worries me about all of this. Can Ferguson really recover, with everyone fleeing in fear from the area??
And in the St. Louis news coverage, very little mention of the riots and arson in Kinloch in 1962 have even been mentioned. It's almost like they want to pretend it never happened...
(Shaking my head)People just seem to never learn, do they?
Heartbreaking is exactly the right word.
(Edited to fix blockquotes. Sorry.)