Thursday, February 23, 2017
Slaughter On The South Side, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, not really a slaughter, darlings--more like a mauling. Imagine my surprise the other night. There I am, lambs, watching the CBS News at 11PM, waiting for that hot weather forecaster, Lonnie Quinn, when I bolted upright in bed, at the mention of the town I was born and raised in--Highland Park, New Jersey! I mean, when this otherwise non-descript suburban burg hits the news, it has to be something important.
It was--and disturbing, at the same time. On Saturday, February 19th, 2017, at 5:30 PM, a 36-year-old woman was walking with her baby, when a Black man, in his twenties, approached her at gunpoint, on the corner of Harper Street and South First Avenue. He grabbed her, dragged her into the basement of the Harper House apartment building, punched her repeatedly, and then raped her. Nice, huh???????????
There is so much of this story that I question. It would have been disturbing, had it happened in my time in HP, way back when, but the sad thing is, it would have been more likely, then. Because there were still those projects along Memorial Parkway, where everyone knew knife fights, rapes and bodily functions took place in the hallways. Then there was that trashy strip along Commercial Avenue, where the worst kind of ghetto scum resided. Had this happened then, it would have made an odd kind of sense. But things have been so cleaned up, since I left the borough, in 1983, that this incident today is even more disturbing.
Now, the South Side was always the lesser part of town, but even within it there were divisions. Coming over the Raritan River bridge, from New Brunswick, spanning South Adelaide to South Fifth Avenue, the South Side there was respectable. The more reputable Black families lived there, in contrast to South Sixth and up, which formed Goat Alley, and where disreputables of all diversities resided. Just think--one block separates a whole social class. But that is the way things were in Highland Park.
The North Side--where I resided, darlings, was always better, and wasn't I made to know it! Separating our street was North Eleventh Avenue, which from there on, going toward Edison, was a kind of Northern Goat Alley. Those who lived on the REAL North Side--Tenth Avenue on down--were considered fortunate, and then, of course, there were the President Streets, where those of privilege, whose perfect lives were mapped out for them--at least, while they remained in Highland Park-- dwelt.
You can bet the perp is most likely not from Highland Park, but either across the Raritan, or in Edison, which has its trashy sections, too. I know I sound like the worst sort of snob, but, darlings, when one grows up in an insulated community such as Highland Park, this is what one learns, outside of school. School was where social discrimination was practiced--by the students, teachers, and administrators.
But don't get me started. This was an unfortunate event that once more blemishes the community I was raised in. If only something positive would appear about it, on the news.
I am telling you, girls, David Lynch got it SO right, with "Blue Velvet!"