My home town is not the most sparkling of towns. It's rather dilapidated, poverty stricken, and exhausted to put it kindly. It was once a beautiful, effervescent diamond in the heart of Ohio (often it's nickname), and I've seen images of it in the early first parts of the 20th century looking radiant. It seems sometimes it's not even my town. The old diner on the corner still looks the same from the 1925 photo, but around it time has worn down and weathered this incredible city where its people once thrived. Part of the reason is because we are located in the rust belt where this part of Ohio was the great industrialized machinery producing items for the nation's population. Industry thrived and hopeful people set out for this town in droves to work in the beating heart of the nation's production facilities. Automotives, appliances, metals, and more were produced in such quantities I don't even think most of us could comprehend the efficiency.
However, times change and in the 50's we started into our decline as a city trapped in the rust belt. Industries that were once so greatly in demand declined and labor force moved to the south where the labor was willing to work for less. This left towns like mine desolate and desperate, declinging even into the 2000's and resting at a haunting standstill of desperation today.
I used to resent my town greatly growing up because I don't think I understood it. All I saw was the brokenness of this place and how it ensnared me in its grasp. Like all broken things, there is a reason for the brokeness, and once you understand it, you may see the beauty underneath. I enjoy coming back to my home lately because as I've grown older, the once depressing scenes of a fragmented, eccentric city bring me comfort like my favorite vintage dress does. It has lived, it has been loved, and it has a story. Every story deserves to be heard and it helps reveal to us perhaps even things didn't know about ourselves. x
With much love, Lauren.