Two immigrants came together after fleeing from Europe in a time of war. One was settled near Indian Village on the other side of Van Dyke Street in a house with a cement porch. She came from Germany with her little brother and parents. Her name was Anna and one night she went dancing at a dance club where Woodward met John R. That’s where she met Mario, an Italian veteran who survived against all odds to come to America and work. Anna and Mario are my grandparents.
I live two blocks from where my grandmother grew up. Our first challenge in this fellowship centered around the area where she walked to church every week. And now where John R meets Woodward there are shops and a new rail line, I passed that corner countless times since I have moved to Detroit never realizing the significance.
The feeling of people growing up and living in one place their entire lives is alien to me. Growing up, I moved around a lot, so the significance in everyday places do not jump out at me. However, Detroit is so special to the people who lived in the city for their entire lives. The connections that were made in the city extend far outside those of my own family, and it is not surprising that so many people call the city home.