Story of a City Dweller

On my way to the post office downtown, I saw a little kid run away from his mother. No big deal, he was just excited about something the way kids are and wanted to get away from his mom.

She snatched him by the hand and scolded him, “We’re in the City, they’ll kidnap you here.”

Now, I don’t know if she was saying this to scare her child into being good, if she really believed what she said, or a little of both, but it seems the idea that the City is a bad place is being handed down to a new generation.

One of the things I love doing is showing my 6 year old nephew around the city. He lives in O’Fallon, but when he comes to stay with us I love seeing his eyes when he says, “Look at the big buildings!” I feel like I’m giving him a different experience, some memories made of brick, maybe ones that he’ll remember when he gets older.

4 Comments » | Posted In The City
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4 Responses to “Overheard”

  1. Herbie Says:

    This happens surprisingly often. My wife and I got off a MetroLink train on the way to the ballpark. Some kid started walking across the street ahead of us and his dad immediately reeled him in and said “What are you doing?! Do you want to get kidnapped?!”

    My family has made many other disparaging kind of comments. It’s taken many years of myself living in the city to help them shed just some of their preconceptions.

  2. Kitty Says:

    Oh, I have a similar MetroLink story! I think I was taking the north line home from Lambert, and there were some older/middle-aged women who I think were visiting from out of town on the train. A group of a few young, unaccompanied kids ran on the train and were rowdy like kids are, didn’t hurt anybody, but obviously hadn’t paid. So Metro security checked for passes, gave them a good scolding and sent them on their way off the train. The visitors were like, “Well, that was scary, wasn’t it?!” The kids were black, and I can’t help but wonder if the visitors would’ve reacted differently if the kids were white, more like, “haha, boys will be boys!” I would hope not, but frankly, the incident was not exactly “scary.”

  3. samizdat Says:

    Sigh. Ignorance is a sad thing.

  4. Gary Says:

    It seems like there’s been a rampant kidnapping problem in the city of St. Louis for decades now. In fact, I’ve heard that nearly 20,000 school-aged children disappeared from the city between 2000 and 2010. I wonder when this underground string of child abductions will finally surface and get some proper news coverage.

    I somehow managed to make it through my childhood years in the city without ever being kidnapped, but then again, I suppose I am among the lucky ones.

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