Smlwoman\’s Weblog

“Waiting for that golden moment when fear and desire die, and only the unspeakable reality of love remains. “

House Made of Steel November 10, 2007

Filed under: Children — smlwoman @ 12:31 am


I was standing in the line at Walmart in the inner-city of Milwaukee one day.  A girl, maybe about 12 or 13, and her friend were standing with a baby in the cart and a few groceries.  The baby, maybe seven to ten months, picked up a juice bottle in the cart.  The girl said, “put that down, that ain’t yours.  Did I say you could touch that?” And grabbed it from him harshley.  I was waiting for the mom in front of them to say something.  Then I realised the mom wasn’t with them.  The baby was the young girl’s.  A child rasing a child. 

Then her and her friend started talking about their hopes and dreams. 

“If I had a enough money, I would by a house and make it out of steel.”

Her friend wrinkeled her nose,”Steel?  You can’t hang anything on steel?  That would be ugly.”

“It might be ugly, but no bullets could get through it.”

A child, rasing a child, in a war zone.  Definately put things in perspective.  The excerpt below is from this web page I found.  The link will be at the bottom. 

“Milwaukee Fights Wave of Violence” blared the front page. My heart sank as I recalled the other recent national news stories about Milwaukee.  The LA Times wrote an article that called Milwaukee the most segregated city in the nation.  A Time magazine article read, “It’s as if Milwaukee had reverted to a state of lethal chaos… A Special Olympian is killed for his wallet ….an 11 year old girl is gang raped by as many as 19 men. …a woman is strangled; her body found burned … twenty eight people are shot, four fatally over a holiday weekend.”  According to recent reports Milwaukee ranks as the seventh poorest city in the nation and has over 41% of our children living below the poverty level.  Milwaukee also leads the nation is teen pregnancy.  The list seems to go on and on.  Click here to read more.  It has a positive spin, but it will give you an idea of what it was like where I lived. 


3 Responses to “House Made of Steel”

  1. kenny Says:

    wow…thanks for this report. very very troubling.

  2. Hmm, what happened to Milwaukee? When was it prosperous and why? It seemed nicer then Mpls when I was there several years back.

  3. smlwoman Says:

    Aparently it was the freeway that brought Milwaukee down. All who could afford to moved away once it was built and that left only those who could not afford to move there. I personally loved the area. Take out the crime and I wish all of America was like this. It seems to be a page out of the fifties. In the summer, kids are outside all day long. Double Dutch, and kid made games, and riding bikes are the norm. And much like in the movies, if a fire hydrant breaks, the whole neighborhood shows up to play in the water! Block parties are popular too. And the adults are outside a lot sitting on the front porch and having conversations with other neighbors. A house there will sell for 89 grand. But the same type of house ten miles away will sell for 2hundred grand or more. When I lived in the suburbs, it was rare to see kids outside, maybe in a park, but I lived across the street from the park and it was quite often empty. I met more neighbors in the hood in the two years I lived there, then I did in the suburbs of Waukesha in the three years I lived there.

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