By LAURA SANCHEZ, Staff Writer
Detroit is always a difficult subject to talk about because there are so many different mindsets surrounding it. There are the believers and the doubtful, the rationalists and the skeptics, the matter-of-fact and the ignorant. However, I think that all of these mindsets should consider Detroit’s roots in order to fully comprehend its current state.
My composition class went back to Detroit’s roots last Saturday, braving cold winds and low temperatures to take a tour of the Piquette plant in Detroit, the birthplace of the Model T, and its surrounding areas. We embarked on the tour knowing a few things: it was going to be cold, we were going to walk a lot, and we were going to hear a lot of facts. Amongst the facts of Detroit’s automotive history, the quiet roaming of streets, and the old buildings that represent Detroit’s past splendor, I got so much more out of I than I expected.
Listening to our tour guide’s historical anecdotes about how the ideas and notions of so many people helped revolutionize and industrialize this city into a boomtown, helped me realize that history can repeat itself. It can repeat itself in the way of how intelligent, hard-working people can currently establish Detroit as a prime city to live in, by building,inspiring, and enabling it to prosper. This city cannot die, because how can it?
There’s an old spirit within this city that is still living. It lives through volunteer projects that refurbish old buildings to recreate history. It lives through the histories of Detroit that are being retold by older generations. It lives through Detroiters who are trying to bring the oldsplendor back, through entrepreneurial and commercial endeavors. It lives through people who still have faith in this city, who want to transmit it to everyone who wants to know it.
This spirit is what makes Detroit currently breathe. It might not be the same breath that made the city grow in the earlier part of the last century, but it’s a breath that is becoming more constant as more and more people realize that Detroit isn’t dead.
Despite living in Detroit, I had no idea that these types of tours existed. But they do, and they’re trying to bring back memories and histories of Detroit in order to emphasize its past glory days. In a way, they’re also trying to emphasize its future glory days. I’m not an expert on this city, despite living in it and loving it, but I now realize how important it is to embark on these types of activities in order to actually comprehend this city’s spirit that cannot die. There’s so much history to be uncovered here, and if we actually want to progress and create a new prosperous era for Detroit, it’s best to go back and realize why there were glory days in the first place. Maybe we can learn something from doing so.