Monday, August 22, 2016


Flint is a river town settled by fur traders and lumbermen, incorporated in 1855 to accommodate the needs of the carriage manufacturing trade, ballooning apace to match a burgeoning automobile industry.   Industry and citizenry, like white settlers and the Ojibwa before them, drew Flint River water until 1967 when the city connected to the Detroit water system.  I cross the river several times a day delivering water to homes in different neighborhoods.  In some places it flows stunned through a barren industrial trough.  Little houses on shaggy oxbows, boats in yards herald slower, cooler sections, shady and inviting on hot afternoons.  The river rolls on in all its agony, doomed to parade past what’s left of this city, running a shameful gauntlet to Saginaw Bay.  

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