Depressing Aerial Photography

At least to me.

Here’s a before and after of the demolition of the old AC Spark Plug plant this year on Dort Highway in Flint. The view is toward the southeast.

I didn’t work there. I worked in the oil filter plant farther east on Davison Road, that isn’t in this picture. But I lived just a few blocks from there for the first decade or so of my life. That road that bisects the plant is Averill, and I lived two blocks north and two blocks east of the intersection of Davison Road and Averill.. If you follow Davison Road a few miles east, you end up in Michael Moore’s home town of the same name. The engineering building, where my uncle worked, can be seen in the top picture, on the corner of Averill and Davison (and the Red Rooster, one of the best restaurants in town, that I only ate at once, was across Averill). My father worked in the HQ building on Dort Highway (which was also called Dixie Highway — it came down from Bay City and Saginaw, and continued south to Detroit, and thence all the way to Florida), in personnel.

Anyway, it’s all history now. It’s hard to imagine the town without that facility — it was there all my life until now.

7 thoughts on “Depressing Aerial Photography”

  1. Mr. Simberg,

    I understand your sadness, and I wish I could offer words of comfort.

    I have long wondered… was Detroit (and associated automobile industry locations) the first of the 20th century “company towns”, in the sense of the old timber and mining towns?

    That is, once the timber was cut, or the mine played out, the people moved on, and the town faded away.

  2. I know what its like to see parts of you’re past lost. The only words of comfort I can think of, is think of the anguish this could cause Michael Moore. Visualize his wailing apoplexy and feelings of pain of the ego from being ignored.

    Does knowledge of his pain help you deal with yours?


    Time is the fire that burns us — and what we build.

  3. Well, I figured, how many people can there be who were engaged in the business of designing oil filters, who then wound up in aerospace?

    Far fewer than the number of recent MIT graduates, I would wager. But when people find out I have a few degrees from MIT, they often ask, “Did you know…” or “Gee, my wife’s uncle graduated from MIT in 1949. Have you heard of him?”


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