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I live in Dayton, Ohio.  Dayton was a bright spot of industrial America, a sort of early twentieth century Silicon Valley.  In 1884, the National Cash Register Company (NCR) was founded here.  They made most of the world's cash registers, right here in Dayton, until well into the 1970s.  NCR announced today that they are leaving Dayton and consolidating their operations in Atlanta, Georgia.  Dayton Engineering Laboratories was founded here.  They developed the electric starter motor for automobiles and became the DELCO division of General Motors.  The last General Motors plant in Dayton closed last December.  In 1903, the Wright Brothers built the first airplane here in their bicycle shop.  The site of their shop is now one of many vacant lots in a decaying neighborhood.

There are not many jobs here now.  Let me show you around...

Now, I don't have a 9 to 5 job.  I left my job at NCR two years ago to start my own business.  Things are going okay, but there has been slowing due to the economy.  Others around me aren't doing to good.  My brother is unemployed.  He drove a truck for a company that hauled construction materials.  One of my oldest friends has been laid off from the GM plant I mentioned earlier.  He still hasn't found work.  My mother lost her job with a mortgage company after the housing bubble popped.  In a strange twist, they rehired her.  Now she processes foreclosures for the same company.  My girlfriend is in danger of losing her job.  Many of her friends are former coworkers that were recently let go when her company outsourced much of their work.  My Dad still works for NCR.  His fate is uncertain with the company's plans to move to Atlanta.  He has two years until retirement.  The jobs are gone.  Some were lost due to outsourcing to cheaper labor sources overseas.  Some are functionally obsolete, as they made products no longer used, like mechanical cash registers.  Little has come into Dayton to replace them.

Now, I don't know what the solution is.  I live in a city full of factory workers with no factories.  There's been various proposals, works projects, green technology, job training, and that's all good.  I'm not here to say one remedy will work better than another, I just want to show you all what the typical midwestern city looks like, to remind you why it's called the rust belt.  Remember, this is a real town, my town.  People live here.  And many of them are running out of options.

Let's start the tour with NCR.  This vacant land is the former site of the National Cash Register Company's main factory.  Most of the world's cash registers were made here until the 1970s, when the factory complex was closed down and demolished.  Many thousands of people were employed here.  The land cannot be redeveloped because it is soaked with machine oil and heavy metals.  The NCR world headquarters building, soon to be vacant, is to the southwest, near Old River Park.

The recently closed GM plant is here..  It closed in December.  It was still open when these pictures were taken.  The vacant land and most of the parking lots around it on either side of the railroad tracks used to be additional factory buildings.  The debris strewn concrete area to the left of the tracks is the most recent demolition, a plant that made automobile radiators.  In the picture, the white line with lines coming out of it to the left are the roof beams and support columns of the remaining strip of what was a very large building, the last bit of it along the tracks still standing in the photo.  Now there is nothing on this lot.

This building on First Street was the first Delco plant.  Here's a ground view of this massive building.  The first electric starters for automobiles were manufactured here.  The first car to have an electric starter was GM's LaSalle.  Every other car at the time was started by a crank which protruded out the front, below the radiator.  Later the building was used by General Motor's Frigidaire Division to build refrigerators.  Currently, it is the home to Mendelson's Liquidation Outlet, a curious indoor junkyard that has been selling off Dayton's surplus industrial infrastructure, at rock bottom prices, for more than half a century.  At one time, you could buy assembly line robots, nuts and bolts, pneumatic tools, forklifts, you name it.  As the manufacturing base has dried up, Mendelson's inventory of industrial items has shrunken and they are now a leading seller of used store fixtures and restaurant equipment, as retail is following the manufacturing jobs out of the area.  The ballfield across the street in the Google Maps view was built on the site of more Delco/GM buildings.  Up the street a couple blocks is this, more vacant GM buildings, currently being demolished.  There were easily a couple of dozen GM plants operating in Dayton and the surrounding communities at one time.  Now there are none.

These long concrete slabs were the platforms of Dayton's train station.  The parking lots to the north were where the station building itself stood.  The last scheduled passenger train stopped in Dayton in 1979.  It was an Amtrak train.  The track it left town on now abruptly ends in a field near the suburb of Trotwood.  It used to continue to Chicago by way of Fort Wayne, IN.

This is the Dayton Arcade.  The Dayton Arcade is a beautiful and elegant Victorian-Era shopping complex in the center of downtown Dayton and one of my favorite buildings of all time.  It features a large, impressive domed-glass skylight which is visible in the satellite photo.  Interior photos can be viewed here.  It is currently vacant, for sale, and closed to the public.

At 1127 West Third Street, there is a vacant lot, where once existed the Wright Brothers cycle shop.  The first airplane was built here.  Currently this vacant lot is surrounded by decaying neighborhood.  The building itself has been disassembled and relocated to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, proving that it wasn't just jobs that the auto industry took from Dayton.  Currently, the lot and surrounding properties are being incorporated into a collection of historical sites managed by the National Park Service.  However, I'm not sure how many tourists will come to see a vacant lot.

Hundreds of houses were demolished to build this highway.  Neighborhoods were cut in half and neighbors were sepearated and displaced.  I was in Canada recently and was amazed at how all the major highways went around the urban centers instead of through them.  That seems like a much better system.  Virtually no one was displaced when Canada built their highways, and to add lanes, only cheap farmland needs to be purchased.  In Dayton, US 35 divides north from south, and I-75 divides east from west.

And there it is, Dayton, Ohio, a typical rust belt post-industrial city.  When manufacturing left, nothing filled the void.  And here we are.

What now?

EDIT:  It appears I made the rec list!  Cool, thanks!  As a bonus, I found this great photo of the NCR factory complex as it appeared in its heyday:

ncr factory

Originally posted to k4pacific on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:28 PM PDT.

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  •  Tips for Dayton!! (308+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skybluewater, MoDem, Joe Bob, chrississippi, northsylvania, LeislerNYC, AggieDemocrat, Cowalker, Mogolori, Chi, Ray Radlein, ryeland, Phoenix Woman, Buckeye BattleCry, skyesNYC, ogre, mkinny, AlanF, folgers, Geenius at Wrok, Gooserock, Louisville Liberal Lion, ScientistMom in NY, BigOkie, mattman, janinsanfran, scrutinizer, simaramis, OLinda, gaff98, GayHillbilly, eeff, frsbdg, ZAPatty, RFK Lives, Matilda, bethcf4p, Creosote, dc 20005, bronte17, TracieLynn, justme, djMikulec, CalNM, Minerva, buckeyekarl, carolina stargazer, edderh, ChgoBrad, denig, itsmitch, ClickerMel, thingamabob, fumie, wonmug, hopeful, wader, Quege, DustyMathom, emmasnacker, oldjohnbrown, pat bunny, QuestionableSanity, exiledfromTN, cosette, Hawksana, NYFM, Oy the Billybumbler, raster44, papercut, BlogDog, alizard, dkmich, AlwaysDemocrat, sawgrass727, Big Tex, luvmovies2000, rapala, tergenev, bloomer 101, radarlady, 3goldens, escapee, Tinfoil Hat, Doolittle Sothere, NoMoreLies, lilypew, rimstalker, yuriwho, ek hornbeck, PBen, wpchas, Omir the Storyteller, panicbean, frandor55, Simplify, truong son traveler, eightlivesleft, beans, teresab, devadatta, eru, Jules Beaujolais, buckeyedem08, sallyfallschurch, Mr X, where4art, ladybug53, Kayakbiker, peteri2, blue jersey mom, bmaples, Yamara, exmearden, techno, The Raven, kitchen table activist, alisonc, sodalis, playtonjr, Detroit Mark, JanL, Ekaterin, Brubs, begone, SSMir, Mother Mags, trashablanca, dsteele2, Pinko Elephant, tung sol, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, Kimball Cross, Ellicatt, Loonesta, Magnifico, Albatross, anastasia p, EthrDemon, Silent Lurker, NBBooks, tecampbell, MJ via Chicago, mr Z, Lashe, bubbanomics, Crashing Vor, Derfel, NearlyNormal, bleeding heart, Preston S, totallynext, Turbonerd, JugOPunch, zhimbo, va dare, FuddGate, kurt, CharlieHipHop, Friend of the court, SeekCa, ms badger, Nulwee, Aaa T Tudeattack, empresskara, DBunn, tonyfv, pgm 01, dov12348, YoyogiBear, Habitat Vic, Russ Jarmusch, Loudoun County Dem, drmah, ColoTim, 0wn, edsbrooklyn, rgjdmls, jeanette0605, biggus, ezdidit, DWG, jayden, ca democrat, jgtidd, vbdietz, jhop7, uciguy30, electric meatball, Prof Haley, vet, rmonroe, Red no more, jgilhousen, coachster, mconvente, Scioto, NotGeorgeWill, rontun, MikePhoenix, NewDealer, irativesfo, lineatus, alasmoses, LucyMO, Lujane, tamasher, mofembot, temptxan, Gilmore, kempsternyc, dont think, Acugal, dmhlt 66, Simply Agrestic, wishbone, shortgirl, ACD, SciMathGuy, MsMadrigal, Bule Betawi, DontTaseMeBro, rbutters, Calouste, Pariah Dog, not a cent, jaf49, DemocraticOz, Stranded Wind, Ohiodem1, velvet blasphemy, a girl in MI, BlueInRedCincy, Mercuriousss, MKSinSA, johngoes, MooseHB, obscuresportsquarterly, allep10, kevinpdx, Into The Stars, XNeeOhCon, audiored, Lacy LaPlante, DaNang65, JulieUnplugged, 4cebwu, ravenlore, Adept2u, dtruth, BigVegan, Norbrook, sulthernao, Hellenic Pagan, henlesloop, oceanrain, foufou, KroneckerD, veracityus, LaughingPlanet, imamish, Rustbelt Dem, Interceptor7, Big Danny, chrome327, LeanneB, President Obama, sullivanst, pixxer, cee4, Betty Pinson, MsGrin, Nada Lemming, MikeMaloney, CA Berkeley WV, Hawaiian, Pakalolo, kerflooey, MidwestTreeHugger, SkylarkingTomFoolery, deerang, Powell, slowbutsure, sowsearsoup, kirbybruno, Darkeus, Amayi, THirt, Coilette, Chris Hawthorne, page394, AmbroseBurnside, semctydem, burana, ProudDemPropMgr, Muskegon Critic, darkrogue, Vtdblue, AgnesBee, COkdub, pensivelady, Conure, wide eyed lib, kuutnustroolboot, Buddhist Brother, Book of Hearts, RLMiller

    Mojo or suggestions.  Save my city!

    Poor people look for work. Middle class people find a job. Rich people seek employment.

    by k4pacific on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:28:41 PM PDT

    •  Played Some Irish Accordion There One St. (37+ / 0-)

      Pat's day around the time of the parade. Parts of downtown were very ghost townish.

      You see much of that in parts of the auto industry north, like this scene midway between Detroit and Cleveland on the lake. Such a deal:
      Image Hosted by

      Youtube is down for maintenance but there's a rendition of the Ewan MacColl environment song "Dirty Old Town" done as a tribute to Warren, Ohio, once a steel town back in the days when Cleveland was the world's leading iron ore port and home to Standard Oil, and Akron the rubber capital of the world.

      Old passenger rail lines are all around me here in N ohio and so are stretches of the Erie Canal which made us an international port region a generation before the Civil War.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:50:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Damn ... (10+ / 0-)

      This reminds me of my native Buffalo, a town I left -- as did most everyone who could.

    •  Welcome to OUR world, southern brother (15+ / 0-)

      We've been living this catastrophe up here in Northeast Ohio for decades. When I first moved here to Cleveland from Chicago in the early 70s, it was already fraying but there were still lots of manufacturing jobs. I worked with a band from Youngsotnw and spent a lot of time around Mahoning County, had a lot of friends my age there. I was in college; they were all fresh out of high shool, working at GE Electric or Lordstown or a steel plant. They had fabulous jobs with high wages, lots of vacation, comprehensive health-care benefits, retirement packages. I had no of that, not even after I got two college degrees. But they were the last generation. Most of them retired in their 50s comfortably, with a vacation home in North Carolina (where everyone in Ohio goes to vacation). Their kids have left town. Youngstown is trying to put a happy face on it with their "smaller cities" plan, turning entire deserted swaths of neighborhoods into parks. Warren, where my former band friends mostly lived, is nightmarish. In 1973-74, it was a solid, middle-class town. Now it has no economy whatsoever. It's mile after mile of deeserted shopping strips, cracked pavement, houses that are falling down.

      I will sat that, unlike Dayton and the Montgomery County area, we don't elect idiots to congress. Could you help us do something about that?  Who's your congressman right now?

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:11:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Trade war (12+ / 0-)

        The thing I don't understand is why Americans don't realize that we are at war . . trade war . . .and China is kicking our asses. Our industrial heartland is as devastated as the cities of Central Europe were at the end of WW2. And yet we all still act like trying to protect our economy, as a national resource, is going to make the situation worse. Yes, I understand that free trade, in theory, helps the living standard of the whole world. But the whole world has been feeding off of the wealth of the United States for 40 years now. And their protectionism has never lowered. Sure, a lot of the foreign resistance to U.S. goods have been cultural rather than legal, but how is that any less devastating for Dayton? (or Cleveland, or Detroit).

        Now, I know that much of the fault lies in ourselves that we are now underlings, particularly our idiotic industrial and financial management class, but it serves no purpose, in my mind, to go into this trade war with our blinders on, thinking that world trade is somehow free and open to us. We are at economic war with the rest of the world, and they are drinking our milkshake. It doesn't matter that we want to be the shining city on the hill, a noble beacon to the theory of open markets and free trade. In 400BC, Athens was a shining city on a hill. That didn't protect them from the Persians, and the Turks, and the Romans.

        We need to start protecting our intellectual property. And we need to start insisting that those graduate students who study here from everywhere in the world stay here and give back to the culture that hosted them, at least for a while.

        I grew up in a small town, right in the triangle between three of the fastest shrinking cities in the country: Cleveland, Youngstown and Canton, and it tears my heart out to see the suffering of so many good, hard-working Americans . . .because they can't survive on the pittance that the Chicago school managers are willing to pay a Chinese worker. I cannot express how angry this makes me. The betrayal of our managers and CEOs is like a dagger in the back, that they've been twisting in deeper and deeper, for 40 years.

        -- I share no man's opinions; I have my own. -Ivan Turgenev -6.75 -3.79

        by tergenev on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:19:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The trade war wouldn't exist... (8+ / 0-)

          ...if American CEOs didn't decide in the 1990s to screw both Chinese and Americans in one stroke while getting obscenely rich by doing it.

          Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

          by Phoenix Woman on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:23:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely (6+ / 0-)

            Regulation of corporations MUST be reinstated. And some criminal prosecutions of corporate malfeasance. This concept of the corporation as 'a person' MUST be beaten back with a large stick. Corporations should not have the rights of an individual. They should have the rights given to them as corporations, which should be more limited than those for real people.

            Limits on incorporation outside of the country. Taxation on profits made in the country even if it is incorporated outside of the country, like in, say, the Bahamas. Higher (and real) limits on foreign ownership of our manufacturing and technology companies. Salary and bonus limits on CEOs, so they don't forget what it's like to worry about money. Tariffs don't work, but we need to become professional players in the World Trade litigation system, not the amateurs we've been over the last few decades, and the U.S. Trade representative needs to be isolated somehow from the machinations of our own wealthy business class, who continually manipulate the system so it benefits themselves while hurting our national economy. The Chinese (and almost everyone else) have been dumping goods into the North American economy for years at or below cost in order to kill off the domestic industries.

            This is a rant, and I'm sure that one or more of the above remedies must be tempered to work in reality, but they the kinds of actions that will be needed in order to save or protect the livelihoods of millions of our middle class citizens.

            -- I share no man's opinions; I have my own. -Ivan Turgenev -6.75 -3.79

            by tergenev on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:33:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re: Tarriffs (0+ / 0-)

              Has anyone every tried implementing tariffs based on specific differences in labor/safety/environmental standards in the exporting country?

              (As in: You don't require plant inspections?  That costs X per piece.  Don't test your products for contaminants?  That costs Y more.)

              There is no goal in the "War on Drugs" that couldn't be more effectively met by legalization & regulation.

              by EthrDemon on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 01:48:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for pointing out... (8+ / 0-)

            ... that Chinese workers are getting screwed too.  I toured those factories as a prospective "business partner" and it was weird to see all the 14-year-old girls looking so defeated.  The guide bragged, "They work so hard, and they never complain!"  Yeah, I'll bet.

            Cheap crap at MalWart is ripping off wealth from Chinese workers and handing it to the Walton family.  Let's say it costs $1 to make a pair of sunglasses in China, due to low wages.  The factory sells it to the distributor for $2 a pair.  The distributor sells it to MalWart for $4 a pair, and MalWart sells it to you for $8 a pair.  Total value of goods:  $8.  Amount of that that goes to the workers who produce the goods, maybe 50 cents (because much of the $1 cost of manufacture is cost of materials).

            Workers of the world unite, indeed.  

            The above example is over-simplified because the distributor employs people, as does MalWart, but the Walton family is taking the lion's share and adding the least value.  That's the problem in a nutshell.  

            Turn off the computer and go KICK SOME ASS!

            by CharlieHipHop on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:52:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  On a related note (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              You've reminded me of a idea I had to spray paint "Cheap Chinese imports take jobs from Mexico too!" in Spanish on the front of a Wal-Mart in the Mexican part of town.  Not that it would do a lot of good (or that I would ever suggest vandalizing a poor, innocent Wal-Mart...)

              There is no goal in the "War on Drugs" that couldn't be more effectively met by legalization & regulation.

              by EthrDemon on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 01:53:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  With the complicity of folks like Rob Portman (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cosette, JanL, EthrDemon, happymisanthropy

            And the idiot in front of me who stood up at the John McCain townhall meeting here in Cleveland last May to make a statement about how this was a "protectionist" backwater and that people were afraid of embracing the benefits and wealth that unfettered free trade would bring to the area. I wanted to grab his Wall Street Journal out of his hand and smack him with it.

            BTW diarist, how many "Rob Portman — He Sent Your Job to China" bumper stickers do you think you could distribute in the Dayton area? I'm talking to someone up here about manufacturing them and I want to get them distributed across the state so that we can pre-define Portman before people really even know who he is.

            Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

            by anastasia p on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:53:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Please, somebody tell me again (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          EthrDemon, Calamity Jean

          why globalization is a GOOD thing?

          I really don't see much of anything good for anybody except robber baron CEOs.

          We USED to have decent jobs - now it's harder and harder to find a job that pays a living wage. We USED to make things that the rest of the world wanted to buy - but now we make hardly anything, and without that industrial base, there's less research, less training, etc.

          The root of EVERYTHING that's gone wrong lately is one very simple and understandable fact - without jobs, without consumers with money to spend, WE HAVE NO ECONOMY.

          Everything else, EVERYTHING else, keys off that one inescapable fact. Without a large and vibrant workforce, we have no TAX revenues either, because the rich can, and do, leave if they're taxed too much. The poor and middle class don't really have that option, but as Mexico has shown, they'll certainly try.

          The ONLY way you get a large middle class is to make it not worthwhile to be too rich. And if you put enough tariffs and taxes in place to make it worthwhile to manufacture things HERE, rather than someplace else, you keep an industrial base that is functioning and competitive.

          Otherwise, you slide into chaos and mass unemployment...

      •  Ohio in the 70's (9+ / 0-)

        I came here to work as a sales account manager for a railroad back then. Most of my territory was the small towns and cities in the northern half of the state. Nearly every one had a manufacturing plant of some kind making everything from auto parts to appliances, garden hoses, steel, bulldozers, electronics, soup, vitreous china (terlits, tubs and sinks, children's toys, glassware, china, manhole covers, furniture - you name it.  It was all served by an integrated system of transportation and warehousing distribution centers.

        It provided good paying jobs and a healthy tax base in all these little towns supporting millions of other small businesses and contributing to schools, libraries, parks and community programs.

        I still can't believe that most of it is gone now.  Just gone.

        Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:26:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You can thank... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JanL, Calamity Jean

          a string of bought and paid for politicians culminating in the biggest asshole the state has produced, John Boehner.

          "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

          by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:25:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Native of Youngstown (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYFM, papercut, NoMoreLies, techno, JanL, foufou

        Graduated from college in 1983 - just in time to see 30% unemployment. Left home for Florida. At the time naively thought it would just be for six months or so.  Thought I'd get some experience in Florida (where jobs were plentiful, but wages sucked) and then come back home when 'things improved.'  Well, it is 26 years later and things never improved.

        I must admit to being bitter.  I loved growing up in Youngstown.  Mill Creek park was literally my back yard.  Talk about a great play ground.  I had excellent schooling (private - but public schools back then were good), the Butler Art Gallery, the Youngstown Playhouse, the best Italian restaurants outside of New York and a huge family.  But I had no opportunity to make a life there. I never would have believed as a child that I wouldn't spend my lifetime in Youngstown.

        Still have oodles of family there.  All my cousins were in the health profession - and work in that field has been plentiful. I hate going home as the town that exists now bears little resemblence to the home of my childhood.

        Shame on the United States for allowing this to happen.  Free trade, crazy tax policies, a broken healthcare systems and a culture of greed are too blame.  Don't know if we have the backbone to fix it. And don't know if the fix is too late for cities like Youngstown.  

      •  I am in favor of the shrinking palns (0+ / 0-)

        Flint is doing it. It probably should have been done a decade ago, but it would have been politically impossible then. It's the only chance to continue as a functioning city.

        It's already happening naturally in Detroit, where entire neighborhoods are reverting to prairie and ultimately to forest. Rare birds are returning and ecosystems are slowly rebuilding. If the city is smart, they will permanently close large arcs of these areas to development. It will provide what the city has always needed-- boundaries.

      •  Laughing to Avoid the Tears (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Believe me, anastasia, there ahs beena slow bloodletting down here as well.  It is particularly galling when industrial icons founded here, are removed lock-stock-and-barrel as if 135 years of the sweat and innovation of a community amounted to little more than what is due the oligarchs.

        The City of Dayton and the greater Miami Valley is a prime example of gerrymandering at its worst.  Following the last census, the Rethugs essentially split the City apart and apportioned it so that just a small slice of Democratic-leaning voters are grafted onto predominately-Repug districts.  Thus, residents on the East side of a seriously urban area have a House Rep, whose closest office is 30 miles and two counties away in Springfield.  Said AssHat, Steve Austria, is my rep in southern Greene County.

        At the time of the change, I lived less than one mile from the residence of Mike Turner, the current occupant of the seat warmed so well by Tony Hall.  Information regarding the redistricting was so poorly released, and the campaign collateral so mixed up (with posters and signs for candidates placed in areas outside of their district), that I did not realize who my choices for Rep really were until I placed my butterfly ballot in the machine.

        "You try to tell me you love Life; Then find another way to kill Life..." -- David Draiman

        by darkrogue on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:42:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Waves from West Chester down the road (5+ / 0-)

      What a sad story. I don't have much to offer... just hugs.

      Like Dorothy and Toto went over the rainbow to blow off Auntie Em...

      by JulieUnplugged on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:16:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Grew up east of Dayton (11+ / 0-)

      It was the big city.  I remember after getting my driver's license and needing to go to a doctor downtown how stressful it was to drive in the "big city traffic".  My first job was an internship at Delco Products downtown.  

      Phil Donahue started his show in Dayton.  He was on WHIO radio before that.  It's now filled with right wing propagandists, including Michael Savage.  Donahue was the first place that I heard some positive information about gay people, among other enlightened subjects.

      When Salem Mall opened it was amazing, at least at the time.  Hara Arena may be getting a new version of the Dayton Gems, Dayton having lost it's most recent hockey team.  The arena needs lots of work, and the safety situation in the area will certainly keep some potential fans away.

      Dayton's baseball team, the Dragons, is inexplicably (to me) successful.  Beautiful stadium downtown, low Class A league, often teams with a bad record, but it has sold out an 8000 seat stadium every game since it opened in 2000.  

      Dayton's home to one of my favorite advertising jingles.  Some of you can probably sing along "If your car is acting funny, making sounds you've never heard.  Like a screaming wounded banshee or some wild and wooly bird.  Next time you need a car, heed my word.  Get a Voss.  Chevrolet."  I guess while they are still made.

      •  favorite jingles (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        playtonjr, JanL, k4pacific

        Did you ever hear the Dingleberries song? Sung by the Dinglebears, of course, to the tune of Oklahoma:

        D-i-i-ngleberries where the merry record shoppers go...

        I don't remember the middle part but the ending went something like this:

        Just take Interstate seventy five

        Take a left on route seven two five

        Please come today-y-y-y

        We're open night and day-y-y-y

        As sure as our fur coats are hairy

        Dingleberries for you-u-u-u

        I believe it's closed now, no surprise.

      •  Spent my wee years in Kettering and Centerville (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsmitch, JanL, Lashe

        in the late 50s/early 60s.  Really don't remember it very well.  Actually I don't recall Kettering at all.  My father was a long-time IBM'er, and he spent a lot of time at Wright-Patterson and at Delco.

        We moved back to Chicago, my parents' home, in 1964.  Last time I recall visiting Dayton was to see ND play UD in basketball in 1980.  The crowd largely booed local boy John Paxson for leaving them for ND.

        I do recall seeing the general devastation at the site of the former NCR factory then.  Obviously, things have gotten worse now.  I know that the GOP doesn't really care about the human toll here, but I'm not sure how much the Dems really care, either.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:20:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nice diary - try Google Earth? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lashe, Hellenic Pagan

      I've seen some nice tours using Google Earth's ability to give tours--it takes folks from place to place like a slide show almost.

    •  Born and raised in Dayton (12+ / 0-)

      I live in Dayton have lived here my whole life, Mom worked at WPAFB. I used to live near Lakeside, then moved to Residence Park, then we moved to North Dayton, went to Hickoydale then graduated Meadowdale HS, Now work at UD. I have watched the city I love rust, but I have hope that the inventors of the future are working to build the NCR's of the future. We have a rich history of invention in Dayton and I refuse to believe that's all gone now. I have family members who retired from GM, I know people who worked at Inland, NCR, Frigidare, the list is long and littered with the dreams of thousands of my family, neighbors, and friends, but as long as we are alive we have to remember that everyday above ground is a good day and some of the best ideas are born out of adversity.

    •  Miamisburg, until 1996 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsmitch, playtonjr, JanL, Russ Jarmusch

      I was back for a visit last summer.  It still brings tears to my eyes.

      Great diary.

      Ayy, Oh, way to go Ohio. . .

      "It's been headed this way since the World began, when a vicious creature made the jump from Monkey to Man."--Elvis Costello

      by BigOkie on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 06:55:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Grew up in Dayton and it was a great (6+ / 0-)

      town. I remember my mother taking me to see JFK at the courthouse downtown. The Oregon District was hot when I lived there, but I hear it is also in decline. My heart goes out to you & all other Daytonians.

    •  i grew up in and around dayton, it is incredible (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsmitch, NYFM, NoMoreLies, Lashe, Robin in PA

      to me just how far it fell since i left there 20 or so years ago. i read the dayton news daily and given the current conditions, particlarly the crime, i am glad i left.
        a house i once owned on ridge avenue that was valued at $176,000 20+ years ago sold on ebay recently for $26,000. seems there is no such thing as a "good" area to be in anywhere within the confines of the cuty limits which really sucks because it was once pretty much all a good place to live.
        its decline mirrors that of flint or detroit and i don't see how it can ever be even close to what it once was. i understand for instance the interest in restoring the arcade but the reality is who in their right mind would go downtown if it were opened back up? i seem to recall many attempts at this same venture, none worked.
        as much as i hate to say it, i don't see dayton ever recovering, period. i loved the place so i don't say that in contempt or wish it bad, it's just reality as i see it. dayton took the past 45 years to fall into the state that it finds itself presently and i can't see any miracles happening any time soon. if it weren't for the proximity of wpafb that entire area would shrivel up and blow away.
        i'll probably head up there this summer, i dread seeing what has happened to my city.

      impeachment-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

      by playtonjr on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:15:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mojo Galore (5+ / 0-)

      Great diary k4pacific.  

      I, too, am a Daytonian and yesterday was a day that it will be impossible to forget as corporate greed again wins the day.  One correction, the Arcade was sold a couple of weeks ago, and a plan is theoretically inplace to reopen the space by sometime around 2012.  Assuming downtown is still there.

      As a student in Europe, when I would tell people where I was from, the scientific-minded folk might know something about the Wright Brothers and that funny machine they tested from the hills overlooking Huffman Prairie about a mile-and-a-half from my current home.  The commercially engaged, though, immediately jumped to NCR. At that time, I could find a small reminder of my hometown in almost every store I walked into.

      What is especially galling about this move is the apparent duplicitousness of it.  Government officials from all levels approached C-Level management in good faith in an effort to uncover NCR's business needs and wants.  In those sessions with junior level execs which did take place, our officials were assured that everything was fine and that they were speaking with the key persons in making this decision.  That virtually all of the company's found out about the move via the news media or a corporate-wide email the day of the anouncement, speaks to a secrecy beyond the guarding of Intellectual Property.  I would be very interested to review the income statements of the Chiefs and Boardmembers who oversaw this.  I would imagine that there are some rather tidy, unexplainable additions to those bank accounts.

      But I rant...  At this point, I simply wish all the karma they have coming on those responsible for this decision.  And for the first time in my life, I am actively rooting for the demise of what was a hometown institution.

      "You try to tell me you love Life; Then find another way to kill Life..." -- David Draiman

      by darkrogue on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:24:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amen! Kettering native here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsmitch, JanL

      Great post - my family moved from Dayton to Texas when I was young, so I don't remember a lot about living there, but I did/do visit a lot. The rest of my family are in Centerville and Xenia, so there's always something to go home to.

      My grandpa was stationed at Wright-Patt (a colonel) and met my grandma there during WWII. He was on the board of trustees for Washington Township, too.

  •  Thanks for the tour. (27+ / 0-)

    Great way to tell a story.

    Socialism no more prescribed Joseph Stalin and his secret police and shuttered churches than Christianity prescribed the Spanish Inquisition. - Kurt Vonnegut

    by DuckStab on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:38:26 PM PDT

  •  Ohio's got it tough now, that's for sure (29+ / 0-)

    Wish there were solutions.  This state (I'm here too) is going to have a long slog through to retooling and recovery.  Here's to as optimistic a future as is possible under the current travails! :o)

    "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.' " - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in Get Shorty

    by Vtdblue on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:38:59 PM PDT

    •  Reading the NYT story on Cleveland (17+ / 0-)

      a few months ago,I couldn't help but cry. Called my best friend, who hails from there, to ask if it is really that bad. Her response?

      "Yes, it is that bad, and worse."

      Seems Dayton is the same, as well as Detroit, etc., etc.


    •  I would hope that (6+ / 0-)

      Maybe the Midwest states could hook up together for a solution, but it looks like even cities in Michigan are fighting each other for anything, ala the  Warren, Michigan mayor trying to entice GM to move their headquarters from Detroit out to Warren.  Haven't the last eight years proven that every man for himself kills everyone?

      It's not really cherry picking. Cherries are sweet and delicious. It's more like ...turd mining

      by henlesloop on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:26:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't like the human misery... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hellenic Pagan

      But sometimes I wonder if the city itself dying isn't a good thing.

      •  Tremendously wasteful for a city such as this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Not like a little town in the Midwest.  The economic repercussions are far-reaching and profound, in addition to the human misery aspects.

        "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.' " - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in Get Shorty

        by Vtdblue on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:24:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Georgia enticed NCR with $60 million package (17+ / 0-)

      Story here.

      The theme of the campaign in Ohio last year was "close the border to save our jobs!" but I think its southern state corporate welfare that has done the most damage to northeast manufacturing.

      One of my first jobs was working at a bicycle and lawnmower plant in Tennessee that the state had lured from northern Ohio, bit by bit, in the 1960s and 1970s through corporate welfare financed by industrial revenue bonds.  

      Since then I've lived in Pennsylvania and New England which lost first their textile industries, then other manufacturing, and now increasingly defense industries to southern states.

      Of course, this usually entails the companies in question giving up on innovation, as well (except for defense, which was pure pork-barrel power play), and trying to compete as low-cost commodity players - ensuring in a lot of cases that the factories in the south will then close as they get their lunch eaten by Chinese factories that play commodity manufacturing better.

      Meanwhile industrial areas in places like Germany have retained millions of good manufacturing jobs by sustaining and developing industrial manufacturing clusters and highly skilled, highly leveraged workforces (i.e., production draws on employee brainwork) that continually redefine the premium end of their industries (from cars to chemicals to machine tools).

      Without the "southern two-step" to oblivion, maybe Dayton would have had a chance to do likewise.

      Instead, the brain-dead right-wing cancer in the Republican south will ensure a race-to-the bottom / corporate welfare paradigm until there are no manufacturing jobs left in the US, at all.

      We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

      by Minerva on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:32:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm, looks like (6+ / 0-)

        The theme of the campaign in Ohio last year was "close the border to save our jobs!" but I think its southern state corporate welfare that has done the most damage to northeast manufacturing.

        In other words - the south finally figured out a way to win the Civil War?

        Ohio's "closing our borders to save our jobs" was a case of too little way too late. I grew up in NE Ohio and I've been watching the exodus since I was twenty-two, which, if you must know, was in 1973. It may even have started before that, I don't recall clearly.

        At any rate, Mr. and Mrs. Working Stiff have been taking it on the chin for nearly forty years, but it wasn't until things started squeezing corporate fat asses that anyone began panic discussions on how to "save our jobs."

        It'll stay that way too until we get shed of the likes of John Boner and company.

        Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

        by Pariah Dog on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:26:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The southern textile industry in turn (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vet, k4pacific, Vtdblue

        has lost many jobs to imports from Malaya, India and other places. NC where I live now is crawling with laid-off textile workers now working in poorly paid service jobs.

        As for manufacturing moving to the south, the only surviving GM plant in Atlanta was fixing to close, last time I was in town.

        The other GM plant in the Atlanta area (in the Lakewood community) has been a recycling center for many years. The Ford plant in Hapeville south of downtown is long gone.

        Don't resent us Southerners for taking your industrial base away. It's been taken away from us too, thanks to globalization.

        i can't watch [Obama] speak on tv for more than 5 minutes or else what he's saying starts to make sense to me. It's very scary.

        by Kimball Cross on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 06:16:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  $60 million dollars... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JanL, Vtdblue

        I miss the good old days when businessmen bribed politicians.  Now it's the other way around.

        Poor people look for work. Middle class people find a job. Rich people seek employment.

        by k4pacific on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:06:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Apparently, Ohio tried to convince them to stay (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JanL, Vtdblue

        . . . but couldn't complete with GA's offer.

        I have mixed feelings about this.  Duluth is not exactly a poor part of the city of Atlanta, and it's close enough to where I live (the first city east of the exurbs of ATL) where commuting there could in theory be an option.

        But Georgia had 10% of its state budget stripped.  We don't have this kind of money to bribe industry to come.  Where the heck are they getting that kind of money from?  Apparently, my paycheck . . .

        I wouldn't be surprised if my office (IT marketing) suddenly tried to woo NCR to use them.

        •  Ohio offered a little over $30 million (0+ / 0-)

          and your point is well taken: That, like NFL franchises being "bought" on outrageously expensive public bond measures for stadiums with lots of private boxes, Georgia's generosity with tax payer's money and tax breaks might never be repaid.  

          "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.' " - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in Get Shorty

          by Vtdblue on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:28:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Mike Turner (9+ / 0-)

      He's emblematic of the sort of people we need to get rid of, and he's all yours, Dayton, Ohio! He's got a 100% rating from the Chamber of Commerce, a 0% rating from the League of Conservation Voters, NARAL and the NRC; he rates zero on eneergy independence and support for public health issues. And what a leader, what a dynamo! When is the last time any of you outside Dayton have heard a word about this back-bench rubber stamp?

      Parts of Ohio have been in recession since the early 90s — no recovery during the Clinton years. We suffered 16 years of total Republican control of state government, during which key issues like education and health care were just ignored, left to fester. But we did hear about gay marriage ad mauseum! Luckily, we swept most of them out of state office in 2006 and have some very strong state officials now, although they are grappling with an enormous mess and an obstructive senate (Our house flipped to Democratic control in November, despite grotesque GOP  gerrymandering). I pray that Ohioans don't fall for the GOP line that Democrats have failed to create a flourishing paradise so it's time to let them get their greedy mitts back on everything. Electing guys like John "No Taxes!" Kasich (governor), Jon "I'll bet I could be worse than Ken Blackwell if you let me" Husted (secretary of state), Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel (treasurer) and Rob "The Outsourcer" Portman (Senate) would be catastrophic for Ohio.

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:28:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Get rid of ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanL, Vtdblue

      jerks like Boehner and you might start recovering the economy and industry there.  He is so deep into the lobbyists' pockets that he can't see light.

      "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

      by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:30:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Boner's deep in something, tho not their pockets! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Still can't see the light of day, however...  ;o)

        "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.' " - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in Get Shorty

        by Vtdblue on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:29:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wright State (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I used to teach anatomy at the medical school in 1975-76.  I lived in Fairborn and rather enjoyed the stay.  I grew up in Cleveland, but Daytonians were a much nicer lot of people all around.

          "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

          by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 01:43:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I spent many weekends in Dayton as a kid, (17+ / 0-)

    because my dad grew up there and most of his family still lives there.  The family home is just beyond the edge of your map showing the freeway cut.  A beautiful neighborhood in its time...

    The last time I visited was about three years ago.  It was amazing to see the difference.  

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:53:34 PM PDT

  •  My grandmother-in-law lived in Dayton (11+ / 0-)

    I was last there several years ago, and the downward spiral was very clear.

    I will say this again, and I have said it several times before on this site.

    We, as Americans, hate our own products.  Whether it is cars, beer, wine, music, or orchestra directors - we want the foreign products.  I'm not sure if it's the sexiness of the foreigner,or just brutal self hatred, but we poo-poo our own products and sell ourselves to the poor house for the foreign stuff.

    As long as this is the case, more cities will be having threads like this one.

    I guess when we have a thread like this for Des Moines, KC, and Jacksonville, we may wake up to what we are doing to ourselves.  But I think we will ride this trend all the way to the bottom.

    Just my opinion.  Hopefully wrong.

  •  I was raised in Beavercreek, OH (21+ / 0-)

    So when I went back to visit, I was shocked how much of a ghost town Downtown Dayton seemed.

    It's really tough, they need to think of an industry to foster.

    I would think with Wright Pat. AFB, could there be more technology related industry be fostered?

    "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" - Thomas Paine

    by pinkbunny on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:04:06 PM PDT

    •  Yes, but... (0+ / 0-)

      the state has to realign its politics.  Ohio made the fatal mistake of believing the republicans.  Now that the republicans have sold Ohio industry down the river, they're blaming the democrats.  You get the idea.

      "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

      by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:32:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live off Alex-Bell just down the street from (17+ / 0-)

    the above mentioned GM plant. I go to school at Sinclair and the only job I can find is working part-time at a Burger King in BelleBrook. I can't wait to graduate and move back to the real world,

    "Jesus Christ was black, ronald reagan was the devil, and the government is lying about 9/11." Huey Freeman

    by cee4 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:12:02 PM PDT

  •  Don't Forget Dayton-Huffman Bicycles (25+ / 0-)

    they were some of the best ones ever made, until they became Huffy.  

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:12:09 PM PDT

  •  don't be shy, embed (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalNM, hopeful, JanL, tecampbell, Nulwee, jayden

    You should have embedded all those photos and bandwidth be damned!

    "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

    by Stranded Wind on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:32:07 PM PDT

  •  It's sad, I'm only an hour away (7+ / 0-)

    from Dayton and I've driven through more times than I can count, but the only two places I've been are the National Museum of the Air Force and the Dayton airport (which is 100000x better than Cincinnati's).

    "Ambrose...Just stop it now ! Your intellect is just to overpowering and opressive for us average bloggers"

    by AmbroseBurnside on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:32:37 PM PDT

  •  Former Akronite here (11+ / 0-)

    My City Is (really) Gone (one of my favorite songs, BTW, I'll never forgive Rush Limbaugh for co-opting it)


    Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

    by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:33:47 PM PDT

  •  I-5 Does The Same Thing To A Lot of Towns (11+ / 0-)

    in WA, OR, and CA,  splitting the towns right in two.

    Some of them are fortunate to have a single very old pedestrian crossing,

    That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

    by Nulwee on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:36:39 PM PDT

  •  "The jobs are gone." (8+ / 0-)

    Says it all.

    People with hatred in their hearts never live up to their full potential. It's very sad.

    by Nelsons on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:41:43 PM PDT

    •  retired urw member here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosette, NYFM

      we used to say
      Buy union made now they are gone.
      then we said buy American made now they are gone.
      now the jobs are gone.

      "I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because it's always 20 years behind" -Mark Twain

      by vet on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:43:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We were in Dayton last year and went to that (20+ / 0-)

    new Aviation Heritage Museum that you embed above. Cool museum, but the area is pretty sad. Seems like you somehow have to build on the unique heritage of Dayton - whether it's the Wright Brothers or a nice Art Institute. Sadly, those NCR and GM jobs probably aren't coming back, but I look around and I see some great architecture, wonderful scenery, historic districts, and WATER! (I'm in the Southwest.) I think urban guru (some would say "crackpot") JH Kunstler may have it right when he says small, retooled, downsized, historic towns in the NE will be the future (while my city will likely dry up and blow away).

    To change ideas about what land is for is to change ideas about what anything is for. - Aldo Leopold

    by Mother Mags on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:42:28 PM PDT

  •  My uncle was a shop steward for NCR. (16+ / 0-)

    I only spent a little time with him as a child.

    He was a solid Democrat and union man in the heart of a land in flux.

    His name was Ralph.

    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

    by tecampbell on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:47:41 PM PDT

  •  Early life memories (14+ / 0-)

    When I first learned where my dad worked it was at NCR in the mid-fifties.

    I remember 4th of July sitting on one of the lawns at NCR for a great fireworks display that really sticks in my memory.

    Our first purchased house was a tiny place near there.

    In high school, it was a vibrant place with lots for a political teenager to get involved with.

    All I can say now is "What a Shame."

    Let's organize neighborhood by neighborhood, community by community, and state by state.

    by brunoboy on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:03:33 PM PDT

    •  Did you get to go to the park? (0+ / 0-)

      We got to go sometimes because the father of one of my friends worked there. They had a fantastic, huge round swimming pool, lots of shady picnic area and you could paddle canoes around a canal.

      But NCR fired her father when he was just a year or two away from retirement. They've been bastards for a long time.

      •  I remember the pool at NCR. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cowalker, cosette, frandor55

        Supposedly it was once heated by steam from the factory.  By the time I swam in it, most of the factory was gone.  The water was ice cold and got big waves in it whenever the wind blew across it.  That pool was so big I swear it had tides.

        Poor people look for work. Middle class people find a job. Rich people seek employment.

        by k4pacific on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:03:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I swam there in the '70s (0+ / 0-)

          believe me, at least at that time it wasn't heated...even in high summer it was cold.

          I was told by my grandmother (grand-dad retired from NCR in 1960, and we had a free passes to the company park and pool) that they drained the pool every Monday and cleaned it, then refilled it that night.

          True or not, I don't recall the water ever being chlorinated like the Moraine Natatorium was, and my eyes never troubled me swimming there....but it was **cold** going at first.....brrrrrrr

          -5.75,-4.05 "The invisible hand of Adam Smith seems to offer an extended middle finger to an awful lot of people"---George Carlin

          by justadood on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:22:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I remember going on a site walk at NCR (31+ / 0-)

    It was a vertically integrated factory.  Oak lumber, steel bars, and brass bars were brought in at one end and finished cash registers were spit out at the other. I was told by a senior NCR attorney that at one time, the greatest concentration of screw lathes on Earth was at those few blocks south of downtown Dayton.  

    They made their own screws.  Think about it.

    He commented how, as electro-mechanical cash registers from Scandinavia and Japan began appearing in the late 1960s, NCR began to lay off workers and found people at the factory still maintaining inventories of brass and steel screws that were no longer used to manufacture any of their products.

    Dayton is a proud, formerly innovative city.  It truly was the "Silicon Valley" of the time at the turn of the last century.  The Wright Brothers did what no one had ever done before; not by luck, but by careful experimentation, measurement, and genius. Before they went into the airplane business, they built bicycles and published a neighborhood newspaper and befriended a young black poet named Paul Lawrence Dunbar.

    Kettering invented his electric starter for automobiles, eliminating the broken wrists and arms that accompanied starting cars with hand cranks up to that time. A Dayton suburb now bears his name.

    The Miami Conservancy District, responding to the destructive 1913 flood, built a world-class network of dry dams and reservoirs to control the floods that historically had visited the area; without the environmental destruction that accompanies most reservoirs.

    Dayton was once one of the most innovative places anywhere on the planet.

    Although I hate its humidity and segregation, I hope it can thrive once again.

    •  The 1913 flood... (16+ / 0-)

      In the 1913 flood, NCR coordinated much of the relief effort.  John Patterson (NCR founder) had his workers building boats.  Tents were set up on NCR land for people who lost homes.  Meals were served.  First aid was administered.  After the flood, Patterson worked to organize the Miami Conservancy District.

      In 2009, we are faced with an economic disaster in Dayton.  The response from NCR has been to blow town.

      Poor people look for work. Middle class people find a job. Rich people seek employment.

      by k4pacific on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:33:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The stories my father used to tell of NCR... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cowalker, k4pacific

        He joined the company in the 60s, and worked for them into the 90s - through the AT&T merger and demerger. It made him sad & angry to see the way it was managed, constantly restructuring and never focusing on its actual business.

        We knew the game was up when they lost the ATM contract for one of the big-4 UK High Street banks to Siemanns, who knew crap-all about building ATMs. NCR at the time had well over 90% of the ATM market in the UK.

        Once upon a time, corporations acted like they had a soul, and looked after their employees. That was when there was such a thing as a "job for life". Those days are gone.

        They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

        by sullivanst on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 06:23:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Local supply is the key to a strong economy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cowalker, lineatus, chrome327

      It's not just about manufacturing, it's about mutually supportive manufacturing. Working with local suppliers who sell to multiple local customers is the key to dynamism and innovation.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:20:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I grew up in Kettering (14+ / 0-)

    It's bittersweet to remember the beautiful Arcade and learn it's closed.  But mostly I'm sorry to hear how badly the jobs are gone from what was a thriving city. My memories of Dayton are from the 60's and 70's, so I'd really get lost trying to find my way around now.

  •  Saw the Silk Road exhibit at museum in Dayton (8+ / 0-)

    My BFF from high school lives in Springfield. Very involved in Clark County, Orchestra, Parks, etc. Used to work for NCR also, and started own business ten years ago after about. Ran their in house training, and now does that for other businesses as a consultant. We grew up in the civilian town next to a Navy base in Calif. and Wright Denny was what drew her to Ohio.

    Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices--François-Marie Arouet

    by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:21:56 PM PDT

  •  Nice Pretenders reference! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, CalNM, frandor55

    Except Chrissy Hynde was singing about Akron.

    And isn't there some radio guy who uses that song?

  •  Love the song, too. Pretenders. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic

    Thanks for the artfully told story and diary on your town and America.
    Just need to play that great song in the back ground.

  •  Mendelson's is great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL, k4pacific

    I grew up in Troy, but my dad worked (still does) in downtown Dayton, so I hung out there a lot. Now I live in the Bay, but whenever I go back I'm always amazed at the odd diversity of things that are going on in towns like Dayton. Mendelson's is a good example, as is Skyline Chili.

  •  Time to wheel-n-deal (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cowalker, simaramis, JanL, Scioto, k4pacific

    I was pretty well shocked to hear the NCR news today. I always thought of them as Dayton's bedrock corporation, the one that was so deeply tied into the community that they were there for good.

    I always loved Dayton, and am saddened by the run of bad news that has come out about the city's bedrock employers. It is very much an industrial town, so something needs to emerge for all those idled workers. Wright-Patt, though, is a major resource that the city can be thankful for that can be a jobs stimulator. Dayton also does have some things going for it geographically that give it more hope than some other cities that are similarly suffering, not the least of which is direct and simple Interstate highway connections to Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus, three cities where economic activity is in better shape than many other cities in the region.

    This is a big moment for the city's leadership. I hope they can come up with some inspired ideas.

    Complex problems have simple, easy-to-understand wrong answers -- Murphy's Law, accurately anticipating Talk Radio and the modern GOP

    by QuestionableSanity on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:02:16 AM PDT

  •  regarding the Arcade (9+ / 0-)

    I note that Wikipedia states the following (from your link):

    Currently the Dayton Arcade is a Dead Mall. An Ohio not-for-profit group, "Friends of the Dayton Arcade" was created to advocate for the Arcade Building. The group published a book in 2008 entitled, "The Dayton Arcade; Crown Jewel of the Gem City." The former owner owes several hundred thousand in back taxes. This tax obligation was purchased by American Tax Funding. The sheriff's sale occurred on March 12, 2009 and the building was purchased by Dayton Arcade, LLC for the minimum bid of $615,106.02. New Arcade owners, Gunther Berg and Wendell Strutz say they will begin work on the Arcade in 6 months to restore the building to its former glory (with mixed use developments - housing, offices, restaurants, and commercial space). Early estimates on the restoration totals $30 million.

    I can't imagine an historic building in downtown Seattle going for only $600,000. How incredibly sad. It may come here, though, too, given the appearance of the upcoming fire sale or auction of condos around downtown here.

    I hope the restoration, if it proceeds, is a successful one. Hard, also, to imagine how it can be successful in the current economic environment.

    "We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other."
    Teilhard de Chardin

    by exmearden on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:10:59 AM PDT

  •  Does Dave Chappelle live in Dayton? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross, henlesloop

    I have a copy of block Party at home and, as I recall, part of it was filmed in Dayton, Ohio.

    American overseas? Request your ballot at

    by YoyogiBear on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:11:49 AM PDT

  •  Leaving (11+ / 0-)

    The culprit here is our position on international trade. We have been outsourcing jobs for so many years that the inevitable result is what you see here--a town wiped out more effectively than if an F5 tornado went right through downtown.

    We have to act on international trade agreements. Unless we are willing to take effective action on this, there will be nothing underlying our economy. It won't help to stimulate the economy unless there are wealth-creating jobs in it.

    Pumping money into an economy where all real products are created overseas is just a way to enrich foreign companies and governments. This is a structural problem that must be solved or no amount of "fixing" the economy will fix the economy.

    Who is the politician that is up for actually telling the truth on this and making the necessary changes?

  •  My father worked at that moraine plant for 25 yrs (9+ / 0-)

    He was part of one of the first rounds of buyouts in 2005(i think).  Since then hes worked two jobs as a pizza delivery driver and doing a similar machinist job for 9.50 an hour.

    It couldn't have come at a worst time, I was just graduating from high school and my brother was in his third year at ohio state.  My mom stayed at home growing up but with increasing health problems she is for all purposes an invalid with enormous prescription drug and medical needs/costs.  I only mention it because he still gets his health care through GM and now with bankruptcy we are fairly certain that will no longer be the case.  

    We've managed to sacrifice and adjust, but I think too often the media has looked at this recession as solely the product of risky banking practices.  I have yet to hear someone ask why many perfectly good mortgages were unpaid.  All someone has to do is look at dayton, a place where an entire class of people have had their livelihoods stripped away in the span of a decade.

    My family has been fortunate enough to keep paying the mortgage, but many haven't.  I can look outside my window and see 4 foreclosed houses and every single one of them was a blue collar household where the plant/factory closed down.

  •  Sorry, But (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan, jds1978

    America does not need Dayton.

    It doesn't need any city, really.  Or Americans.

    Obama's Solution: Give Money to the Rich to Buy Distressed Assets.

    by bink on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:56:00 AM PDT

  •  GM in Asia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Turbonerd

    Thanks for your diary k4pacific. It's very sad to see what is happening back there.

    Meanwhile here in Asia GM continues on and their business is growing. This is from a story in the Bangkok Post on 2 June.

    Steve Carlisle, president of General Motors Southeast Asia operations, told a press conference that the company, which is run independently of its US parent, does not expect any impact to its business.

    "Our operations in (Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries) will continue as planned," Carlisle said, adding that employees would be paid, warranties guaranteed and deliveries to dealers would continue as usual.

    Carlisle said the construction of a new diesel engine plant in Rayong, due to open in 2010, was still on track. He said the Asia Pacific wing of GM had recorded unprecedented growth in the first quarter.

    Thailand has positioned itself as a key regional production base for foreign automakers, which assemble vehicles in the nation for export around the region. Toyota and Honda also have large factories in Thailand.

    GM arrived late on the scene here. Toyota and Honda had a huge jump on GM and hold a large portion of the market in auto sales. The vehicles they make here are small-size pickups and passenger cars. Their market is mostly regional but I believe some vehicles are exported to Europe.

    'There's none so blind as those who won't see,' is a proverb that has proven itself over and over in life. ....John "Gunny" Matlock

    by truong son traveler on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 01:17:29 AM PDT

  •  Great diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, Scioto

    spent a lot of time in Dayton in the 70s.  I still have a number of friends there.  I am saddened that a place for which I have so many warm memories is dying if not dead.

  •  My grandparents live in Dayton (8+ / 0-)

    I live in Columbus, the only major metropolitan area in Ohio that's doing decently well. Chiefly because Columbus isn't a rust belt city, and very little manufacturing is done here. We're a big city for tech, medical, food distribution, and things like that. It's insulated the city from the problems facing Dayton and Cleveland.

  •  Yellow Springs resident here... (13+ / 0-)

    the demise of Dayton has a ripple effect with a huge radius. Even though it has been a long, slow death of the city, it is still shocking when one of the continuous stream of industries leaves or closes its doors. Ohio is suffering deeply.

    "There must be more to life than having everything" -Maurice Sendak

    by lilypew on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 03:41:31 AM PDT

    •  I love Yellow Springs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russ Jarmusch

      I've gone to several of the Antioch Writer's Workshops and enjoyed it immensely. We live in the city of Dayton, and I love our shabby old neighborhood, the Belmont area. But we've considered moving to Yellow Springs after retirement. The big drawback? I've heard it's almost impossible to have a dry basement there. :)

    •  are they going to get their shit together and re- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      open antioch? i can't believe it was ever allowed to close...

      impeachment-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

      by playtonjr on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:31:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lorain Ohio here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anastasia p, FuddGate

      Not much happening here. Steinbrenner closed the shipyards in the early 80's because of a "labor" dispute, Thew shovel left about that time, US steel has not had a blast furnace running for 6 months now. Ford Lorain Assembly made some of the most popular cars in Lorain, Fairlanes, Torinos and Thunderbirds has been closed for five years now. The new Fords (Fusion and the new Fiesta) are built in Mexico. In a rather bizarre twist of fate, the parking lot of the Ford Lorain Assembly plant is used to park new Hondas now.

      My job was recently outsourced to India and I will be returning to CSU to finish my BSME. Ohio is my home, and is one of the most naturally sustainable areas of the country to live in. Some of the best members of congress Marcy Kaptur OH-09, Dennis Kucinich OH-10, Betty Sutton OH-13, Tim Ryan OH-17, Marcia Fudge OH-11, and Sherrod Brown all represent northern Ohio.


      •  You are so right about our reps up here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We have excellent congresspeople and one good senator. The other (Voinie) is a wuss even though he is also from northern Ohio.

        Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

        by anastasia p on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:59:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  U.S. trade policy needs to be examined (0+ / 0-)

          It seems that US trade policy authors are now advising and representing foreign interests.
          Why am I not suprised?

          In a Monday letter to Gene Dodaro, acting comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office, eight Democratic Members requested a study of the activities of former government personnel who developed U.S. trade policy but are now advising and representing foreign interests.

          The house members who signed the letter are; Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Mike Michaud (D-Maine) and Democratic Reps. Gene Green (Texas), Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), Phil Hare (Ill.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Betty Sutton (Ohio) and Tim Ryan (Ohio). The full contents of the letter is here.

  •  Some dark humor (5+ / 0-)

    ...for tough times in Ohio (NSFW language):

    Great diary, thank you.

    Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

    by chumley on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:02:25 AM PDT

  •  This is America after "our" corporations ship (4+ / 0-)

    jobs to slave havens like China.

    •  Bill Clinton has part of the blame for this (4+ / 0-)

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:44:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush I, you mean (0+ / 0-)

        The NAFTA and GATT agreements were negotiated and signed during is tenure.  Bill didn't have much choice in the matter, just tried to make the best of what was already in place to protect US jobs.  Bush II came along and either gutted or ignored the protections Clinton put in place.

        Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:33:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not really. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Phil Gramm and his band of thieves that included the knucklehead, Newt Gingrich took advantage of Clinton's political weaknesses in the late 90s and passed bills that took away the checks and balances on banking and finance.  2008 was the culmination of that brilliance.

        "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

        by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:47:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The real root of this problem is Reagan (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The total transformation of the US from an industrial based to a service based economy started under his watch, and it was purely a Republican agenda.

          Man is simply a monkey with an attitude.

          by rbutters on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:35:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yup. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean, rbutters

            Reagan was our most nakedly anti-union President since Hoover.  It all stems from company moguls not wanting to pay a living wage.  This is the black eye of capitalism.

            "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

            by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 10:02:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Globablization of trade is a product of (0+ / 0-)

              one-party DC rule, and there's no discernible  difference between Dems and Republicans on this -- not so far anyway.  Now we face a jobless economy and a trashed environment, and the consequences of these policies can't be hidden any longer.

  •  Limbaugh uses the opening, baseline riff for... (4+ / 0-)

     . . . My City Was Gone as the intro for his show.

     One could cut the irony with a chainsaw.


    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

    by BenGoshi on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:07:55 AM PDT

  •  Hollowed out small ex-manufacturing cities (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serrano, JanL, Fedallah, Rustbelt Dem

    are the rule in the Midwest.  Benton Harbor, Flint, Rockford, Galesburg, Canton, Akron--you go in and there's no there there anymore.

  •  Native Daytonian Here... (11+ / 0-)

    Born and raised and have lived all but two of my 43 years in the area (in Centerville currently).  Beautiful diary but very painful as well - I think the whole community is very early in working through our grief of losing NCR - right now seems shock is moving to anger.  I worked at NCR for five years in the mid 90's so I know so much of the company's history - the fact that a CEO who never lowered himself to move to and live in Dayton drove this decision makes me furious!

    I now have to drive to Cincinnati for work (coming up on five years now), and unfortunately that seems to be more and more common.  But we don't need a light rail system here or anything....

    •  driving to cincinnati (7+ / 0-)

      Driving to cincinnati is the Dayton equivalent of Grapes of Wrath or something for our time.

      I moved back to the area to take a job with a firm that does consulting for P&G and spent the first couple months commuting from my parents' house in Dayton down to Cincinnati while we looked for a house.

      It was amazing to me, the fleet of service vans, repair trucks, construction trucks, you name it, all headed in a one-way direction down to Cincinnati each morning. There's no work in Dayton, so all the contractors have to work in Cincinnati each day.

      I can't tell you how many friends of my parents used to work for NCR, DELCO, GM, etc, and now commute to Cincinnati every day.

      Thank god for Wright Patt, where my father works.

  •  well, I lived in Dayton in the early (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    '90s,  and being honest, I hated it; that was no reflection on the city itself - I'm from the East Coast.  It was just very different.  However, I do feel for the city and the people who live there.  I did however LUV the Oregon District!

    "My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total...I have finally been included in we, the people." --Barbara Jordan

    by MsDrema on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:24:45 AM PDT

  •  Born in Dayton, grew up in Yellow Springs (9+ / 0-)

    Went to undergrad at Wright State. It is so depressing to see Dayton go downhill, and watch all the old haunts disappear. My grandfather worked for NCR and he was so proud of his work. Really disappointing to see them slip off to Georgia.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:34:14 AM PDT

    •  WSU grad here (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cowalker, playtonjr, JanL, Russ Jarmusch

      When I went there it was only four buildings.

      •  i remember when WSU was a sheep farm owned by (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        George Warner, they lived right behind me on Col. Glenn HWY and owned the entire kit and kaboodle. Many many parties transpired on what was known as Achilles Hill, a spot just a few yards from where the original homestead stood. Anyone remember Wrightstock? if you do then you are too damn old like me...

        impeachment-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

        by playtonjr on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:36:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wright State. (0+ / 0-)

      I taught anatomy at the medical school there in 1975-76.  I lived in Fairborn and actually like the area.  

      "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

      by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:48:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Way Back in the Early 1980s... (8+ / 0-)

    I interviewed with NCR as I was graduating from Cleveland State with a computer science degree. I ended up with a job offer from Diamond Shamrock in Chardon, OH.

    I now live in Columbus, OH (Hilliard actually) and work remotely "for a large computer company" that is shipping more and more jobs overseas. My job may be lost in the next year or two, maybe (I hope not).

    America is losing all kinds of jobs, not just manufacturing, not just blue collar. I guess it is retaining service related jobs where robots and/or telecommunications cannot replace a human being directly servicing a customer - but those are close to minimum wage jobs.

    We are continually moving from a first class jobs and wages country to a third world jobs and wages country.

    Maybe some day India and China will send us poor Americans charity to feed our poor and homeless.

    •  They already send us charity (0+ / 0-)

      in the form of buying T-bills.

      What happens to that money, however, is Congress's business - and all too often it goes for the Latest 'N Greatest Weapons System.  (See: F-22, Airborne Laser, missile defense, et al...)


      by Fedallah on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:02:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, and this has happened everywhere (4+ / 0-)

    We can thank the Reagan era Republican party for shoving a "service based economy" down our throats. The early 80s decision to dismantle and offshore our industry in favor of Walmart jobs may yet prove to be this country's undodgeable bullet.

    Man is simply a monkey with an attitude.

    by rbutters on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:49:12 AM PDT

  •  great, great, great (7+ / 0-)

    Native of Dayton, living in Cincinnati now.

    Thanks for writing this great diary.

    I've been fortunate to live all over the country in my life (32 now), and it's amazing the disdain that people in other places have for the midwest.

    It's amazing. There's a tsunami half a world away, and Americans rally to their aid. But Katrina happens, and people forget about New Orleans two years later. The midwest is suffering and the attitude I hear is "eh, the midwest sucks anyway".

    It's a shame.

  •  Unions = bad (4+ / 0-)

    So for all the scorn that society seems to heap on unions, what exactly is our economy going to do when all of those people people making a middle-class living take jobs delivering pizzas and working in fast food?

    Someone's gotta buy those flat-screen tvs...

  •  As a native of Dayton (9+ / 0-)

    I salute this diary. It's a fine example of the Industrial decline of Dayton.

    The only things I would add are, that it isn't just manufacturing that is leaving town. With the ongoing downsizing of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, a good deal of engineering and IT jobs are also leaving the area. In 1997, I started looking for work south of town in Cincinnati because with 5 years less experience, I could make 10k more per year doing the same job than in Dayton. For the next ten years in Cincinnati, I looked for jobs in Dayton and I could never find one that was even close to the jobs available in Cincy.

    But the real thing missing is a cultural overview. A small of a city as Dayton was, it was a powerhouse in arts and culture.

    Every time I drive through Dayton, which isn't often now that I've relocated to the DC area, I get more depressed as the city I grew up in looks more and more like a ghost town.

    •  Also a Dayton native (0+ / 0-)

      I have sadly watched the decline of my hometown as well. I go back about once a year to find more boarded up neighborhoods and more friends commuting to Cincinnati. During my last visit for Thanksgiving 2008, we all watched together on the news as the last GM workers left the Moraine plant.  

      Dayton has fared better than some cities who don't have the cultural heritage that is mentioned in the above comment, or an air force base employing thousands of non-military residents.

      I worry about my laid-off parents in their 60's who can't afford to retire, but at least I am comforted by the low cost of living there, and that I can count on their neighborhood not being gentrified. But that also equates to a low cost of doing business (by US standards). There are a lot of resources there, including supplies of fresh water, so I have reason to hope that my hometown will come back one day.

  •  I lived in a small Ohio town (Findlay) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, k4pacific

    for eight years. I had the misfortune of driving through Dayton once.

    I can sum up my experience of Dayton, Ohio in two words: Ample. Parking.

    I thought I knew what suburban sprawl was. Then I saw Dayton.

    "Someone who does not see a pane of glass does not know that he does not see it." --Simone Weil

    by AgnesBee on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:13:55 AM PDT

    •  That's because many residents (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liz dexic, cosette, foufou, AgnesBee

      of the Dayton metropolitan area refuse to go downtown for anything.  If you want to know why, look up segregation and racism in your dictionary.  Anytime the core of a metropolitan area is a pariah, the whole area will die.  That's why Dayton has such extensive suburbs.  They're a surrogate for the central city.

      •  sprawl and segregation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In Dayton's defense, virtually all midwestern central cities are hollowed out shells surrounded by suburbs. White flight wasn't just an Ohio phenomenon but it is easier in the flat mid-west with no natural barriers to prevent sprawl.  And anyway, now it's more about economic segregation as most cities have large suburban black populations.  Look at Trotwood.  

        Dayton's downtown revitalization of the 70's killed downtown because it made it very driveable and much less walkable as shiny new malls sprang up in Centerville and Miamisburg.  There was definitely some racism in the urban planning of the era as well, as can be seen with highways 35 and i-75, that decimated black neighborhoods, but even before that, after the 1912 flood, the river dykes were  built in a way that completely cut off the (black) west side.

  •  I'm also from Dayton, and have mixed feelings (10+ / 0-)

    about the place.  I live in New York now, and visit the parents a couple of times a year. Every time I go, the place seems emptier and shabbier.  With all the industry gone, it's hard for me to see what will keep the place afloat.  So many of the factors that made it a population center just don't apply anymore -- and I'm not just talking about GM.

    Dayton got its start in life as a river town.  It's located on the Great Miami River, which in turn links up to the mighty Ohio.  At one time, there was even a canal to Lake Erie that ran through Dayton.  Rivers aren't used so much for commerce anymore, though.  Today, the Miami's greatest contribution to the area is stultifying humidity in the summer.  

    Like much of the Midwest, Dayton has suffered from brain drain.  That is NOT to say that no smart people live there.  Quite the contrary.  My father, for instance, is a professor at one of the two local universities.  But the era is gone when you could be relatively certain that smart, ambitious people would stick around a place like Dayton to raise the next generation of smart, ambitious people.  Nearly all of my contemporaries (high school class of '93) have moved away and are in no danger of coming back.  

    Unfortunately, I have no brilliant ideas to save my hometown.  Two universities and the largest air force base in the world (Wright Patterson) will keep something going. But enough?  Will that place look anything like Dayton?  I can see the existing industrial base being attractive for retasking tom for instance, green tech.  On the other hand, if I were thinking of building a research and manufacturing center for the next wave, I might look for someplace more attractive to potential employees than Dayton.

    Sigh.  k4pacific, I feel you.  What's your business?  Maybe I'll stop in next time I'm back.  You can find my personal email on my profile page if you'd rather not post the info here.

    •  Don't put your hopes in Wright Patt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cowalker, NYFM

      Have you driven by there recently? It's utterly bizzare to see street after street of empty base housing. Even as recently as the nineties airmen stationed there with families more often than not had to rent off of the base. Now the air force can't even fill the housing it owns.

      They do still have AFIT and the research labs there. But their real raison d'etre was SAC which is now a dim history. They've landed a few other large programs here and there such as the Air Force Material Command and a few logistics wings. But I'd hesitate to say that its going to grow much.

    •  Wright State. (0+ / 0-)

      I used to teach anatomy at Wright State's medical school in 1975-76.  I lived in Fairborn and visited Wright-Pat's air museum often.  There ARE smart people there.  Too bad none of them are politicians.  That job was left for the idiots.

      "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

      by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:52:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Pretenders (4+ / 0-)

    Now I don't know but I been told/it's hard to run with the weight of gold
    Other hand I heard it said/it's just as hard with the weight of lead

    by ekthesy on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:17:31 AM PDT

    •  i went back to Ohio... (0+ / 0-)

      but my city was gone

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
      President Obama. Still a thrill to see that in print.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:05:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bruce Springsteen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosette, Calamity Jean

      One of my favorites  

      My Hometown

      Back in the 80's this song inspired me to save some jobs.  One of my rail customers was the owner of a small manufacturing plant in the Ozarks.  For various reasons, he was frustrated and decided to relocate the plant to Mexico.

      I spent an hour in his office, appealing to him to work with me to save the jobs in that town.  He agreed and over the next year we worked with my railroad, city government, the local bank, the state DOT, engineers, architects and everyone else to help him redesign his manufacturing plant, reduce his transportation rates and taxes and streamline his logistics.  He ended up keeping the plant in town and its still there.  It was hard work and a lot of battles were fought, but I ended up getting an award from the chairman of our railroad, all thanks to Bruce's song.

      Sure it might seem easier to just move a plant to another country for cheaper labor, but in the long term it only hurts everyone.  

      Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:58:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is that the 12th time someone posted that (0+ / 0-)

      in this diary? Plus Akron is on the upswing and Chrissie has moved back and opened a restuarant so it's not even relevant?

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:00:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  mine was actually the first (0+ / 0-)

        Others followed.

        As it is the source of the title for this diary I found it at least slightly relevant.

        Now I don't know but I been told/it's hard to run with the weight of gold
        Other hand I heard it said/it's just as hard with the weight of lead

        by ekthesy on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:26:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There was nothing inevitable about Dayton's rise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, NYFM

    It was fortuitous--made possible by some structural advantages, but not preordained.  To an even greater extent, its continued prosperity wasn't inevitable or even especially likely--almost no place has uninterrupted prosperity over long periods, especially when it comes to manufacturing because not only comparative advantage but the products themselves are dynamic.  (National Cash Register, indeed.!)  

    All of this is to say that, while the problems are at least as real as the diary and the comments confirm, the undercurrent (or explicit argument) that "Dayton was screwed" doesn't hold water.  Dayton had a good run, and as its good run ended somewhere else started a good run.  We need a concerted government policy to create humane and sustainable communities in places like Dayton, but if we're wedded to a heavy-industry model because, well, that's what Dayton used to be, then the efforts will be doomed.  

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:26:07 AM PDT

    •  We can't outsource heavy industry (0+ / 0-)

      Its not something that can be foisted off on third world countries. Shipping raw materials across the globe to manufacture products that are then shipped back to consumers in the US is wasteful and inefficient. Its only survived so far because of cheap labor and fuel prices.

      The US, and areas like Dayton are rich with the resources to manufacture goods - natural resources, skilled workforces, transportation infrastructure. Local economies need to build on their strengths, even if it includes heavy industry.  It can be redesigned and updated to become more environmentally friendly.

      Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:14:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Detroit, Gary, and others have gone same way (0+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:30:10 AM PDT

  •  Where is Timken Steel? (4+ / 0-)

    Didn't Bush make him ambassador to something, and then he had to close all of his plants?  Supporting Republican policies worked out well for him.  He supported Bush while Bush destroyed the manufacturing base in this country.

    My heroes have the heart to live the life I want to live.

    by JLFinch on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:30:11 AM PDT

  •  I hope the Old Hickory BBQ is still there. (0+ / 0-)

    Brown St., if I recall correctly.

  •  They're still making Dayton Wire Wheels (4+ / 0-)

    in Dayton.  I know, not much of a consolation, but this icon lives.

    We are all droogie6655321

    by Buckeye BattleCry on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:37:48 AM PDT

  •  Man... this made me nostalgic (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    simaramis, cosette, NYFM, k4pacific

    My father was an NCR company guy.

    He was introduced to the company by his mother.

    She worked entirely in the UK, but he worked in Bahrain for several years, and then World HQ. After the oil price collapse in the mid-80s, he ended up being the poor sucker that had to tell half the staff that the Bahrain office was closing and their jobs were gone - the two more senior people who should have told everyone waited until they were heading out the door and passed the buck.

    We lived here for a year and a half in the mid-80s. I won an elementary school-level photography competition taking pictures of downtown - including the Arcade, of course!

    From the diary, I guess it's just a replica of the Wright Brothers Cycle Shop in Carrillon Park then...

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by sullivanst on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 06:06:03 AM PDT

  •  Detroit sees the word "Heyday" used a lot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    too these days.

    We have much in common.

    Thanks for a cool diary K4.

  •  You from Dayton? I'm from Dayton too. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Russ Jarmusch, dolfin66, k4pacific

    I was there over the last summer working for the man with the ears.  It had been 20 years since I'd been back, and the thing that struck me the hardest were the vacant houses.  Houses that would have been a fantastic family home boarded up and or empty.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Adept2u on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 06:30:43 AM PDT

    •  Take note... (0+ / 0-)

      This symptomatic of culture and societal failure.  Our manufacturing vigor is now in China.  Our businesses go where cheap labor replaces expensive robots.  Now, nobody knows how to make anything anymore.  We had a stronger skilled workforce in 1940 than we do today.  Thank the republicans for making it easy to take our jobs to other countries so their rich pals could get richer.

      "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

      by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:55:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Everyone please don't use CITY population data (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, oldjohnbrown, NYFM

    or reference city populations from 1950.

    It's useless.

    Many older cities particularly in the Northeast and Midwest were surrounded by suburbs before the post war boom and could not expand.

    If you look at a sprawl city now, look at its city population from 1940 and find out what that same square mile area has today and you'll mostly see the same depressing losses.

    The big difference is that their burbs are within city limits so the "city" is always "growing" while older cities are not.

    This doesn't change the dynamics that many cities in the midwest are losing people overall anyway but always look to the metro number for a more accurate picture.

    Columbus has sprawled and has over 200 square miles of city limits, but overall Franklin county has gained in population over the decades as well as the surrounding populations.  For Dayton and Ohio's other cities, unfortunately the core counties are losing people.

    It's very sad and will take a long time to turn around and it makes me sick that most of the country could give a shit about the cities that built this country and in fact use taxpayer money to help kill them off.

  •  Thanks for the tour of our city for Kossaks! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette, NYFM, Floja Roja, k4pacific

    But we haven't turned the lights out quite yet. The arcade has been purchased for development.

    We've got the Schuster Center and the Victoria Theater and the Loft Theater downtown. Among the groups who perform in these theaters are the Dayton Ballet, the Human Race Theater Company and the Dayton Philharmonic. For its size, Dayton supports a vibrant arts community.

    But of course we will lose them too if we can't find a way to rebuild our economy.  

  •  It pains me to see what's happened to my hometown (5+ / 0-)

    -Born in Miami Valley hospital
    GrandDad retired from NCR in 1960
    -I attended St. Anthony school and used to ride my bicycle all around that area, all the way out to Old River Park...
    -Uncle retired from Delco products

    I see the NCR pool at Old River Park is gone---that used to be the largest pool I'd ever seen, with maybe an acre or so of area under water....water that was drained and refilled weekly when the pool was cleaned.

    I remember when the Arcade was rebuilt in the '70s, and what a dump it was mom used to work in a fish market there when she was young....

    Rike's is gone...I used to go down there to their candy counter to get chocolate-covered strawberries, or to marvel at a single department-store that was 7 stories of shopping space.  Now it's a vacant lot, having been demolished a couple years ago.

    It's nice to see that old photo of NCR in its prime...I remember when the buildings were torn down...riding past the wreckage on the way to the pool.

    Last time I was there was in the mid-'90s, but the last time I remember really driving around seeing things was 1988....but I still remember and miss the days when everything was busy and everyone was looking ahead.

    -5.75,-4.05 "The invisible hand of Adam Smith seems to offer an extended middle finger to an awful lot of people"---George Carlin

    by justadood on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 06:49:46 AM PDT

    •  Did you know... (0+ / 0-)

      a nurse who graduated from Wright State in 1978, or thereabouts named Karen Lingle, or Taylor?  Did you know a nurse who graduated about that same time named Mary Stemmer?  I taught them anatomy at Wright State in 75-76.

      "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

      by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:58:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mary Stemmer sounds vaguely familiar... (0+ / 0-)

        but, they were 'before my time' so to speak.
        I graduated 8th grade in '81, attended Beavercreek schools for 1 1/2 years before my father was transferred out to Stockton, CA, after AT&T went through its breakup in the early '80s.  A childhood friend by the name of Kathy Kinnison I think attended Wright State in Nursing, but she would have been there mid-late '80s

        I'll drop my aunt a line though...she used to work at St. Elizabeth's and may know Karen or Mary from her work (her name is Sue Vickers)

        -5.75,-4.05 "The invisible hand of Adam Smith seems to offer an extended middle finger to an awful lot of people"---George Carlin

        by justadood on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 03:48:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think a lot of cities... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will simply have to shrink.  People will have to move, old neighborhoods will be torn down and made into green spaces and so on.  We built a castle of sand, not just in Dayton, and there is NOBODY on Earth that can get things back to normal.  

    Much of the US population may indeed have to become a little more nomadic then they have been in the past.  Moving from region to region to chase the jobs.....

  •  New Haven, Connecticut (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Betty Pinson

    My home town.  Olin.  Winchester.  A.C. Gilbert Erector Sets. Otis Elevator.

    Let's face it, gang.  Everything we used to make can be made far more cheaply overseas.  Nobody screwed up here.  It's just that the rest of the world is no longer just a bunch of hunter-gatherers.  

    I'd be happy to pay more for everything, and I always try to Buy American, but my guess is that wouldn't save us for long.  

    Probably our best hope is to regulate financial services to near-death, so that the best and the brightest don't spend all their time and effort trying to figure out new ways to make money without making value.

  •  My midwestern hometown went high-tech... (0+ / 0-) the late 90s. Best decision they ever made and they are doing so much better than just about anyone else. I feel for your losses.

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:02:30 AM PDT

  •  A freeway cut my childhood neighborhood in half (0+ / 0-)

    in Detroit.  My childhood house is now the last house left before the freeway.  The route I walked to school is now cut off.

  •  I'm from Cincinnati....and I used to go to Dayton (0+ / 0-)

    all the time.  It is terrible how a great city like Dayton is being "ripped off its foundations" like this.

    I haven't been to Dayton since 2003 and Cincinnati since 2004. I miss it terribly.  Is Wright Patterson Air Force Base still there?  How about Hara Arena???

    I'm homesick now :(  

    Where I live now is a small town in BFE Idaho.  LOL....and we are suffering too.  Earlier I had written a diary about how I have been without work for 3 months (almost) and I put in over 200 applications.  I had 4 interviews...4!!!!  UGH.  Thankfully, I was able to get a work study at the college I go to.  It's only 20 hours a week, but its better than nothing.  I also got another part time job at a restaurant for 10 hours a week.  Not enough to pay the bills but it's better than nothing.

    I hope that we will get out of this mess soon.  This country won't survive if it doesn't.

    Hang in there.

  •  The decision not to slice through Canadian cities (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, cosette

    with freeways mostly dates to the Stop Spadina campaign around 1970 to stop the Spidina Exprressway from cutting right to the heart of downtown Toronto. It was a massive campaign and just about the smartest thing Toronto ever did.

    It is very, very sad the the Wright brothers workshop was demolished -- it might have been part of a superb museum complex.

    This is a fabulous diary, the de-industrialization of the midwest, of course, also stretches into Ontario. Something like 10% of the population of my town (Peterborough) commute to the GM plants in nearby Oshawa which are contracting at an accelerating rate. Our GE plant is still going, making big turbines for much of the world, but now sold to a Brazilian company though still partly operating here. It has 100 workers, but had 5000 when I moved to this town 40 years ago.  

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:27:27 AM PDT

  •  Would even the homeless not go there? (0+ / 0-)

    Then it's official that your town or city is a ghost town.

  •  I was stationed at Wright Patterson AFB 94-98 (0+ / 0-)

    Met my wife there as well.  Lots of great memories.  Sorry to see it slide.

  •  Highways around towns... (0+ / 0-)

    is not always the best solution.

    The town I live in, not all that far from Dayton, has struggled with a dying downtown because we have our highways built around the city.  While the areas around the highways are bustling, downtown has started to resemble everything you've said about Dayton.  

    The city I'm talking about is Fort Wayne, IN.

  •  Excellent diary, and excellent theme (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob, NYFM

    The diary hooked me pretty quickly because I have some personal connections to NCR...I worked as an independent software contractor to NCR starting while I was in college, and that NCR work gave me a good start on my professional career.

    But the diary especially hooked me because it reinforced a perspective on former America's manufacturing strength that I learned from my father, and makes me wonder if that perspective is slowly being lost.  

    My father was born in 1911 in Bridgeport CT, a bedrock of manufacturing in the first part of the 20th century. Wikipedia: "By 1930, Bridgeport was a thriving industrial center with more than 500 factories."  He later moved to FL (where I was born) and would describe the strength of that manufacturing economy. His own employment history including Singer, GE, and especially Remington Arms, where he worked as a foreman during WWII making ammunition.  

    My father returned to his home city in the late 1970s for the first time in almost 30 years, and was sickened by the collapse of the economy, and the blight of his childhood neighborhoods.  

    Whereas many small communities are devastated by the closing of a local factory, it seems that it requires a tour of places like Dayton and Bridgeport to appreciate the enormity of the collapse of U.S. manufacturing.

    I wonder wish I could close this comment with an uplifting thought, but I cannot. But I thank you for creating and sharing your tour of Dayton with us.  

    The current GOP is similar to a fungus in that while both are alive, it's just hard to prove it. -Craig Shirley

    by sawgrass727 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:23:37 AM PDT

  •  There will be no economic recovery... (5+ / 0-) Ohio or Michigan or the rest of the country this year or any year in the foreseeable future. The reason is that the money needed to drive a consumer economy (for all its faults) has left the building. Only ten percent of our population now possess over 80% of our wealth which basically means that 90% of us do not have a pot to piss in. This means that GM and Chrysler will soon leave their Chapter 11 bankruptcies for full Chapter 7 liquidation, and the housing market will never recover. Unemployment will rise well into the teens nationally and soar above 20% in Ohio and Michigan and stay there.  Recycling some of their stagnant pool of wealth (it currently is not going into productive investment) back into the economy through a highly progressive tax policy is the only possible answer, and neither the current administration or any possible replacement have the balls to take on the super rich to make it happen.

    Seeking to use the tax system to modestly redistribute wealth has nothing to do with Robin Hood, but is all about simple economics. We need to put money into the hands of those who will spend it to stimulate our consumer economy. The super rich now possess a huge stagnant pool of wealth while ninety percent of the population don’t have the resources to keep the consumer economy going, nor to save enough to provide for their economic security. New York state has the right idea.
    To see the data go to UCSC.

    The current Federal tax code is far less progressive than most people believe. It greatly favors the super rich.
    Super Rich Taxes
    Source: Ezra Klein
    The proposed Obama "socialist" tax increase for the super rich is the modest up-tick on the far right of the graph.

    Source: John Cole

    Where we are headed if we don‘t change course and begin to fairly tax the super rich.


  •  Come on down to Columbus,GA (0+ / 0-)

    where NCR will be hiring nearly 900 folks - at lower pay, no doubt.

    I preach the church without Christ, where the lame don't walk, the blind don't see and what's dead stays that way! Flannery O'Connor

    by chalatenango on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 08:41:18 AM PDT

  •  I Lived In Dayton Area For 12 Years (0+ / 0-)

    We used to go to the Pine Club for steak and stewed tomatos.  Also we would go to a club in downtown Dayton and listen to Cajun music.  I can't remember the name of the club.

  •  People are swalling the GM Bankruptcy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and you have to wonder why. did it have to happen? Good question that I'll post on later. In the meantime, no help for the workers, except for unemployment. No guarantees jobs will stay here, in America...and a foreign company now basically owns Chrysler and the Hummer brand.  

  •  Wright State. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Calamity Jean

    I taught anatomy at Wright State's medical school and at Miami Valley hospital in 1975-76.  I lived in Fairborn and enjoyed the area and the people very much.  The people were the nicest in Ohio having grown up in the Cleveland area.

    A sad diary, but illustrative of the decay of our country overall.  We can thank the republicans for sending our jobs to other countries so their rich friends could get richer at the expense of our workers.  

    "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

    by dolfin66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:00:55 AM PDT

  •  Hey...**kicks at the dirt** sorry about that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, Calamity Jean

    whole bicycle shop thing. Ohio did get to keep Toledo after the Toledo War

    ...are we square?

    Excellent article. People need to know this stuff.

    I think a lot of areas feel immune to this sort of their formula for jobs is superior. And it may be....for now...but not forever.

    See my application for a Netroots Nation scholarship. If you're inclined, I could use an endorsement.

    by Muskegon Critic on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:01:18 AM PDT

  •  I tell you what (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette, NYFM

    I am from Ohio and I have seen this almost everywhere.  My hometown of Wellsville, OH was a small pottery city that thrived back in the heyday of that industry.  Pretty Boy Floyd was killed there and it used to be a hangout for the rich and famous.  Now it is a burned out town full of drugs and despair.  My hometown is surrounded by other little cities that are slowly dying away.  It is 45 minutes south of Youngstown, OH.  Once a proud Steel city, it is now a shell.  It too is falling apart and dying away.  The mob is losing stuff to fight over there.

    South of Wellsville is Stubenville, OH.  Once the home to multiple steel plants and neighbor to West Virgina steeltowns of Weirton and Wheeling, it is now a crime ridden city.  This is the fate of all of these rust belt cities.

    To see these towns fall apart in my home state is just disheartening.  While reading this diary, I wanted to cry.  Is there anything we can do to save these places?  Can the Green Industry make any difference?  I don't know, I really don't..

    "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes." J.D. Sallinger - The Laughing Man

    by Darkeus on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:14:33 AM PDT

  •  This is a fantastic diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'd love to see it done for some other cities. I feel like I now know a lot about Dayton I didn't know before.

    As far as urban highways--they have generally been a bad thing for cities, although Canada isn't perfect. Montreal took out quite a bit of housing with their Autoroute development, and Toronto and Ottawa did as well. Vancouver is probably the best North American example of a city which eschewed urban highways (other than Manhattan and to a lesser extent San Francisco), but Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Halifax all have fewer urban highways than most comparably-sized US cities.

  •  I had a friend at that GM plant. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First, he was laid off 3 weeks before he would have been eligible for full retirement (GM did that to a lot of their workers). Then the plant closed. Now he's unable to get a job (which he needs because he can't get full retirement and his retirement benefits - part of his agreed-upon pay - are being cut).

    My spouse is from Dayton, and one truth is that Dayton just ain't what it used to be.

    "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order." --- Ed Howdershelt (Author)

    by SciMathGuy on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:56:04 AM PDT

  •  I'm Dayton too, born and raised (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And I've watched it's falling to pieces like so many other American cities. We are not dead yet but NCR was a devious and hard blow. But there are good things in Dayton, a thriving art scene, great local restaurants, many small and large businesses  and a will to survive if we want to. And I believe we want to

    I may not be around for Dayton's rebirth, it's cancer you know, but it will come.

    Great dairy.

    •  And.. (0+ / 0-)

      The Arcade is not for sale. It was sold and is going to be renovated, a hopeful sign.

      •  renovated.....again (0+ / 0-)

        I remember its renovationin the '70s...and believe me, it was in pretty poor shape then....
        I remember Mom telling me about when she sold fish there in the '50s or early ' wasn't pretty...

        I may have lived 2/3 of my life away from Dayton, but I'll never forget that 1/3 spent riding the buses, breaking curfew on holloween night, walking to school, going to the Circus down at the fairgrounds, watching the Winters Bank tower, and later, the Mead Tower go up (whatever they're called now), performing at the Dayton Feis, and around town....

        It's still my town...and I will not let that go...

        -5.75,-4.05 "The invisible hand of Adam Smith seems to offer an extended middle finger to an awful lot of people"---George Carlin

        by justadood on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:04:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, and one suggestion (0+ / 0-)

    Tear down those crosstown freeways.

    The traffic will run through the town. You'll get acres and acres of prime real estate back. The property values of every home and business that is no longer in the shadow of a huge, loud concrete bulwark will improve. Once-severed neighborhoods will be reconnected.

    It won't save Dayton, but it will help.

    [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

    by oldjohnbrown on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 10:03:57 AM PDT

  •  Our elites have failed us. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They have sent our jobs to China.  They have sent our wealth to China, Switzerland, the Caymans, and Iraq and to a thousand other military bases around the world.  They have sent our young people to hell and an early grave.  They have left our children and grandchildren in deep debt.  They have manipulated know-nothings, including in Dayton, Ohio, to vote against their interests.  A dying empire turns the color of rust.  Pathetic, predictable, avoidable and now, inevitable.

    The rich have been living beyond our means..

    by djohnutk on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 10:12:52 AM PDT

  •  Born and raised in Cleveland (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And like many, saw it firsthand as I was growing up in the sixties and early seventies.

    I can't begin to describe the level of hate I have towards "corporate american" and their ongoing war against the working man and the middle class.

    -8.00, -8.26 "Fascism is capitalism plus murder." - Upton Sinclair

    by djMikulec on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 10:19:02 AM PDT

  •  This is a 3-d image of the current NCR lot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At least these jobs are (for now) staying stateside.  

    Sunshine on my shoulders...

    by pkbarbiedoll on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 10:25:44 AM PDT

  •  my husband grew up in Dayton (0+ / 0-)

    His father worked for Dayton rubber and tire factory until he died of lung cancer. It was never a very pleasant city.

    fact does not require fiction for balance

    by mollyd on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 10:30:44 AM PDT

  •  We used to play Dayton in ice hockey (0+ / 0-)

    When I was a teenager I was on my city's all-star traveling team.  Dayton was one of our rivals.  Though it wasn't much of a rivalry.  They used to beat the crap out of us every time we played them.  They were seriously good.

    •  the Gems? (0+ / 0-)

      I saw them play a few times....

      -5.75,-4.05 "The invisible hand of Adam Smith seems to offer an extended middle finger to an awful lot of people"---George Carlin

      by justadood on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:13:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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