Not scaring easily, we were determined to head to Fairhill with an open mind yet even wider open eyes. This mindset was not easy to maintain, especially after researching our neighborhood and seeing the amount of crime/murders committed regularly, however we remained determined.
We decided that our first venture into the "badlands" would simply be a drive-through, and after only minutes of our journey through the trash-ridden, dilapidated streets of Fairhill, we had already driven by countless memorials to recent lives lost and were experiencing numerous cat calls from the locals loitering on the street corners. "Hey Mommy! You lookin' for something?"
As one could imagine, our fears were starting to rise, when the climax of our day occurred. As we drove down yet another narrow street trying to get as much of a glimpse as we could through the high walls, metal fences and barbed wire surrounding the local public school, Thomas Alva Edison High School, I glanced around and saw a thick black L-shaped item in the hand of a man standing on the corner. I immediately diverted my eyes forward and continued to drive. After a moment had passed, I hesitantly said to my partner, "Did that guy have a gun in his hand?" She let out of a furtive sigh of relief and said, "Oh my God! I saw the same thing but I thought if I didn't say it out loud then it didn't really exist."
So, our first visit to the "badlands" was harrowing, to say the least. While on a positive note, it looks like crime stories will practically write themselves, we are also looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead of finding a source of light in what seems like a pit of despair.
Becca Lane and Danielle Harvey
Fairhill, Fall '09, Group 17
September 9, 2009