You remember Barbara Bandy, right?
|Fires raging on November 24, 2014 in 70 percent black Ferguson; five months prior, Barbara Bandy ( a 40+ year resident of the city), sold her home for nearly half its appraised value in 2011|
She moved to a nearly 100 percent white Ferguson in 1973, with her husband and children. Over the course of the next 40 years, the racial demographics of the St. Louis would completely flip, with whites dropping to around 25 percent of the total population by 2013 and blacks approaching 70 percent of Ferguson's population.
It was around this time Bandy, now a widow and with her children grown up, found herself all alone in an increasingly foreign community.
A community once capable of producing the type of memories for Bandy and her children they'll fondly recall over Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners was, in her final years living in Ferguson, only capable of producing a nightmarish existence.
On September 11, 2012, Bandy appeared at Ferguson City Council meeting as the only civic-minded individual to offer a public comment. And she brought up "public safety concerns."[CITY OF FERGUSON, MISSOURICITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTESSEPTEMBER 11, 2012, FergusonCity.com]:
Barbara Bandy, 324 S. Elizabeth, addressed the Council regarding public safety concerns. She discussed several incidents that had occurred in her area. Mayor Knowles said that City staff would look into the matter.
There being no additional public comments, Mayor Knowles closed the Public Comments portion at 7:25 p.m.Who knows what prompted Barbara Bandy to address the Ferguson City Council, but the odds are extremely high this was a problem she never needed to bring up when he children grew up in the nearly all-white city.
|Courtesy of Zillow, the struggles Barbara Bandy experienced trying to sell her home in an increasingly black city of Ferguson (all before the events of August 9, 2014, when Canfield Drive became another holy site for black people)|
But Ferguson is now 70 percent black (and rising).
The community Bandy and her late husband raised their children in is totally gone, much as the future for white people in Mandela's South Africa is the exact opposite of the one their grandparents hoped they'd inherit.
Accompanying the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article Blame poverty, age for weak North County home market, published on August 18, 2013, was an image of Barbara Bandy in front of her home. The caption reads:
After raising her children in a modest four-bedroom Ferguson home, Barbara Bandy, 82, decided last year that climbing stairs had gotten the best of her. She placed her home for sale in May, 2012, and despite cutting the price three times, it still has not sold. Bandy, who has sold most of her furniture, was photographed on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted her home had an appraised value of $117,500 in 2011. She put it on the market in 2013 for $98,000 but couldn't sell; she cut the price to $94,000, switched real estate agents, and cut the price to $84,500.
The Visible Black Hand of Economics...
Thanks to Zillow.com, we learn Bandy's four bedroom, two bath house at 324 S Elizabeth Ave in Ferguson sold on March 19, 2014 for $65,000.
The phone number connected with her old address no longer is in service, but the stories she could share about the Ferguson once existing would be far different then the ones of the Ferguson existing now.
Barbara Bandy's story of dispossession from the community she helped build and the declining property value of her home in a community far different then the one existing in 1973 Ferguson is a melancholy metaphor for white Americans in 2015.
It's a story few dare realize represents the future, because the fate of Barbara Bandy is one seemingly reserved for all white property owners in rapidly "diversifying" areas. [Ferguson, Mo. Emblematic of Growing Suburban Poverty, Brookings Institute, 8-15-14]
Unfortunately, there is no going back to the way the world was for Barbara Bandy and her young family in 1973, when they moved into the all-white city of Ferguson.
The Ferguson of 2015 is destined to become a completely black city, where the memory the Bandy family ever called 324 S Elizabeth Ave is completely lost, replaced with the continued desire to make holy Canfield Drive: where Michael Brown spent his final moments on earth. [What's going to happen to Canfield Green Apartments?, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3-15-15]:
But everything changed when a shrine sprouted in the heart of the complex.
As Ferguson purges leaders following the release March 4 of a Department of Justice report accusing local police and courts of abusing the rights of residents, the long strip of hats, orange cones and wilted stuffed animals remains in the median of Canfield Drive.
It’s the sacred memorial to Brown. Pilgrims continue to gather there even after a Justice Department report concluded Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was justified in the shooting of Brown, and that “credible” witnesses didn’t corroborate the popular story line that Brown had his hands up in surrender.'A shrine' Michael Brown's mother believes should stay in place "forever."
One wonders who it was Barbara Bandy complained about as causing a "public safety concern" to the Ferguson City Council on September 11, 2012, but it should be known she put a home she had lived for 40 years on the market only a few months later.
A home containing the ghosts of yesterday: memories of her deceased husband and young children opening presents on Christmas Day, preparing for the first day of school, and eagerly opening the front door to the possibilities of summer.
Those memories are dead, abandoned by Bandy to the cruelty of time and Ferguson's darkening demographic fate.