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Prompted By Going to Work

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Labor Day. End of summer. Time for educators like me to go to work.

As a native of the Motor City, everyone I knew drove to work.

As a native of the Motor City, everyone I knew drove to work.

Detroit had no subway system. Public transportation was rarely used.

Moved to Chicago with its “L” that made it easy to work in the city.

But I lived and worked in the suburbs.

I drove from my suburban apartment in Skokie to the suburban high school where I taught.

After moving to Evanston, my work was always close by. Easy to drive, easy to park.

Too easy to add to environmental pollution.

Retroflash #100

Profile photo of Laurie Levy Laurie Levy
Boomer. Educator. Advocate. Eclectic topics: grandkids, special needs, values, aging, loss, & whatever. Author: Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real.

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Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. John Shutkin says:

    Great RetroFlash, Laurie. It really caught the rhythm of those car commutes. And same with the perfect picture.

    As noted, I share your ambivalence about driving. Bad for the environment, but often too easy. Or simply no realistic alternative. It’s tough to be perfect, no?

  2. You’re so right, Laurie…it’s too easy to add to environmental pollution. It’s not only convenience…it’s also that many of us enjoy that alone time in our little bubbles. Back when I was going into the office in west L.A. (pre-pandemic), I was excited to try the new subway system that now had a station just steps from the office. I had to change lines three times which meant dealing with a lot of people coming and going, and I found myself missing the comfort of my bubble so I went back to driving. Too easy, indeed. And now, Covid.

  3. Marian says:

    I can see your dilemma from this RetroFlash, Laurie, and agree that driving can be convenient. Despite the hellacious traffic here in the Silicon Valley, the lack of rational public transportation makes it impossible to get anywhere in a timely manner. At least today there are a lot of Teslas in our neighborhood.

  4. Betsy Pfau says:

    Detroit had not interest in public transportation, Laurie. It IS the Motor City! Going “Woodwarding” is a sport. When I lived in Chicago, I took the bus to work, when I was in the office. It has good public transportation, but if I visited friends in the suburbs, I drove. Your Flash captures it all – the reasons and ease of parking, which make is so attractive to drive.

  5. Khati Hendry says:

    Your car commute is still the norm, but can’t continue unchanged. As you know, the car dependence didn’t happen by accident, so to speak, and maybe the other solutions (public transport, workplaces closer to living spaces, work from home, bicycles, electric or hydrogen vehicles) will become easier choices for our kids.

  6. Suzy says:

    Good RetroFlash, Laurie. I know you didn’t “get” what I was looking for with this prompt, but you managed to provide it anyway.

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