West End Girls

The neighborhood I grew up in Chicago was solidly middle class.  I don’t know whether it was just plain ol’ middle class or lower middle class, as I’m not certain what the real distinction between those two terms are, but we definitely weren’t rich, and we definitely weren’t poor.  There was a park right down the alley from behind our apartment building, and as a kid, I went to play camp there (for little kids), and then later day camp (for older kids), every summer.  It was a 10 minute walk to my grammar school, and one or two buses away from my high school, depending on the route I wanted to take.  We moved to another apartment in a different neighborhood during my sophomore year of high school, and that too was middle class, just like the previous one.  I liked the kinds of areas I lived in because they were a good mix of people, from all different races/nationalities/ethnicities, and also because I never had to deal with much with gang violence or even gang presence, something that sadly many areas in Chicago don’t really get to boast.  I got lucky in that regard.

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