For me Rockford is home. Not that I always like it here or that I agree with its politics, planning or otherwise lofty ideas. It’s home because I was raised here and my family is here and so this is, home. Living for a time in Houston in the early ’80s showed me big city life wasn’t for everyone and I came “home”. Residing in the “Northwoods” of Wisconsin was a complete joy. But again I wound up back “home”. So many people I’ve spoken to have said the very same thing. “We always come home.” It begs the question why.
This this place such a draw? Is there all so much waiting for us upon our return? One does pause to wonder. But in all reality people are creatures of habit. And so we flock back. We know the layout, the culture and the neighbors. We sort of pick up easy where we left off and life goes on. Rockford is, well, Rockford. Those of us who left and returned pretty much knew that and that’s why we came back. Good ol’ Rockford, nothing ever changes.
Well, as I see it anymore, “time’s they are a changin.'” And from this writer’s opinion not in a good way. Too much focus on unneeded structure and too little on issues that only briefly addressing won’t repair. This city was built on the strength of immigrants. People who wanted to make a better life for themselves and their future families. A silent coagulant effort that he who worked hard would succeed. To these hardy souls a separation of ethnic difference was a small challenge compared to the basic needs to build a community. So, Sven worked as hard as Gino, who toiled as hard as Willie. And a city was born. Of course, one group always thought more highly of themselves than another. But they still knew, they all needed each other.
Today the separation of community in this city is bigger than this middle age woman has ever seen. East side, west side, poor, wealthy and I don’t even want to touch on the race issue. People say the river divides, sure it does, in a direction way. That’s all it should do however. Combating the cultural divide of this city should be first and foremost at the top of the Rockford Bucket List. Then when we get that battle accomplished we should be good to go with the next thing on that bucket list. But until that happens.. Good ol’ Rockford, nothing ever changes.