By Bill Matthews
Bears and other wildlife have already moved into the abandoned city
(DETROIT) Five months after he became the last person living in Detroit, Jimmy ‘Sweetpea’ Jameson has finally left the city, leaving it unoccupied for the first time since the Potawatomi Indians temporarily abandoned it in 1623.
“I can’t get mail service anymore and they turned the lights out in May, so what’s the point of staying?” Jameson, 42, told The Peoples News as he crossed 8 Mile—Detroit’s northern border—to live with a cousin in Oak Park.
Jameson, who makes a living selling his blood, left the city after the results of a nationwide standarized test were announced. Some 69 percent of Detroit’s 4th graders and 77 percent of 8th graders scored below basic, meaning they were unable to perform even the simplest skills.
However, Jameson revealed that he took all 7,827 tests.
“I can’t add to save my life,” he said. “And do long division? You must be out your mind.”
Jameson lived in a 12-bedroom home on John R Boulevard, and scavenged food from abandoned supermarkets. He wandered the city and every couple days, stopped by different schools. In October, he began seeing tests piled at the front of each school.
“I don’t think anyone realize no one actually attends school in Detroit anymore,” he said. “Goodness knows that with scores like that, how could anyone think students were actually learning anything here?”
This isn’t the first time Detroit has been abandoned. The Potawatomi hunted in the area—which they called Dekissimotroit or ‘The Land of No White People’—for generations before leaving.
“The schools were awful, people were always firing arrows willy-nilly on New Year’s Eve, and enemy tribes would sneak in on Devil’s Night and set fire to the tepees,” said Detroit historian Melinda Dolittle. “It was really an awful place to live.”
The city, which had a population of about 930,000 as of May, cleared out following soul-sapping layoffs at Ford, GM and Chrysler and the Detroit Lions‘ season.
In November, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm tried selling the land back to the French, who founded Detroit in 1701. But the prickly country said ‘no refunds’ because Granholm didn’t have a receipt.
“You break it, you buy it,” sniffed French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Just before Jameson’s exit, President Obama signed legislation turning Detroit into a national park. Already, grizzly bears, elk, coyotes and wolves have been spotted roaming the quiet streets. Lions were also allowed in, but they were quickly killed by the bears, rams, cardinals, dolphins, falcons, really, anything that came up against them.
Jameson was wistful as he crossed over the threshold into the suburbs.
“I hope I can come back again some day,” he said before disappearing into a thicket of trees. “I will. The Detroit Lions will always suck, but the city will come back, you watch.”
Note: This article—except for the part about the test scores and, of course, the Detroit Lions—is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News.
© 2009 The Peoples News