The new flight to the suburbs

But this time it’s the dead people:

Detroit has lost half its population since its heyday of the 1950s,
and every year the city hemorrhages an estimated 5,000 people more.
First it was white flight to the suburbs; then with the city’s
continued spiral into poverty and violence, blacks began to flee to
those same suburbs. And while census figures show that whites are
returning to some of the nation’s largest cities, Detroit is
experiencing a flight of a different kind. As the Imbrunones’ second
funeral demonstrates, Detroit is experiencing the flight of the dead.

…From 2002
through 2007, the remains of about 1,000 people have been disinterred
and moved out of the city, according to permits stored in metal filing
cabinets in the city’s department of health. Looked at in another way,
for about every 30 living human beings who leave Detroit, one dead
human being follows. Moreover, anecdotal evidence compiled by a Detroit
professor suggests the figure may be twice as high, meaning city
records may be incomplete and that thousands upon thousands of deceased
people have been relocated from the city over the past 20 years.

Here is the story, interesting throughout.  In one example the relocation cost about $5,000.  I thank Hugo Lindgren for the pointer.

Comments

When did Charlie LeDuff join the Detroit News? Looks like he left the NY Times in 2006...

If the exodus continues, who will vote for Kwame Kilpatrick in the next election?

Having lived in the Detroit area, I can almost see my last words being "Please, don't bury me in Detroit."

Many of the burned-out, abandoned areas of Detroit are reverting to pasture land. Here's a nice picture:

http://www.detroitblog.org/index.php?paged=3

A pity, really. Detroit was once known as the "Paris of the West." The auto jobs are disappearing and may all be gone soon. In another generation or so there may not be too much left of Detroit. How sad yet somehow appropriate that a thuggish buffoon like Kwame Kilpatrick is mayor.

Detroit's ultimate fate will come when the city consists of a couple dozen loin-clothed inhabitants waging war on each other with stone knives and clubs only to find there are not enough of them left to form a viable gene pool.

Another point in favor of cremation.

I have a couple beloved Dobermans buried in the backyard, a good reason not to move, not that there's any reason to.

You could feel the rise as you walked over them on the way to the bird feeder, even in the snow, which was something of a comfort while it mattered.

However, digging them up would be a little over the top. One moves on to another dog to pick up where you left off.

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