Moving away from home makes you appreciate it more, and I’ve come to love my hometown even more since I’ve been away. I always tell folks that I come from St. Louis since most people know right where that is. More precisely, however, I’m from a little town about 20 minutes northwest of the city called Ferguson.
Ferguson was incorporated in 1894 and has about 20,000 residents as of 2009. Years ago, as I was moving away, parts of Ferguson were looking a little rough, but in the years since Ferguson mainstays have been turning old properties into new restaurants, apartments and businesses, revitalizing the main street and drawing in students from nearby University of Missouri at St. Louis. In fact, driving through the downtown area now I’m able to see all of the great buildings that somehow escaped my attention way back when. It’s been neat watching this place come back to life.
My memories of growing up in Ferguson are pretty idyllic. Dad owns the paint store and Mom taught dance at her studio on the same street. We marched in the Ferguson Fourth of July parade every year and watched the fireworks from our back yard. We ate at the church fish fry every Friday night, and were part of the swim team every summer. We caught lightning bugs, rode bikes around the block and had ‘concretes’ at Turner’s Frozen Custard. If you had asked me at the time, I probably would have told you it was a boring place to grow up. Looking back, Ferguson was a great place to grow up in.
Since I have a little time here in St. Louis before I head for Australia, I figured it might be nice to take you on a little tour of my hometown’s main street Florissant Road. The best part is that Ferguson seems to be getting better and better, and I couldn’t be happier that a new generation of kids can enjoy growing up here.
For more pictures of historic Ferguson, head on over to Flickr!