by Allison Schuette
Gary, Indiana has any number of reputations depending on the person doing the reputing and the period of history being reputed. It’s the City of the Century, the first city of its size to elect a black mayor, the murder capital of the world. To this writer, it was mostly a blur through the window on her way into or out of Chicago. That is, until she started collecting stories from people in Northwest Indiana about their experiences with the de-urbanization of Gary: the automation and downsizing of the steel mills, the uprooting of businesses to the mall, the white flight into suburbia and beyond. This audio essay explores some of Gary’s postindustrial story.
Allison Schuette is a writer interested in documenting lives through text and audio in a variety of genres. Her written work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. In 2014, she received a Ragdale residency, and the play written there, In the Belly of the Whale, had its premiere at Khaos Company Theatre in Indianapolis. An Associate Professor in the English Department at Valparaiso University, she also co-directs the Welcome Project, an online, digital story collection used to foster conversations about community life and civic engagement. Stories about Gary’s de-urbanization are being posted there under the category, Flight Paths.
SLAG GLASS CITY • Volume 2 • June 2016
Header image by Lotzman Katzman.