Over the holiday break, I ventured to the WHA to visit my family and friends. Going back home over the last few years has been bittersweet. It's hard going there knowing that my mother is gone. It's hard going there and feeling the depression and despair that seems to loom over the town. It's sweet seeing my pops, my babies, and the occasional homie that happens to be in town.
I thank my parents so much for wanting better for us. Instead of buying us the latest Js, they bought us encyclopedias and computers. Whilst WHA was their home, they had much bigger aspirations for their children. I couldn't ever bring myself to dog my hometown out, I got much love for the area. The town was never a hotbed of entertainment, but now its just down right 'thetic.
I drove down the streets of my youth. I was amazed that at most times, it felt like my car was the only one on the road. I drove through neighborhoods and didn't see anyone outside, no children playing, nothing. I went in Wally World and saw a bunch of chicks with 2 and 3 children and/or visibly pregnant. Now just because I didn't see a man with them doesn't mean their is no father involved; however, playing the averages I'm sure there isn't.
There are no more than 10 gas stations in the area. One gas station had been burglarized so many times, the owner decided to shut it down. It's crazy. A store that had served the community for as long as I can remember is now a car wash (only $5.....if you're looking for a deal). I'm thinking c'mon, you gotta have gas for your car. If you run all the stations out of business then what?
Now they have the lottery in Arkansas. Worst. Idea. Ever. I went into a store and I saw a lady spend about $200 on lottery tickets and scratch offs. Poor people + dreams of getting rich quick = disaster. I'm not gonna sit up here and act holier than thou. Yeah, I'll buy a quick pick or two, but I'm not gonna spend rent money/etc on a pipe dream. I hate to call it exploitation, but if it walks like a duck....
All in all, I had a good time. I saw my babies and hung out with them. I saw a couple of the homies that I haven't seen in a grip. I got a chance to clean my moms' gravesite off and put out some fresh flowers. I will say that if my father ever leaves the area, my visits to the WHA would be few and far in between. I pray that the city gets some competent management and finds a way to thrive. Until then, I guess that's why its referred to as West Helltown. Peace.