a recent import to dowagiac, the irish writer, told me today that he heard dowagiac was a dying city. i googled it immediately and found that "dying city michigan" pulls up flint and places near flint, but not dowagiac. he must be wrong.
google would know if it were true.
but then again it is possible that ours is an insignificant death--a death too small for even the internet to notice.
as an aside, saying flint is dying is as insightful as saying puppies are cute. vultures ate the butt out of that pig a decade ago. the circle of life, hakunamatata, amen.
fifteen years ago, i suspected dowagiac was dead, not dying. they made major renovations to the "historic" downtown. signs point to this attraction (as they do in most smal towns) from the highway through town that everyone uses to avoid such things. they restored the brick buildings and put up imitation street lights so the vacant storefronts would be more attractive to the various stroller girls and other unemployed folk who spend their days on benches.
i was suspicious because one always puts a suit on a corpse before burying it. the fix up was proof of our death.
as always, though, we in small town middle america are slow to catch on. we have to be reminded by outsiders of things as obvious as our own demise. tear down the city limits sign and replace it with a tombstone. we're dead.