Last weekend, Emily and I went back to Germantown. This time, we had recorders instead of cameras and were looking for people who were ready to be candid with us about their lifestyle in Germantown. We encountered four women who were willing to speak with us.
Robin, though at first (understandably) cautious about two random people with recording devices, really opened up to us. She shared some memories of her childhood, such as being able to play on the street without worry, something that children growing up in Germantown today aren’t able to do. While she didn’t mention children of her own, Robin was holding a diaper bag which made me think that she was thinking about her own kids and while speaking about the dangers that feels are constantly present in her neighborhood.
In a more commercial area of Germantown, we spoke to two elderly women doing some Sunday shopping outside of a Payless. The women declined to state their names for the interview, but had a lot to say about what has happened to their community. I found it interesting that although they both expressed disappointment in Germantown, they were very defensive of it. While listening to the short audio file, try and concentrate on how many times they say that the problem “is everywhere.” It’s hard to hear, but the first woman says that she has been here since 1963 and has watched the decline of a community that she loves. She says, “I like it here because I have been here all my life.” This made me think about how powerful her attachment to Germantown must be for her to live somewhere solely because of positive memories.