Ferndale Seniors: A Reminder

Ferndale Seniors: A Reminder

By Jeannie Davis

Ferndale has come a long way. I have lived here since the mid-’60s. Then, it was a big family town, with a thriving downtown which was principally a daytime retail area. People outfitted their kids at Federals, and took them for ice cream sundaes at Sanders. While moms gossiped, the kids cruised Kresge’s or Woolworths or Neisners; all dime stores, the forerunners of today’s dollar stores. Women had their choice of Winkleman’s or Fields for fashion. We boasted a magic store, and even a bowling alley.

Then, sadly, the kids grew up and moved away. People didn’t have four or six children anymore…heck, many peo- ple didn’t even have children at all. In- door shopping malls and K-Mart came along, and within a couple of short years, small town shopping districts were abandoned.

Our downtown was at least 50 per cent vacant. Then, in the late ‘90s, our city planners went to work. Ferndale re-invented itself. We welcomed new bars and restaurants. Not just any bars and restaurants, either. The early Rosie’s was amazing, Howe’s gave us variety. Our City Council worked with a few non-profits on events such as the Pub Crawl and the Blues Festival, and beefed up our participation in the Dream Cruise. Our DDA created smaller events, like Fido Does Ferndale and special shopping nights. All of this served to bring back our business district, and certainly put Ferndale on the map. Our housing market boomed, and suddenly everybody wanted to live in Ferndale.

We still have bugs to work out of our system. Parking is a big bug, and we are just starting to tackle our parks, and some of the other minor not so shiny areas of the city.

WHY AM I GOING THROUGH all this history? Because I want to remind some of you where we have been and
what we have done to come as far as f we have come.

Recently on Facebook I watched a discussion on paying to use the new dog park. People were making outrageous statements about “greedy Ferndale.” They said this city was lousy to live in. Their primary gripe was having to pay $40/year to use the new park.

Seriously, folks? A $40 fee erases all the good and all the planning done over the past 20 years? Our DPW worked hard to make the new dog park friendly and inviting. Did you note the dog-bone shaped bench, or the fire hydrant waterer? Have you noticed new playscapes in the other parks? Have you paid attention to all the hard m work our DDA does to bring you free movies, doggy events, festivals, and an x art fair? Are you aware that we have warming and cooling centers for when the power goes out, and our Rec.Dept. employees work overtime to staff these centers? Have you noticed the free outdoor concerts our all-volunteer Art Commission brings you? (I know some of you came to these because you complained about paying for the hot dogs we grilled for you.) Or maybe you have seen the art hanging in city hall, again brought to you by our volunteers.

I am proud of my city, and I count myself lucky to be living here and knowing our fine leaders are on the job, working r to make it even better. I love knowing that my neighbors and friends come out happily to volunteer whenever they a are needed. I also love that the people who are involved do not complain. They know that the city is doing the best it can do, and they are doing what they ’ can to help.

So, stop griping about parking and B dog park fees. Look around. See how i wonderful Ferndale is. If you are still unhappy about something, volunteer and try to fix it.

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