The near suburbs of St. Louis in the days before the first dot-com boom could be a foreboding place. They were built-up in the early days of white flight on the other side of a man-made open sewage river, whose name kind of sounds like French for “stinks real bad,” and forms the boundary between city and county. White people could stand on its banks and look over into the city to make sure all the brown people were inside before they made the perilous journey to go bowling.
Near suburbia was a place of 60s ranch-style houses owned by sweet old people who were being displaced by scary white trash with middle class incomes. It was a place of mobile homes abutting Barnes and Nobles. It was a place of nouveau upper middle class trash building massive shoddy tract homes with their wealth from fast food franchise ownership.
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