Hi West, I lived on Blane street and I beleive it was just one street up from Gladstone. I also lived a stones throw from 12th street but on the other side that you did. In other words, I crossed 12th on my way to school in the morning. I didn't go to the elementry school because I lived in a different part of Detroit during that time. I grew up on the east side for the most part and lived on McClellan near Mack for the longest time. That was a good neighborhood around there at the time. I don't know about your side of 12th street, but on my side I quickly learned not to leave the house without a knife. Like you I lived in a predominately black neighborhood. But the nastiest guy around was white. Seems funny but my best freinds on my street and in school were all black. I had no white freinds while I lived there. I don't remember street cars on 12th street. I didn't live there until 1953 so they may have been tore up by then. I remember those hot summers where one would walk into a Jewish grocery store and they had these big pickle barrels with the pickles floating around on top mixed in with the dead flies. I lived there for two years and aside from some great freinds that I will always remember, I hated the place. It made me see the dark side of myself that I didn't like at times.
Yes, I did go to Hutchines junior high. The school itself wasn't so bad. It was mostly the block that I lived on that really sucked. By the way. Were you in the auditorium in 1953 when during a fight this guy was stabbed in the side? Was just wondering. They were sitting in the seats in front of me when it happened. From what I understand it wasn't a real bad wound though.
After leaving Blain St. I moved back to the East side and went to Eastern High on East Grand Blvd. and Mack until I went into the service. That was also predomately black but the attmosphere was much different than the 12th street area near Blain.