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2 of 24 It happened five years ago…the untold stories


It was a grim and chilly October Friday. As I looked upward the sky was darker than usual.  Maybe this was sign of how my day would end. The clouds were fiercely clustering above my head and it felt as if it was going to rain at any moment.  The breeze turned into a howl that sounded monstrously and began swaying the trees back and forth, as they became overwhelmed by the strong wind.  It was two o’clock in the afternoon, just the beginning of rush hour at O.M. Roberts Elementary.  I walked out to the letter box and discovered a certified notice from my landlord.  As I read the letter, I had to take a seat, the letter discussed the issue of possibly a forced eviction due to a land takeover from the Dallas ISD.  I re-read the letter twice in disbelief.  How could this happen to me?  I had been a loyal tenant for over 40 years and know thoughts of becoming homeless ran through my mind.  My house was a beautiful home with hardwood floors and arched entry ways.  In 1969 I left my old neighborhood to move into this beautiful community, and I inherited the pear tree in the back yard.  That tree captured so many of memories of youthful energy picking the fruit every year.  In the months that followed, I pleaded with my landlord, but he had no choice but to bow down to the treats from DISD. I reached out to members at Jubilee Center, but they were in favor of DISD’s plan. I was forced out by May and will never forget that dreadful day.  My beloved home became a mound of rubble and that pear tree became a pile of splinters.  Today, I drove by and couldn’t hold back the tears. My home now gone, and the pleasures of picking and tasting the first ripe pears have faded away for me and the children.  I parked right in front of the lot where my home once proudly stood, it’s three o’clock and within minutes, the streets were packed with cars and parents rushing to pick up their child.  The originally wide and spacious streets seemed to have shrunk.  I thought to myself people just don’t walk to or from school anymore. I can remember the day when children would ride their bikes to school and stop by to my house to pick pears from that pear tree.  Today, the pace of life and people is unbelievable it’s like an tournament of who can get to their destination in the quickest time. Everyone is in such a hurry.  Vehicles lined up and down the street and blocked the driveways of the remaining residents.  More and more children and parents came streaming out from the new MEGA O.M. Roberts Elementary school.  The traffic lights turned green and almost at the same time, a few dozen cars seemed to try to attempt to cross the road as quickly as possible, I can’t understand why but, they were desperately wanting to reach the other side which was just a few feet away. Those few who managed to stand in the front of the school stood triumphantly, with a look of agitation and impatience on their faces when the cars refused to give them the right away.  The district took away that neighborhood feeling from this community.   I see sadness in the eyes of my former neighbors.  This school, children and parents are now filled with chaos. The traffic was terrible. Cars were stuck in the same position as restless honks from other cars could frequently be heard. I could see through the fancy tinted windows in the cars and deep frowns from the drivers were very visible.  In this new age of advancement and town home development we take simple things for granted, like preservation, history, yards and trees.  We live in a world of luxuries and comforts, where it’s easy to tear down and replace.  For this community the historical intrigue and stunning architecture that O.M. Roberts and its community had is forever gone.

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