As a little girl I grew up on the south side of Macon. Anyone from Macon will tell you it's a pretty rough place to grow up. I lived there from the time I was five until I hit the tender age of eleven. Then we moved up to what was seen as at the time the "better side of the area". We went from Bruce school, Mr.B's, and Powell’s Pharmacy to Rocky Creek Foods, Jessie Rice, and Colony West. Where instead of hearing gun fire every night you only heard it on the weekends after everyone got their paychecks and stocked up on their beer.
Through all of this I use to have a day dream. One that was shared by many of my friends. We are talked about getting good jobs and moving to the "good side of town." The never seen but always talked about North Macon. For all of us North Macon was the promise land. The gun fire was rare, the houses were beautiful, and all those living there were rolling in the dough. You hardly heard of someone on our side of town crossing over but when they did you never saw them again. It was like they fell off the face of the earth and never came back.
Now as an adult I know that what happened was these lucky few who didn't have cars and were now going to new schools just adapted to their new environment. I mean if you got a chance to go to the "promise land" you didn't want a reminder of the hard times you had to go through to get there.
Still as kids we all had very overactive imaginations and a taste for what for us at the time was the unexplained. The idea that we were just fading memories in our once playmates minds didn't register. Instead we were hungry for a mystery and a mystery we invented.
We decided that North Macon didn't really exist. Instead it was like Never Never land, or Oz. Just a place the adults told us about to make us do better in school. That the truth was that those who went to North Macon had actually fallen off the face of the earth. I mean we had friends in the neighborhood who went to Jones County and came back. They went to Monroe and came back. Everywhere but North Macon.
We would ponder for hours to what happened. Some believed that once they crossed over they just vaporized (The kid in our group who was a sci-fi freak). Others believed the government took them and put them in work camps (The girl who read too much about World War II). Then there was me. I thought they had been swallowed up by the earth. Never to be seen again. (I was the Stephen King gal of the group).
It wasn't un til years later after I had went to Georgia Industrial Home and express my views to a friend about North Macon that she laughed her butt off at me. "You fool! You are in North Macon). She informed me. That was when I realized that even though it was a little nicer it wasn't anything more than just another place in Macon.
Not a promise land. Not Oz. Just another place where there were more backyards than there were apartments. Needless to say I was more than a little disappointed but was able to show later that you could go to North Macon and still return to the south side. It was just who would want to.