Interview with Richard Strichartz
QUESTION 7
SHEILA C. BERNARD:

OK, so if you could tell me about Sunday.

RICHARD STRICHARTZ:

We had gone out to look at a house in the suburbs, we'd been looking out there, and the reason was that, one, there was a problem of safety, I always like to walk, I couldn't walk in the evening by myself because my wife felt that, ah, I would be attacked. Secondly, education, there was a serious problem of the educational deficiencies in the system which were becoming apparent. We went out, we found a house, we were coming back in the city, and here was this pall of smoke over the entire city, and the thing about it was that it was--

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

OK, stop, a truck.



SHEILA C. BERNARD:

So if you could tell me about Sunday and really about what you did and how you were feeling.

RICHARD STRICHARTZ:

We had found the house in the suburbs. Driving back in--

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

I'm sorry I have to stop you, it's not clear that you were looking for a, you were looking for--

RICHARD STRICHARTZ:

Oh, OK. We were looking for a house in the suburbs over time, and we did find one, and when we were driving back, we could see the pall of smoke which at first just seemed to be one house or so, and then all of a sudden you could see it was over the entire city, and I realized then the, the city was burning. And all the work that we had done was being destroyed, the distress was more than distress, it was agony and tears came to my eyes and it was - we thought we had the answers and the fact is nobody had the answers** and I'm not sure anybody has the answers now.

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

OK, cut.



RICHARD STRICHARTZ:

I was driving downtown to the police headquarters on Friday afternoon, it was in the early afternoon, and I saw one group of adult Black males after another, going down. This was different than any other times that I've done this because I've constantly used that way of just getting downtown when I wanted to. This gave me a sense of apprehension which I described to my wife when I got home. I said, "There, there are too many people not working, not having anything to do, and this bothers me, worries me." On Sunday, we went out to look for a house, we needed to get one because I didn't feel safe, I felt imprisoned in the city, I couldn't go out walking in the evening which was a favorite thing, because my wife felt, ah, too troubled about my safety. My kids were going to schools, or would have gone to schools, that were inadequate. We had high standards. We found the house, came back into Detroit, saw this pall of smoke, at first just getting the impression it was just one fire, and then realized in an agonizing way, what had happened was that there, the city was on fire. What could never happen in Detroit had happened. All the answers we thought we had were not correct. And, ah, there were tears in my eyes because I realized the failure and I was distressed by it.

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

OK, cut, thank you.