What does it mean to live on the wrong side of the tracks?

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Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

 

Bald Knob depot

This is the Bald Knob, Arkansas, White County, train depot taken a long time ago.  Bald Knob, in the last few years, obtained a grant and they used it to restore the old depot.  It is used as a museum for train items and it may still be used as a depot too because trains come through Bald Knob all the time.

But back to my question.  You and I have always heard about "the wrong side of the tracks."  She or he lives on the wrong side of the tracks.....and sometimes that was a snub.  At least I always thought it was a snub.

Lately, I've learned that it was and is a real problem.  In Bald Knob if you live on the wrong side of the tracks and the train is sitting on the tracks, you can't get across.  You will be late for your job, your date, your hair appointment, or your dinner if it is on the other side.  You might sit in your car for a long long time.

A person who knows Bald Knob well told me that in the past a mayor of the city lived on the wrong side, had a heart attack, got to the tracks and there was a train.  By the time they had to wait 30 minutes to get across, he died.  Whether this is a Bald Knob urban myth, I don't know but it certainly put literal meaning to "wrong side of the tracks."

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Rainer
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Jerome (Jerry) Donahue
Prudential McHugh Realty - Maple Shade, NJ

I'm amazed at how familiar the train station looks seems every town has one of there own

Aug 07, 2008 07:22 AM #1
Rainmaker
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Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Barbar,

 

Remember the old song "Down In The Boondocks" all about the wrong side of the tracks. Seems to be an ongoing worry, being on the wrong side.

Aug 07, 2008 07:31 AM #2
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Barbara, it is really amazing the life that "the other side of the tracks" has taken on quite apart from its origins.  Now it can be the other side of the freeway:)

Aug 07, 2008 09:21 AM #3
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Jerry, they all seem to look alike, too, don't they. 

Steven, I guess I was born on the wrong side of the tracks.  I can remember walking to the little old downtown and there would be a train.  I was afraid to crawl over or under like the other kids did.  Guess I just stood and cried or walked a mile to get around it.  It was really scary if the engine was still running.

Aug 07, 2008 07:33 PM #4
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Charles, I can't believe they didn't feature your blog yesterday.  They have no class!  I never thought about the wrong side of the freeway but you are right! 

Hey Steven, being a music lover, you need to go back and read the comment someone put on my blog about that Plaza theater picture with the band in front.  It tells the story of those kids and it sounds just like Music Man!! 

Aug 07, 2008 07:36 PM #5
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Barbara, and I though all you had to do was wave your magic want at the AR Gods:)

Aug 07, 2008 07:47 PM #6
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Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Barbara - I always thought the wrong side of the tracks was the side I, like the mayer, me he rest in peace, that I was stuck on and my destination wasn't.

Aug 07, 2008 07:50 PM #7
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Charles, you need to find out who flagged you when you had that very "unworthy" one featured.  They own the magic wand.

Mike, it truly does depend on which side your destination is on.  We could say that the destination is located on the wrong side of the tracks, couldn't we. Thanks for comments.

Aug 07, 2008 09:52 PM #8
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Michael Thornton
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspector - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.0297

I grew up in a small rural town in south GA and the expression was used to denote 'less than desirable' people or people with a 'seedy' reputation. Glad that they did not know me... LOL...

Aug 08, 2008 05:23 AM #9
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Michael Thornton, I think we grew up in the same town.  What's the name of yours? 

Aug 08, 2008 07:33 AM #10
Anonymous
Anonymous

Barbara,

I remember that train staion well!  I lived not far from there.  That is right, the trains used to sit on the tracks for a very long time.

Aug 08, 2008 04:29 PM #11
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Mary, look at today's station and see if you remember it.

Aug 09, 2008 09:32 AM #12
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

What a story, Barbara. See, this is why I love reading your blog. I get such a sense of Searcy history from it.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento land park real estate agent

Aug 09, 2008 09:38 AM #13
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Elizabeth, you are just such a nice person and great blogger!  No wonder you are wanted for book writing.  I googled you and I believe I read that you already write for the New York Times?  Or some REALLY BIG newspaper? 

Did you just notice that we don't have to fill in those danged funny words for responses today?

Aug 09, 2008 09:46 AM #14
Anonymous
Ludean

That is why we have two fire stations in our small town.  One on each side of the tracks, just in case of a fire while the train in on the tracks.  

Aug 10, 2008 12:07 PM #15
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Ludean, you have TWO fire stations?  I didn't know that.  Do the trains sit on the tracks a lot in your town?

Aug 10, 2008 12:16 PM #16
Anonymous
Ludean

Yes, we do have two fire stations or at least two buildings.  One beside the post office, the other across the tracks on the same block as the old city hall.  A new fire station is being built next to the old city hall, which is next to the Durham Park, where we have a nice walking trail.   

I don't think the tracks are blocked as much as they used to be.  We have 3 places to cross now.  One is Y Street, which I think they are talking about closing, the second one is on Searcy St., the third one is on Highway 11. 

Aug 10, 2008 04:23 PM #17
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Barbara S. Duncan

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