We asked Macon residents who live near Pio Nono Avenue for their thoughts about Macon, especially what frustrates them about the city and why they live here as part of the “Macon in the Mirror” project. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say:
George Spradley, Courtland Avenue
Spradley grew up in a large family and moved to Macon 20 years ago to be closer to his youngest son. He said he’s frustrated by Macon’s hesitation to do better.
“People seem to be complacent and content to be in one spot.”
Betsy Powell, Stanislaus Circle
Powell grew up in Macon and derives pleasure serving on the board of the Advocacy Resource Center, which serves adults with mental disabilities.
She expressed frustration at Macon’s reputation.
“I think Macon has a lot to offer, but people, oh my gosh, there is so much crime,” she said. “I think there is crime everywhere. I think how it is portrayed. ... There is so much good in Macon, so much history. I think Macon needs to turn its image around.”
Ricky Howard, Suwanee Avenue
Howard is a veteran who was born and raised in Macon. He is frustrated by Macon’s government and crime, but he loves the city’s Southern charm and people.
“When I travel out of state to other family members, they have the misconception that Macon is a country, hick town -- a place that time has forgotten and everything. And that race relationships aren’t as good as they are supposed to be. It is basically a step back into the past.”
Homer Gordon, Westberry Drive
Gordon grew up on a farm growing cotton, butter beans and potatoes.
“We kind of came up the hard way. We had to walk to school. Shoes with holes in them. We had all of that,” he said. “It was kinda rough, but we made it.”
Gordon said he likes to stay busy with work and his grandchildren and could teach others what it means to work hard.
“I have a good neighborhood. I love my neighborhood,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to move from my neighborhood and go to another one. Everybody around there is very nice. People around there are all together, and you don’t care if anybody is walking around their houses. I really can leave my door open without locking it. I can do it but I don’t do it.”
Angelica Jackson, Monroe Avenue
“I think people have a tendency to stereotype people based on where they live and that people in certain areas are all of a certain background. ... People should get to know people.”
Erica Hammock, Somerset Drive
Hammock has lived in Macon all of her life and says being a mother to her three children gives her the greatest sense of accomplishment.
“I guess I’m more or less worried about people, the economy.”
Hammock said nothing frustrates her about Macon.
“This is where my family is, this is where we have established as home and this is where I’ve been my entire life.”
Tequila Burnett, Rocky Creek Road
Burnett said she is focused on finding a better job and caring for her children.
“All the violence and crime and all of that,” she said when asked what frustrates her. “It could be a cool city. I’ve been here my whole life. I like Macon. I’ve been here. I would probably stay here before I go stay in a real big, big city because it ain’t that dangerous.”
George Williams, Holmes Avenue
Williams has lived in Macon his entire life.
“(I’m frustrated with) the crime and seeing old neighborhoods decay and the city not pick them up or take care of them. A lot of people here are old, so there is going to be an influx of young people into the neighborhood. So I wonder if the property is going to be as valuable or taken care of as well.
-- Compiled by Debbie Blankenship