Some recent discussion over whether public figure Ben Myers is a public figure or not included mention of the old "Big Stop" store, once the pain and bane of the Jordan Neighborhood until Don Samuels, et al, made a push to get it shut down, torn down, and the earth where it once stood sowed with grass seed, but not THAT kind of grass.
Here is a photo that shows...
...the former site of Big Stop, notorious open air drug market and source of quality snack foods for the busy money-making gangster on the go.
Prior to to the destruction of this building, there was a push by (former JACC vice chair) Ben Myers and (former JACC executive director, now reportedly applying for unemployment) Jerry Moore to SAVE THE BIG STOP BUILDING.
Why, you might wonder? WHY TRY TO SAVE A BUILDING WITH NO HISTORICAL VALUE AND A LONG HISTORY OF BEING A HAVEN FOR DRUG DEALING? At the time, there was talk coming from the Myers/Moore clique of turning the old Big Stop into a headquarters for JACC.
Of course, we all see what high regard somebody like Jerry Moore has for the headquarters of JACC: he tried to shut off the power at JACC in the middle of winter after the "New Majority" ousted him.
But the question remains: why were Ben Myers and Jerry Moore trying so hard to save that nasty little structure, even posing in front of the building in a Star Tribune news photo, mafia style, their body language seeming to say, "Don Samuels, if you want to tear down the old Big Stop, you have to get through US, first!" (The article is still easily found online, adding to the "public figure" status of Ben Myers)
According to speculation by somebody in the Jordan neighborhood--and I emphasize it is purely speculation--the whole point of that little fiasco was to simply oppose Don Samuels in preparation for a city council campaign by Ben, Jerry, or somebody else. It didn't matter what position Samuels stood for...the point was to stand for the OPPOSITE thing and try to paint Samuels as out of touch with the grassroots.
(Which grassroots, I always wonder? The ones actually SELLING grass?)
If Don Samuels had said: let's find a way to save that building and maybe use it for some kind of neighborhood organization, then the position of Ben and Jerry might have been: ARE YOU CRAZY? After all that drug dealing? For goodness sakes, TEAR IT DOWN!!!
Well, in any case...here is a picture of peace on earth. It may not look like much. After all the struggle to drive out the drug dealers and tear down the stark symbol of neighborhood disorder, one might expect a choir of heavenly angels celebrating the salvation of that particular vacant lot.
No, it really doesn't look like much. All the same, this is what we fight for up in NoMi: a place a child can leave his/her Big Wheel tricycle, and play in the grass, and not have to see drug deals going down day and night, not have to rub elbows with crack heads while trying to buy an orange Push-Up ice cream treat at the corner store.
One day, something might be erected at that controversial spot again.
Personally, I hope it's a swing set, monkey bars and merry-go-round.