My Misunderstood Hometown

Jason Kelly ’95 | July 14, 2020

South Bend takes some explaining. Sometimes even to myself.

Like the river, a sense of civic insecurity flows through town, placid on the surface but with a strong undertow. Once in a while, I’ll kick against the current, unwilling to let a slight go by unchallenged, marshaling an inventory of South Bend’s advantages and amenities, but that always feels defensive, protesting too much.

So mostly I float along with the prevailing opinion. If anything pegs me as a South Bend native, it’s that: my silent acceptance of negative perceptions of the city.

Despite my mute acquiescence, I really don’t get why so many people harbor hard feelings. The grievances I hear tend to be vague — beyond pining for a Trader Joe’s, the lack of which seems to be universally felt — an indistinct but pervasive sense of something missing in the culture, the geography, the infrastructure. But what, exactly?

Read more here.

 by Daily Domer Staff

Posted In: ND Magazine