It has been one year since the name Michael Brown, and the town of Ferguson Missouri, entered the national consciousness.

With the "anniversary" this past weekend, this St. Louis suburb is back in the news, due to resumed violence.

With this in mind, I thought that I should re-post my thoughts, video, and pictures from my visit to the area, last November. I was in Missouri for my cousin Bethany's wedding.

As you look at all the boarded-up businesses, it is sad to realize that just over a week from the time that I took these pictures, and posted them here on, most were burned to the ground.

When the not guilty verdict was announced, it was surreal to be watching the live coverage in New Jersey...seeing businesses that I had photographed just days before...looted (again) and burned.

Here is my post from November 16, 2014:

Crossing the "Mighty Mississippi River" into St. Louis! (Craig Allen photo).

If my "road trip" (970 miles) had taken place this past Spring, the drive between the house where I am staying (my "bachelor pad") and the plant where my Aunt and Uncle (and cousins) make bowling balls would take me through a sleepy bedroom community that no one would care about.

But, for the past few months, Ferguson Missouri, has been the center of the news universe.

New Hall Ferry Road entering...Ferguson. (Craig Allen photo).

From the bowling ball plant, where I am writing the story, and posting my photos and video, Ferguson is a block, or two blocks away, depending on the direction you are walking, or driving...

This mall, just down the street from the plant, was the police staging area. And, may have to be, again. (Craig Allen photo)

At the height of the looting and demonstrations, I have learned that there were days where the tear gas floated by, but work continued as always.

Rolling along Route 70 West, in Illinois...Tranquil...see a difference? (Craig Allen photo).

All I heard about, while driving cross country from New Jersey to the "Gateway City," and since I have arrived is...Ferguson.

Peace? Lets just say...I had to remove the bottom line from the bottom sticker. (Craig Allen photo)

At any moment, the grand jury could deliver its verdict as to the guilt or innocence of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Ferguson needs to stay calm. (Craig Allen photo).

In the meantime, calm is being urged by public officials, the media, and by the family of Michael Brown.

The whole world knows what happened, so I need not go into details of the shooting.

"Shop Ferguson" sign over a plywood "window." (Craig Allen photo).

Its aftermath is evident in the portion of Ferguson where the shooting took place.

The plywood says it all! (Craig Allen photo).

Many stores have reopened for business in the past few weeks, but have not replaced their shattered glass windows.

Whole strip malls are missing their glass windows! (Craig Allen photo).

Plywood storefronts are the affected area.

One glass window is back...good luck! (Craig Allen photo)

Some businesses have replaced their glass, and are hoping for the best, like above.

New plywood...far from town...just in case. (Craig Allen photo)

Some businesses, like this one (above), a mile from the "action" on New Hall Ferry Road have since boarded up, in anticipation of what may happen in the coming days.

I doubt that this was the kind of "remodeling" that they had in mind. (Craig Allen photo)

More and more storefronts have been taking on plywood facades over the past few days.

The big BBQ joint in Ferguson is optimistic. (Craig Allen photo).

So much plywood...and some hope, too...

Labor Day has come and gone... (Craig Allen photo).

To the right of the above photo:

Expressing thanks in tough times. (Craig Allen photo)

I'm thinking there's much less hope, below...

It looks like the "roundup" has ended for this steakhouse. (Craig Allen photo).

And, even less hope, here...

Sadly, this furniture store is gone forever. It will not reopen. (Craig Allen photo).

The "QT" behind the cyclone fence:

A street level admittance! (Craig Allen photo)

Next door to the BBQ place, across a pedestrian footbridge, is the gas station that burned to the ground on national television:

A better view...of complete destruction. (Craig Allen photo).

To give you the view above, I'm standing on a tall concrete pylon...snapping the photo as fast as I can, then jumping down and quickly walking away. Why take a chance at being questioned...or arrested?

Just read it. (Craig Allen photo)

Yes, there is "hope" here, in front of the burned out gas station! "Ribbons Of HOPE"

Ribbons Of Hope on the cyclone fence in front of the QT. (Craig Allen photo)

As you see, for now, the plywood suppliers are doing a great deal of business.

Even if there is no more violence in the coming days, its the glass businesses that will also (eventually) reap BIG financial  benefits...once a "new normal" is achieved.

Ferguson and surrounding towns. Downtown on the left. Shooting and looting where you see the dots on the lower right. (Craig Allen photo).

The national news often states that the destruction and demonstrations are in "downtown Ferguson." "Main Street" is across town from the looted area, and the real downtown area is actually damage-free (so far).

In the above video, you will see a damage-free, vibrant downtown area...from one end to the other. The vast majority of the town of Ferguson is not covered in plywood.

It is the section of town where the shooting took place (a small square appendage of Ferguson, to the lower right on the map), where the original rioting and damage has occurred.

Its still plywood...even if its painted to match the facade! (Craig Allen photo)

However, new plywood storefronts are sprouting up daily in the affected area, joining those which suffered damage weeks ago.

Peace...and less teargas, please! (Craig Allen photo)

All eyes are on the town of Ferguson Missouri...a town immersed in racial tension and turmoil.

Hope. (Craig Allen photo)

Sadly, there may be much more unrest, violence and damage, before the healing can really begin.

Ferguson needs some love! (Craig Allen photo)

Keep this Midwest town's people, and businesses, in your prayers.


Prayers are still needed...