Harry Stilson’s pictures always inspire stories which is why my book On the West Clay Line is so cool. Stories compliment photos and every picture I share reminds someone of something from their childhood. The memories are uncensored because life is uncensored. I watch eyes as the present dissolves and legs stretch remembering how they flew over cobblestones:

“… I had to walk from 8th Street up to Walker but I got home in a hurry because those Newtowne folk chased us home every day. We didn’t have backpacks, we had our books like this…but there was a classmate whose father was a minister so he had a car. We had to walk up to where Armstrong was and if they were still there, we could all pile in just like piling in a telephone booth. ”

Prohibitiion and other “adult” concerns were noted and retained so that decades later they can name the neighborhood prostitute or explain how the “nip joint” across the street worked: “They had a colored guy working for them, name was Emmett. They had a special over coat made for Emmett and it had a lot of pockets in it, on the inside, and in these pockets were the bottles of liquor. Emmett stayed outside all the time. See, when they got a customer, they’d whistle and Emmett would come in and sell him a drink or whatever he wanted. So, if they raided the store, they wouldn’t find anything…”

These excerpts are just a taste of life as recalled by over a dozen of Richmond’s Jackson Ward “kids”. I’ve sat at their feet and heard the stories and you will, too. Funding this book is just so important. I can’t imagine sneaking into the Power House or having an ice pick whacked on my knuckles in a “game” but I can sort of feel what it was like because LaVerne Fountain, Wesley Carter, Morris Goldberg and others did those things. They did them and they’ll tell you all about it…please back us. Go to this link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/890823340/richmond1919-pictures-and-stories

if you’d like to back the book and help us share the Stilson photos and  Richmond’s stories.

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