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An old pic of my Grandma on a roof top in BK

October 14, 2008


        I have no idea what year this is or the exact location, my mother can’t recall either. What I do know is I’ve ALWAYS loved this picture. My Grandma looks like a star and still looks good to this day! Some may have a hard time relating to the strong convictions or sentiments I have about this hood but pictures like this should kind of put it in perspective. Generations of my family (among MANY others) have walked up and down the exact same streets, went to some of the same schools, unknowingly played with the same families; to this day I still find out some of my friends,  relatives or oldtimers from the hood knew my mom, uncles and aunts back in the day. Our kids continue to do so at the present time. For me and many likeminded folks we don’t pitch a fit because there’s ANOTHER bodega or corner store on Fulton street .  For one I’d rather that than it being a boarded up storefront, another thing is I’m more apt to notice the corner stores that have left or been forced out of the less commercial strips, which limits the self sufficiency of alot of seniors in the area. My grandmother no longer lives in the area but when I see the older woman using a bit of her fixed income to play a number…I think of Grandma (although Grandma DOES NOT play numbers!)…when I see the older lady slow strolling on Palm Sunday with her palms, dressed in all white…I think of Grandma…when I see an elder chastise a young pup on the corner without uttering a word, just a maternal glance of the eye ( of course forcing an apology, “I‘m sorry, Miss..S’cuse me I’m sorry“)…I think of Grandma…

       I say all this to say these elders are the embodiment of the history of the hood but let’s not treat them as history. Let’s not over look them. If you see them with bags, give em’ a hand, ask if you can carry it a block or two if you happen to be walking in the same direction. Hold the door and elevator (yes I’m talking to you CHAOC people)! Before we start our wish list for the next prospective business that’s replacing the old one, do we ever take into account how many seniors are in the close proximity of said business and how it affects them? In our love for the hip strip that is DeKalb Ave do we ever think about if there’s anywhere seniors in the nabe can get an affordable bite to eat after church service on Sunday or any other day for that matter? Let’s keep some perspective…I’m not coming across like I’m on a soapbox but my neighborhood history is not about just ME so when it comes to the hood I don’t think about just ME…I have to put it in perspective. Try and do the same sometime.


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