What happened today at the nursing home:
I asked the small group of residents sitting in a circle of wheelchairs what the best present they ever received was:
When I was 11, my mother started giving me piano lessons. I am 70 now and have had 59 years of loving music.
When my church gave me a birthday party. I was never even expecting it. I was so surprised. It was for my 91st birthday.
My roller skates, a book and paints. Every Christmas, I got the same thing. New skates needed every year because my feet always grew. And a new book because I loved to read and always enjoyed doing artistic things,
Well, it wasn’t exactly that kind of gift because I was an adult. I applied for a business loan to buy a printing press and camera, $150,000. I owned a printing shop and did printing for hotels, restaurants and gas stations. I needed to be competitive so I needed good machinery. Minority loans were just coming into being and when I got the word that I got the loan….and could buy the machine, that was a real gift to me. Then, I got kidney failure and diabetes and had to give it all up, 8 years ago. I have an artificial leg now and get dialysis treatments. I remember the good old days in North Phila when kids used to play Half Ball, Cowboys and Indians and Stick Ball. It is not that way any more. We used to have Block Captains and they had responsibilities. We used to decorate our block and they had a contest and we had the nicest block three years in a row. We had flower boxes and clean streets. And everybody took care of their properties. I have two Liberty Bells. They were the prizes for the best block. They have to get rid of the drugs. And the crooked lawyers that get the drug dealers out of trouble and then they are back on the street.