Saturday, December 4, 2010

Phoenix Arizona: 19th Street and Broadway

I have been thinking recently of all the people I have known through out the years, and of all the stories I have heard and have reflected on. This blog is about those people and those stories. Some famous and some not so famous.

One of the memories that I hold dear are the friends I had in my various neighborhoods. We lived in several places but the one that comes to mind at this particular moment is 19th street which crosses Broadway Rd in Phoenix Arizona. My kids think that I have a finger that is stuck in a pointed direction because they say that every time we pass by, I point in a southerly direction and say " I used to live at that 4th house" and " Ole mean Ms Cross" Actually now that I think back, Ms Cross maybe wasn't so mean. She may have just been one of the keepers of the village and saw to it that I got my spanking, even though I knew I wasn't even doing nothing. Shoot, Ole mean Ms Cross! LOL

On Broadway there was an irrigation ditch that ran on the side of the road. We used to swing back and forth on a rope that we had tied to the trees.
We were also privy to gobs and gobs of pomegranates that grew freely all up and down the ditch.

Those trees contained a multitude of June bugs too. We would catch them,tie them with string and watch them fly. We caught lightning bugs and put them in a jar and lady bugs in our hand as we said that rhyme ' lady bug, lady bug, fly away home. We were always amazed that the lady bugs packed up and flew away as soon as we said that. Would I have done that if I really knew what I was looking at through adult eyes.LOL

Mr Brooks Brewer the man who lived next door to us sure kept a pretty yard. He was constantly watering his flowers. Now that I think about it, that constant watering happened when my mother who was gorgeous came out to talk to us kids. Mr Brooks Brewer would run out, cut on the water and smile. Sometimes the water would spray in the opposite direction because he was so busy smiling and not paying attention to where he was aiming. He never watered the yard when my step father came out.

Right across the street was where Dr Phillips and his family lived. I wonder what ever happened to Harry one of sons. He was rather nice looking with curly hair. As a side note Mr Phillips brother ministered at the church right next door to my aunt in Marshall Texas.

The Phillips had a huge house and lots of well known people used to take up residence when they came to town. One recollection I have is when Joe Louis came. He knew how to do magic tricks and all of the kids swore that the long colored ribbon really did come out of our nose.

Next to them was Henriene Holmes mother's house and then there was Ms Henriene Holmes.  Her children are son Harvey  and daughter Alice. For some reason I am thinking that Delbert Hodge their cousin, lived with them also.
With the help and many thanks to my friend Nina Jean Johnson, here is a list of some of the families and children who helped to enrich that street. (I say Nina Jean Johnson because that has always been what we called her, even after she became a Burton)

Remembering :

The two Murray Families, Curtis and Marcelene along with Eugene and Jean Murray , The Warren's, Brewster's, Mason's, Barnes, Griffin, and Bentley's. The Phillips, Lindsey's, Toi San and her mother Cleo, Ms Cross, Mr Brooks and Pinola Brewer and of course, Nina Johnson, Harvey Lindsey, Walter Jr, Marion, Leroy, and Dorothy Nicholson, Lucias, Ervin and Varon Potter, Delbert Hodge, Alice Holmes and many more.

Some of these folks I have seen over the years and some I know have gone on to Glory. Whatever road they took I am glad they were a part of my life.


  1. How wonderful to see you tell the stories of your life out west in Arizona. You are capturing the heart and flavor of the African American lives in desert country. I shall be following this blog!

  2. Vicki I never knew u lived on Broadway always thought you were a westside girl. What year did you leave Broadway?

  3. Vicki I never knew u lived on Broadway always thought you were a westside girl. What year did you leave Broadway?