Historic Mitchell Street, People

“That’s my adopted name; I don’t know what my real name is”

Janice Nicholson-Hardy sits at a bus stop on the corner of 11th and Mitchell.

Nicholson-Hardy grew up “all over” Milwaukee. She “traveled,” she says – when she couldn’t take it anymore, somewhere, she would leave. “I was destitute…they say I had good times but I can’t remember.”

That’s about as good as it gets for Nicholson-Hardy. She isn’t bitter, though. “It’s hard to explain; I can’t remember a thing. Yeah, at least, anything good – [the memories are] all bad. Even now, I can’t remember anything. I smile about it because, you know, I’m still alive and I still do things – maybe not as I did when I was younger – but I can survive and I want to thank god for it.”

As for survival, Nicholson-Hardy asks passersby for help and gets clothes from a local agency. The food she ate today? It came from “somewhere.”

And, at the end of the day, the woman who can’t remember just hopes to be seen. “I was a people person and I’m still a people person today. I watch – eyes meeting and all that. You know, the more you look around, the more you get looked at so I just love to see people having a good time.”


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