As a youngster, Jimmy Johnson made some bad decisions. Now, he’s forging forward, determined to make a better life for himself.
Devin and Tamio (Tu-miyo) sit on the steps of a home near the corner of 24th and Burleigh, a cigarette in each of the young men’s hands. The two, who have known each other since early childhood, appear unusually comfortable, almost unaware of the other’s presence. “Trust is everything,” Tamio says. “Whatever relationship you have — business, personal … it’s always trust. You don’t trust nobody, shit, ain’t no point in us bein’ around each other.”
Jack Daniel Reese sits with his friend at a picnic table in Jackson Park, not far from Forest Home Avenue. Reese’s unbuttoned jean shirt, greying hair, hard, weathered look and a long scar on his left cheek give a little hint to where he’s been. “My buddy … he makes sure I get outside just to talk,” he says. “He’s knowledgeable and he’s [a] very kind person. He respects me and I respect him — he’s like a brother, you know?”
Yolanda Oyola stands, inconspicuous, in the shadow of a large building on the corner of Dakota and S. 9th Place. She wears her multi-colored hair in a large bunch on the top of her head. But, despite the ostentatious look, Oyola speaks with a gentle meekness. “I missed my friends back in Massachusetts,” she says. “But, um, I got used to Milwaukee and, yeah, it’s nice living here. I got new friends … so, everything’s good.”
David Cisney lounges on the stone steps of his home in Arlington Heights. He’s resting, taking a break from raking the yard. On this Saturday afternoon he’s getting some work done around the house because it’s the only day he doesn’t have a church-related activity planned. You won’t often find David sitting still. “I’ve lived a good life,” he says. “You know, when you live in the city, there’s always stuff to do and I can’t understand why the young people today have so many problems.”