From growing up in one of Milwaukee’s most challenged neighborhoods to running a business of her own, Kathy Kingcaid has lived her life with no regrets. Continue reading “There is nothing like watching something grow”
Ed swaggers up a nondescript, but busy block of North 40th Street. He pulls a tallboy can of beer from a light-colored jacket and puts the drink to his lips.
“I was spoiled most of my life. But, um, bein’ out in the world has a way of, you know, you have a way ‘a gettin’ over that,” he says. “Just, you know, meetin’ people on your path — you know what I mean? Doin’ what your mom and dad didn’t raise you to do, you know, but … I mean, you learn.”
Deirek Smith pushes a tattered stroller down West Lancaster Avenue on a sunny spring day in Old North Milwaukee. The stroller is filled to capacity with a mound of scrap metal — mostly an air conditioner he had the fortune of coming across. Smith, 57, walks with a leisurely gait toward a scrap yard on Mill Road.
“I was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I been here since 1964. And, my life took some real [turns], after one lady I was with for, what, 20 years, she died of cancer. And, then, after her, I met another lady and she died of cancer after 8 years,” he says.
“So, I’ve been just doin’ this.”
Greg Greer grew up on 9th and Keefe. The 50-year-old Greer, who now lives near Teutonia and Villard, had a lot to say about neighborhoods, gangs and the cycle of violence.
Greer points down the block. “Been living in that same building over there 20-some years and, I mean, I’ve done seen this [neighborhood] just fall apart,” he said.