“I tend to be kind of detached”

Eric Jefferson walks down a lonely stretch of North Richards Street, just south of Capitol Drive, in Williamsburg Heights. The ends of his untucked, short-sleeved collared button-up flutter in the wind on a warm September day.

“My mother … she moved here, I was probably one or two when she moved here because her father, my grandfather, lived here and he was a minister,” says Jefferson. “She moved here to get better jobs.”

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“There was plenty of family around”

Brandon James kneels in the doorway of a towering duplex on the 300 block of West Mineral Street in Walker’s Point, painting the upstairs door a deep blue. James, who owns the home, lives in Bay View but grew up in West Allis — “basically” Milwaukee, he says.

“It was nice; it was quiet. I didn’t live too far from a park so we spent a lot of time at the park, at least in the summer,” he says. “We actually lived upstairs in a duplex that my grandma owns and my grandma lived downstairs.”

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“I feel like I’m well-blessed”

Patricia Huff stands next to her grocery bags as she waits for the bus on the corner of 35th and Meinecke. She’s unassuming besides the largely toothless, lipsticked mouth and smoking cigarette in her hand.

Huff grew up in Logansport, Ind., but came to Milwaukee at a young age. “My dad molested me when I was five years old. And my mom sat there and watched him do it,” she says. “And, I went to school and said, ‘My pee pee hurts inside.’ I said, ‘I’m not goin’ back there.’ I didn’t go back.”

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“So many things, now, the older I get, they aren’t here any more”

Marilyn Radke sweeps already-cut grass into piles that litter the street in front of the place she’s called home for more than 50 years.

But she didn’t grow up in Graceland. “No, no, this was probably all farmland,” says Radke. She spent most of her childhood, until she was 15, in a small flat near 27th & Lisbon.

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