All posts tagged: W. Hadley St.

“We did what we had to do”

Lonnie Hughes stand just off the curb in front of his home in Sherman Park. He talks with a friend as he leans on the handle of a broom, his right hand covered by a tattered work glove. “When I moved to this neighborhood, it was a fantastic—well, it’s still a great neighborhood,” he says. “People agree, neighbors get along great.”

“I’ve had a rough life”

Lorne Payne sits on a porch in Sherman Park, surrounded by his children. Payne attempts a smile but it’s more a look of fear that comes through — the pain in his eyes is the only thing that’s clear. “My kids keep me alive,” he says. “I love on my kids, make sure they’re happy. I [can] be sad as hell [as] long as my kids happy.”

“It was a different time, then”

Bonnie Drew bends over to extract a weed from her garden, which covers almost the entire yard of her home in Enderis Park. Though, long ago, Drew picked up and left the northern Wisconsin town she was born in, there are still elements of that life she hasn’t been able to leave behind. “It was completely different,” she says. “I mean, it was a small community so, you know … everybody helped each other out. You don’t see that too much anymore.”

“It was just the way that it was”

Amos Paul Kennedy sits in Coffee Makes You Black, 2803 N. Teutonia Ave., in Milwaukee’s North Division neighborhood. Kennedy, a printer who has a work of the same name (“Coffee Makes You Black”), is visiting the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) as part of the school’s Creativity Series. But this isn’t his first time in the city. Kennedy’s family moved to Milwaukee — technically, Bayside — in 1995, his sons both attended Nicolet and he earned an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) from UW-Madison in 1997. For Amos, it was the beginning of a still-blossoming career in printing and a different way of living. But, it was also the beginning of the end of Kennedy’s family, as it had been. “Our values changed. I no longer needed to buy a new car every three years for a degree of satisfaction or as a status symbol,” he says. “I kind of gave up the middle class life.”

“I’m a better person today”

Art Brown walks down the middle of a trash-strewn alley south of Locust Street between 17th and 16th Streets. Brown just came from the corner store on Locust; with concern and disapproval in his voice, he gives a warning to the young men hanging around the spot. “If I come up in the store, you don’t know me, how you wanna ask me do I wanna buy some weed or some drugs? What the fuck wrong with you?” he says. “You don’t know if I’m the police; you don’t even know me! You know, you’re puttin’ your future in the justice department — that’s where your future gonna be at.”