All posts tagged: W. Vienna Ave.

“December 20th, that will be it for me”

Bessie Jeter leisurely drags on a cigarette while standing on the porch of her longtime home on the 3700 block of North 2nd Street. She wasn’t born in Milwaukee but she’s been here for more than forty years. “I was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi,” she says. “It wasn’t bad. I grew up, I learned how to work hard, I picked and chopped cotton until I was 18 years of age and I left home when I graduated from high school.”

“This is where my roots are”

Norma Wheeler sits on the front port of her home in Williamsburg Heights. Wheeler raised all of her children in the house, located on a one-way strip of 2nd Street, where she’s lived for more than 50 years. “I’ve been livin’ in Milwaukee all of my adult life. I raised all of my kids here, in this particular house, and I get along with my neighbors pretty good,” she says.

“I always lived on the lower ends of Milwaukee”

Monica Jones walks, unassumingly, down the 3800 block of 3rd Street on her way back to the house she’s lived in since April. From the outside, the 18-year-old with bright red hair seems anything but reserved; still, at first, she avoids eye contact. “I’m kind of going through a tough time,” she says. “I lost two people two days ago. I’ve been losing a lot of people in Milwaukee, a lot of my family and stuff. It’s just a tough time for me, right now.”

“I’m struggling right now; I’m still happy”

Terrence Hinton walks along the edge of a pond in Dineen Park, his family relaxing on the opposite bank. Hinton grew up near 36th and Clarke. He says even though the neighborhood was “pretty rough” he still loves it – it’s his – but, sometimes, it’s nice to get away. “You know, [it was a] poor neighborhood. But there always be something good still, like these parks. That’s why they’re so good – cause you can get away from all of that. You go to a park, it’s something different – you can breathe.”