Before the Floodgates Opened

“I will call some agents out there and see what’s available, but I want to let you know what times we’re living in.” Transcript for Before the Floodgates Opened Open housing just opened the floodgates and made it possible for anybody and everybody to live in any parts of the city. My father was a […]

What Are You? (Radio Edit)

“I would have been so normal if I grew up anywhere else.” Transcript for What Are You? In my high school, we had maybe three African American kids in our classes. And then coming here you have everything; you have international students and just everybody. And then you hear all these stories about how people […]

Proud of Where You Came From

“I wanted to [write] a book where people would say, ‘Oh, man, I loved that book, I want to go see where it took place…’” Produced by Rich Elliott. Transcript for Proud of Where You Came From I got interested in local history as part of, as my focus I guess, in my fiction writing, […]

The Signs Were Not There

“We used to say this was ‘up South,’ and, you know, the other places were ‘down South.’” Transcript for The Signs Were Not There All of my folks—my father and my mother’s side, they were all from Florida. Gainesville, Alachua, Florida, and all down there. Every summer, my mother packed us all up, you know, […]

History Came Alive

“History is a pattern of life…something that happened then and is continuing now or has an effect on what’s happening now.” Produced by Rich Elliott. Transcript for History Came Alive You know I hated history when I was a kid, just hated, I hated government, I hated history. I don’t know when I began to […]

Growing Up Rural

“It was a lonely life. But there were woods and creeks and meadows and places where you can just sit on a hill under a tree and let the sun shine on you…” Produced by Rich Elliott. Transcript for Growing Up Rural I live in the country, it’s halfway between two towns, Valparaiso and Chesterton. […]

How We Ended Up Coming to Gary

“It was the dirtiest place in the mill. But I guess they made a decent salary. So he encouraged my father to leave Florida and move to Gary.” Transcript for In My Own Skin We grew up in the neighborhood that was near Pulaski School. My grandfather lived in the neighborhood. He didn’t live on […]

A Wonderful Childhood

“We had a village out there in Small Farms.” Transcript for A Wonderful Childhood I grew up in the Midtown section of Gary. It was a place called the Small Farms. It was called that for a reason because where I lived there were no sidewalks, no paved streets. I remember as a kid, we […]

Green Light to Go Out of Town

“Did you want to take a stand… or was it just an inevitability, ‘Man, we can’t stay here any longer?’” Transcript for Green Light to Go Out of Town It didn’t take a lot of, “Let’s sit down and have a Ward Cleaver moment with Beaver, you know, and tell him what’s going on in […]