Early in the morning, I approached the intersection of 19th and Wharton in the South Philadelphia neighborhood of Point Breeze to photograph Walter George Smith Elementary School. A man in a blue hoodie with headphones dangling over his ear calls out to me, “Yo, my man. Wanna buy some weed?” “Nah, I’m good. Thank you anyway,” I reply. I take a picture of the facade when the man calls out to me, “Can you believe they closed this shit man,” he says. “It’s really sad, ” I respond. The man walked over to me and put his headphones in his pocket. “Man, listen. I sell tree because of dumbass decisions I made later in my life, but it’s not a lifestyle I’d want my kids or anyone else’s to have to resort to. How the hell kids gonna stay straight and help they neighborhoods if these schools getting shut down,” the man says with passion in his voice.
I enjoyed this man’s candor, and I asked him if he wanted to accompany me in photographing this particular school. The man declined, saying that he was on his way to his girlfriend’s house, but praised the idea of this ongoing project of mine. Walter George Smith Elementary School was completed in 1925 in Late-Gothic Revival Style architecture, and was closed by the School Reform Commission in 2013. The school was named after a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
Ummmm…so I can has a book now. You should probably buy it. Cause you’re awesome.
Flowers the Size of People - Kindle edition by Trick D Barrett. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Flowers the Size of People.
I just watched Dave Chappelle quit stand up. Out in the Comcast Theater in Hartford, Connecticut, shivering in the open air, I can’t think that this is anything else. I felt this coming just five minutes after the silver curtain had dropped dramatically, by which point the former Comedy Central star had barely gotten any jokes out. We all knew it was five minutes because, with an edge in his voice, Chappelle had ticked off the time.