East St Louis. 2020

I crossed the river to a ramp that has been named Barack Obama Av. It's a 150 foot exit ramp.
I noted the ashy smudges of clouds over the bando public housing along Missouri Ave.
The Masonic Temple in ESTL is well maintained.
The Second Chance shelter is boarded.



A neighborhood landmark since 1895, the House of Good Shepherd was razed in 1969, to make way for the Zayre Plaza shopping center. The design of the Zayre Plaza formed a T with Zayre at the top of the T and other stores on all other sides. During my college years, I worked at the So-Fro fabric store in the plaza. During the early to mid 70's, the plaza was still relatively safe but rapidly descended into a crime ridden area due to being mostly enclosed from view. So-Fro (bought out in the late 70's by Joanne fabric) moved along with the Kroger anchor store (at the bottom of the T.) Prior to being razed, it was the House of the Good Shepherd, a vast red brick structure. Its eleven acre site was donated by Adolphus Busch, and proceeds from the sale of the old buildings at 17th and Chestnut Streets, together with a $75,000 legacy from Mrs. Winifred Patterson, enabled the erection of the massive building on Gravois. It was operated as a home and school for penitent females by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. My sisters and I were often threatened with exile to this compound if we didn't 'behave.' It was an effective threat. Never knowing it's official name as children, we referred to it as The Bad Girl's Home. This is a poor resolution photo of the original building, long before the surrounding neighborhood of TGS was built. And long before the massive 12 foot high chain link fence went up.

If you think Red is your favorite color

I have a little Golden for you.


The Sixth Decade. 2017

I truly love living 'by my wits' and making my income from what I make & what I find. Business is so amazing that people contact me for custom work. I've been self-employed for 27 years and don't plan on retiring.

Beau with His BF. 2014

Beau was in love.

Grapes. 2014


Singing the Song of Her People

60s Flat top. The First Decade

Waiting on the Tooth Fairy

Belle slid down the icy steps last year and broke a tooth. I had asked the numbskull Vet at the Humane Society to look at her tooth. This same Vet missed Belle's skin cancer. A few days later Vet #2, who was doing the cancer surgery noticed her tooth and removed it. The 3rd Vet there bilked us for 7 months.


Gentrification on our Block

When I first landed on this block in 1995, 95% of my neighbors were black. All of these buildings were Section 8. During the last 1-5 years they've all been sold and rehabbed. 95% of my neighbors are now white. Some pay 1,400.00 in rent.
Many have Black Lives Matter signs in their yards or windows. Black lives can't afford to reside here anymore. Only three homes on my block are owned by black families.
The house with the Pride flag sold for 525K last year. The woman hwo bought it told me, I just raised your property value!
Ah, I replied, property value, the mantra of the yuppie!
There isn't any Section 8 now on my block. Two remodeled four families rent for 1,400 to 1,600.

A new white neighbor renting an apartment across the street told me she wanted to move to TGS because "There's people like me here" as she placed her Black Lives Matter sign on the lawn.


This city! Planning at its finest.

Spring #23

Redbud & Glazed Bricks