I loved going to my aunt Lilly’s house when I was kid to play with my cousin Al. I also liked being with aunt Lilly. Next to my mother, she was my second heart. Everything was great until Al would fight with his sister Geraldine.

One day I bicycled over to play with Al. I came in the midst of a fight Al was having with Geraldine. My uncle Louie was just getting home from work.

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One of the greatest women to have ever come into my life as I was growing up was my great grandmother, Bertha Nehampkin. She would have an influence on my life that would be far reaching. I recently turned seventy years old and my memories of her are still vivid.

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I grew up on East 105th Street, in Cleveland, Ohio. I went to Gracemont Elementary school. My mother would bring me a “snack” at recess because we lived just a block and a half from Gracemont. The snack consisted of an apple, a scrambled egg sandwich, cookies, potato chips and a drink. This was atten thirty in the morning. I’d walk home for lunch bytwelve fifteen! Mama always took care of me.

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