2268 E. Outer Drive


Little Sally Walker, walking down the street, she didn’t know what to do so she jumped in front of me. She said gone girl, shake that thang, shake that thang stop…….
We would sing and play hand games from sun up to sun down. It was the best part of summer vacation. Growing up on East Outer Drive was fun but dangerous. Not dangerous like the stories you hear about Detroit.   People would drive so fast down East Outer Drive. I remember being younger and witnessing many accidents on our corner. Several of which were fatal.

I will always be Daddy’s  girl.

My parents would let us play outside in our backyard.  We had the best neighbors. We would play across the fence, make mud pies, sing and dance. If we were lucky mommy would let us hang out with the other kids on Yonka Street. We knew not to talk with strangers and always stay together.  We only went home to use the bathroom.
I am proud to say that I  grew up in Detroit, Michigan. The Motor City as it was called was a busy city.  My father Willie Charles, worked at Chrysler Corporation.  He worked at the assembly plant as a millwright.   All I know is that he worked hard seven days a week sometimes twelve hours a day.  Daddy worked the midnight shift.  He would sleep during the day and as soon as the Mort Crim and the 11:00 o’clock news came on, he would prepare for work. I should have been asleep but I always wanted to say goodbye to my daddy each night.
My mommy was great. She was always doing something.  I never remember her sitting down much.  She was always cleaning or sewing or helping others.  For awhile I remember mommy work outside of the house.  But I don’t think that it lasted long.
I have one older sister. Her name is Ciscely.  People would always pronounce it wrong and when they spelled it. That was an entire story. She is four years older than me. Mommy always dressed us alike. I always thought we were twins. Until I was reminded that if we were twins we would be in the same grade.

Even our dolls were matching.

We weren’t rich and we weren’t poor. Daddy used to say we were middle class, and I had no idea what that really meant.  I guess that was okay.  Daddy talked about the unions and how hard he worked each day.  Mommy always made sure we were clean and had on nice clothes.  I never felt like we were in danger or that we wouldn’t have food in the refrigerator when we came home from school.

I always looked up to my sissy.

Growing up I have so many memories, that cross my mind like they happened yesterday.   Many of them were wonderful a few were painful. You will learn more about me as you follow the years of my life. I always thanked God for my family.  It was the four of us.  I almost forgot to tell you about the baby girl, that’s me, Brooke. I was a tomboy, a fighter and always had to have the last word.  I was sassy but knew my place.


This is an excerpt from my memoir.  I will continue to work on it this summer.  Thank you for reading A Woman’s Work and following me on my writing journey. It is because of all of you that I have the courage to continue to share my world with you.  I may share another entry with you next month.  Then you will have to wait for the final product.


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