02.2007: week 4


Back in Fall 2003 I volunteered at the Church Hill Christian Wellness Center, an inner-city center supported by the Baptist churches in Richmond. I would ride the GRTC city bus from the upper-middle class West End of Richmond into downtown. At City Hall, I would transfer to the 4PP-Fairmount bus which ran throughout Church Hill. The riders were predominantly lower class, black mothers with children. It was a much different group of people than the upper-middle class, white businesspeople who rode the bus into town from the West End.

One morning I got off the bus at Fairmount Ave. and walked the usual 2 blocks to the center. I was on the sidewalk in front of the church when I heard gunshots ring out across the street. I glanced quickly and picked up the pace. Jason, the center's director, hadn't arrived yet that morning. From street level, there were about four steps down to the entrance door. I went to the lowest step, slumped over and tried to not be seen.

When Jason got there that morning, he asked why I was "hiding out" at the bottom of the stairs. Once I explained, he understood!

The next week when I returned to the center for my weekly visit, the Richmond Police Department's Mobile Command Center was parked across the street with officers running surveillance out of the truck 24/7. Why? Somebody had been shot in a house across the street the week before. Just coincidence? There were a lot of murders within a 10-block radius of the church that semester, and we usually heard the story of what happened from a brother, mother, aunt or neighbor. I still think I nearly witnessed that murder...


02.2007: week 1

The best part about writing your own blog and being your own boss is that you can make your own rules! So now the first week of each month will be "archive week."

This week's picture comes from Impact Virginia! Amherst 2004. We ventured out just west of the Town of Amherst on Route 60 and visited one of the crews building a handicapped access ramp, I believe. The homeowner was outside visiting with the students, and that's when I snapped this picture.