Jackie, 76

“I grew up in Baltimore City near North Avenue and Gay Street. I went to Catholic school for 12 years and I walked everyday to school. It was a safe neighborhood back then. My mother never drove so we walked everywhere, to the library and up and down Gay Street, but it’s not a nice neighborhood now. Back then, we never locked our door. In fact, when my parents sold the house and we moved, we had to get someone to put a lock on the door because we couldn’t find the key. People came and went in our house; plus,  we played outside all the time. We had shoes that had a little slot on the top, and we would put a dime in each slot so if we got stranded somewhere we could make a phone call. If you didn’t have the shoes, you had a handkerchief and you would put your dime in there and tied it up in a knot and you always had a dime to make a phone call just in case something happened. I was talking to my niece recently, and it was starting to thunder and they were running around. I said, ‘what’s all that noise?’ and they were plugging their things in to charge them up because they were afraid it was going to storm and they wouldn’t have any electricity. That’s how it is today. I tried to teach them games like jacks and jump rope and to play with paper dolls, but they weren’t interested.”

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