Veronica Jones headshot

Veronica Jones

Jefferson, McGuffey, Venable, Walker, Burley, Lane.

I grew up on Page Street, and then Ten and a Half Street, and then Alston Street, and then Anderson Street.  The neighborhood on Ten and a Half Street and Page, to me it was like one big happy family.  We felt comfortable with one another, we could go into each other’s house without knocking.  My house was the neighborhood house here kids would hang out at.  My mother and my aunt, they did hair, so we always had people at our house.  I grew up with a brother, two uncles, our granddaddy, grandmother, and we also had one of my brother’s friends that stayed with us.  Now, we grew up in, the first place we grew up in, it was three rooms.  It was a bedroom upstairs, which was the boys’ bedroom, with a kitchen, we had the living room, and the living room was a bedroom/living room.  And our bathroom was outside, and we had one of the types of bathrooms where you hand stand up, because I was short, I had to stand up on something and bring the seat down, and the chain to flush it.  I was scared to death of it, because I thought I was going to fall down in it.  We didn’t have a tub, so we used a big tub thing.  And because I was the only girl in the family, I got to get the fresh water.  We played all kinds of sports together, basketball, they went to Washington Park.  But the rest of the games, kickball, volleyball, softball, dodgeball, hide and seek, we did it in the neighborhood, we did it at the end of Pastry, which is a dead end.  We did most of the sports activity in front of my house, because as I said my house was the kids’ house, and we — if you wasn’t playing, you was sitting on my porch.  My grandmother had two gardens, flower gardens.  And if any of those balls went into that flower garden, I couldn’t even go in there and get it out.  And we had to wait until she get it, and she would wait two or three days before she’d go in there and get it for us.  But many times, she always had a hot pot of water on the stove, so if any one of us went into the flower bed, she would throw the water on us!  But she was fun.  

My grandma had two gardens in the neighborhood, and I was the one that would go to help her in the gardens.  I said Grandma, why do you have two gardens?  She said, “I have one for the neighborhood, and I have one for the family.”  I said, why, “Because if I don’t have one, then the neighbors going to come to our garden.”  I said okay, that makes sense.  So we would pull corn and, you know, beans, and potatoes, and put it in the basket, and put it on the corner, and neighbors would come and get it.