Highland Park High School: Nov 2015

This picture was taken by my brother, James Knox.  He was helping me out with a photo shoot for my digital photography class last November.  The reason that I’m looking sad is because my high school, Highland Park, located in Highland Park Michigan on Woodward near 6 Mile has been closed down for good.  The Polar Bears will no longer roam at this site and this deeply saddens me and a whole lot of other Alumni of Highland Park.  There are many rumors going around that my school is going to be torn down, turned into something grand, making room for the rail that is slowly making its way North on Woodward.  Some say that Dan Gilbert bought it just like he’s buying everything else that has VALUE.  Highland Park has value to the many students like myself who walked the halls, played the games, cheered the crowd, and danced with the band while being educated by the best teachers, monitored by the most professional hall guards – who, by the way, called us by our names and showed us love – not hate.  Our Administration staff was excellent and,  “It Takes a Village”  was the atmosphere as we walked the halls and made our way to classes.  I graduated in 1980 and have been to every 10 year reunion for my class.  So, before it’s too late, make your way to the school with no windows on Woodward near 6 Mile – sit on one of the benches – take a picture – and remember the way we were.


Bridget Knox

75 South (A Mini Series) Part 7

I took the long way home after leaving my parents house.  My plan was to wait for my mom to get home to tell them both about my upcoming trip down south, but, after talking to that Adaline woman from Ohio on the phone, I just wanted to get out of there, get something to eat and call Vickie as soon as I got home.  I stopped at Church’s Chicken on East Jefferson near Belle Isle and got a 3 piece snack, two legs and a wing with fries, a biscuit, a jalapeno pepper, and a large strawberry pop that would serve as my dinner after talking to V.

“What the hell is going on?” (I thought out loud to myself).  Who is this Adaline woman, what’s the deal on my hazel eyes, and, for that matter, what she doing with my eyes.  What did she mean when she said she know about me – know what about me?  I’m confused, how does some old woman in Akron, Ohio know that I have hazel eyes and we’ve never met – and what’s the story on how did Bud and Emma get a 32 year old child.  They got me the old fashion way Ms. Adaline – you do know where babies come from – don’t you?  I had so many questions to ask somebody, starting with mom and dad, but, look how Bud reacted when I told him about going down south – why was he so vexed, so uncomfortable just hearing me say the words – “I’m going down south on assignment.”  To be honest, I wasn’t surprised by his reaction – something inside told me that this wasn’t going to be a pleasant moment between father and daughter.  Still, I wonder, what’s the big deal, whats down south that Bud don’t want me to see?  How is mom going to react -I’m sure when she gets home Bud is gonna wake up from that lazy boy and tell on me – tell on me, a grown woman who built her life around her parents so completely that I’ve never traveled outside of Michigan.  I need answers, I need to know what they’re hiding from me, I wan’t to know why they never go back home – down south where they both are from.  I need to know what pecans that lady is talking about, where they are, where down south do pecans grow.  I need to, I need to – I’m going to call Adaline Love – I’ve got her phone number in my purse.  I’m going to call Adaline when I get home, then, I’ll call Vickie.  

I pulled up in front of my apartment full of anticipation of speaking with the mystery woman who knew both my parents.  I grabbed some stuff out the back seat in one hand and my dinner in the other.  As I was putting my key in the door, my neighbor across the hall from me came out dressed to impress somebody, with too much perfume and make up and hollered in her high pitch voice, “Hey girl. I’m glad I caught you Tommie, where you been all day?”

“Hey Flora.”  (still fumbling with my keys).  “Girl, girl, you won’t believe who came by here about an hour ago, I couldn’t believe it – he had the nerve”

“Who, who Flora, who you talking about?”

“Joseph, Joseph girl.  I just happened to be outside getting something outta my car and he go pull up and blow his horn at me trying to get my attention.”

“What did he want Flo?”

“You girl – you know what he wanted.  He asked me was you home and I got smart with his yellow ass and said “Do you see her car Joseph – I don’t see it, do you?”

“Well, what did he say after you said that?”  (I asked).

“Nothing, he didn’t say nothing.  He just licked his tongue out making perverted gestures and drove off.  I made sure to give him the finger so he could see it in his rear view mirror.”  (we both laughed).

“I know that’s right girl.  I’ve been over at my parents house all day – where you off to?”

“I’m going to a house party on the North East side.  My cousin is giving it and it’s suppose to be off the hook Tommie – you should come.”

“Thanks Flo, but, not tonight.  I’ve got some things I need to take care of, phone calls and such, making plans for my trip down south – thanks though.”

“I hope those phone calls and such don’t include calling that ass hole Joseph girl, you too good for him Tommie.”

“I know that girl!  I ain’t talked to his ass in over a year – that’s definitely over and done with.”

“OK then, I’ll see you later.  Listen out for my car if you woke when I get home and maybe we can talk later.”

“Alright Flo, have a good time.”

I turned my TV on and sat down to eat my dinner.  I thought about what to say to Adaline when she answered, if she answered the phone.  Feelings of panic overtook me after eating so  I got up and went to the bathroom and splashed cold water on my face for about 10 minutes until the panic subsided.  The phone number in my purse stared at me like a  photograph in a frame 330-868-8827.  I dialed the number.


“Hi, hello, can I please speak to Adaline Love?”


B. Knox

To be continued…..



75 South (A Mini Series) Part 6

I had fallen asleep at my parents dining room table.  It seemed like I had been out for a long time when I heard the phone ringing.  I lifted my heavy head off the table and immediately looked to where my father was still sitting in his chair.

“Bud, Bud – don’t you hear your phone ringing.  Dad, Daddy – answer the phone.”

I jumped up and almost tripped on that stupid carpet that they got under the dining room table on top of carpet.  “Bud.”  I made may way toward the still ringing phone in the kitchen closer to the dining room.

“Hello.”  (I said to the person on the other end).

Hi, How ya’ll doin.  Emma?”

“Hi, hi. No, this is Emma’s daughter, Tommie.  Mom’s not here right now, would you like to leave a message?”

“This is Tommie you say?”  (the voice on the other end asked).

“Yes, yes ma’m – Tommie, Thomasina.  Can I ask who’s calling please?”

“How old you be girl?”

“Excuse me.  I’m sorry, do I know you?”

“I say, how old you be – how old are you girl?”

“I’m thirty two.  Who’s asking?”

“Thirty two!  You thirty two years old?  Where on earth did Emma and Budrick get a thirty two year old from?”

“What!  Excuse me.  Budrick.  Who am I talking to.  Do I know you?”

“I don’t know child, do you know me?”

“Again ma’m, no disrespect intended, would you like to leave a message for my mom?”

“Tommie, Thomasina.  That’s a nice name.  Can I ask you a question dear?”

“I guess so.  What?”

“Do you have hazel eyes?”

I went blank and my mouth opened wide by itself without any help from me.  I couldn’t speak to the person that was on the other end of the phone because no sound would come out.  All I could do was hold the phone to my left ear and stare out the kitchen window into the beautiful backyard with the spectacular vegetable garden.  Budrick, Budrick – I had never heard my mother call Bud Budrick.  Was that his real name.  I always thought it was Buddy.  How did this woman on the phone know I had hazel eyes.  Was she still there.  I don’t remember hearing a click – just silence.

“Yes, yes ma’m.  My eyes are hazel.  How did you know?”

“Cause my eyes are hazel.”  (long silence).

“Do you got something to write with? – I’m ready for you to take that message now girl.”

“Hold on, one minute, let me get something to write on.”

“First, please write my number down for yourself, it’s 330-868-8827.  My name is Adaline, Adaline Love of Akron, Ohio.  Tell Budrick, tell Bud Miss Love called.”

“You called to talk to Bud – not my mom?”

“I’ve been calling every month for many years to talk to Mr. Powell.  Your mother know, don’t worry yourself about that, Emma knows who I am.”

“How do you know me Miss Love?”

“I know of you.”

“What does that mean – you know of me?”

“Let your daddy know that the pecan harvest was good this year.  I talk at you later child.  goodbye.”

I hung the phone up and looked in on Bud.  He was still sleeping, the empty Budweiser can lay empty on the tray next to him.  I took the empty can to the kitchen, rinsed it out in the sink and stacked it in the corner where he kept his empties for deposit.  This Adaline woman had to be the old lady who Bud talked to on the phone – who else did he know in Akron.  What’s with the hazel eyes – what does she mean her eyes are hazel too.  Besides myself and this guy I went to high school with – I didn’t know any other black people, especially as dark as me, with hazel eyes.

I put the message from Miss Love on the tray next to Bud, gave him a kiss on the cheek and let myself out the side door.


75 South

B. Knox

To be continued on Sunday, 2.14.2016