Local Artist Get’s Back to S. Dallas Roots

john picture.jpgJohn Spriggins is one of the brightest young artists in the country, and he was raised right here, in Sunny South Dallas.  When you visit his website, it will not take long to realize that this man is working with a gift from God.  And yet the widest computer screen could not capture the size and depth of John's work. 

As I mentioned, John is from South Dallas and is one of the few people that I know who grew up in Oak Cliff or South Dallas, graduated from college, and moved back to Oak Cliff or South Dallas.  I went to visit John's house once and when he gave me directions, I made the assumption that he and his wife lived at South Side on Lamar – he being an artist and all.

But my wife and I passed up South Side, and kept driving to his nice home on a huge lot in South Dallas.  At the time, I didn't realize that John was actually from South Dallas, and once he told me I asked him to share with me what it was like to be back in the neighborhood where he grew up.

Over the rest of the week, I will share with you an essay John wrote to express himself entitled The Return Home. John will take us on a journey from his growing up in the Sunny South, to raising his own family there now.  I would like to thank John for sharing his experience, I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

The Return Home – Part 1

By John Spriggins 

Growing up, I wasn’t always conscious of my surroundings, yet I always knew where I lived. I spent most of my life living with my grandparents due to the fact that my mother was always working. The first place I remember living was Dixon Circle in South Dallas.

My Mom had a two-bedroom apartment; and I shared a room there with my sister. I was about 5 years old then and my sister was a year younger. It was fun! My sister and I could go outside and ride our Big Wheels in the parking lot.

Three years later, we moved in with my grandparents in Frazier Court Projects. This was a place that I had always loved to spend time, and now it was even better because I could be with my grandfather all the time.

Frazier Courts was my home for several years, and I never thought of it as a bad place to live because I was there with my family. I didn’t even think it was cramped, though by most standards it was. We lived in a four-bedroom unit with my grandparents, my mom, my sister, one uncle, one aunt, and me. The “Projects” saw its share of bad times but fortunately my family shielded us (me and my sister) from those things.

Over a matter of 4 years, we would move to two different units within Frazier Courts ending our stay at 2923 Troy.  During those four years I became much more conscious of my surrounding. I began to learn that where I lived was not the most desirable place in Dallas.

The projects were a small community with good and bad people. Nevertheless, it was home. Also in those four years I lost my grandfather, one of my uncles had returned from California, and my sister and I were left to live with my grandmother permanently. 

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