The Return Home Continues
Today we continue our look at John's Spriggns essay The Return Home. Make sure you visit John's website to see some of his art work. Also find out more about John by viewing his C.V. This thumbnail is a Spriggins original work that hangs on my living room wall titled "Music Makes Me High."
The Return Home – Part 2
By John Spriggins
As I said, Troy Street would be our last residence in the projects. At the age of twelve, my family and I moved to Holmes Street. Fortunately my uncle had the foresight to buy a home in the heart of South Dallas a couple of years earlier. It was in poor condition, but he saw its potential.
My uncle decided to move his wife and two little boys out to Phoenix, Arizona, so he asked my grandmother to take the house for him. She immediately said yes and we were moving once again. This time was different; it was permanent. I must say I was scared as Hell. I had been to visit my uncle’s house several times, but the idea of moving to this unfamiliar part of town -still in South Dallas- made me a little uneasy. When you become more conscious of your surroundings, the world really starts to change for you.
I had heard that there were gangs in the neighborhood, and I began to notice graffiti that usually points to that being the case. Having started middle school when we moved to Holmes Street, I had to learn to ride the city bus across town to East Dallas near the Lakewood area. I was attending J.L. Long Middle School at the time.
It was refreshing to go to school everyday because it gave me an opportunity to see a world and a life that was, in my eyes at the time, far better than where I lived. I made friends with kids whose parents had money, and got a chance to see how the other half lived.
South Dallas at that time was pretty bad as far as I was concerned. There was a drug house directly across the street from where we lived. There were gunfights every other night. I remember one night there was shooting right outside my grandmother’s bedroom window. There was one night when I had been sleeping pretty badly, not related to the gunfire. I fell out of my bed waking my grandmother who found me lying on the floor. She thought I had been shot! It’s strange how something like that can become funny years later.
Needless to say, I had become accustomed to the shooting, the drug addicts, and being propositioned to sell drugs among other things. My family had even developed a relationship with the drug dealers across the street. Wayne was the guy who ran the drug house. He was very respectful and he watched our house and others in the neighborhood. There are so many stories I could tell, but I am sure you have better things to do.