During the school-year, my youngest daughter competes in robotics for school. We attended to watch and support her. On the way home from one of the competitions, I noticed a boarded up house on 25th and Erskine. Bright colors trimmed the boards a great man had once peered out from into his neighborhood with love and pride.
Charles B. Washington was an important man to the North Omaha community. Charles started as a paper-boy for the Omaha Star Newspaper, which was an all African-American run business. By the time he reached young adulthood, Charles was a mentor, a journalist, and a civil rights activist. When anyone in North Omaha had a crisis or questions, they knocked on Charles’s door. During the span of his life, he assisted young people in the North Omaha Community in multiple ways including: providing advice, offering financial support, and hooking them people up with other resources. Given the nickname of “The Godfather of North Omaha,” Charles was respected by everyone around him, and he taught others respect.
Mr. Washington continued his education, acquiring the skills to become a journalist, he published stories about the African-American Community in North Omaha. He wrote about politics, racial issues, and sports. Mr. Washington actually spoke to people in the community for content to write for his articles, listening to their concerns. He also noted his own observations of the community.
Charles B. Washington was an important figure for young adults, acting as a mentor; he provided financial support if they could not provide for themselves. Mr. Washington was often referred to as “a shaker of trees.” Tears stung my eyes as I photographed his home. For more information on Charles B. Washington, Follow the link. There is also a library in Omaha named after Mr. Washington I also highly suggest everyone drive past the house to look at the art project before all of the hard work is destroyed by the elements.
On the way home, we came across this beautiful old garage and storefront.
Perhaps not beautiful to some, but I see the behind the decay and grime. I see the intertwined vines and muted colors, keeping memories of a once thriving business sustaining a family.
Over Christmas break, I glanced outside and the silvery glow filtering through the skeletal branches beckoned to be captured.
Trish Eklund is the owner and creator of Abandoned, Forgotten, & Decayed, and Family Fusion Community, an online resource for blended families of all types. Trish’s photography has been featured on Only in Nebraska, ListVerse, Nature Takes Over and Pocket Abandoned. Check out the new Bonanza Store for AFD merchandise! Follow on Instagram and Facebook. Trish is regularly featured on The Mighty, Huffington Post Divorce, and Her View From Home. She has also been featured on Making Midlife Matter, and The Five Moms, and has an essay in the anthology, Hey, Who’s In My House? Stepkids Speak Out by Erin Mantz.