“After a while, my mind done drifted where I wish it wouldn’t. I reckon I know pretty well what would happen if the white ladies found out we was writing about them, telling the truth a what they really like. Womens, they ain’t like men. A woman ain’t gone beat you with a stick. Miss Hilly wouldn’t pull no pistol on me. Miss Leefolt wouldn’t come burn my house down. No, white womens like to keep they hands clean. They got a shiny little set a tools they use, sharp as witches’ fingernails, tidy and laid out neat like the picks on a dentist tray. They gone take they time with em.
First thing a white lady gone do is fire you. You upset, but you figure you’ll find another job, when things settle down, when the white lady get around to forgetting. You got a month a rent saved. People bring you squash casseroles.
But a week after you lost your job, you get this little yellow envelope stuck in your screen door. Paper inside say NOTICE OF EVICTION. Ever landlord in Jackson be white and ever one got a white wife that’s friends with somebody. You start to panic then. You still ain’t got no job prospects. Everywhere you try, the door slams in your face. And now you ain’t got a place to live.
Then it starts to come a little faster.
If you got a note on your car, they gone repossess it.
If you got a parking ticket you ain’t paid, you going to jail.
If you got a daughter, maybe you go live with her. She tend to a white family a her own. But a few days later she come home, say, “Mama? I just got fired.” She look hurt, scared. She don’t understand why. You got to tell her it’s cause a you.
Least her husband still working. Least they can feed the baby.
Then they fire her husband. Just another little sharp tool, shiny and fine.
They both pointing at you crying, wondering why you done it. You can’t even remember why. Weeks pass and nothing, no jobs, no money, no house. You hope this the end of it, that she done enough, she ready to forget.
It’ll be a knock on the door, late at night. It won’t be the white lady at the door. She don’t do that kind a thing herself. But while the nightmare’s happening, the burning or the cutting or the beating, you realize something you known all your life; the white lady don’t ever forget.
Well…. Grand Re-Opening, perhaps. After 10 long weeks, construction is finally complete! The SEAM Store has a new physical operating space, designed for a more streamlined daily/weekly operation in order to bring you more great menswear and accessories. Stay tuned on Thursday nights for the newest listings!
A little info about the photos above.
1.1930′s inlaid veneer dresser, found at a local thrift store for $100. A steal. A small collection of silver plated stirrup cups with various animal figure heads. 1930 bespoke tuxedo…more on that below.
2. Custom built hat display, made from reclaimed lumber and black gas pipe.
3. The inventory, wall racks also custom made from reclaimed lumber and gas pipe.
4. Custom shoe closet, designed to hold 195 pairs of shoes, comfortably.
5. Fully stocked vintage sewing chest, hand carved ox horn, and assorted estate pipes. 1940′s tuxedo jacket….more on that below.
6. Menswear Accessory vault.
7. 1930 Bespoke Tuxedo for E.F. Pierce. Was a surgeon around the turn of the 20th century. A Bates College graduate in 1894. This is a photo found of him (back row center) on the editorial team for the school paper from 1893.
8. Vintage store display, full of my shoe shine gear. Three shine boxes, the tallest was my Great Great Great Grandfathers. Here is a photo of him in front of his general store in Baltimore, 1915. Also pictured is his wife, and grand daughter (my Great Grandmother)
9. 1941 Bespoke Tuxedo Jacket for Boston Mayor Maurice Tobin, believed to have been worn to FDRs third inaugural dinner. Here he is (left) at the dinner along side Paul Denver (attorney general at the time).