South Rome Chronicles- Expansion

Rome, Georgia is very much like the typical city- sides of town referenced by the cardinal directions of North, South, East, and West. Since South and West attended the same school one would more likely be associated with people from the west. I obeyed those rules faithfully, definitely didn’t wonder into East Rome projects or the “colored folks” projects without being accompanied by someone from there with some street cred. A man could get his teeth knocked out on any given day.
I was ambitious, quite the peacemaker, always looking to make friends that could give me access to go anywhere in Rome. Greater Bethlehem Temple was the church that my grandparents started, and members came from different parts of the city. As a child this worked out, but I was not looking to maneuver through different places in the city at that age. When it counted it looked like I needed to start all over.
There was a strong East/South beef that I had to deal with by association. Nothing about me said gangsta but boy did I feel the pressure. I didn’t get comfortable hanging out in East Rome until around 91/92. It wasn’t because I was all of a sudden a tough guy, I met the Browns. My stepbrother introduced me to Dink when we lived in Chateau. We spent a lot of time hanging, just all over the complex from our apartment to there’s. Street cred was everything and the Browns had a big brother named “Big Trav.” He was called that for a reason, and to my knowledge their family could come and go pretty much anywhere in the city with no real hostility. So once I met the Browns East Rome became a little more safe for me……..I wasn’t crazy enough to go over there without being in the car with Dink, but hey at least people made the association.
North Rome was set up in a way that made expansion a little more difficult because the projects were not that close to Eagle Park. Eagle Park was a nice spot, though I have known of a few people to get stomped out and shot at over there, overall it was a nice hangout. My introduction to Dink opened the door to a family in North Rome that had a similar situation, the Wrights. When I met Dink, he introduced me to Ty. Now I had been watching him put in work at the East/West basketball games. I saw them get worked by Cedartown one year, but his game was cold! Then I had the pleasure of watching him on television when he was at Georgia State. His brother Bull was usually hard to keep up with, so we would see him in passing. Rita and I were probably tighter when she came to A&M because everybody was trying to talk to her through me. I was famous for a minute! LOL! They had an older brother that I never met, but knew that he and my cousin George use to run the streets together, gave me double the protection. The Wright boys had a real simple formula for handling beef, so if you weren’t interested in seeing somebody beat to sleep, it was best that you just kept the problem to yourself. I remember Bull telling my stepbrother one time “do you have a problem with him or not?” He was talking about a fella that had lost his way and talking sideways. Without letting him answer he said,”because if he’s a problem I’m taking his head off!” At that point I knew that North Rome was going to be a safe place for me. You couldn’t go through there without passing by their house anyway. Coolest cats around-great friends! They introduced me to Buff, Bump, Milio, Big Mike who was my cousin, but I never made the connection until we were all together.
I met people that lived in West Rome in school, and later through Jose and Moddy moving to the Pjs on the West Side. I didn’t have many affiliates until I started dancing with Crandall and some of the guys. Once West Rome started popping I kept my distance unless I was going inside to practice dancing. West Rome was a different animal to tame. The beef from my perspective, was deep enough to get an innocent fellow like me, jumped.
I stayed in my lane. At no point could people associate me with violence. I never used my car for a drive-by, steered clear of fights, avoided girls with crazy exes, probably the weirdest person that I have ever met.

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2 thoughts on “South Rome Chronicles- Expansion

  1. I’m glad we all crossed paths and I’m glad that we were able to help ease your transition into the hood! You’ve always been a cool, smart dude! We still feel that way now! Stop by anytime!

    Liked by 1 person

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