Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rosie Chaffold

Funny how you have plans to do one thing and end up doing another.

I got a call from Glen while I was running around between assignments to let me know they had started tearing down the rest of the houses on Allen Ave. So I shot over there to make a couple of photos and see how it would change the backdrop for my time-lapse later that week.

When I pulled up I nearly instantly remembered there were still a handful of Crinums that
I had intended to dig up for some of the neighbors. So I looked around for a shovel and finally had to run down to Rosie Chaffold's house to borrow one.

Now I have heard of Miss Rosie before through contacts in the neighborhood and in stories that the paper has done, but I had never met her myself until today. As I expected, she was delightful. She is also one of the five people in the neighborhood who will have their homes updated and refurbished during the blitz build.

I didn't have much time, so I dug up the flowers, left two on Erma's porch, kept two for The Times in-house gardener Kathie Rowell and took the rest back to the Allendale Garden of Hope and Love.Miss Rosie started the garden in 2002 and it has been growing ever since. Made up of volunteer work, donated and salvaged plants and a few interesting decorations, the garden sits on what used to be the absolute drug dealer hotspot in Allendale.

In fact, it still was when she started her garden. They co-existed for a while, she dug weeds at one end; they sold it at the other. But eventually her green thumb just needed the space and she took over the whole lot. To listen to her tell it, getting rid of them was as simple as mowing the grass and planting a few flowers. Of course that was all after they had shot through the windows of her home just down the street on Buena Vista.

Miss Rosie has an interesting take on Allendale, saying that there is plenty of beauty, but that it's masked by all the trash. It just needs to be uncovered.


Tobie Kniess said...

I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see the story on Rosie Chaffold.I met Rosie in the friendship garden on our last day in Shreveport at the Blitz Build last year, and she gave me a hug. I have never stopped thinking about Rosie. I have seen in my mind's eye, over and over agin, a " snow globe" of Allendale, with the Friendship Garden right in front. The snow globe I imagine plays " Higher Ground", the Shreveport Blitz Build anthem.

shanebevel said...

Let me tell you that globe looks like a different world compared to just a year ago, not to mention 2, 5 and 10 years ago.

John Henson said...

Thanks for the Crinum link. Had no idea what they were. I love the updates and look forward to how it will all come together.