by Rosemary Reeves
In 1954 Eisenhower was President, gas was 21 cents a gallon and the highly publicized case of Brown vs. Board of Education marked the end of racial segregation in public schools. The Upper Holmesburg section of Northeast Philadelphia was about to quietly distinguish itself in the advancement of civil rights. A little-known fact not found in history books, it was the year the Philadelphia Housing Authority made an initial bold step toward integrating the white-dominated Liddonfield Housing Project. Five black families were to move in. The first among them was the Coleman family. I interviewed Dolores Coleman Jennings about her family’s contribution to public housing history.
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|Nick Cataldi, radio D.J. for WBCB1490 AM|
My parents were divorcing and we had just moved to a place called Liddonfield in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia. I was only 10 years old and I knew we were never rich people by any means, but moving here told me that the best days were behind us financially, at least for the time being. I looked outside on a cold, damp February morning and saw my first sign of life - my next door neighbor. She smiled and said hi and little did I know that a lifelong friendship had just started. I went outside to look around. The neighborhood had a lonely look to it. Small wonder - everybody was in school or working! I hadn't started school yet. I had some settling in to do and would hit school tomorrow. This wasn't a new experience for me. It was another move, another school and another scary and lonely feeling.
As the days went by, I saw that my new friends were very interested in a game that I had never paid too much attention to. Bit by bit, I was gaining interest until I found myself consumed by the sport. I would watch others with a new found enthusiasm. Rarely did I experience such a feeling, if ever. One guy named Joe really had my attention. He, along with the standard repertoire of shots, created some new ones that used to bring back memories when I saw later day pros doing them . Years later, I would think, 'Joe did that years ago'. I would shoot baskets with him on a regular basis. I would never try to copy him, per se’. This I was learning while playing on a sport team that was made up of individual talent. Almost like an artist's work. I spent hours at this game. I even shoveled the snow off the court one time. (I had read that Boston Celtic Great Bob Cousy, as a youngster, had done the same thing. So, good for Bob! Good for me!) I figured that greatness was just down the road! Thinking and talking basketball became the norm for me, a way to connect with friends, as well as a way to enjoy a certain solitude and dream of someday playing pro ball while I perfected my game.
Kid Teck, whose real name is Anthony Schultz, performs along with Tony Two Step in the well-made video for the original song, No Stress. The video footage includes some of Philadelphia’s most famous landmarks. It begins with Tony Two Step getting off the Philly subway at 15th and Market to meet Kid Teck for their performance at Love Park and when the music starts, it’s magic.