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Extra resources for Billie Holiday: Wishing On The Moon
Pop was nothing but a porter all his life, but he fed us and put us through junior high school. ' After Eleanora became famous as Billie Holiday, on one of her visits to the Point, Johnny saw her in a bar on Pratt and Bethel. I buy her a drink. She asks me how's the family, and I go my way and she go hers. ' But Pops won't come. 30 in the morning when she gets off work. Anyways, he expects her to come and see him in his house. I t was her duty to visit him. ' Billie did not put on airs when she visited Baltimore, but she resented the family's rejection of her and her mother, and the breach was not to be healed.
I n 1971 Skinny was a school janitor, 'a toothless, caved-in, stringbean of a man', according to Linda Kuehl: His voice is mellow as vintage brandy and his line of jive as smooth as the blackberry wine he sipped with Billie at Ethel Moore's. He was one of Billie's earliest patrons - the pimp as patron of her art. That art gave her leverage and equality, for Skinny gave her money rather than the other way around. I know he spared Billie obligatory moralizing because retrospectively he happily spared me.
Takes me a whole day to scrub outside one room so's I can peeps in to see how it goes. They don't have too much oil cloth then, so I scrub the floor until it be yella. You can eat off the floor. I used to starch and iron them drapes. Alice have white drapes in one bedroom, everything was white, the furniture, everything. The other was all blue. Alice Dean have beautiful clothes in the closets. Fur coats, Chinese furs, Hudson seals . There wasn't no minks then, honey. She used to wear house dresses.