by Earley Story, ©2020

Photo credit: Fergus Nolan,

(Dec. 18, 2020) — In the 50’s, my brothers and I lived at 2367 Kimball in Memphis, in the Bethel Grove area. We were the only black family living in a 3 room shack behind the Railway Ice Company located on Kimball.

Our father, Fred Story, was employed at the Ice Company. We used to play with a white kid by the name of Dennis. We used to play with Dennis every day, but Dennis stopped coming to play with us.

We did not know why, but we missed playing with him. Today my brother, Larry, called me and told me that he met Dennis. I told him that he was lying, but he continued to tell me that it was him.

My brother just got hired as a security guard working at TJ Maxs and after they started to communicate the subject came up concerning Railway Ice Company. Dennis then told my brother that he used to play with some black kids that used to stay behind the ice plant and they both started hugging. My brother told me that tears came into his eyes and tears came in my eyes as well. I am 67 years old and that was something I never would have ever thought would happen. I used to tell my wife about our childhood relationship with the only white child we knew and she used to tell me about a childhood white girl that she used to play with by the name of Liz. There are so many bad times constantly being reported in the civil rights era, that the good times are never mentioned.

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