GirlTrek walk day 5, today I will tell you a tale of four people and end with Caribbean soul food.
First, @CityandCountyofDenver and @HistoryColorado, we can do better at plaques and signage. Madam CJ Walker and George Morrison Sr. park plaques were unreadable. They are weatherbeaten, broken and people deserve history that is readable. Frederick Douglass and Dr. Daniel Hale Williams parks had no plaques, is that because they didn’t live in Colorado or because you think everyone knows them? People are ignorant and not everyone knows every famous person – so a readable plaque would be awesome.
Now, this is a longer walk, but I made it a smaller loop. None of the parks have water or bathrooms (they are all kind of pocket parks.) It’s in the Whittier neighborhood in Denver (named after abolitionist poet John Whittier, racially integrated since the 1890’s, and the developers were among Denver’s earliest citizens.)
I started at Madam CJ Walker park, as you can see the signage is damaged, broken and parts are unreadable.
(I’ll link to each of the people in the comments.) Short bio – Mrs. Walker was the first American woman millionaire, she lived in Denver, she rocked African hair care, looking at her past you would have never thought her future could be what it was (which is why we shouldn’t judge people by their past.) Sunflower, a house, tall sunflowers, little library, intersection with Whittier sign.
George Morrison Sr. park, again, signage is not great.
There is a nice violin sculpture though, I’m not sure you can read the quotes from the pictures (one side was better than the other.) The side with his picture on it reads, “Tis not birth, nor wealth, nor state, but get up and get, which makes any man great.” The other side reads, “I shall only pass this way but once, I’ll do the best I can, by being a useful servant, to my fellow man.”
Short bio – George Morrison Sr. went to school in Boulder and studied violin at University of Colorado. In 1920 went with his orchestra to NY to record for Columbia records. Toured the world, played for Kings and Queens, gave free lessons to children at his Denver home. Weird mushrooms we saw at the park, Denver Gospel Hall church, hopscotch.
Dr. Daniel Hale Morrison park, no plaques, but guess what? I just read about him in my Heart a History book! Short bio – Created the first interracial hospital, performed the first open heart surgery (1893), listened to Pasteur and Lister and advocated for sterilizing equipment and washing hands and other things to prevent infection, lauded by Frederick Douglass (I’m going to guess this is why the parks are so close together.) Jack and I sat on a bench and cooled off for a bit before heading to the next park. Another typical Whittier house.
Frederick Douglass park, no plaques, but everyone should know him…right?
Again (like Dr. Morrison), not a Denverite, but a famous person. Short bio -Born a slave, learned to read, taught other slaves, beaten and abused, escaped to freedom, became an abolitionist, women’s rights advocate, wrote a famous book, had crazy hair. From that park we walked straight down the street back to where we started (it was a loop.)
Food – Genna Rae’s, Caribbean soul food. I had the jerk chicken, collard greens and plantains. They can cook! If you want jerk chicken that will transport you to a hammock over looking the beach (I had jerk chicken in Jamaica) this will do it. If you can’t handle spicy food, don’t get the jerk chicken! I used the plantains (cooked so perfectly) to cool off between bites. Then, collard greens, pretty good, I think Cora Faye cooks them a bit better, but they were still good. It’s a to go only, there is enough room for 2 people to stand inside and order, but luckily they are right next to Fuller park, so grab it and head over there (they also have wings and other sides, but today I wanted Jamaica.)
So, that is my GT urban walk for today, I hope you learned something new and if you want some good chicken, go check out Genna Rae’s (1819 E 28th Ave, Denver, CO 80205.)