88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

"Neighborhood Project": Week Four, A Church Gym Full Of Boys

Click to enlarge


Listen:  Deb Curtis's main draw to the Sherman Park neighborhood was the Sherman Park Community Association. She needed to get involved and this organization was it. Really. Sound like an exceptional commitment? I thought so too. Check out this short clip:


So. Really. Once Deb was there, neighborhood organizing was sure to follow. Along with longtime residents and parishioners like Bernadette Davel (whose phenomenal words on St. Catherine's have unfortunately been left out due to time constraints), they reached out to the community. They met neighbors like Albert Ithier, who had a commitment to giving the youth of the neighborhood a place to be.

Take a listen to the result:


I would be remiss if I didn't mention Father Jack Kern, who was instrumental in getting St. Catherine's basketball program off the ground. From what I've been told, he's a pillar.

While I was at the gym, I thought to myself a number of times, "I really wish I had a video camera." Their voices hint at it, but when I talked to each of these boys, they had a huge smile on their face. Really, there was no place they'd rather be. At the end of the piece, you can hear me trying to fish a grand and poetic answer out of Antonio. He responds, "I just come here to hang out with my friends and play basketball." And to me, there was something disarming about that simplicity.

Produced by: Adam Carr