My Ties To Riverside Are Strong
By Alma Patterson Stokes 1998
“I remember the Norris’ goats, Ola Bea taking me places.”
I am the seventh Patterson child. My ties with Riverside are still very strong and I remember my early days there, I was very young. The whole front of the Parsonage was always covered with sweet peas.
I remember “Bubba” scaring me when he collected the trash (he was a tease), going to the Harris pig ranch and their beautiful home on Brockton Avenue. I remember sitting in church looking at the stained glass windows, the top part had three round bells, pink, blue and white, so pretty. I remember the Norris’ goats, Ola Bea taking me places, and the tragedy at Fairmount Park, where three little boys drowned, the youngest Benjamin Culpepper, my age. It has never left my memory. Policeman Gordon and Joe Winston’s store. Then in 1949, I was in college and I was allowed to attend church in Riverside. We had a great choir with Ida Duncan Roberson, our Director. When she got upset, she would “bat” her eyelashes very fast. Allen Chapel had a great basketball team.
I remember the Lincoln Park pool where Art Williams, “Boogie” Williams and Jim Cooper were life guards….Mr. Robinson – the Canteen dances and the Avenue show. We could walk around the Eastside at night, safely. The Settlement House, square dances and fun times. Visiting with my friends, Ida Mae Culpepper Stone, Susan McCoy Strickland (cousin)., Delores Crisp and Jean Wafer Stokes all made me feel like a Riversider.
November 10, 1951, I married Bailey Stokes and we moved to Los Angeles. We visited so much, most people thought we lived in the two towns. Bailey’s father and mother were Maitland and Thelma Cora “Peggy” Stovall Stokes who lived on 11th Street. Bailey passed way in 1962 and left a legacy that perpetuates his name and memory in his children.
We are blessed and happy to be a part of the Riverside history.