I’m Walkin’

Willie Walkin’                                      © 2017 Bing McGilvray

Hey Enduring Gloucester you can call this “I’m Walkin’ “ like the Fats Domino song,  there are lots of walking songs like there are lots of talking songs. I walk because I like to walk & for exercise & because I don’t drive. I see more things this way, sometimes I see things that aren’t there or I see them with my mind. (like the voice in my head writing this and talking to you. I’m walking for you (“I’ll walk the greasy pole just for you….I’ll do anything that you want me to“).

So I’m walking in Fred Buck’s Footsteps, I’m a walker in the city like Peter Anastas. I walk with the ghosts of Tommy Moses & Vincent Ferrini. I walk up Middle Street with Mabel Garland and drink Constant Comment Tea with the Robinson sisters, who lived in that old yellow house on the corner of Dale Avenue that just got repainted.

I see myself skipping over to Sterling Drug Store from the Old First Baptist Church to hang out a couple minutes between Sunday school and church service on Sunday morning.

On weekdays, after school at Central Grammar, I have a frosty root beer in an ice cold mug at Kresge’s on the corner of Hancock & Main. I’m sitting at that long lunch counter – if I’m not saving my dimes for a savings bond at the post office where you buy these special stamps & fill up a book (like an S&H green stamps book). Can you see this?

I did fill up that book and got my 25 dollar savings bond & it was a beautiful thing. My dad borrowed that bond to buy a birthday present for my mother…that became a bond between us…….and here I go I’m cutting thru the Universalist Church yard & thru the fence and over the stone wall to Gould Court… going home to 18 Washington square, but first, I might stop at Cher Ami for some penny candy or buy a loaf of Bond bread at Charlie the Greek’s Cape Ann Market & get a free Hopalong Cassidy trading card.

Ya, I’m walking home past Buddy Orlando’s house. I live next door to Billy Ruggiero, who is my best friend & Joan of Arc is still riding her horse & the Fisherman Statue is still looking out to sea & I’m looking for the North Shore, looking for the Strand, looking for the church where my daddy used to stand & “I’m a fishtown horrible, I’m so incorrigible, a fish town horrible …”………..  Willie Alexander.

Photo credit  Anne Rearick

Willie Alexander. The Alexander family arrived in Gloucester in 1950; we left in 1955. I returned here in June 1997 to live with my wife, photographer Anne Rearick.  I’ve been making music & art my whole life. I made my first recordings for Capitol Records in 1965 with The Lost. I am currently recording with Tony Goddess at Bang a Song Studios in Gloucester.