Shelf Life Community Story Project
Amplifying community voices, learning from neighborhood stories, and interrupting narratives of erasure in Seattle's Central District.

Everything Was Home

Isiah Anderson

Photo by Jill Freidberg

Photo by Jill Freidberg


Living here at that time was beautiful. A lot of black-owned businesses. There was a record store right here, called Beverly's. Tony Datsun used to work over there. His name was Tony Datsun, but he drove a Datsun, and to this day. To this day. He is the number one Michael Jackson impersonator I've ever seen. And people would follow him, cause they thought it was Michael Jackson visiting, just getting away, thinking people wouldn't recognize him. But he would get that everywhere he went, and Beverly's was right across the street there, and here in the Promenade. I was here when George Shaw used to be at Brooklyn. Brooklyn Boutique across the street. I remember when he first moved here from New York. And he was the guy in the neighborhood where the kids would come in and "Come on man, when you gonna get your hair cut?" "I can't afford it." And then he'd cut their hair, and nobody ever knew he owned the place because he was at the chair way in the back. And I lived right next door to Ezells, on 23rd, for years.

Home! Everything was just home. And so I never really left the Central Area until I needed to buy a house. When I needed to buy a house, I could no longer afford to live in Seattle. And so I had to eventually move out, and that's how I ended up in Federal Way.