Natchez man’s home, neighborhood full of history

Published 12:24 am Monday, February 4, 2008

NATCHEZ — From David Green Jr.’s stoop, he can see — and live amid — a lot of history. But he doesn’t see it that way.

“We don’t know where we been, and we don’t know where we’re going,” he said. “We only know what we know right now.”

Saturday afternoon found Green working on a Bishop Street neighbor’s kerosene heater on the neighbor’s porch, where he was serving the dual capacity of golden-hearted curmudgeon and unofficial neighborhood historian.

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Glancing up, Green squinted in the late afternoon light.

“There’s lots of history on this street,” he said. “Right around the corner is the original location of Holy Family Church, and my house — next door — is the original bishop’s house. That’s why Bishop Street is named Bishop Street.”

But rather than dwelling on the past, Green said, he would rather take care of people in the present.

Pointing to a box of literature about how to receive government grants for starting a business and how to contact the corporate offices of large companies, Green said he had distributed almost 50 copies in the last week to friends, family and neighbors.

“I believe in education,” he said. “The only way they can take that away from you is to take your head off.”