Charlottesville–Right Now: Ed Roseberry joins Coy Barefoot

1.21.11 Local photographer Ed Roseberry joins Coy for a discussion of his work. Roseberry also has a released book of photographs chronicling life in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia during the 1950’s and 60’s titled The Inward Eye. The coversation opens by explaining how Roseberry ended up choosing to pursue photography as a career, and then goes to recount the Charlottesville native’s career, beginning with the first camera he ever owned. Mr. Roseberry has amassed an incredible body of work capturing the maturation of the University of Virginia, and he has done it all as an independent photographer.

One Reply to “Charlottesville–Right Now: Ed Roseberry joins Coy Barefoot”

  1. Help Needed….

    Stuart Watkins is trying to contact Ed Roseberry to ask Ed if Ed ever knew
    a black paperboy from the 1950’s named “Lighthing” and might have photos of “Lightning”. Lightning worked for Rip Payne at the Daily Progress

    If you know Ed Roseberry or “Lightning” please pass this message on to him
    and ask him to call Stuart Watkins at the below Phone number.

    The story of “Lightning” follows:

    Stuart Watkins
    36251 S. Golf Course Drive
    Tucson, AZ 85739

    Here is the story.

    Stuart takes the liberty to reflect on his life and experiences for just a little bit.

    When I was a paperboy in Charlottesville, Virginia at the age of 12, I met a fellow paperboy named “Lightening.” That is the only name I knew him by. He was a Negro, a black, a colored boy, but to me he was a fellow paperboy.

    He taught me to tear up the wrapping that our stacks of papers were dropped off at the University Theater (since torn down) and put the paper in the soles of my shoes that were worn out and the snow and ice would seep into my shoes and freeze my feet. He taught me to take a newspaper and put in under my jacket to keep me warm from the cold wind in December.

    He also taught me about segregation.

    One cold windy December morning I suggested we go into the University Diner to warm up. He shook his head. I asked him why not? He said he was not allowed in.
    I was stunned.

    That next morning I noticed for the first time that Venable Elementary School was right next to a “black” neighborhood, but there were no “blacks” in our school. From that day on I was against segregation.

    I wrote the Charlottesville Daily Progress and told them my story in hopes of connecting with the “black” paperboy named Lightening.

    I never heard back from the Charlottesville Daily Progress, but have always wanted to reconnect with Lightning to tell him of the impact he had on my life.

    I had a lot of fun as a paperboy. I remember riding my bike down the middle of the road at 6 AM and there were no cars. I owned the road. When I delivered my papers I would see the milk man dropping off bottles of milk on the doorsteps of people who ordered milk delivered to their homes. We always waved to each other.

    I knew I did not want to be a milk man when I grew up.

    Rip Payne was our white man in charge of all the paper boys.

    On Saturday mornings all the paperboys under Mr. Rip Payne, we had to call him Mister, would gather and turn in our weekly collections. His office was just off Whiskey Hill, or Vinegar Hill. This was a “black” business district at the time. Now it is an upscale white business district.

    I used to marvel at the “black” music coming from the jukeboxes and wanted to go in, sit down, and just listen. I was afraid I would not be welcome, just as Lightning was not welcome at the University Diner.

    The name of Vinegar Hill, or Whiskey Hill, came about when a wagon load of barrels labeled vinegar spilled off the wagon as it was going up the hill. The barrels broke and whiskey spilled down the hill. Some people came out and helped themselves. Anyway, the name stuck.

    One of my customers was paying me for the week and noticed me looking at the pennies as he handed them to me. He asked if I collected coins. When I told him I was filling up a penny coin book as a hobby he asked me what coins I was missing.

    I told him and he said he had one I was missing and if I had a certain year DVD he would trade me. I had two of them and next week I brought one and we swapped.

    As I grew older I realized I had traded a valuable coin for an inexpensive one. I felt like the kid in Jack and the Bean Stalk!

    The greatest day in my young life came when I was hired as an usher at the Paramount Theater.

    No more pedaling my bike at 6AM delivering papers in the rain, snow, and no more Mr. Payne.

    Stuart Watkins
    36251 S. Golf Course Drive
    Tucson, AZ 85739

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