Port Washington's African-American Heritage

John Morgan Blount (1899-1985)

John Blount, 1983   (Photo by Dorothea Hahn)

John Blount, 1983

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click the arrow above to hear an edited interview from 1981 (45 minutes), or read excerpts below.  NOTE:  Some audio does not meet modern quality standards, but is included for historical value. 

I’ve been a resident of Port Washington since 1907.  My father, William Blount, came up from Georgia and worked for Mrs. Ida M. Harris on Main Street, where my sister Daisy Miles was working.  He worked at the livery stable, you know what I mean.  He would take care of the horses an’ cows, he’d take care of the yard.  My mother, Ella Jay Blount, did day work.  Mrs. Harris went for a ride ‘most every day.  In the wintertime she went on the sled.  I’ll never forget it . . .

This is my sister’s home, No. 9 Charles Avenue.  The next door was my mother’s home, that’s where I was raised, that’s our homestead, No. 11 Charles Avenue.  I’ve been here all my life . . .   My older sister used to teach, I used to drive the buggy to accompany her.  My mother used to get up an’ heat the bricks in the stove an’ wrap ‘em up in things ‘n put ‘em in the bottom of the buggy so we could keep our feet warm . . .

I understand my brother-in-law, Garfield Bailey, he started the baseball team—the Port Washington Colored Stars—in the 1920s.  The players were: Howdy Dumpson (catcher), Rube Townsend (pitcher), Chet Townsend, Pete Townsend, “Sharky” Townsend, Wilbur Dumpson, Sr., Johnny Dumpson, Sr., Henry Griffin, Francis Eato, “Bubber” Ryan, Grady Daniels, “Slim”, Ed Beckett, Lonnie Miller, John Blount.  I was the youngest one on the team.  I was playin’ in short pants.  I was about 12, 13 years old.  I was big, you know.  Always played second base.  They used to hire . . . was no buses . . . they used to hire an’ ol’ truck an’ put benches alongside.  We went to Brooklyn, all over, away down there, playin’ baseball.  An’ they used to come out here.  Had a pretty good team.  At the game we passed the hat.  Used to get good money.  They would put in, on a good Sunday, 30 or 40 dollars or something like that.  An’ you paid so much to a team, come out from Brooklyn or something, win or lose.  We’d put it in the treasury an’ pay the traveling team.  “Sweetie” Loze was a mascot, I can remember that.  We had a place where we’d meet—the catcher’s stuff, the mascot, where we kept the bases.  We were down in a house cellar once . . . By the 1930s and ’40s they had another team by then.  It wasn’t the old timers.  When I say old timers—they still had a team, but it wasn’t the Colored Stars.

Interviewed by Glenderlyn Johnson, 1981

There are no comments yet...please fill out the form below.

Leave a Comment