Beverly is a mother, grandmother, photographer and rebel.
“I am here because of the way that I lived my life,” she said. “And I’ve lived it on the edge. I didn’t follow a normal set of rules when I was growing up. I pushed the limit. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, they would call teenagers rebels and I was one of them.”
What does being a rebel mean to you?
“It’s kind of like being an activist,” she said. “You look for a need and you say something about it.”
What were you rebelling against in the sixties and seventies?
What are you rebelling against now?
“For some reason, people assume that as you age, you are supposed to sit down, be quiet and do nothing.” she said. “I can neither sit down, be quiet and I definitely cannot do nothing. That’s why I started going back to college.”
Beverly has been studying art at American River Consumes College since ’05. She is majoring in photography.
“I discovered that art is a moment in time,” she said. “You have this moment and if you capture this moment, you can save it for other people to see.”
What is your favorite thing to photograph?
“I am into architecture and landscapes,” she said. “Especially the way architectures move around and change things from past to present.”
How did you first become a photographer?
“My momma gave me a camera when I was seven and just playing around with it gave me a love for photography,” she said.
What was the first thing that you photographed?
“A bench,” Beverly said. “Seeing the many ways that you can capture an object like that from different angles and with different lighting and shading can be interesting.”
Beverly has been coming to Wellspring since 1987.
Sister Claire and Sister Catherine invited her into Wellspring when the center was first opening.
“I started telling Sister Claire my story and she said, ‘Well, I could help you with this’,” Beverly said. “We became friends. I raised four kids at Wellspring.”
What does the community of Wellspring mean to you?
“You get to meet strangers who become friends.” said Beverly. “It’s calm, peaceful and the people who volunteer are nice and giving. Sister Judy and her staff are giving people. It makes the environment someplace you would like to be. Someplace you would like to help and get involved with. All the people who are regulars will tell you that they are close-nit.”
This year, Beverly became the leader of Wellspring’s Guest Action Committee whose mission has been to fight for Regional Transit [RT] Equity in Sacramento.
“I’ve been a bus rider for over 25 years,” she said. “I know some of the routes and schedules better than the bus drivers do.”
What do you think needs to change with the current RT system?
“The people on the board can’t all be rich folks because if you are rich, you don’t know how to relate and understand the problems of people who are not rich,” she said. “If they can bring themselves down to a level where they can understand everyone who is working and working at a low income, they can understand what their needs are. It will make the bus system a much more active bus system in Sacramento.”
Why do you think it is important to participate in activism?
“I just took an African American history class and it turns out that activism is part of our culture,” she said. “I didn’t know that. It’s something that everybody needs to do and should do, but they just kind of fall away and say, ‘I’ll let somebody else do it.’ Somebody is you. You are somebody so you should be the one to do it.”
Beverly has lived in Oak Park since 1974.
What does the Oak Park community mean to you?
“It’s like an extended family,” she said. “They are the people who you can come and talk to and have great conversation. It was the first community I got to know here. I was scared of Sacramento because it is so big. Oak Park seems a lot friendlier than a lot of the other neighborhoods. People leave Oak Park, but they always move back.”
Do you feel like the neighborhood is changing? People are starting to talk about Oak Park becoming more gentrified.
“Yes, it is changing and I haven’t found a lot of people who are in favor of the changes.” Beverly said. “More businesses are nice, but the people who are coming in with the new businesses haven’t taken the time to get to know Oak Park. They don’t want their business to fit in with the place they are coming to and are designing them to be their own little island like the Oak Park Brewery. The brewery welcomes people outside the neighborhood. The neighborhood people don’t go there. I like Old Soul. Even though they bring people from outside the neighborhood, you still see the neighborhood coming together in there. I like to go there occasionally. They have a welcoming environment like Oak Park.”