Annie

ANNIE CALHOUN was born in North Carolina.  Despite living in New York City for more than 40 years, she still considers herself a Southerner by nature and by heart.  She raised her children in the Bronx, where she still lives today.  Her house was always full of the neighborhood kids, their games and their music.  She is an active community member who works with the elderly and connects with other groups of need through her church.  Her son, drummer Will Calhoun, sat in on the interview and composed a piece in her honor, which Blitz played in a pop-up concert at the Longwood Laundromat on Friday, March 27th at 7pm, 2015.

 

on her early days in North carolina...

 

on her mother's music...

Annie and her son, Will.

Annie and her son, Will.

 
If you become stationary - you’re lost.
Don’t feel that this is the end of life. There is something else out there and you have to reach for it. It’s reaching out, that is what it is.

I learned so much about being with people. There is something good in everybody.
You can’t believe that everybody is bad - that’s you. That’s YOU that you have to believe in.

I don’t think we should become stagnated. That’s the worse thing in the world that people can do for themselves. It’s a part of death.

Enjoy yourself - and that’s what I do!
They tell me “Mama, you are too old.”
And I say, “I’m breathing - I’m going!”
As long as I can breathe I’m free.

— Annie Calhoun, 11/15/2014

"they took care of us."

How the North Carolina community took care of Annie and her family during hard times.

Much like her mother's home, Annie's house became a community hub as her kids grew up.  Kids and teens and would spend their afternoons in Annie's basement playing music and hanging out.

 

The Old Rugged Cross was one of Annie's mother's favorites.  She would conduct a capella performances of it at her house for the neighboring children.  

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.
— The Old Rugged Cross by George Bennard (1913)