Breaking bread in Homewood

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by J.L. Martello

Adoration Boyd, known in the community as Pooh of Homewood, now a Wilkinsburg resident and the owner of Rosing Lounge on Frankstown Avenue in Homewood for the past 20 years, has held an annual Rosing Lounge Community Day on the last Saturday of June for the past six years.

EnjoyingMeal
ENJOYING A MEAL—At any given time of the day there were people from several communities lined up in front of Rosing Lounge to get breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Pooh started the Rosing Lounge Community Day in front of her lounge where her employees, customers and she joined together to feed the community and share the day with everyone who came out. Hundreds of people from Homewood, East Liberty, the Hill, Garfield, McKeesport and other communities lined the sidewalk in front of 7217 Frankstown Ave. for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Without the road being blocked off and in just four parking spaces, there were two huge drum grills filled with chicken, ribs, hotdogs and sausages as well as tents set up with tables crammed with pans of “free food” for anyone and everyone. No one was turned away.

The only rules everyone had to adhere to were kids and elderly eat first, no pushing or fighting and wait until everyone got their first plate before you could get seconds. There are many things happening in the Homewood area and this is one annual event where people from several Black communities come together to break bread with one another with no problems, no fights or gunfire: just people sharing a nice summer day and a meal with each other.

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THE WOMAN WITH A MISSION
Adoration “Pooh” Boyd

Some stayed around the lounge eating and getting acquainted with people from different communities, while others came for their food and left. At the end of the day Pooh said, “There were a little over 2,000 people from Homewood and surrounding communities that came out to the community day without any problems. In fact, we haven’t had any incidents in the past six years that we have been doing this.”

Boyd recently took on a second job due to the recession and is currently working for Belmont Amusement, collecting coins from video machines and yet she took a little over $4,000 out of her own pocket to purchase all the meat for this event, as it gets bigger every year. The side dishes of mac ’n cheese, vegetables and potatoes came from her customers and employees who also served the food all day until 8 p.m., almost a 12-hour day.

“Even though this is a month-long event to put together, we start making side dishes on the Wednesday before the event and we cook the meat on the grills outside the lounge the day of the community day,” Pooh said. She has been known for being outspoken about unity in the community for a long time, once being part of a local bike club that donated backpacks and school supplies to local kids before they went back to school. Since 1997, Pooh has been cooking and giving away Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the elderly and anyone else who came to get a dinner at her lounge on those days. Pooh also takes part in different events in her community such as the Homewood prayer march, where she spoke to encourage residents to love themselves and one another.

“Through the love and togetherness that Rosing Lounge’s customers, employees and owner have for each other,” she said. “We came together and want to touch our ’hood with just one of the gifts given to us all, love. No one has lost that gift, it’s just been covered up by the ugliness of the world. We came a long way from nowhere, so respect the people with the stripes on their backs.

“Look at our community, it used to be beautiful and now it is ruined by our own hands. We have to start showing love for ourselves and one another. I pray that God’s grace, love and peace will touch and cover each and every individual in the Homewood community.”

People drove past honking their horns and saying what’s up to people. It felt like an everyday thing and that everyone was family even if they were not from the Homewood community.

“People are in my heart and I feel people around here don’t feel good about themselves or have anything to feel good about, so I believe this is one event in the Homewood area that will bring people to feel good about themselves and others in their community.”

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