Updated: Jan 9
You may know that my Father John Thomas Mitchell went by the nickname " Tiger Tom. It came rom Esso commercials ads back in the 50s. Esso was the moniker for the oil monopoly Standard Oil. (S.O) at the time. Their motto was "A Tiger In Your Tank". He actually dressed up in a Tiger Suit a few times. Crazy. He also was called "Jotter" when he wrote for The Planet, Jet Magazine and The Afro. But athletes used to call him Da Press when he covered games locally and the brief time he travelled with The Negro Leagues. When they saw him coming he was often the only one giving ink to the good things around the State. He investigated, wrote and worked worked with others to properly report the whole story. People like Ben Miles, Bill Gibbons, Spot Robinson, Rupert Picott, Colston "Choke" Lewis, Claudette McDaniel Black and many others were frequent visitors. My Grandfather Roscoe had his own nickname when he wrote for The Planet and The Times Dispatch. They called him "Rover". As a roving reporter they used it in most of his bylines. The onus of all the Negro/Colored/Black reporters of the time was to do more than report. They used long conversations when possible to report the meat of the matter. Not making personal judgements. Except when they presented editorials and wrote letters to public officials. They allowed people to vent. But they did their best to remain flys on the wall. No matter how alluring the smell of shit was. Here are my bullet points to the press orf anyone else interested.
**The final dissolution is still taking place. It is a process that takes time.
**I am the sole board member remaining. I am in talks with the city to facilitate necessary paperwork.
**I rejoined the board in late July for two reasons to ensure that East End and Evergreen cemeteries remain open and safely accessible to descendants. Also to ensure that some level of maintenance was maintained thru the growing season.
**To that end, I ported the phone number (804.402.2940) so that descendants could still contact me or whomever will be in charge in the future. I am still been fielding calls from descendants looking for grave markers or looking to replace stones.
**Due to liability issues I was instructed by the board to limit volunteer work and tours on site. VOF was able to keep the grounds cut in the main areas. I still maintained Divine Nine and military assisted maintenance on the historic hill. Police surveillance of the grounds were also increased.
** I am also part of a partner group that also lost funds. (AWFootballClassic)
**To date I have not received any pay from Enrichmond since August 2022
All inquiries regarding Enrichmonds other issues can be addressed with the city at a future date. They are best qualified to help this process along. But if you want info on past, current or future cemetery work. Or you want to get personally involved in continuing decades of work by the community. Or you don't want your producer "dancing all up in the videos". Come on over or join one of the many groups that are back at work on the ground level.
Roscoe Conklin Mitchell aka Rover. Reporter for The Richmond Planet and Richmond Times Dispatch. He also co-edited The Planet with Albert Norell after the passing of John Mitchell Jr.