by Paul Fleischman
Here's what we know about Leona:
- She's an African-American woman.
- She has two kids in high school.
- She had a Granny who was tough as nails.
Not all that much information, huh? But from hearing her story, we do know this: this girl's got gusto. When it comes to cleaning up the vacant lot, she's persistent as all get-out. In fact, we're thinking she's got the same gusto as her spitfire Granny. Both of these ladies don't take no for an answer.
Without Leona, the community garden's lot might have stayed full of trash. But this lady isn't about to let that happen. Instead, she takes the time to make phone calls and go down to the Public Health Department to find someone to take care of the trash. In fact, she gets geared up to fix this problem right from the start:
Next morning was Monday. At nine o'clock I drank me a tall glass of water. I knew I'd be having to say the same thing to fifteen or twenty government folks. I put Miles on the CD player and stretched out on the bed. Might as well be comfortable when you're on hold. Then I opened the phone book and started dialing. (5.4)
Check out how Leona prepares herself for the long haul. She's not going to give up after one phone call. Or after one day. And in the end, Leona makes a huge impact on the community garden. Thanks to this persistent lady, Gibb Street will never be the same again.