School girl campaigns to preserve old Shepherd house on Hattie Ave.

Photo by John Bryant
Kelsie Frazier, 11, holds a sign up hoping to rescue the historic Hazel Shepherd home on Hattie Avenue from destruction. Kelsie has been picketing in front of the home and at City Hall.

By Rozella Hardin
star staff

  Kelsie Frazier is only 11 years old, but she is becoming quite an activist.
  For the past week, in a show of opposition to the city's proposed purchase of the the Hazel Shepherd home across from City Hall on Hattie Avenue, Kelsie has been picketing in front of the house and City Hall.
  The city has made an offer for the property, which includes the house, the vacant lot beside it, and an apartment that joins the property and fronts Sycamore Street. According to City Manager Charles Stahl, should the city's offer be accepted, the house will more than likely be torn away and the property converted into a parking lot.
  Kelsie, a sixth grader at T.A. Dugger Junior High School, hopes her picketing rallies support to save the two-story "green" house from destruction. "Maybe someone will buy the house and will restore it," she said.
  The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Danny Wesley Frazier of 614 Hattie Ave., Kelsie remembers visiting Mrs. Shepherd when she lived in the house. "I visited her almost every day before she died," she said. "That's when I came to love the old house. Mrs. Shepherd had lived there for many years, and when she died, her family sold it," she said. Since then, the house has been used as a multi-family dwelling and has been allowed to deteriorate.
  Kelsie and her family live only a couple of houses down the street from the "green" house, as neighbors on the street refer to it. Rallying to her cause have been Hattie Avenue neighbors Maxine Davidson and Al and Celia Ceffalo, and Sheryl Garland, who lives on Riverside Drive. Kelsie's parents are also supporting her in her endeavor. "They are fully supportive of what I am doing," she said.
  Kelsie said she first learned of the city's plans to buy the house and property from her father, who often attends City Council meetings. "I really don't want to see the house torn down. I would like to see it fixed up. If the city wants to buy it, then I think they should fix it up and perhaps use it for offices. That would be a better alternative," she said.
  Kelsie, who enjoys history, is also an avid reader and her favorite school subject is social studies. On a lighter note, her favorite books are the Amelia Vadilla books. "Amelia Vadilla is a maid who is constantly messing up, and the books are quite funny," she said.
  She also enjoys playing baseball and golfing, as well as dancing. Kelsie takes dance lessons twice a week.
  However, her ambition is to go to college and become a nurse. "I've wanted to be a nurse since I was in third grade. I have two cousins who are nurses, and I think I would like taking care of people," she said.
  For now, though, Kelsie's mission is to save the big "green house" at the end of her street. "I just hope someone will listen." she said.