Long before I knew your face,
I had often heard your name.
You were the one who could get it done,
No matter what stage the game.
He must be myth, this “Man for all Seasons,” a stranger could justly assume.
Part Man, part Myth, mostly Pioneer,
Who never sought such fame.
At the age of 4, he turned entrepreneur
Sharecropping by his granddaddy’s side.
From grandma he learned, as money he earned
For a bicycle he wanted to ride.
He came to Baltimore in ’29,
And worked in a rag factory.
Then a bicycle shop and he did not stop
He was determined to be free.
So he carved out a niche in real estate
By putting four hundred dollars down.
He was all of 19, when he seeded his dream,
And began to buy up the town.
Then in ’35 at 21,
On the corner of Druid Hill, and Whitelock,
Little Willie’s Inn, was jumpin man,
The place was known to “rock.”
Hey ! It was Sugar Hill, the place to be
If you were “anybody” in this town,
Come dressed in your finest,
Leave home your shyness,
‘Cause the folks wuz gitt’n down.
And in 1938, in the 1500 block Of Pennsylvania Avenue
It was Baltimore’s “Broadway” Like Vegas in its heyday,
And once again “Little Willie” knew what to do.
From his Club Casino, his vision would grow,
Put Biddison’s Jukeboxes all over town.
It was hard to compete, with the sound of the beat,
Cause the folks wuz git’n down.
Then in `’46, he and Henry Parks Decided to make a deal.
Word is “it was on Ettings and Wilson
That the pig got its squeal.”
You see they use to “Oink!” and grunt, snort,
Before “Park Sausages” came along.
But Little Willie and Henry had a plan, a little pig in every home.
In politics he learned the score, as a man behind the scenes,
Through partnerships he forged ahead,
To fulfill West Baltimore’s dreams.
With Lillie Carroll Jackson, he took to the streets
To bring beer distributors in line.
To increase Black businesses, he founded the HUB,
And invested his money, and time.
He was always the same, whenever he came
Whether with Joe Louis, or Joe Blow.
He integrated the greens, No more black and white 18s,
So a black child could be a “Golf Pro.”
He’ll tell you, he couldn’t have done it
Had it not been for Victorine.
Theirs was a bond, one of a kind
That nothing could come between.
Which brings us back to “Little Willie Adams”
Part Man, part Myth, part Pioneer.
If Victorine will loan you, we’d like to clone you
For future generations to share.