As the world mourns the passing of legendary singer Aretha Franklin, there is a small contingent of Buffalonians who are making a pilgrimage to the city of Buffalo’s East Side. Why? Because at one point, as a child, the iconic singer spent her summers at 179 Glenwood Avenue.
The story goes that after separating in 1948 (they never got divorced), Aretha’s parents, C.L. and Barbara, went their separate ways geographically. Barbara moved to Buffalo (to be with her mother) with one child from her first marriage, and C.L. made his way to Detroit with the rest of the children, including Aretha.
In Buffalo, Barbara made her living as a nurse. According to Wikipedia, “Barbara died of a heart attack in 1952 at the age of 34. Her husband did not attend her funeral.” Barbara is interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Earlier today, a few of us paid a visit to the home where The Franklins once lived, on Glenwood Avenue. In the front yard, under a small tree, was a bouquet of flowers*.
*Thanks to whoever laid the flowers at the house – Dawn Madden is holding the bouquet in the feature photo.