Edwin Simmons brought his mother Dorothy to the StoryCorps GriotBooth on Friday, March 16th to interview her about growing up in Harlem. She lived right behind the famous Apollo Theater, which she often snuck into to watch performances. Her nickname back then was “Skinny Dot”, and in high school, she joined a club called “The Tall-Timers”. To be a member, men had to be at least 6′ tall, and women had to be 5’9″. The Tall-Timers would go to dances together so that the women would have taller dance partners.
Dorothy’s husband-to-be was also a member of the Tall-Timers, and Edwin definitely inherited their height. However, StoryCorps does not discriminate against anyone, short or tall, though Dorothy and Edwin did have to squat down for us to take their photos for the archive (seen above). Pictured below are Edwin (still crouching) and Dorothy with Edwin’s wife, who picked them up after the interview.