Leo Sneed, 53, has spent more than 30 years working in Over-the-Rhine, the last 11 as manager of loading crews on the rear dock of the 100-year-old Davis Furniture.
Leo Sneed, 53, is a dockworker at Davis Furniture downtown. Photo by Glenn Hartong
Born in Selma, Ala., the divorced father of two moved here in 1959. Now living in Corryville, daily trips to Over-the-Rhine keep him well aware of what’s going on.
‘‘Changes? Yeah, we’ve seen them,’’ he says, lounging on a gold and black sofa in Davis’ crowded showroom. ‘‘Thirty years ago, there were more people walking down the street, screaming and laughing and cussin’ and having fun.
‘‘Now, it’s quieter and there aren’t as many people. The businesses leave, you know, and so do the people.’’
The procedure at Davis is one of the changes Mr. Sneed has seen since last April. Now when the store closes, employees walk to cars or bus stops together. No one walks alone.
‘‘We didn’t used to have all these gangs of teen-agers hanging out on the corner over on Vine Street.’’ A positive change Mr. Sned has seen is officers walking a beat.
‘‘It makes people feel safer, but even more important, the cops meet the people. They meet the kids and their parents and become friendly. The young people get to see that cops aren’t bad people.’’
With all that has gone on in the neighborhood, Mr. Sneed stresses that he has never been frightened. You mind your own business, he says, you don’t mess with people, and you’ll be OK.
‘‘Just as long as you don’t mess with people.’’
— Jim Knippenberg
Faces of Over-the-Rhine
Restaurant owner Paul Sebring
Taft senior Darrel Shields
Social worker Angela Coleman
Sarah Center director Sister Jeanette Buehler
Jordanian grocer Taraq T.A. Adwani
Filmmaker Steve Gebhardt
Gallery owner Suzanna Terril
Beauty shop supplier Chong Kim
Teacher's aide Kemberley Alexander
Waitress Karla Davis
Teacher Sharon Brooks
Dock worker Leo Sneed
Police officer Michael Ammann
Soup kitchen manager Denise McPherson
Artist Joseph M. Winterhalter
Janitor Latrell Walker
Fund-raiser Torren "T.J." Partridge
School social worker Joe Wilmers
Rehabber Greg Badger
Medical student John Eckman
Treatment counselor Calvin W. Wooten
Photographer Jimmy Heath
Violence up, arrests down
Changes made since April 2001
Q&A with Police Chief Streicher
Q&A with former F.O.P. president Keith Fangman
Neighbor to Neighbor
Community meetings produce results
Going beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
What's happening in 145 communities
A sampling of communities:
What institutions are doing
Neighbor to Neighbor home page
Matters of Race: Bridging the divide in Greater Cincinnati
On the Same Page Cincinnati
Live Without Hate
Cincinnati 2001: Year of unrest
Unrest in the city: Archive of riot coverage
Unrest photo timeline
Jim Borgman on race