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Word & Image: The Rev. W.W. Mason, 75

Retired vice minister

I've been married more than fifty years. My wife is Diane Mason. She don't do nothing now. All she wants to do is take care of the grandbabies. Oh Lord, and there are nine of them. We raised our family here. One daughter is a pharmacist in an MCV clinic in South Side. Her name is Kimberly. One daughter Vickie is a secretary for Goodwill Industries, and she has a dump-truck business. Our other daughter lives in Richmond, Indiana. She married a gentleman there.

Practically every day somebody along Broad Street wants to see me and talk to me. I have a vehicle in the back of the house, a Pontiac Bonneville, and I drive myself or go with my friend.

My neighborhood is real nice, mostly retired folks. We're very close to the Henrico [County] line, literally right around the corner. As a whole, everybody over here has their place pretty much the way they want it.

The way I see it, I'm satisfied with the city. I don't have any squawks. I must have loved it since I've lived here all this time.

The advice I give and live by is simple: Number one is mind your own business and don't mind that of others. And obey the word of God. That means the Bible in its entirety, not putting a word in it that's not already there.

Later on this evening my daughter's coming by for a couple minutes or so. She needs a prayer. Then I'm going uptown to have a Chinese dinner, either shrimp fried rice or pepper steak. The only thing I can't eat on the menu is the sushi. I can't cut it. — as told to Brandon Walters; photographed by Scott Elmquist

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