Life Imitates Gritty Art

A long-deceased Houston blues poet's lyrics prophesy a Northside murder.

By John Lomax June 27, 2014

Struggle here in Houston just to stay out of Ben Taub / You're liable to get your head bashed in if you break a twenty after dark.

So sang Fifth Ward poet and one-man blues band Weldon "Juke Boy" Bonner in 1969. Earlier this year a very similar, albeit even worse, scenario took place on Greens Parkway one night in March.

According to today's Houston Chronicle, arrests were made yesterday in the murder of 26-year-old Dennis Davis and the non-fatal shooting of 15-year-old Keenan Citizen. 

Per the report, Citizen went to a convenience store hoping to change a $20 bill. When the clerk told him he couldn't help, Citizen asked a group of men outside if they could break his $20. They also said no, but added that Citizen should just hand the cash over anyway. He did.

Citizen then ran home to tell his family. Reinforced by Davis and two other men, Citizen returned to the store, where they attempted to get Citizen's money back. When that plan of counter-attack failed, the four men left, whereupon a group of men hiding in a wooded Greens Parkway median opened fire on their car, killing Davis and wounding Citizen. (Who was treated at and released from -- yep, Ben Taub.)

Police eventually arrested 23-year-old Andrew Levy Griffin and 26-year-old David Terrel Resby, both of whom now face murder charges.

All over a kid trying to break a $20 after dark.

(And for the record, back when Bonner was singing his blues, $20 was $127 in today's money.)

Filed under
Show Comments