Jehosephat Blim: Edit
Jehosephat Blim (Jan. 16, 1883) is 30 years old, and is a giant and dignified black man with a kindly open face scared by severe burn marks that continue from the right side of his face to his right shoulder, chest, and arm. Despite his height, his scars and his race, people always seem to want to take care of him, which is odd since throughout his life he has always took care of everyone else. He is starting to get a reputation as a phenomenal piano player and composer.
Jehosephat Blim's parents' story: Edit
Your father, Alexander Blim, was a strong willed man who was lynched when you werre 16. It was claimed that he raped a white woman, but he was at a well attended wedding when the rape happened, and the woman who was raped denied that it was Alexander Blim. He worked for the Brook family (who originally owned your grandmother as a slave, but were known abolitionists, and who gave your grandmother her freedom and a part of their land before the Civil War started). The Brook's supplied the Confederate States of America with arms and ammunition and their family, friends, factories, homes and servants were obliterated before the war was over. After the Civil War, only your grandmother, mother and one of the Brooks survived.
Your mother, Glory Blim, died of consumption when you were 18. Your grandmother and sister worked as a maid for the Brooks.
Jehosephat Blim's story: Edit
You've been playing the piano as long as you can remember. Your mother used to entertain friends and the Blim family, and so did you. Your mother was a passionate woman, but her passion was electrified when she touched the piano keys. She was alive when she played and it's the same for you.
From 13 on, you worked in Mr. Brook's fireworks factory. You learned how to fix and operate the machinery and quickly became the second best mechanic on the floor. You went to a new small school "for Negro children" a few hours every day.
After your mother died, you wanted a change. With Mr. Brook's approval, you left the factory and started repairing automobiles. But no whites would let you fix their machines, so you hired a white man, Robert Mulvey, to act as your front. But after a year of working at night, so the white people wouldn't see you, you started to hate the business. You were wild, constantly carousing, and continuously with a new girlfriend every few months. You were attractive and funny and people always wanted you to play the piano. You sold the rest of your automotive business to Robert, and started playing music full time.
Most people played the banjo or the fiddle, and few juke joints had a piano, so you would strap your family's upright piano onto a cart you built yourself, and wheel the piano to wherever you would play. You played folk rags, boogie woogie, barrel house and slow drag dance music - anything raucous and raunchy. People danced the Hully Gully, the cakewalk, the slow drag, jigs and reels.
You met Leona when you were 21 in the spring of 1904. She was 16 and beautiful, sweet and funny. You married in June. She was fat with your child that winter.
The Worst Year Edit
Then, 1905. The worst year of your life. The year of The Fire. The fire that took the life of your beautiful Leona. The fire that changed everything.
Your family was preparing dinner with the Brooks. Leona was in the kitchen with your grandma. You went outside to get firewood and use the outhouse, but when you came back the house was engulfed in flames. The entire house - in flames. You think you saw people run from the fire. At first you thought it was members of your family or the Brooks, but then you heard the screaming. You rushed into the house. You ran to the kitchen but something exploded and part of the wall collapsed around you. Then the ceiling crashed in front of you, shooting fire and burning embers everywhere. You suddenly heard little Betsy screaming. She was behind you, at the top of the stairs, surrounded by flames. It was hard to see through the thick smoke and your lungs felt like they were burning. You ran through the fire, grabbed her, and carried her outside as the stairs engulfed in flames behind you. You got outside and passed out.
In that fire you lost your grandmother, your sister, the Brook family, your looks, and your beloved Leona, heavy with your unborn child.
You were a local hero after that, in the white and black community. (The black community nick-named you "Mercy-Mercy" for saving a white child from the flames.) But you spent a year drinking, and only stopped from falling to ruin so you could spend time next to little Becky. You understood each other's grief and pain. You didn't play the piano for months, and Mr. Brook's firework factory was sold to debtors. Robert Mulvey hired you back, but on all of your free time you went back to the Brook's property and rebuilt the house. Little Becky visited often, and until her new ward, Mrs. Low, ran out of money, she would bring you along as a mechanic to the family while they traveled Europe, Chicago or New York.
Little Becky and you were always close, but now you share a bond that is indescribable. She is the only person in the world you trust and you know it's the same for her. A few months ago, when you told her you were selling your house and moving to New York to play piano in the big leagues, she arranged to have her land and house sold. The two of you rehearsed many vaudeville acts, but the organizers don't want an act with whites and blacks on the same stage, so you broke your act in half, but continue to rehearse together.
Association with the Seven: Edit