The unique history behind a Detroit neighborhood mural

Whereabouts of man on mural unknown

Mural captures community's attention for years

DETROIT – Of the hundreds of incredible building murals in the Detroit area, this one on the city’s east side has captured attention over the years.

It was painted by a young mural artist to pay homage to his neighbors. It is called, Guardians of the Neighborhood.

There is a mystery that surrounds one of the people in the mural.

The people in this mural were not conjured by the spectacularly talented brain and brilliant hands of mural artist, Pat Perry.

There are real. They were real. Naomi Edmunds, the neighborhood fix it lady and jack of all trades and Charles Stickman Hammock who felt valued for the first time when he saw his 54-foot self on the side of a building.

For the artist whose work is peppered throughout the Detroit area of all the astonishing large scale paintings, this one was particularly personal.

But today, the flowers at the base of the mural are to mark the passing of Edmunds who died of cancer.

She died two years ago, but there is no gravesite and no headstone to visit and so her family comes here to pay their respects.

But also gone in a flash, Hammock who got lost from the neighborhood during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because Perry is not blood, he has no claim to find his friend.

And so he doesn’t know if he survived his battles with cancer or the pandemic, or any of the other things that make humans fragile.

They want to know has anyone seen this man? Does anyone know where he is? Is he safe, is he happy?

The people in this close-knit corner of Detroit want him and Edmunds to know they are still very much a part of their hearts.

READ MORE: Community headlines


About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.