ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF "HOLDING ON TO THEIR HERITAGE"

Louis S. Diggs was born in Baltimore, Maryland on April 13, 1932 to George and Agrada Diggs. He was born on Dewey Avenue in the Hoes Heights area of Baltimore, but spent most of his young life on Stricker Street in Northwest Baltimore. He attended Douglass High School, quitting school in 1950. He joined the all Black Maryland National Guard (726th Transportation Truck Company of the 231st Transportation Truck Battalion) in June, 1950, five days before the beginning of the Korean war.

He saw action in Korea from 1950 until 1952. He decided to make the military a career, so he reenlisted while in North Korea and rather than return to America, he transferred to Japan where he was stationed until 1953. Returning home in early 1953, he had an opportunity to meet Shirley Washington, a Catonsville native.

Later, in 1953, he was sent to Berlin, Germany where he was stationed until 1954, upon which time he returned to America. In May, 1954 he married Shirley, and they took up residence on Fustings Avenue in Catonsville.

They moved to the Melvin Park Apartments in Catonsville, Maryland 1956. During this time, he was assigned as the Sergeant-Major of the ROTC Detachment at Morgan State College in Baltimore. In 1962 his family moved to 135 Winters Lane with Shirleyıs father, William Washington, Jr.

In 1964 Shirley and their three sons, Louis, Jr., 'Bunky', Blair and Terrance 'Terry', joined Louis in Stuttgart, Germany where they lived for four years. Returning to Catonsville with an additional son, Fredric Quentin, who was born in Stuttgart, they settled down again at 135 Winters Lane.

In 1970, Louis retired from the U.S. Army with more than twenty years of service. With his knowledge of teaching leadership to young men, Louis took a position as Military Instructor at Ballou High School in the Washington, D.C. Public Schools. Louis retired a second time in 1989 from the District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, D.C. after twenty years of service there as the Assistant to the Personnel Director for Staffing.

Louis completed his high school education while in Korea, however, he earned his GED diploma in 1975. He graduated from Catonsville Community College with an AA degree in 1976. He graduated from the University of Baltimore with a BA degree (cum laude) in 1979 and a Masters of Public Administration degree in 1982. He did post graduate studies at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Since full retirement in 1989, Louis found his nitch in retirement life by researching his family roots. He has gone into research and writing local history. He spends much time sharing his experiences by substitute teaching at Catonsville High School. It was the students of Catonsville High School who mostly inspired him to write his first book: It All Started on Winters Lane.


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