This is Gary serves many purposes, an ode to Gary’s Culture, a warm love letter from Garyites to those living near or far, a snapshot in time for Gary’s posterity seeking understanding of our city’s self-reflection. This coffee book is a physical manifestation led by Joslyn Kelly, visionary of J’s Breakfast Club along with Victory Way, is forged by the unwavering love, faith and tutelage of everyday Garyites who    support this mission toward the meaningful rebuilding of our beloved city. Trust that your investment in this coffee book planted a seed toward the construction of J’s Breakfast Club and the Victory Way Development. We hope you enjoy this book with fond recollections of our city and that you take comfort knowing that we feel your love no matter where or when you are.


Since its inception in 1906 Gary has served as a model, a melting pot of ethnicities, languages and life experiences inland and abroad on the leading edge of influencing American culture. Garyites are passionate, talented, proud and remarkably warm-hearted people. Our citizens, businesses and institutions have the right to tell their unadulterated story and life experiences. Throughout Gary’s history everyday citizens of Gary have waged simultaneous battles for both the soul of our city and our nation. From the eighteen brave students who sought to integrate Emerson High School in 1927. Andrew Means an African American entrepreneur who single handedly had the fortitude to        develop quality housing for redlined African Americans in Midtown; Ida Saks, Peg Griffith and Hylda Burton organizers of Gary’s Women’s Citizens Committee formed in 1949 to fight municipal corruption and deep rooted vice; Nobel Peace Prize Winner Economic Sciences for  Joseph Stigliz lauded for his equitable economic theories and contributions to Macroeconomics; A successful collective civic fight against the construction of a for-profit GEO immigration detention facility in the 2010s. Garyites have through present day persisted to fight for the unwritten everyday people. Gary has throughout the generations exemplified grit and unwavering resolve building upon an unbent legacy fierce for justice and civic economic equity.   

Last but certainly not least, this book also serves as a call to action. Neither government nor big business create viable cities, everyday people create viable cities. We live in a malleable time where you can create whatever path you desire Gary to be so long you have a vision and persist in forming that vision into reality. We have the power both incrementally and collectively to change the narrative without permission from external influences. As the city of Gary developed in its early days the city earned the moniker, The Magic City.; Considering within less than ten years of its incorporation out of the sand dunes and swales a shining modern major metropolis of the 20th Century emerged. We must understand our history to rediscover that we still possess that same magic today, a clean slate built upon lessons learned, equipping Gary to awaken from its slumber a more resilient city than ever imagined. Gary is not dead. Gary has endured unprecedented challenges like no other, yet like the Magic City we are, our heartbeat lives on. 

Joslyn, Special thank you for entrusting me with such an  unprecedented honor. 
-Christopher Brandon Harris, 4th Generation Garyite, 3rd Generation Rooseveltian (? 2007) & Gary Community Advocate.