April 27 is Neighborday, a very nice construct being promoted by the folks over at Good.Is. The point is to get out and meet some neighbors, something I plan to do this afternoon, with grandbabies in tow.
We’ve hit the neighbors jackpot already, with one of my best friends (Julia) within walking distance, Bob and Theresa across the street, Alyssa and Matthew next door – too many to name, which is very cool in 2013.
But Neighborday harkens me back to the days of twisting by the pool in Indian Hills, when you didn’t have to force neighborliness at all.
For two of those idyllic years in the late ’60s-early ’70s, Daddy (who died 31 years ago this past Thursday) was president of the Indian Hills Community Club, which meant – in addition to me having to work at the pool for free (but I loved it) – teen dances and adult parties at the pool. He and Mother always loved a good party.
We literally danced on the diving boards and felt ever so cosmopolitan – like something out of a beach party movie. When we girls were lucky, the lifeguards asked us to slow dance.We also spied on the adults and saw them twisting by the pool, too.
What fun days. I don’t have any photographic evidence here, but if I find some at Mother’s some day, I’ll add it.
But just hanging out on Blackhawk was fun, too, and I do have photo proof of that. Every day kids would meet in the street and come up with some kind of fun. It happened organically, no planning required.
Neighborliness just was. When new neighbors moved in, you went over to meet them. Even if you didn’t really like someone, you were friends by proximity and you accepted each other.
You rode your bike all over the place and got to know people several streets over. You met kids who went to Catholic schools at the pool. Neighborliness was easy.
While many factors have played into the demise of the neighborliness of the good old days, I blame much of it on the disappearance of front porches and the privacy fences surrounding back yards. You’ll notice in these pics that we’re in the street or front yard or driveway. We had huge, huge backyards that we hardly touched.
Recently Cathy and I discussed that we need to meet Mother’s neighbors. She and Bill moved there in July 2002, and we don’t know a single person to call should we need someone to check on her since she’s 20 minutes away.
The street has tidy lawns, no porches and privacy fences.
See what I mean?
Anyway, it won’t be on Neighborday, but I am going to do something old-fashioned, like bake some cookies or bread and take it to her neighbors on each side and ask for their phone numbers for emergency use.
And you know what? I’ll bet they like it.
Happy Neighborday to the Indian Hills crew. Still love you guys.