Friday, September 30, 2016

Neighbours LBC 9/30/2016

Ramana suggested this weeks topic - Neighbours.

Times certainly have  changed. In 1959 when we moved from Colorado to Hayward, California we moved into a brand new housing development. All new homes with largely first time homeowners, just a bunch of newly constructed homes in a sea of dirt. That all changed immediately. Groups of neighbors banded together to build fences, patios and such. Friendships were struck and a community established. I was the  neighborhood baby sitter. The dads played football in the street with the kids. The Jewish family across the street became an extension of our family - Len and Elaine were second parents to my sister, brother and I.Their second oldest son Russ is a Facebook friend of mine and their cousin Stuart - who spent  summers with them is one of my very best friends to this day. As an aside whenever you use your cell phone you owe a debt to Stu and his team at Bell Labs as they were essential in developing the switching systems employed in cell networks. When my infant brother Pat passed away it was a neighbor that came to my JHunior High School to break the news and take me home.

In 1975 Lynn was offered a chance to take a position setting up a New England regional office for her company so off we went on what we expected to be a great adventure. Alas - New England was not particularly open to a couple of North Californians outside of the office. Were it not for her cousins in Middletown CT. our social life would have been non existent. That did not improve for seven months or so when I talked my way into a tryout on a softball team sponsored by the local package (liquor) store. It was amazing how the ability to hit a slow-pitch softball well over 300 feet caused the west coast bias to evaporate.

A year later we  moved back to California (Hermosa Beach) where neighbors were cordial but not overly friendly. Eventually we got back to Northern California where our friend base was and the neighbor issue tended to not matter. 

Texas and North Carolina have been more of the same. Smile and wave but that is it. Until my daughter and her kids moved back in a few months ago the animals and I lived a pleasant but solitary existence. 

I confess  I miss that neighborhood community in Hayward. There was a real "we" spirit about things whereas today's world is a me world. It should surprise no one that Donald Trump is enjoying success in the current  presidential race here - he epitomizes the me folk even though like me he is a Baby Boomer.

 Be sure to see what Ramana has to say on this topic here. 
Pravin's take is here.


1 comment:

  1. Since I was on a transferable job, we too moved often till we dug in at Pune where we have now been for the past 26 years. While here, we have great relationships with our neighbours, we have had differing relationships in our other locations. Some quite friendly and a couple totally frigid. That did not stop our social life from being quite hectic in the latter cases except that the neighbours had nothing to do with that!