Sunday, August 7, 2011

Welcome To The Neighborhood

A couple of months ago I published the first in what I still hope to be an ongoing series featuring the front porches and gardens of Charleston. While I was doing my research into front porches and their role in American Culture I came across an intriguing quote. Not interesting necessarily in it's content but tantalizing due to the quotes originator. The quote was ascribed to Charles "Buddy" Holly, the great American singer-songwriter and pioneer of rock and roll music. The quote, "my vision is to see a neighborhood with children playing on the street and people on the porches with smiles on their faces," didn't quite make the final edition of Porch Sittin', but I retained it for use at some point in the future. I have probed and scoured in vein for the context of that quotation and in the process I have learned much about the life of Buddy Holly but I have no earthly idea why he had a vision of a neighborhood with people smiling from their front porches, nor why he was compelled to talk about it. Likewise, I had no idea how I would end up using his words in my blog, but I knew eventually the quote would be useful.

Last evening the neighbors on our street gathered for a block party and even though the clouds in the sky were threatening and the radar images were ominous, we gathered, we visited, we made new friends and enjoyed ourselves IMMENSELY, as you can see from the pictures. Amidst the laughter and the great food (aren't pot luck dinners the best) I was reminded how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful and vibrant place with great neighbors and friends. It was fascinating to visit and spend the evening with people having such diverse backgrounds and life-stories. Some were native Summervillians, most were transplants like us from Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina and even as far away as Scotland.

Yet on this evening, we were all residents of the 400 block of Hydrangea Street in a unique neighborhood of homes inspired by the history and charm of a classic southern city, Charleston. As I browsed the photos on my camera searching for the pictures that best captured the essence of life on our street I noticed how nice the homes looked painted in their lively Charleston colors. I admired the neatly manicured lawns and crisp sculpted garden areas and I realized I now had the perfect opportunity to refer to that old Buddy Holly quotation. In fact, I live on a street in a neighborhood analogous to the one contemplated by Holly. No matter where you are today, I hope that you take the opportunity to slow down and enjoy your life, spend some time with your neighbors and have a great day, From The Land of Palm Trees.

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