Monday, February 21, 2011

The hand - Kind Neighbor

I have a growing interest in local history in the Twin Ports. I enjoy learning more about what and who has been here and what things were like a hundred years ago. Really, every time I pick up a dulcimer it can be a form of time travel. Dulcimers weren't likely played up here. (I have seen numerous announcements of Bunco being played in Duluth in the '40s.) We have an event coming up in Duluth that is like a science fair but it's a history fair. It's interesting to see the creativity and research results of the kids putting together history topics and making displays, documentaries and even performances.
A part of the more recent history, if you will, has been a long time neighbor that has been a neighbor of all neighbors. He'd have his clothes out on the line, mow his yard and many nearby neighbors' yards, and also love to grill some meat in his front yard. He'd be the one to then take the cooked meat - pork chops, chicken, or smoked ham and pass it around the block. Sometimes he'd just sit outside on his front steps and wave to the dogwalkers but also to the cars going by on this suburban-like street. There just aren't neighbors like that anymore. Why not? This neighbor, are next door neigbhor, passed away a few days ago and will be missed. His humor also brought a lot of fun to the neighborhood. I wrote him a song this weekend. I don't know if I'd every play it anywhere but it summaries some of his overflowing kindness and willingness to share and help others every day. I'm leaving now to go to his service which I believe may not have enough space at the place for his family and friends - and so many people he touched. Good bye neighbor. Thanks for everything. How can we be better neighbors? Maybe it starts with a greeting or words. The hand is an instrument, a tool and can strum an instrument, pluck strings, or wave to a neighbor.

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