Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Interloper

Neighborhood Kids
Originally uploaded by kristinafh
In our neighborhood - everyone - and I do mean EVERYONE - knew each other. It wasn't just a one neighbor radius either (meaning - you probably expected us to know the people who live to the right of us, to the left of us, across the street, and directly behind us). Oh no, this neighborhood I grew up in - everybody knew everybody. In some ways, knowledge equaled a sense of safety and security. We were a young neighborhood, but already, we were pretty set in our ways.

And then, there were these "rules" that almost every kid abided by (or tried to). Most of these weren't rules that were written down or given to us as instructions. They were rules (and boundaries) that we all sort of picked up as we experienced life in the neighborhood.

For example - there were some neighbors who were really grouchy about people crossing through their yards. In fact, over a one year period, Sears must have been licking their lips at the windfall they experienced by the number of chain-link fences installed in our neighborhood.

More examples - kickball games usually took place on Cedar Crest Circle; the bike "route" was Cedar Crest Circle - Pinecrest - back to Cedar Crest. Kyle Road was too dangerous for bike riding. Skateboarding happened on Pinecrest. Tree climbing was usually reserved for the big ole cherry tree on Scott's Court. If you had to use the (ahem) facilities and you were playing with the Beckstedt kids - too bad. You had to go somewhere else cause their momma never let you in.

One summer, while playing with Tricia Manter in her big ole backyard (we were doing our typical Barbie things), we heard a voice from the other side of the wood fence. I looked at Tricia, she looked up and then looked back down, getting back to the business at hand (putting together Barbie's swimming pool).

The voice called out again. Tricia just ignored him. Not me though. I wanted to know who it was. I went to the back of the yard and I saw a boy, up in a neighbor's tree. I didn't recognize him. "Who are you?" He answered, "Wouldn't you like to know?" Of course I did. He was an interloper in our neighborhood. He was climbing trees of neighbors I knew - clearly - he was not a "neighbor". Then I heard a voice. "Tom. Come down here. Lunch is ready." To which he answered, "Okay grandma."

Weird. I went back to playing Barbies with Tricia. We didn't even acknowledge the voice in the back. By this time, the pool was up and it was time for Barbie, Ken, and Skipper to bask in all of their tanning glory.


ida said...

lol...funny. he was probley like a flea too her. kept biting at her ankles.

Bob G. said...

Yeah, those people who "visited" probably never saw such a nice neighborhood.

I was like that when I would travel with Mom by bus to visit my grandma's house in NE Philly.

But I never strayed far from the house, and Mom made sure that I present a proper image to those I met in that neighborhood.

Guess things have changed a bit since THOSE days...

Nice post...reminded me of better times (as you always do).