Archive for September, 2009

People in My Neighborhood

Neighbors © Jim Korpi

It took 30 years for me to realize the genius of Mr. Fred Rogers. The soothing nature of his voice, the sweater/shoe routine and his neighborhood walks were only the surface of his brilliance.
His messages were simple but broad in their scope.
It has taken things like listening to him speak to Congress about the importance of public television, or listening to him talk to This American Life about the importance of knowing one’s neighbor to understand the depth of such an individual.
But it has also taken growing a garden on my reclaimed front lawn. The garden has grown vegetables and friendly neighbors.
“How’s your lettuce doing?” Is how it starts. “Ahhh…. hasn’t rained in a week.”
Then elections come and go and you start sharing politics.
Now we informally trade favors, visit each other for sticks of butter, and just talk.