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.

Posted September 19th, 2009 in Uncategorized.


  1. mike:

    Very nice Jim. The garden probably helped a lot. (kids too)

  2. Lau:

    We have a saying in Holland: better to have a good neighbour than a friend far away. Not sure i always agree, but certainly great to realize the importance of being part of your closest local community and get in touch with the people that u meet on the street when u leave your house.

    I like this post a lot Jim!

  3. Jim Korpi:

    I've always said I wish I could by up a town and give every house to the individuals I've connected with along the way.
    Lau, you would be my next door neighbor.

  4. Shaena Mallett:

    This makes me very, very happy inside.

    ahh the beauty of community.

  5. Anonymous:

    Jim, Very nicely written. You have learned so much in your young life. To live with your heart open, is so much like growing a garden. Haveing been in your neihborhood I have seen the friendships all around you. Sometimes live gets busy and we forget the importance of being a good neighbor. Mom

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