Traditional neighborhoods fade away
Neighborhoods are just not the same as they used to be.
There was a time when every neighborhood had a telephone pole on just about every corner.
Granted, they added little to the ambience of the neighborhood, but they were useful, functional community bulletin boards, onto which notices were stapled announcing such events as church bazaars, garage and attic sales, lost pets, the local movie house schedule (one screen), local concerts, school plays and other items of local and neighborhood interest.
Alas, most of the newer residential neighborhoods have seen utilities placed underground, thus gradually eliminating the need for these poles. A community voice has been silenced.
A piece of the community has been lost, albeit no one mourns the loss of these otherwise unsightly structures that pierced neighborhood skies.
Squirrels used to use the wires strung from them for their trapeze acts. Now they are relegated to the trees.
And speaking of older neighborhoods, remember when folks declared that they were going out for a “walk around the block”?
They would walk down the front porch steps, and on to the sidewalks which paralleled the streets on every block. Newer neighborhoods don’t have blocks any longer.
Alas, most don’t even have sidewalks. Within these gated communities are winding, sculptured sidewalk-less roads, often ending in cul de sacs.
Blocks and sidewalks are just not “hip” or “chic,” so they, like the telephone poles, have also disappeared.
Where do today’s kids play hopscotch?
Air conditioning has eliminated the need for a comfortable front porch from which to enjoy a cool breeze on a hot sultry summer day.
From porches, folks would greet their neighbors who were walking by on the sidewalks, around the block, checking out the recent current events postings on the telephone poles.
Bit by bit, pieces of neighborhood Americana are disappearing, and I miss them all.
ROBERT H. NUTTALL SR.