National Night Out

By on 22 August, 2016 in Karren Pell with 0 Comments

My neighbor, friend, and sometimes co-conspirator, Bruce George, asked me to come play some songs at the Capitol Heights National Night Out event. Since Armstrong Park now has a cool pavilion, we thought we’d set up a sound system there. However, it rained early Tuesday evening, and Bruce decided he did not want to mess with electricity in a wet environment. Bruce is smart. That’s why I hang out with him. Nonetheless, a few optimists walked, drove, pushed strollers, lugged dogs (Tim & I), and were rewarded with a small, fun, neighborhood gathering.

Famous cast iron lions on Haardt Drive

Famous Capitol Heights cast iron lions

You know, I get frustrated with my neighborhood at times. I think everyone probably does. I get tired of the guy behind me running that noisy generator so he can work on cars. My summer has been basically ruined by the feral cat colony that no one but me is trying to control. Three females had several litters at once in June, and I am still feeding kittens and looking for homes. Thank goodness the Montgomery Humane Society agreed to help me. My neighbor beside me refuses to repair his beautiful historic home. Well, I could go on and on … BUT

I also have fabulous neighbors. And I got to see some of them for National Night Out. Children were swinging on swings, men were playing horseshoes, and people were visiting, taking photos, catching up on news. Oh yeah, and lots of folks were eating hot dogs. This year we didn’t prepare a pot luck; we had That’s My Dog bring hot dogs and chips. Everyone loved the hot dogs. Everyone,  that is, except for Tim and me. Unfortunately for us, “not dogs” were not available. But the kind gentleman gave our dogs a hot dog and the fur faces were very happy about that.

The stated mission of this event somewhat justifies otherwise sane people gathering on a misty Alabama evening: “National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.” So our neighborhood association organized a fun night, invited officers and neighbors, and arranged for hot dogs! A few rain drops did not dampen our fun.

So we didn’t sing in the pavilion, but we saw good friends, caught up on news, let our police officers know we appreciate them, and a lot of people ate hot dogs. Everybody was happy. Sweeney Lou, Dolly, Sam, and Lumpy ate a hot dog. They were happy.

As we left the park, neighbors hollered good-bye. Walking home, I didn’t feel frustrated. Even if I didn’t eat a hot dog. I was happy.

For previous MML coverage of National Night Out, click here and here.

Karren Pell is a writer, teacher, and performer who lives with her husband, Tim Henderson, and an assortment of cats and dogs in Capitol Heights. She is the author of three books. Her musical compositions range from commercial songs to theatrical works, with five musical adaptations to her credit.

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