Reality Check

By on 22 May, 2017 in Historic Midtown, Karren Pell with 2 Comments

With “alternate facts,” reality shows, and false news, the slang term, “Is that for real?” is, well, for real. But among the things in my life that are real, one is life in a historic neighborhood. Folks, it gets and stays real here.

Our homes are not “like” Victorian Townhouses and 1920 bungalows; they are really built in those eras in those designs. And we are not “like” a neighborhood — we are truly (really) neighbors and a community. And it’s real on both sides, positive and negative. No unicorns in our streets.

Over here on North Lewis Street in Capitol Heights, we’ve been bearing up under a break-in wave. But we are also looking out for one another’s houses, offering support to each other, and presenting a united front to law enforcement in terms of being organized and ready to assist in stopping criminal behavior. Also, it seems there has been some bickering about our neighborhood association (the term I heard was “brew ha-ha”). I am sad to say I have recently been informed that there has been a succession, a coup, a group gone rogue — choose your reality term — and now there are two neighborhood associations. A sign of the times I suppose; but the split stems from neighbors wanting to see positive changes in our community. And we do have a tight, neighborly community. Last week here on North Lewis Street, we had a neighborhood party to celebrate Pamela Gay’s retirement. Lawn chairs circled up in the back yard under pecan trees nearly a hundred years old. Paper plates were filled with a fabulous Thai noodle salad, deviled eggs, baked beans, and a big decorated cake. The meat eaters were grilling away. We were happy to be together. The other neighborhoods have similar stories. Last weekend, Susie Paul hosted a neighborhood picnic in the Hull Street area, the Cloverdale Concert Series has started, and Cottage Hill just had it biggest ever neighborhood pot luck gathering. Since I do not live in those neighborhoods, I am not privilege to any conflicts. But we are all real people in real neighborhoods, so I guarantee they exist.

So, here in Montgomery’s historic neighborhoods, we live in real Victorian homes and real bungalows. We are real people and we are real neighbors and friends. We live real lives and sometimes that means differences of opinion or unsatisfactory events. But it also means we support each other and continue to work towards common goals regarding our neighborhoods. Sometimes, walking in the evening and exchanging hellos from neighbors on wide front porches, it seems idyllic. Other times, not so much. That’s because we are for real.

You want to live in a real neighborhood? You want to have real neighbors? Come visit Montgomery’s historic neighborhoods. For real.

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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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Karren, this is SO well said! From time to time, controversy erupts in the Garden Distrcit, ususally fueled by the relatively new social media site, NextDoor. And while we may fuss, we all love our neighborhood…and our neighbors!

  2. Tricia Crowley says:

    Capitol Heights United Methodist Church is hosting a free meal the 3rd Saturday of each month this summer. We went Saturday and it was a nice mixture of neighborhood children [who got to participate in a drumming circle], church members and neighbors. Met some new neighbors and visited with some we knew. AND we got to walk home in the downpour! This church is attempting to bring neighbors together, and Saturday it succeeded for those who came.

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