Saturday, July 30, 2011

Not your parent's block party!

I’ve been so impressed the last few years with the Community-Wide Block Party effort sponsored by the Yellow Springs Human Relations Commission. It has not only been a lot of fun but it has been instrumental in helping me and other neighbors get to know one another. It’s not that complete strangers become fast friends in an afternoon (although I’m sure that has happened) but it definitely proves to be a wonderful soil for the seeds of friendship and good neighborship to blossom.

The other aspect I like about it is the creativity and the individual personality that emerges in each block party. Because I’ve videotaped a lot of these block parties in the past, I’ve had a chance to see that creativity play out at each site. In the video, you’ll see that the Davis Street Block party had the added benefit of special musical guest and Emporium pianist Mark DeLozier. Last year the Stafford Street Block Party recreated an entire livingroom in the middle of the street.

I know there’s a certain amount of work involved but it helps tremendously if everyone can do one thing. I like dropping invites in everyone’s mailbox but I don’t like creating the invites. I put that out on e-mail and bam! A neighbor offered to do that part. I like that there’s a certain amount of pre-planning and then there’s a magical quality to the spontaneity of what people bring and how the day turns out.

There’s a meeting at the library today, Saturday, at 3:30 for people to learn more about this effort. Contact person is Joan Chappelle at 767-7056.

I guarantee you will get back much more than you put in.