Way back in the 60’s when I was a child in early elementary school, I remember that we never locked the front door of our residence. As the old say goes, "the tribe did raise the child". There was respect, discipline, camaraderie, and a cordialness among neighbors called ‘FRIENDSHIP’. We did house chores and if we were enterprising we would do jobs for our neighbors (wash a car, mow a lawn, help paint a fence) and get paid some good change. I kind of wonder how much of that goes on today. Very little if any, so that’s what we’re working on here. We are trying to get some "RETRO-COMMUNITY" action started. This is old school neighborly interaction.
The A.F.N.C. (Atlantic Friendly Neighborhood Coalition) meets on a monthly basis. Currently we are in the process of trying to find a suitable location for a community garden. We await the City’s response on our request to pursue an area (approximately 7 x 3 blocks) clean-up project. We project a victory celebration will be appropriate to acquaint ourselves with the new neighbors these activities will inevitably produce (keep thinking positive).
We try to help someone every day, even each other whenever the opportunity arises. We interface with other agencies. We provide the manpower, brainpower, and spiritual encouragement.
I (we) stomp the hood (that’s just a unique way of saying neighborhood canvassing), furrowing through an area rife with a mixture of youth and age, affluent and needy, a veritable potpourri of humanity in this small section of the 5th largest city in the state of California.
Three blocks down from the Facility lives R.M., who won an Emmy Award for a commercial she wrote earlier this year. Some of us are going to be a part of a Public Service Announcement (P.S.A.) being filmed this weekend by her.
20-year-old J.H. successfully achieved G.E.D. passage after having passed an apprenticeship electrician program. The travesty of the situation was the fact that the electrician’s union wouldn’t hire him without the high school diploma of its equivalent.
On Thursdays, we sponsor an adult literacy class (we teach grownups how to read). Now understand the asset concept: the volunteer teacher for this endeavor is definitely a neighborhood asset, but I am inclined to give kudos to the few who seek to raise themselves from such lifelong handicaps and forge forward to learn.
Be not deceived, life in the “FACILITYHOOD’ is life on life’s terms. We (the neighborhood) deal with the harsh realities of life also. My friends Vic and Phil had some differences, which ultimately caused them to lose custody of their 5-year-old son until they might be able to get some stability into their own lives.
There you have it, a “Days (synonymous with Daze) In The Life” look at what we do here to exemplify and accentuate the positive. We’re keeping hope alive, resuscitating this area one person at a time, getting by with a little from our friends.