25 September 2008
Ned and Jeri both had the same reaction.
I had sent him an e-mail, and when she called this evening, I told her about the e-mail I'd sent to him.
The e-mail read:
"We're hosting the neighborhood block party on October 5. I thought I'd put together a 2 hr playlist for my iPod and set it up. If you were putting together a playlist for a gathering like that, what general sort of music would you choose?"
Ned's response was "Wait... YOU are hosting a BLOCK PARTY?" Jeri said that was the first thing she thought too.
Yes, we are hosting the block party.
This is the third annual "get to know your neighborhood" party, conducted city-wide. Someone offers to host, the City provides the invitations and (I think--I haven't seen these yet) things like balloons and other party favors to liven up the place. The former hosts (who asked for volunteers to take over this year) set up a table in their carport and provided fresh lemonade and hors d'oeuvres and just waited for folks to show up.
Parties will be going on all over the city and the police and/or firemen or perhaps a member of the city council show up each of them at some point just to introduce themselves and say hi.
I've had the invitations for several weeks, but didn't want to pass them out too soon. I decided to deliver them after the Emmys the other night, but my flashlight gave out after 3 houses (and by that point I decided that I might get arrested as a possible burglar if people saw/heard me stumbling around the the dark). So I got out this morning before the sun got too high and went to all the houses up and down our long block, putting invitations in every mailbox.
Well, almost every mailbox. One house had a motorboat backed into the driveway, with the motor touching the wall and the boat trailer attached to the truck. The pathway to the house was overgrown and would have required a machete to get in, so I just stuck the invitation on their windshield.
I've talked before about how I've felt like the pariah of the neighborhood for the past 30 years so it's going to be interesting to see who shows up.
It was also interesting to actually go up to the door of all these houses that I've never visited. I'm wondering if the people with the McCain/Palin sticker on their mailbox and the people with "Ave Maria" hanging by their front door will dare to come to the home of someone with a "No on 8" sign on the lawn.
One house had no less than six bikes in their carport and another must have had twenty pairs of shoes in all sizes lined up carefully along the walkway. Another had three couches in the carport, hiding behind their truck.
I found one guy getting into his car. I told him that Walt had worked with his wife's parents. Then, in a senior moment, I totally blanked on their name, these people I've known all of my years in Davis! "Damn--what's their name?" I asked, me who had just said I'd known them forever. He seemed reluctant to tell me, but then I guess he decided it was OK to remind me that their last name was "Smith." That worked and I mentioned their first names, so I guess he realized I was legit.
I also told one woman that the date of the gathering was the 7th, a Tuesday. I hope she actually reads the invitation and realizes it's Sunday instead.
There was an article in the newspaper tonight about the upcoming
event all over town and when I read that some people have BBQs and some have ice cream
socials, I'm a little sorry I decided to go with what has been done the past two years.
If this thing works out and I end up doing it next year, I think I'll go
with the ice cream social idea. (I suspect that might also get more people to show
Jeri and Phil with Walt's mother.
MILES TO NOWHERE: 71 miles