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Community Comment

Thu., Nov. 4, 2010, 8:20 a.m.

Howdy neighbor!

Good morning, Netizens...

As we complete the end of the election and begin (or continue) that unworldly descent into Christmas Shopping Season a great deal of chatter is being heard throughout the land about neighbors and our neighborhoods. Since I reside in a diverse neighborhood filled with people from a broad spectrum of living, at this ungodly hour of the morning I found myself once again confronting just what the heck is a “good neighbor”? Actually, once I stopped to consider such a weighty issue, I found it easier to define what is NOT a good neighbor. Here are just a few examples of what are or are not good neighbors. Feel free to contribute to the list.

I probably should leave the decision of whether this woman is a good neighbor or not to someone else. Despite having what some might term a considerable bosom, she nearly always goes outdoors without wearing a bra. To further compound the issue, she wears these scanty bottoms that leave little to the imagination; all this at the ripe age of 50-something. She has been known to nearly cause traffic accidents on the nearby street when she bends over to tend her prized roses, since she rarely wears underwear of any kind. She does have a considerable intellect, with an advanced degree in English Literature, and is perhaps more-knowledgeable about horticulture than anyone I know; she regularly wins prizes for her roses. She and her husband are sweet and gentle people and I consider them both to be good neighbors. They are just different, that's all.

An entire family we call “Howdy Neighbor” lives down the street. They acquired their name because that is all any of them ever say when meeting you on the street, sort of like an old-fashioned farmer meeting you at the Grange Hall party last Christmas after a long absence and not recalling your name. Shortly after their only son married and fathered his own son, their son received what he terms “the call”. He is now working two part-time jobs to finance his way through ministerial school. The sad part is the son constantly wants to discuss his religious views and tries in his own way to perform various religious conversions on me at every possible opportunity. I haven't begun to fathom why he has adopted his father's habit of saying, “Howdy Neighbor” rather than using my name. We regularly have discussions that immediately center upon either his call or the Books of the Bible, at least according to his interpretation thereof. As to whether they are good neighbors, I'd have to say yes conditionally, because they are so different from most ordinary people.

Perhaps our best neighbor is as innocuous and soft-spoken a man as I have had cause to know in my walk through life. The year (we remember that year, don't we?) we saw a record-breaking snowfall hit our fair city, and since few of us had snow blowers, he immediately spent parts of several days plowing our street, sidewalks and helping everyone create parking places for their cars. A man of infinite skills and resources, this summer he re-roofed his entire house by himself, with some of the neighbors either helping out or contributing constructive opinions from the sidewalk level. Since his girlfriend moved out earlier last summer, he spends a lot of evenings sitting on his porch sipping his beer and smoking sweet little cigars, keeping his own counsel on almost everything that matters. I guess if he needed anything and it were mine to give, I would offer because he is what I would term a good neighbor.

I have more good neighbors and bad to add to this short list, but I am expected for breakfast at one of my best neighbors, Mr. Hibbs in 15 minutes, and therefore I will have to continue this list later on today or perhaps even tomorrow. Enjoy this that promises to be a perfect fall day.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.