What you learn in the 'hood

Dee McGonigle and Tom Perko grew up as close friends in the Comstock Park neighborhood.
Dee McGonigle and Tom Perko grew up as close friends in the Comstock Park neighborhood. "We were inseparable" says McGonigle. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

In my interactive editor days, when I gave a lot of speeches, I would ask people to remember a crabby neighbor and a welcoming neighbor and how interaction with both types helped the children of the neighborhood shape their world view.Crabby neighbors have a lot of staying power in memory, believe me.

In my Sunday story today, two childhood buddies, Tom Perko and Dee McGonigle, walked their old Comstock neighborhood. The two men, both 52, credit the dads of the neighborhood for role-modeling how to work hard at professional jobs while also giving back to the community.The moms? They kept the chaos in check. The two best friends hadn't seen one another in 30 years but were amazed how they chose very similar paths in life.

Which leads to today's question: To the children in your neighborhood, are you a crabby guy/gal or welcoming?

No matter what you may think, those little neighbors are watching you and learning how to be adults in the world.

(Dan Pelle photo of  Dee McGonigle, left, and Tom Perko)

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.





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