For years I have stated the fact that I believe many of the problems of a neighborhood is the loss of front porches and the building of high wooden privacy fences. Neighbors no longer know their neighbors. Recently I visited with friends who have bought a home in a new development west of Fayetteville. It is a new area that is being created to be neighbor friendly. No two houses look alike with many looking like the houses of yesteryear, all with front porches, and a sidewalk running through the neighborhood. The developer is hoping that people will begin to take evening or morning walks and get to know their neighbors. There is one or more two-story houses with wraparound porches but most of them are smaller houses. I noticed that most of the porches have rocking chairs on them. If not a rocker, there is some kind of comfortable sitting arrangement. One of the houses looks almost like what used to be called a shotgun house. Why they were called that I have never known. This house I visited is as cute as it can be with the front porch all the way across the front. If I was in the market to move and buy a new house I would love to live in that neighborhood.
When I think of neighborhoods I keep reflecting on the street in Greenwood now called Fresno. I have written about this bunch of neighbors many times. Often in my thoughts I go up and down the streets of Greenwood as I remember them as I was growing up and the later years as I was raising my family, especially Bob. I think of our evening walks when he was little. We would walk up Main Street until we came to what is now Fresno and turned left. This began a happy time of the day as we stopped many times along the way for a short visit with someone sitting out on their porch in the cool of the evening. No one had air conditioners so the front porch was the place to sit and relax after a hard day’s work. Most of the men along that street were coal miners who had been deep underground all day in the dark and the damp of the mine. The house wife worked all day at canning, preserving the product of their garden. Both were ready for a relaxing evening sitting on their front porches visiting with the people passing by. I can’t remember any of the house wives along that street who could drive a car. On the next street up on what is now Gary Street there was one I can remember who could drive and that was Kate Farley. Many of those on Fresno did not own a car. In that day and time people walked.
I loved the people along that street. The Freys, Smoots, Bryants, Cavelenas, Gazzolas and at the end of the street, our destination, the home of the late Miss Belle Murray and Miss Ellen Squires. These are the people I have referred to so many times as Miss Ellen and Miss Belle. I loved those two people as I did my own family. We lived across the street from them when I was born and they had given me my first bath. I think they thought I partly belonged to them as I spent so much time with them as I was growing up. When I married and had Bob they made all of his baby clothes. At that time when a baby was expected you didn’t know what you were getting. (You just kept what you got!). All of the baby gowns had pink or blue briar stitching or tatting on them. At that time babies wore gowns when they were little as there was none of the fancy clothes that we see today. Later they made clothes for Connie, again the same briar stitching and tatting as Bob’s. I spent many hours of my younger years sitting on the front porch with my dear friends exchanging "GREETINGS" with neighbors passing by.