When we moved into this house, the majority of our neighbors were senior citizens. Slowly, they are vanishing and I know that it will always be like that. I’m grateful for everyone that is still here: Mr. and Mrs. Frey, who work so hard in their garden and, I suspect, have always been eco-friendly; Mrs. Dickerson, whose son died four years ago, now lives alone, although you’d never know it because family visits her throughout the day; Mrs. Schwartz tells us to pick as many grapes as we want because she doesn’t know what to do with them since Mr. Schwartz is no longer alive to make wine; and Mrs. Meyers, who bakes us treats and borrows my husband when she can’t lift or reach something.
There is an elderly man who lives about two blocks from me. For years, he regularly drove by on his bicycle and he’d have his little dog in the basket. It was the cutest thing ever, and I was always hoping to photograph or shoot a video of him going by like that. Two years ago, he started leaving his dog at home. Last summer, he didn’t ride the bike at all, but I’d see him walking the little dog near his house. Now, I just see the old man when I drive or walk by his home. He stands on the corner of the sidewalk with his silver metal walker. He involves himself in the business of those going by, throwing out curt words and impolite stares.
There’s no point to this story, no clever ending or a photo of him on his bike. I just want to remember this neighborhood as it once was and as it is now.
© JODI ANDERSON. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.