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Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

Posted on Tuesday, May 26th, 2009.

Community is a big buzz word these days. It seems that any people are looking around this rapidly changing world and redefining what community means, and building new ones for themselves. Not only did I notice this poster here in Eugene, but we have also felt very welcomed into the Eugene community by many of our temporary neighbors who have shared with us their stories (and the occasional casserole). As I take a look around and think about who and what make up my own communities, I start to think about who my neighbors are.

Edwin Coleman (L) came in the MobileBooth to speak with his neighbor Jim Newton (R). Edwin’s life is full of stories. He spoke about meeting Robert Kennedy, touring as a bassist with Peter, Paul, and Mary, meeting his wife, and his years as a theater teacher at the University of Oregon. Jim and Edwin also discussed their relationship as neighbors. Luckily, being neighbors oftentimes means more than fences and lawn disputes. Jim and Edwin connected over their love of the written word and their mutual appreciation for the poetry of Langston Hughes. They spoke of the poems “A Dream Deferred,” and “I, Too, Sing America”. Edwin recited the poem, “Cross“, and when he forgot some words, Jim was there to help him out. Their conversations often involve “a glass of wine and poem.” As for their relationship, Edwin said, “It’s been said that fences make good neighbors. I’m glad we don’t have a fence.”

A neighbor may live next door to you, but I love Miriam Webster’s additional definition, “fellow man.” May we all have neighbors who can help us complete poems we forget.

5 Responses to “Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?”

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  • It is a great story about neighbors. we lose those kinds of relationships now a days.

    I liked the part ” May we all have neighbors who can help us complete poems we forget”, I think that is completely true .

    a student from Saudi Arabia at UNC Charlotte.

    Comment from ZAKIAH on June 7, 2009 at 10:48 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Great story! I like this story very much. I am a student from Japan at a university in the US. In my country, too, neighbors help each other, spend some time together, and share their stories. Being friends with neighbors and supporting each other are important for us to live in a community.

    I love that poster, too. I will show that poster to my family.

    Comment from W.H on June 6, 2009 at 3:45 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • Loved the poster so much I printed out copies to post at home and at work. Would love to find out where I can buy a full sized one!

    Comment from Angela Prater on June 2, 2009 at 11:29 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Thanks for the great story on the neighbors! Actually, Jim is Jim Newton, not Newman. I should know. He’s my dad!

    I was thinking that Ed and Jim are great ambassadors for all that Eugene OR stands for! And NPR, too!

    Comment from Phil Newton on May 29, 2009 at 8:58 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Heartwarming! That poster is pretty great too :)

    Comment from RobinCamille on May 28, 2009 at 6:32 am - Reply to this Comment

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