Some neighbors in Old North went through a kitchen fire on Saturday. The fire did not do major damage to their house, but did take out their power lines and ability to occupy the house. However, the response to the fire was classic Old North. I was at an event when I received a message from my neighbor Barbara telling me of the damage. Immediately, I left the event to help my neighbors. I arrived to find a crew of neighbors already tackling the job of gutting the fire-damaged areas. My neighbors were in good spirits.
Barbara immediately turned her attention to the job of boarding up the damaged doorway and windows on the first floor of the rear wall, where the fire was most extensive. Another neighbor who is a general contractor was set to handle the matter after visiting the prisoner he is mentoring, but we decided to give him a good break. Barbara and I joined neighbors James and David to frame our the affected openings and to cut and screw in playwood. When we all left, the house was secure and its residents could focus on other tasks at hand. The board-up took less than two hours, due to the knowledge of the group -- all of us had framed our board-ups before.
Only in Old North? Perhaps not. The response nonetheless demonstrated the unique talents of my neighbors, our get-it-done attitude and the prevalent concern for our neighbor's needs. Ours is a strong neighborhood spirit, and one on which to count when times are tough. We take the communitarian spirit of a village and add the know-how and street smarts of a city. This is a great neighborhood!