Ours was a unique little community in a community. We were not close to town. A dip off the side of the U.S. highway close to the river, nestled in between two cities. It was called “Burrwood Park” and it consisted of four and three quarter streets. It originally began as summer houses, a little vacation retreat (fishing shacks) so to speak. Some families decided to make a permanent homestead.
I grew up having my grandparents and aunts and uncles all around me. Grandma and Grandpa were just five houses up the street with uncle Jim. Across from them were my aunt Dot and uncle Ken, and aunt Pat and Uncle Dale. Next door was uncle Jack and aunt Ceil. Down the road on the river front was uncle Bill and aunt Lucy. As each grew and married they stayed right in the neighborhood as did a number of other families. Eventually some moved off to other areas, those most stayed within the local town. A few families still have two or three members who have houses here. My mother-in-law lives just up the street. My sisters and I are all within a couple streets of each other and in-laws of theirs also live here.
Things such a roofing parties, yard parties, cookouts etc. were the norm. Someone sitting on a porch was an open invite to sit and chat. If you decided to build a garage, new roof, or addition of some sort, the neighbors were right there chipping in to help. The women fixed food and at the end of the day everyone sat and had eats and a few drinks admiring their handy work.
It was, and to some extent, still is a neighborhood where everyone looked out for each other and all the kids. A reputation for a safe place so known that people from town brought there kids here for trick or treat. Our children enjoy coming here where they feel it’s safe to let their kids ride bikes without an adult with them all the time. Where they can even play catch in the street.
We all stuck together like a big family. The big kids watched out for the little ones. Even if it was from going back and forth to school or just playing ball. All the kids played together and the little ones were given the help they needed to play. From hide and seek, to baseball or football, if you wanted to play, you could. We stuck together like a big family. If we fought among ourselves we worked it out, but heaven help someone who tried to cause trouble for one of us. We banded together like a small army. I just can’t imagine living anywhere else.