The folks across the street started hosting socially distanced Friday Happy Hours in their driveway this spring. After such a long lonely year, hanging out together and getting to know each other was particularly precious, whatever we were drinking.
One afternoon when we talked about the new neighbors down the street and around the corner, I mentioned how I had wanted to organize a block party for years. When Andrea piped up to say, “I have wanted to do that, too.” We looked at each other and simultaneously exclaimed, “Let’s do it!”
We gathered signatures from everyone on the block so that we could get a permit for the city. Among other things, that permitted us to close the street to through traffic.
Everyone pitched in.
Whether folks attended the party or not, they were kind enough to move their vehicles. After picking up the barriers and cones, Jud cleared the street and sidewalks before we got started setting up. In my 25 years living here, I had never seen the block empty of cars . . . and leaves.
Folks contributed savory and sweet finger foods from around the world. We made it a Bring Your Own Beverage event so everyone could decide what they’d be drinking for themselves.
Bringing out baskets of costumes and hats, Kelsey hosted a photo booth. After getting decked out suitably, she took photos with her phone and then shared them.
Using the stunning modern oracle he created and published — The Sage Tarot Deck — my dear friend Sage Lee offered psychological and spiritual insight in front of my house.
Mary from down street offered several songs in her front yard, which also served as the stage for two lovely local bands (both based in the ‘hood): Palm House and Andy Furman and his Fabulous Friends.
To share the fun with you, here’s Andy singing his song, “Santa Cruz Local,” inspired by Merle Haggard’s ballad about how they don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee, with Tom Leitzke on percussion and Gary ‘Sweetpea’ Cunningham.
I love my neighborhood and neighbors!
Thanks to Bill for providing the video and to Andy for his permission to share it with you.
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