The Burleson Street Historical District sits on high ground in this town - in many ways. With a comprehensive view of the coastal plain and nearly all of the city, so too do we look down on Belvin Street - where the groomed lawns are and the domestic help. Our street jingle - someday a billboard ad - "Burleson Street Historical District - Where We Look Down on Belvin."
No less than two weeks ago, I was having a cordial conversation with one of my pals - a notable and influential local leader who lives nearby with his wife. "I don't know how you do it Carl", he said, speaking to the endless drama that seems to permeate the hilltop and the landscape below, pouring like sticky syrup from our small section of street. True true, it is amazing. It caused me to think for a good long while about what has indeed been a gushing cornucopia of pungent aromatic squabble, distasteful distress, beguiled bickering, trench and foxhole digging and mud ball fight, a virtual, hot and steamy Yellowstone National Park rotten egg stink hole - a full on menagerie of things that unsettle the waters in idle times.
I revisited that conversation last night with my neighbor - laughing a bit - "this is a small town, she says, people just cant mind their own business here, especially when their drunk." Another "true true." "Imagine" she says speaking of Belvin Street. "All those characters down there, they are probably just like us, all mixed up in each other's stuff. "
Interesting I thought, this is probably true as well. A lot of neighborhoods live very segregated lives where people don't even know the folks next door, much less down the block. Up here, we all know each other along with the knowing of the best and worst of each of us. And despite what seems at times to be tensions that teeter on the cusp of all out war, the arming of missiles with ever more powerful warheads intent upon mutual assured destruction, we still watch out for each other. When the shit hits the fan, and something needs to get done for the common good - we put aside our differences and do our best. It is no Miracle on 34th Street - but it does "Take a Village" to live in and raise a neighborhood with its many unique and sometimes vulnerable parts - a neighborhood that makes life worth living and fighting for. And in the end, both young and old, we will have been recognized for making that happen. We will be recognized for making the best of our various strengths and sheltering our weaknesses, assets and liabilities, good and evil, to find times - here and there - where we are all thankful for each other. We might duke it out on the street corner now and then, but we will help each other set the broken noses afterward, clean up the bloody mess, and move on to the next crisis, Birthday Party, Halloween, New Year's Eve or Venison Cookout - without missing a step.