Hall Place can be an example

Published 10:10 pm Friday, May 15, 2009

I would like to express my gratitude to the residents of Hall Place for the 100th anniversary celebration event held May 2. I know many people donated many hours of their time to provide a day of fun and remembering a neighborhood and people who had lived there and, hopefully, a day of pride for those living there now.

I grew up on S. Main Street and remember the many families and friends who called Hall Place home. It was good seeing some of them who had returned from across the state to join in the celebration.

Special thanks should go to Baker and Sandra Parker, whose dedication, planning and hard work made the event possible. Along with people like the Parkers, it was important to have the insight of Susan Blair, who recognized the valuable assets that this neighborhood can provide for its residents and the city at large.

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A lot has changed in the last 100 years. I remember when I was growing up that everyone felt safe. Children could play outside in the neighbor’s yard, or down the street without fear. Many people didn’t lock their cars, many left their back doors unlocked, and some didn’t even lock their front doors. Everyone knew their neighbors by name.

Kids used to get in trouble for simple things, like not coming straight home when your mother called out “Playtime over!” or, for teenagers, getting caught smoking a cigarette. There was a time when “drugs” referred to the medicine you took when you were sick.

What happened?

What has happened in Hall Place in the last several decades is a reflection of what has happened across our city and our country.

People need to have pride in themselves, their families and their homes. What’s good for the neighborhood is good for the home, and what’s good for the home and family is good for the whole neighborhood.

Hall Place has been and once more can be a wonderful place for the families who own homes and for those who rent, if everyone would work together to make the neighborhood something to be proud of. We can even set an example for other neighborhoods, especially in downtown Suffolk.

We need to recognize, support and thank those who are trying to make a difference. Thanks Baker, Sandra, Susan, Sharon and the many others who believe in this neighborhood.