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During our week long Sense of Community series, we profiled good neighbors nominated by KSMU listeners and we explored the art of being a good neighbor. We close out this series with voices from our community. Listen now as people of different ages and backgrounds talk about what it means to make a connection with the people next door and down the street.
KSMU's Missy Shelton produced this montage and KSMU's Jennifer Moore composed and performed the music in this piece.
Killian Hechler says, “Just doing lots of nice things would be being a good neighbor. One of my neighbors, when our power went out, we had fish and our filters stopped working and they offered to let us take our fish to their pond.”
Alex Taylor says, “Respect and honor your neighbors and don’t be mean to them or else I don’t think you’re a very good neighbor.”
Stacy Fender says, “I think being a good neighbor means you help each other and watch out for each other. We didn’t have close neighbors where we lived when I was growing up but my parents had lots of good friends and they always pitched in and helped out whenever anybody needed anything."
Charlotte Magnuson says, “I have a neighbor who always offers to water my plants for when I’m gone and pick up the mail, just everyday things.”
Dorothy Branstetter says, “I’ve always had good neighbors. I had a lot of people to bring food to my house when my husband died and they offered to do things for me.”
Darrell Haer says, “I used to live out north of Aurora and I had a good neighbor that would come and plow my garden for me. I thought that was very nice of him."
Virginia Broder says, “I have a neighbor across the street, Ophelia and when I moved here, I was using a walker. I was ill and my husband was ill. My children were here to help us move and she provided so many meals for us.”
Virginia Miller says, “When I came in, everybody waved. Everybody smiled. That really meant a lot to me. And I think that’s part of being a good neighbor, just being there. There are people around me I feel like I called any time of the day or night if I needed them and they would come. And I hope they feel the same way about me."
Bob Glazier says, “I’ve enjoyed the help of a lot of wonderful neighbors. There was one guy who came over during a blizzard. I was stuck in my driveway with a golf cart. This guy came over during this blizzard and got on the back of my golf cart and weighted it down so that I’d have enough traction to drive out. I got out that day but we’d never met. But he risked his life to get on the back of my golf cart, which is a pretty dangerous place to be. I’ll always be indebted to him for that because he didn’t have to do that."
Bonnie Richards says, “It means being there for someone whenever they need it. I had fallen and hurt myself and one of my neighbors came and cleaned my whole house. That’s a good neighbor.”
Adrianna Hopkins says, “You be nice to all the people around you and you don’t fight with other people.”
Traeton Norman says, “I think to be a good neighbor is to have friendship with someone else and be nice to them and play together.”
Ross Tilghman says, “I grew up on a dead end street in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and it was an all-white neighborhood. When I was very young, we had a neighbor move in named Ken Payton. He was the first black man (in our neighborhood). He and his wife moved in right next door to us. Right when he got pulled up with his moving truck, he came over, knocked on our door and declared to us that he was going to be the best neighbor that we’ve ever had. That’s a pretty bold statement. It turned out he was definitely the best neighbor our family’s ever had. He was involved with me and my brothers. He would help us with our homework or playing basketball. He’d help my parents with their yard. He’d take care of our vegetable garden and give us vegetables out of his garden. He’d have me and my brothers over for lemonade and cookies. He was the best neighbor. Everybody in the neighborhood knew him and loved him. We could go over to his house and ask him for help with anything. He and his wife were great. When you ask about who’s a good neighbor or what it means to be a good neighbor, I think of Ken Payton.”