Won’t you be my neighbor?

One and a half years ago, I past the birthday many of us dread the most. 40. Yup. According to myself and many of the kids I went to school with, I’m ancient. Heck, as a kid, a friend and I swore we’d never live past 35. Guess we were wrong.

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s might not have been the Norman Rockwell montage stereotype our parents had, but mine was still pretty ideal.

I grew up in a small town. We knew all of our neighbors and if anyone moved away, they were written to, and visited if possible. All the kids in the neighborhood would play at the park or at the high school football field on many summer evenings. We were safe and we knew it. We went home when the street lights came on, and not a minute sooner. I remember it was around the time I turned ten that we began locking our doors when we were away from home.

I spent many nights of my teenage years walking the streets of my small town or sitting on my best friends porch watching some of the other teenagers “cruise”.

I’m sure many of you had similar childhoods (at least I hope so) and I’m afraid some of you did not.

Well, we all know times have changed. Today, we would never leave our homes unlocked while we were out, and many of us keep the doors locked in the middle of the afternoon when everyone is home.

I have lived in the house I currently reside in now for over 8 years. I can’t tell you the last names of either of my next door neighbors. I don’t know their phone numbers. I don’t know their stories.

Although I’ve tried on several occassions to change this, I’ll take as much resposibility for this as anyone else could. I could have tried harder.

Recently, my son fell ill. He might have had the swine flu. We’ll find out when the test results come back.

After I had called my parents, I turned to my friends in the community for solace and reassurance.

“Wait a minute, I thought you said you don’t feel a sense of community with your neighborhood,” I can hear a few of you thinking. You’re right, the community I’m referring to is twitter.

You see, I’m a twitterholic. I tweet regularly. In fact, in my twitter neighborhood, I’m probably the village idiot, LOL. At the very least I’m one of the comedians.

If you’re not part of this kind of social network, you might ask if it is real. Well, it is to me. Maybe my Mac does have multiple personality disorder and all of these “friends” are figments of it’s imagination. If so, at least my Mac has good taste. (If I used a PC, I would probably be stuck following Ashton and his rifraf.) [yes Val, I am expecting a solid rejoinder on that remark. LOL]

During the past year, these virtual friends have helped me through some tough times. (These are documented in the blog post Perspective.)

Let me digress a moment here and explain my twitter rationale. For me, friends have never been about the numbers. I have a fairly small number of followers, and a signifcantly smaller group I follow. However, my rules are simple. Talk to me and I’ll follow you. Continue to try to engage me even occassionally, and I’ll continue to follow you. Ignore me when I try to engage you in a conversation, possibly even one you’ve begun, and I’ll forgive you a couple of times. Continue the behavior, and you’re dropped. That is why I no longer follow any celebs.

As I’ve previously mentioned, my network is small, but there isn’t a single one I wouldn’t like to meet in the meat world and share a cup of coffee and a story with.

Here’s the role call:
Tee Morris – @teemonster
Dude, I had listened to you bring Billi to life in 2006. It was now 2008, I was out of work and heard you give out your twitter address during the wonderful broadcast of Morevi Remastered. You were the first person I followed that I didn’t know. I now call you friend. I regard you as an exemplary author, podcaster, person and father. Twitter is your drug of choice and you’ve got me hooked.

Philippa Ballantine – @philippajane
Your voicing Askana led me to your own podcast novel, Chasing the Bard. I purchased both halves of Double Trouble and was astounded by the most original sequel I’d EVER read. This encouraged me to send you a tweet, and I discovered that, not only are you one of my favorite authors ever, you’re one of my favorite people. You’re witty, snarky, intelligent and kind hearted to a fault. And you wrote Weather Child just for me (I know I wasn’t supposed to tell, but I couldn’t keep it quiet any longer). Just a reminder everyone- I AM WC’s biggest fan, I claimed it. It’s mine.

Val Griswold-Ford (she has an author site, but this is where she lives) – @vg_ford
You’re a newer addition to my list, but one of the best. I love your books, Not Your Father’s Horsemen and Dark Moon Seasons, but even more so, I appreciate your easy going but sincere approach to life. I’m a fan, but I am your friend. Thank you so much for your encouragement with my silly little stories. Go Sox! (Now, if I could just talk you into buying a Mac, you would be so very happy!)

Alex White – @alruff
You’re the first, and to this point, only one that has approached me from having read something on this blog. That means a lot to me. You are extremely talented in many areas. You have my envy and admiration. The Gearheart is rocking and sure to be a hit. I have enjoyed our communications to this point and look forward to many, many more. Thank you. I look forward to the day when I’ll be telling my boys, “I knew Alex when…” Big things are coming for you, I believe it.

Charlie – @quonundrum
One of my most recent additions to the list. Your sincerity and comraderie put you on this list automatically. I look forward to getting to know you better.

Finding an old friend in a new environment has been exceedingly cool.

She doesn’t really tweet, and I think I’m her only follower. (and she’ll probably have me remove her from this list) She is also the most beautiful woman in the world, the most wonderful mother in the world and the person I respect most in the world. Just don’t tell my wife, okay?

If you’re not mentioned here, but I follow you, you’re still an important part of my day. Thank you.

And thank you all for being my neighbors!

(This was typed on my iPhone in it’s entirety between 11:00 and midnight. Links, spelling and grammer will be updated tomorrow.)

[Links applied, but still not sure about the spelling and grammer, lol]

~ by odin1eye on 29 May, 2009.

2 Responses to “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

  1. *sigh* I’d love a Mac, but it’s not in the budget now. But I do appreciate being on your list – you’re a great guy, and I’ve learned a lot from you! Look at who you led me to – I’d’ve never found Alex or The Gearheart if not for you!

    • Once you go mac, you’ll never go back! LOL… Everyone on the list is there for a reason, and more need added. I’m glad that I’ve been able to help a few people connect! Thanks for all you do!

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