Neighbor Ladies | Letters | Chicago Reader

Neighbor Ladies 

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To the editors:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Marion Karczmar's article "Tina and Rosie Don't Live Here Anymore" [April 22]. It gave me pleasant pause to reflect on all the "Tinas" and "Rosies" of my childhood community, and to realize and regret their absence in the community today.

I hadn't thought about these neighborhood personalities in years. They were the ones who always had trick or treat candy when trick or treat meant that you might actually go inside and get a glass of milk too. The ones who knew the mailman's name and who enjoyed recounting neighborhood gossip to delivery men. They were sometimes kindly, sometimes cranky, occasionally eccentric, and always had time on their hands. They knew what time you were due to walk by on your way home from school, they noticed (and inevitably commented upon) your adolescent love interests. They were the breath of the community; they'd seen families born, watched buildings rise and be torn down, they remembered the neighborhood history. Their sense of territory extended to the personal lives of community residents--all teenagers perceived them as spies.

Nobody seems to live anyplace for great lengths of time anymore. Maybe that's why Ms. Karczmar's story touched a poignant memory for me. I miss the Tinas and Rosies, the sense of constancy they represented. Thank you for an excellent story.

Mary Britton

E. 50th Place

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