Thursday, February 06, 2014

An Attractive Place

Next Door Neighbors, Nov. 6, 1971, photo collection of Midge Frazel

An Attractive Place

Recently, one of the long time neighbors of "The Plat" passed away in a local nursing home. I found out because a card I sent to her was returned. After searching for the address given, I was mystified by the location since I was presented with an image of a strip mall. I zoomed in to find that a lawyer's office was on the second floor. Then, I went in search of her obituary. The funeral home had an especially fine write up including a photo. The Providence Journal obituaries you have to pay to view. 

Trying to keep in touch with the people who were my parents neighbors is not as hard as it might seem. The couple shown above here at a photo taken at my wedding, has lived in the house next door to my parents since a short time after Hurricane Carol hit New England in 1954. The awnings on our house flapped in the strong winds and I was scared. My father was on his way home and my mother tried to reassure me by telling me that the lady above was having her baby that day. I was horrified. Couldn't she have picked a better day to have a baby? After all, I was 6 and knew that the day you were born was forever your own special day. I made my mother laugh.

This couple went on to have four children and are now great grandparents and still live on Hill Top Drive. In a recent note from her, she reported that "The Plat" is still an "attractive place to live". Houses sell quickly and the new neighbors are as great as the old ones. Having that little quote has made this project a little more about today and makes the past more memorable to me.

The first people to live in the house next door to my parents were The Porterfields. While I was writing this my husband told me that Mr. Porterfield worked with my husband's father. That's amazing and something I did not know as it was not mentioned in the last forty-two years of our marriage. The wife loved the beach and used to come with us for the day. They had no children and she didn't work so she was free to come and go as she wished. Since I was under 6, I don't remember that time clearly. When I interviewed my mother many years ago, I learned about neighbors. That was the start of this project. This interview was after my father's death in 1998. I've been waiting a long time to write about this neighborhood.

Another interesting coincidence is that the man pictured in this post and my father share the same birthday but he is ten years younger than my father. On that day, they used to go out to dinner together. It is a nice thing for me to think about on the anniversary of my Dad's birthday and keeps that date alive for me.

Hindsight is a great teacher. My dad was the family storyteller. He would have liked contributing to this project as he was the one that everyone who lived in "The Plat" knew. Stories about him are told to this day. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, I have been using Facebook to reconnect with former neighbor kids from my child-hood (most of the adult neighbors when I was growing up, have passed-away).