Sunday, June 24, 2012

Proud to be Part of Thurston Woods

We started interviewing members of the community this week.  I have been very happy with the interview we have been able to complete.  We have been excited to continue interviewing people, however frequently we have been having people “reschedule”.   In an effort to keep the ball rolling Monica and I decided to try to approach some citizens of 34th street for some interviews.

Soon after arriving Monica observed that it did not look like anyone was home, since all the binds were drawn and windows closed.  Very few homes appeared lived in.  While the hot weather could have been a contributing to people closing up their homes, it became evident that the closed up homes created a sense of unapproachability.   We further examined how a number of the homes in the neighborhood lacked landscaping or simple maintenance.  

We were given the chance to interview Jean, a long time resident of the Thurston Wood’s community.  Jean painted a very different picture of what the street use to look like.  Jean originally lived in a Berryland Apt with her family, but moved to 34th street when her family continued to grow and needed more room.  She described the manicured lawns, large trees, children playing in the yards and neighbors congregating after work to catch up on everyday life. 

While she does not know everyone on the block anymore, she makes a point to look out for her neighbors, and she feels they do the same for her. 

As the City of Milwaukee has changed, so has Thurston Woods.  Jean is just as proud to be a member of Thurston Woods today as she was 30 years ago.  Her Thurston Woods flag has been proudly displayed at the entrance to her house each day we visit (except when she pulls out her Packers flag for games).