Friday, September 14, 2012

Munger Place Days

Drinking Wine While Walking Through History!

Gale and I moved to Munger Place in 1976. It wasn’t a historic district then, in fact it was the slums and most of our friends and family thought we were crazy. And looking back at the time, they were probably right.

However the first time we walked the streets of Munger Place, looking at the old houses, we knew we were home. That’s hard to explain, but we fell in love with the neighborhood and have never regretted moving into the old house we will always call home.

In the 36 years Gale and I have lived in Munger Place, we have seen the neighborhood go from a slum to a wonderful community with lots of young children. During that time our neighbors have changed and changed again several times. I love the present group…maybe the best since the first few Urban Pioneers.

Our house turned 100 last year and we had a birthday party for it. Why not, it’s been a major part of our lives and the lives of our family. We raised three wonderful children here and it’s been the place for family gatherings, celebrations and parties!

For the 100 year party, our kids gave us a bottle of 100 year old Madeira wine to drink to our house! Madeira was a favorite of Adams, Washington, Jefferson and Franklin. So drinking the wine they loved was very fitting for the 100th birthday of the house we love!

Munger Place is a unique neighborhood in many ways. It was the nation’s first planned development and its 10 square blocks is one of the largest collections of Prairie Style homes in the US. Built between 1905 and 1915, most houses have large porches with vistas down their entire block.

Munger Place is unique in many other ways as well. As my youngest son says, it’s hard for things to go unnoticed because there are always people out walking their dogs, strolling their babies and visiting with neighbors.  

And knowing your neighbors is easy; we are always doing things together. We  often see neighbors walking with a bottle of wine to someone’s house.  And as a neighborhood, we party together at Christmas, the Fourth of July and  after our home tour. And for New Year’s we a have a neighborhood crawl where we go from house to house celebrating the New Year together.

My blog is called The Neighborhood Wine Porch Party because each Friday during the spring and fall we gather on one of our porches, and talk about our families and life. Wine is almost always the beverage of choice and we often find ourselves discussing wine and wine regions while sampling different vintages. And our Porch Parties bring us closer as neighbors and friends.

Gale and I like to walk our dogs each evening while drinking wine. Chester and Dora try to outdo each other as the greatest squirrel hunter, while Gale and I get to look at all the wonderful houses and talk with our neighbors. 

We usually end our walk with a stop at Harry Gibson’s house where he has “Happy Hour” each afternoon. While Gale and I refresh our wine glasses with Harry’s Carlo Rossi, our fateful dogs stand guard over Harry’s porch. And sometimes they are joined by their friends, the equally vigilant Lucy and Annabelle!! Harry’s porch is very safe!!!  

Harry has lived in Munger Place longer than we have. He’s an Urban Trail Blazer. And like most trail blazers, Harry and his wife Marion were not always sure about us Pioneers that came along after them.

In the last several years we've become friends, and sitting on his porch, watching the neighborhood go by, while listening to his wonderful stories has become a great experience that has enhanced our lives!  

Munger Place will continue to change and evolve. Neighbors will move out and new ones will move in. That’s the cycle of life for families and neighborhoods. And if we had it to do all over again…we would still move into that slum and watch it transform into a wonderful part of our lives!  


   The Neighborhood Wine Porch Party!!

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1 comment:

  1. I am looking forward to another great Home Tour. This year's wine walk will be a fun addition, perfect for our neighborhood! Love the pictures on this story. And love that my mother was in half of them (wearing the name tag Fred...).

    See you tonight at the next porch party! Talya