Sunday Editorial: Connecting with the Stories of Our Neighbors

Wheat Ridge firefighters and Edgewater Police officers pulled up to our neighbor’s home and my heart dropped. I knew something very sad was unfolding. A few nights before, our neighbor had been helped across the street to our neighborhood holiday party. He had sat in my recliner with his funky, colorful socks and Santa hat, and told us stories of what our block was like back when it was built in the 1950s. He recalled a story about the couple who initially built our house and got their car stuck in a big hole while the house was being built. He told us about how his wife had been an orphan and visited Rose Acres as a kid when it was a large rose garden. That’s why they chose to build their home here when it became a subdivision. He was the center of attention as he told stories from his sixty years of living in Edgewater on Otis Court.

As I walked across the street and asked the Wheat Ridge firefighter the inevitable question, my heart broke. With tears in my eyes, I knew we had experienced something holy at our holiday party. Two nights before he passed away, our neighbor experienced community and the joy of the season with his neighbors. We all loved the company of our neighbor and his stories. We were all so thankful that we had the chance spending those brief hours with him before he passed away. But it also made us miss him even more. We all regretted not taking a picture of him enjoying the party. None of us knew that would be the last time we would see him.

In each our blocks in Edgewater there are many stories waiting to be told. Stories of lives well lived and an Edgewater that many of us never had a chance to experience. Each time I read an obituary from a long time Edgewater resident, I wonder what stories were never told to their neighbors and community members.

After our neighbor passed away, I was stirred to help tell these stories that haven’t been shared with the Edgewater community. Those of us who are new to Edgewater need to hear the stories of the Edgewater Fire Department, Edgewater High School and how the community has changed over the years. Connecting to our past will only strengthen our community as we move into the future.

So this week, we are going to start a new series in the Echo where we spotlight residents throughout Edgewater. We are going to start with longtime residents who can connect us with Edgewater’s past.

Let us know if you know a longtime neighbor who we need to spotlight. Send me an email at joel@edgewatercollective.org and you can help us connect with your neighbor.

Our slogan at the Edgewater Echo is “Listen to the past. Look to the future.” This is one important way that we can listen to the past.

1 Comment on "Sunday Editorial: Connecting with the Stories of Our Neighbors"

  1. Connie Jo Fox | Feb 1, 2016 at 10:03 am | Reply

    Joel, great job on this article. I really like the Edgewater Echo slogan. Wish more of Edgewater’s elected officials felt the same way. I still want to donate all of the old Edgewater Tribunes to you, you might find some names in there. Names I come up with….Rex & Ladella Swann (been in Edgewater her whole life) and Bill Bossert ( graduated Edgewater High School)…..just to name a few.

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