Gabriella Hendricks ’21
I remember the landlord emphasizing how nice all the neighbors were when we were first looking into the house on Zig Zag Way, but I never thought he was genuinely speaking the truth. I assumed that like all landlords, he was just trying to sell his house.
Not even a day after my family moved into our new home, each of my parents had pleasant conversations with our neighbors both next door and across the street. Not only that, but we quickly began to notice in every passing weather by car or foot, a friendly wave and smile was expected. We were living The Truman Show. In addition to all this, we soon got an invite to a neighborhood get together. Only in movies had I ever seen neighbors spend voluntary hours of their days even conversing together let alone hosting parties specifically for said fellow neighbors! Sure, in my previous home I knew my neighbors and was friendly towards them, but I never actually got the chance to know them.
Here at Zig Zag Way I babysit for the house across my street, and for the family around the bend. A man four houses down is going to cater for my graduation party. A family across the way goes to my church. All the neighbors know the ice cream man by name. My sister visits the lady two doors down when she walks our dog. My parents are close friends with the couple across the street from us.
The community here at Zig Zag Way is precious and has been carried on through generations. Currently, there are four families with children in grade school who constantly run around, bike, and skate board around our coldesaque-like loop. Before them, a group of kids that are all now around their twenties, grew up safely roaming their neighborhood streets just as kids do in far off 80s TV shows.
Zig Zag Way has even been featured in the Orange County Register due to its infamous 4th of July Party and was titled the “Ultimate Block Party”. This two day event begins with a kick off of cocktails and popsicles on July 3rd as the children also watch a movie on the outdoors inflatable movie projector. Early on July 4th, neighbors lineup for the customized pancake breakfast, preparing for a day of games and prizes ahead. This 18th annual event centers heavily around a day-long cornhole tournament and epic fireworks. Even moms who don’t wish to partake in these activities sit back and relax with their customized “Real Housewives of Zig Zag” tumblers.
One of my personal favorite memories here at Zig Zag was being able to help harvest honey at Steve and Maggie’s house which is across the street. Steve’s Bees as they call it! They invited my friends and family over, and I expected to watch Steve do all the work, but immediately he began teaching us all hands on how to extract the honey from the combs while also salvaging the bee’s wax. Months later, we returned to harvest honey, and this time I even got to suit up in a bee keeper’s suit and take the hives out of their boxes.
Through the mere-exposure effect it would be assumed that the majority of people are friends with their neighbors. However, even with such close proximity neighbors often rather fight over landscaping, bicker about yappy dogs, and complain about noisy late hours. Fostering a community with neighbors is something I thought only possible on The Truman Show. After such realization I hope to one day raise my own kids on a safe street just like Zig Zag Way where they can make lifelong memories and have a model of a healthy multi generational community. Being born in such a modern age they might never watch The Truman Show, but I sure do hope they get to live it.
Photo Credit: chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress.com