Montclair neighbors say “We’ll keep the lights on”

MONTCLARION: June 15, 2012

It’s almost summer — do you know where your Christmas lights are?

Most are in storage, tucked neatly between the nutcrackers and the plastic reindeer. But three of my neighbors have re purposed their lights for year-round enjoyment. For this, I’m eternally grateful.

“They’re Fourth of July lights,” says one neighbor, who calls her treetop twinklers patriotic. In September, they flash for the autumnal equinox. In October, for Halloween. With each passing month they splash shards of color across the evening sky.

For me, the strands are more than a celebratory symbol. They say “welcome, old friend. We’ll light your way.” Yes, the bulbs are a beacon for the weary traveler returning from a long day at work.

Footnotes: Tired of finding the library closed when you want a new book? Start your own little nook. Reader Jennifer Fish got the idea from a guy in Wisconsin who started So she put a few books in a box outside her house with a sign reading “Merriewood Library — Take one/Leave one.” Now folks have taken to it, leaving notes on a whiteboard like, “Thanks!” “Great idea!” and “Loved Joy Luck Club.” But the best part, she says, is the sense of community it’s fostered. The little free library — coming, hopefully, to a neighborhood near you.

Email bag: Readers continue to react to my May 25 column on teen misbehavior inMontclair. Nora Levine says she was stunned to read the suggestion that folks use their phone cams to capture bad behavior.

“Asking strangers to photograph students so they can be “reminded of their manners” by school officials is beyond appropriate,” she writes, adding “it pits the community against the students, and, in that dynamic, no one learns anything, let alone manners.”

But others say it’s not manners they worry about; it’s the rash of teen fighting we saw last winter and spring. They say using a phone cam — something kids wouldn’t hesitate to use — is justified if it helps prevent violence.

Musical note: A local lad who performs piano concerts for charity is being honored by the Boy Scouts. Corpus Christi student Omar Abdul-Rahim has been awarded a National Certificate of Merit for his fundraising efforts. It’s reportedly the first time this honor has been given to someone in the Boy Scout Piedmont Council. Omar’s mom says it’s especially sweet because scout leaders say Omar exemplifies “what Boy Scouts represents.”


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