August 06, 2002
National Night Out

Tonight was National Night Out, an event created in the 80s as a means of fighting crime by getting neighbors to know each other as well as their local patrol officers. Our neighborhood loves a party, so NNO is always observed around here. We've hosted NNO at our house for the past couple of years, and since we're in a new house this year we were especially looking forward to it.

We have some neighbors who've been here for a long time. One lady three houses down has lived here since 1946; the woman next door to her since 1966. The folks to our left bought their house in the mid sixties after having lived a few blocks away for 11 years. On the other hand there are a number of younger couples, several of whom have just bought in. Some have kids, one other is expecting their first in October. Many of them were new to us.

It's not easy doing an outdoor event in Houston in August. I figure NNO must've been dreamed up by a Northerner, where houses are un-air conditioned and the front porch is the coolest place to be. Still, we had about 25 people drop by for some homemade ice cream and conversation, and a good if somewhat sweaty time was had by all.

One story we heard tonight was how a couple of years ago some kids got the idea that NNO would be a good time to break into houses, since many residents were out visiting. Unfortunately for them, a big part of NNO is making sure the residents get to mingle with the local constabulary, who spend much of the evening cruising through the area. They were caught red-handed.

I'm often amazed at how Houston can be just a big ol' small town. The house across the street from us was recently bought by a couple about our age. The husband is the son of one of Tiffany's mom's best friends. The wife went to high school with my cousin. Sometimes, living here is like Mayberry with traffic jams.

NNO is also the kickoff of the fall social season around here, with Halloween (our neighborhood is a huge magnet for Trick-of-Treaters) and Lights in the Heights to follow. Only three more months before I have to start hauling Christmas decorations down from the attic...

UPDATE: Here's the Chron's writeup.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 06, 2002 to See, I do have a life!