Going on 12 years in the Millsmont neighborhood

Looking for other contributors to this Millsmont-inspired blog....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Much has changed....

Since I started this blog, we have at least three ways to communicate within this neighborhood. I started the Millsmont/Nextdoor.com site. There is the Yahoo group (Mokeridge), and there is the Facebook group: Oakland's Millsmont Neighborhood Get Things Done. I've started a weekly coffee meetup that I call Coffee @ the Curb, thanks to the services of Get Goes Mobile Café, who added a stop to their Friday morning route (8:30am) at the intersection of Buena Ventura and Delmont.

The upside is getting to meet more people, recognizing who belongs and who doesn't. The downside is finding out about too much crime going on, alarming crime, petty crime, all detrimental to the quality of life. Knowing about it causes anxiety, retreat....But also empowers us.

A group is meeting to possibly stir up interest in a more formal neighborhood association, a way to raise funds, and get things done, in a more democratic way, I suppose. It's a learning experience, and takes patience.

I still take daily walks, but my dog is old now, and she moves slowly. I still meet people and find out things through my dog, though.

Today I spoke with a neighbor who was picking weeds, to get over her irritation at her next door neighbor who WASN'T picking weeds. Irritation is endemic. It's so hard not to get annoyed with those who live next to you, and don't have the same standards....whether it is weeds (which then encroach on your land), peeling paint, too many vehicles, barking dogs... etc. etc. Before I left, her neighbor came out, and she asked me to back her up. But I left, because their discussion seemed private. I hope they worked it out....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013 - views from the island neighborhood

Delmont Gulch, looking towards Oakland Hills
From Delmont Gulch, looking north to the Monte Villa development
Looking southwest from top of Millsmont- a huge abandoned lot, perfectly aligned streets stretching to the waterfront, the Bay, and San Bruno Mountain in the distance
Sunday selection at the Millsmont Little Free Library - 11/24/13

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Same house number, different street

I always wondered who lived at the house below me. We get each other's mail. I met Ed Houston, washing his car, while walking Yuki down the hill, and maybe not looking forward to the steep part of Buena Ventura, walking up. Longshoreman for 40 years, in the Army for six years, during the Vietnam era, and in that house since 1972, married three times, and two children living outside of the State. Ed is a bit of an introvert and keeps to himself, he says. Yet I heard more stories than I could count, standing there. The stories are there, waiting. I heard the story about the German shepherd he inherited from his neighbor, an old woman he sat with, as a nine year old, giving her insulin shots, and keeping watch over her. He hoped the job would last long enough to enable him to earn money for a scooter. But he was told not to go, on the third day. It turned out she had died. Not long after, he was summoned to the reading of her will. He was nine, and dressed in a suit, with short pants. He was handed a leash. The dog was bequeathed to him. It was a fine purebred German police dog. But he didn't have the dog that long. A breeder wanted that dog, and his mother sold him for the grand sum of $200, a lot of money in the thirties or forties. In later life, Ed commissioned a ceramic sculptor to create a portrait of that dog. Ed went into his house and brought out a magnificent two or three foot high glazed ceramic dog, spitting image of Russell, that she had created purely by his description. The land between our houses went through many changes. It used to have many tall pines, but these tended to fall over on the street, and the owner of the land was asked to remove them. The owner eventually lost the land to the city for failure to pay taxes and upkeep. A woman who worked in Silicon Valley was going to build a house but she lost the land, too, after losing her job. Except for one lot, the house is now a tangle of trees and shrubs, a real jungle. I finally made it home, my head filled with Ed's stories.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Little Free Library ready to lend!

Today..finishing touches, loaded with books from neighbors who are moving, and the library installation is done!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tree down during this morning's gale winds

I chatted with two different neighbors about the history of this tree and its companion tree in a front yard that used to a be dense jungle.
Since I walk this block almost every day, I couldn't help thinking whether I would have been under this tree if I had left a half hour earlier.... Neither of the neighbors had information about the new owners who are renovating the house, either to sell or rent. I went home, looked up the parcel number by the address, and called the Alameda Co. Assessor's Office. I got the owner's name and looked him up in whitepages.com. Not too hard after all! Hopefully, he got the message that the tree fell and is blocking the street a bit. We had gale winds this morning; I'm sure there were signs the tree was leaning, earlier.