President’s Message

I live in a great neighborhood!

I grew up in a great neighborhood.  In fact, just about every neighborhood I have lived in has been a great neighborhood.

Now, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t issues were I lived.  In my younger years, I lived in one of the south side neighborhoods of Chicago, Marquette Park.  We lived in a 1950’s row house of modest means, surrounded by families of all ethnicities.  There was a sense of purpose with these hard-working lower-to-middle class families.  Everyone looked out and cared for one another.

Our next move was out to the southwest suburbs just before the housing market exploded. The people moving into these new subdivisions were many of the same people we had been surrounded by in the city and brought with them their work ethic and sense of “being a good neighbor.”

Other moves took me back into the city of Chicago with my final moves to central Illinois, via Bloomington, and ultimately to Peoria which has been my home for over 30 years.

Though not every community I have lived in has been “prosperous,” and some having its share of “issues,”  every neighborhood has had an identity, an awareness of who it is and has been defined by the people that live there – their values and sense of community.  Walking down the street, it was not uncommon to smile and say “Hi” to neighbors and visitors alike.  People found sitting on their porches or standing at a fence and conversing for long periods of time was the norm.  And we always didn’t agree or get along. But when the time came to come together, we did, and with strength.

The majority of my time in Peoria has been spent in older neighborhoods – first on Glen Oak Ave. across from the John C. Flanagan House Museum, and in the Cottage District/Moss Bradley since 1989.

in a great neighborhood.  Is it perfect?  Nope.

But I can walk down the street and know this is home.  People will watch out for me as I will for them.  I look forward to our evening walks as it is one of the ways we socialize.  It excites me to see people walking their dogs, riding their bikes or simply strolling down one of our neighborhood streets.

I live in a great neighborhood!