Whatever happened to front porches? Front porches where great. You could sit on your front porch and watch everything that went on in your neighborhood.

You knew who your neighbors were, when they went to work, when they came home, what they drove, where they lived and how many children they had.

What an awesome concept. Now, we have decks and privacy fences. Don’t get me wrong. Privacy and privacy fences are a must. We all need down time to ourselves away from the rest of the world. We all need time to rewind and download. But, we also need to know what’s going on in our communities and neighborhoods. We need to know who our neighbors are and get to know them.

The little old lady on the corner who everyone considers a busy body can be your best friend when it comes to crime prevention and awareness. This is the lady who knows everybody and everything. She’s going to be the first person to pick up the phone and call you or the police when unusual or suspicious activity is present.

Another thing I miss is family reunions. When I was a child, it seemed like everybody was having family reunions. Now you hardly hear about them. There are still quite a few families that have them, but it seems like there aren’t near as many as there used to be. Our families and relatives now live all across the country and beyond and with our busy lifestyles. It just seems we’re all too busy. It’s odd knowing that we have relatives out there from who we never see or hear.

We probably wouldn’t even recognize them if they walked right up to us today. It’s also sad knowing that we may never see or hear from them again unless we take the initiative to call, write or contact them. Normally, the only time we get to see most of our relatives is at funerals.

I also wonder what happened to horseshoes, checkers, kites, yo-yos, bubbles, Tonka toys, homemade wooden go-karts, miniature train sets, green army men, tree houses and Hot Wheels. These were the toys and things I played with as a child. And though I miss them, I’ve probably gotten a little too old to play with them at this stage of my life, so now I go around looking for old toys to collect. It sure does bring back lots and lots of fond memories.

I also miss the ice cream man and the red, white and blue rocket pops. I can remember screaming, “ice cream man, ice cream man” on many occasions. I can remember running like the wind to beg for money from my parents to buy ice cream before the ice cream man passed. I can also remember the disappointment when I didn’t get back in time and missed him. I can still remember those big tears streaming down my little dirty face and the immense disappointment I felt. Seemed like such a tragedy at the time.

In closing, take time to remember yesterday. Taking time to remember yesterday just might bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. If it worked then, it can work now.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet. 

Kenny Martin