Saturday, August 19, 2006

Gunflint Block Party

Last night was the August meeting of the Gunflint Lake Property Owners Association. This mouth-full of words is really just everyone who has a home on Gunflint, Loon and Tucker Lakes. Some of us are business owners, some are here summers only and some live here all year.

During the summer months we try to get together in June and August. In July we sponsor with other lake groups the Gunflint Canoe Races. August is is our biggest meeting and we had about 60 people for last night's potluck dinner at the fire hall.

Besides dinner, the night includes a meeting at which we discuss the same topics each year: canoe race revenues, dues, garbage collection, septic systems, water quality, etc. The idea is to keep the meeting as short as possible so that we have lots of time to talk with each other. For some it is the only time we see everyone. Lots of stories and laughter echoed through the crowd.

I looked around the room last night and marveled at our diversity. There were people who had just purchased a home talking with a neighbor who came up to Gunflint for the first time in 1934. Some people were the third and fourth generations to be here. Backgrounds and home states spread us all over the map. Small children ate extra desserts along with grandmas who were doing the same thing.

This is an event that I recommend in any neighborhood. The informal format without a burning issue to polarize neighbors is a great way to get to know each other. Years ago we found that we had more in common than expected. Also when you get to know your neighbor, it is easier to work through divisive issues with a friend rather than a stranger.

For what it is worth, spend some time to get to know your neighbors. You will probably find that they are really nice people.

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