Forty-fourth Street Block Party Huge Success
The joint was jumping -- and so were most of the children -- during the 44th Street Block Party held on Saturday, Sept. 20. Helped by Temescal's traditional sunny weather, it was a day of fun, food and friendship that is sure to be an annual highlight in the neighborhood for years to come.
We started the day with a neighborhood garage sale, held at the corner of Shafter and 44th Street at 9 am. Meanwhile, the block between Webster and Telegraph was transformed from a city street to a park with the addition of tables, chairs and umbrellas on loan from neighbors, and a dinosaur-shaped jumping tent, rented for the afternoon. Face painting, a lion-shaped ball toss, and arts and crafts also kept the kids busy. Local Fire Company #8 came by with two fire trucks -- one smaller one for the children to climb on, and a bigger ladder truck we could hang the pinata from.
Two huge tables of food gave the adults something to do. Once again, Fred Brooks was the barbecue chef, and party goers filled up on hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, fried chicken, homemade salads, and a dazzling selection of cookies and desserts.
Of course, what's a party without music? We had plenty, from the band Jacknifed Rig, featuring 44th Street resident Ron Teague. Their renditions of classic rock and R&B tunes provided the perfect soundtrack as neighbors got acquainted and re-acquainted. The children, faces painted, oblivious to the heat, danced, jumped, rode their tricycles or pulled their wagons through the street.
The highlight of the party was a chance to get to know our neighbors. While we might say hello as we come and go from our houses, that afternoon we got a chance to go further, matching names to faces, faces to houses, children to parents. It was the kind of day that made us all proud to be part of such a great neighborhood in such a great city.
A big thank you to everyone on 44th street and adjoining Webster and Shafter streets for their generous donations that made it possible to rent the jumping tent, purchase a shade tent, and pay other costs.
Thanks to everyone who helped make the party such a success. The organizing committee: Sally Thomas, Laura Jackson, Robin Christianson, Howard Lasseter, Valerie Adinolfi, Theresa Brooks and Cristina Gerber. The band: Ron Teague, Rocky Laber, Jena Cooreman, Gail Foster, Matt and Callie Palen, Mike Temperio and John O'Connor. Our facepainting crew: Christine Calabrese, Susan Stowers, Janet Greene. The jumping tent attendants: John Goodwin, Stephne Dowell, Rain Teague.
A special thank you to local merchants who made in-kind contributions. Walgreens at 51st and Telegraph donated materials for the children's activities, Lucky's on College Avenue donated hot dogs and hamburger to barbecue, and Mrs. Mi Kim, owner of the Koryo Korean barbecue at 44th and Telegraph, gave some delicious barbecued meats.