Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/305082
Wellesley Hills Bancroft/ Heckle Neighborhood Kevin Kehoe, insurance salesman at WT Phelan and father of two, had lived in his home for several years before he made a deci- sion that would change his life. "I woke up on January 1 nine years ago and made a New Year's Resolution: I will get to know my neigh- bors." That's when Kehoe decided he was going to rekindle an old neighborhood tradi- tion from his days growing up and organize a summer block party. "I recruited two friends, Eric Pearson and John Bee, to help, while on a walk with my kids one evening," he says. He made up 45 flyers, passed them out with his kids and hoped for the best. "We blew up a bouncy house, invited the local ice cream truck, and asked the Wellesley police to send a cruiser and the fire department to send a truck. We met down in the circle and 35 peo- ple showed up. It was great." Now, nearly a decade later, the block party brings out almost 100 people. Long-time neighbors show up with their kids and grandkids. There is face painting, a cotton candy machine, and a popcorn machine. "We have a bike parade, music, and a scavenger hunt, which the kids love, since we pair the older kids with the younger ones and they run around looking for clues," says Kehoe. And then there's the food. One neighbor brings a huge platter of sushi. Another makes homemade spring rolls. Kehoe always brings pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw, potato rolls, sauces, and cheese, which he says is "always a favorite." "Before we started the block party, it was so easy to just pull into the garage and disappear until the next morning," admits Kehoe. "But now, when I'm driving down the street, I mouth 'hello' to people because I know who they are and what their kids are up to. The whole neigh- borhood seems different. As my dad always said, 'strangers are just friends I haven't met yet.' Now, instead of a neighborhood full of strangers, I have a neighborhood full of friends." 179 s u m m e r 2 0 1 4 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e 170-179_WWMb14_foodwine_block parties_v3_WellesleyWeston Magazine 4/25/14 12:24 PM Page 179