In his achingly beautiful book, Landmarks, Robert MacFarlane writes, “Certain kinds of language can restore a measure of wonder to our relations with nature…having such a language to hand is vital for two reasons: because it allows us to speak clearly about such places, and because it encourages the kinds of allegiance and intimacy with one’s places that might also go by the name of love, and out of which might arise care and good sense.”
Language can restore a measure of wonder to our relations with nature and with neighborhood. Following are a handful of stories, written for you to encourage allegiance, intimacy, and love of this place. We hope “care and good sense” for the restoration of our leafy neighborhood canopy might arise.
We welcome your stories and photographs of our neighborhood!
Please scroll to the bottom to submit your story.
Stories of the Present
I live in the kind of neighborhood where...
I live in the kind of neighborhood where trees are an intrinsic part of the reason that we have chosen to make our home here for the past thirty years. My husband and I walked in the Old North End neighborhood long before we owned a home here. We enjoyed the green canopy of the tree-lined medians, the coolness of the shaded walkways, and the contrasting lushness of the vegetation compared with the rest of Colorado Springs that exists in a high desert. We marveled at the loveliness of the historic homes here, wishing that one day we would own such a home. And then we did. And we feel fortunate that we were able to make our dream come true. We still walk the neighborhood daily, greeting our friends and neighbors whom we encounter on the way. We count our blessings to live in such a beautiful neighborhood.
What's the Password?
This past Sunday afternoon, neighbors from Wood Avenue knocked on our front door. The parents asked if they could use our house color on their stucco home. Their three year-old son, Conan, balanced on a new tricycle, hearing that my name is Siri, snapped to attention and said, “Hey, I talk to you all the time. I want to watch Winnie-the-Pooh videos. What’s the password?” The repertoire of neighborhood stories just got bigger.
Growing up in ONEN...
Growing up in the Old North End was a magical for many reasons - - my mother and grandmother also grew up here so I had a strong sense of shared space and history as I cavorted and played. One of the greatest attributes of the wonders of our beloved neighborhood is the great outdoors that surrounds our beautiful homes. My memories of play and wonder are very linked to the natural environment surrounding us.
When I first moved to ONEN...
When I first moved to the Old North End Neighborhood thirty years ago, I met my charming neighbors who had young children. They welcomed my husband and me to the neighborhood with a gift of homemade cherry preserves. I was expecting our first child and was having a difficult pregnancy where eating was very difficult for me. It turns out that that jar of preserves tasted better to me than nearly anything else I ate! I savored it and metered it as I wanted to make it last as long as I could. When the jar inevitably became empty, I bought a jar of cherry preserves at the store. It just was not the same—I could not stomach it. Fast forward thirty years, to the other day as I sat at the dining room table of these very same neighbors, where they served homemade cherry preserves! What memories!
The husband of the very same neighbors, the summer that we moved into our house, was dividing his day lilies and asked me whether I would like to have some for my garden. I was just getting my garden established at that point and was thrilled to have them! Last fall, I divided patches of those same day lilies and gave the corms to people in the neighborhood who would give them good homes. Ours is the kind of neighborhood where neighbors share and help one another, and who can mobilize and act for the good of the neighborhood when issues arise. Ours is the kind of neighborhood where we can sit around the dining room table of neighbors with whom we have interacted for decades.
It all started when...
I couldn’t imagine growing up in a different neighborhood.
We moved into our Tejon Street house when I was three years old, and lived there for nineteen years. My childhood was a good one, and I know that it would have been good no matter where I lived. But there is a special magic in the Old North End for a child. My formative years were centered on the happenings of the neighborhood. Each year was outlined by the 4th of July bike parade, trick-or-treating on Tejon Street each Halloween, running outside just after midnight in the New Year to watch the fireworks and hearing cheers from all over the neighborhood. These events (along with the start and end of each semester of school) were the milestones of every year.
For thirty years...
For thirty years my husband and I have lived in our home in the Old North End Neighborhood. We live in the sort of neighborhood where people care about the history of their homes and about preserving the historic aspects of the neighborhood. In fact, many of the homes are on the National Historic Register, as is ours.
Our Crabapple Tree...
Our crabapple tree is the reason that we do not have a master closet as large as we would like (is there ever one that large?). When we began to dig the foundation for the addition to our house, the architect said that we could not dig any closer to the crabapple tree, because we would endanger its life by damaging the roots.
Stories from the Past
1901 Letter from Rev. Arthur Taft
to “The People of Colorado Springs in the year 2001”
In 1901, Rev. Arthur Taft, rector of St. Stephen’s Church,
wrote the following letter to the people of the city in 2001.
In it he hoped “that you of The New Century will be living under the American flag.”
He commented, “Some now living think that our Republic cannot last. That soon we will have a form of limited monarchy.”
Click to read the letter in full...
One of our own...Robert Manley Ormes
Robert Manley Ormes, son of Manley Ormes, first librarian of Colorado College, was born on North Tejon Street and lived his adult life on Del Norte. He was firmly planted in the Old North End Neighborhood, but he wasn’t stuck here; Bob was less a tree man and more a mountain man, and travelled the world to climb some of the earth’s most challenging peaks. I once asked Bob why he loved the mountains so much, and spent so many years climbing and exploring.
Click to read in full...
Goodbye Ann Zwinger
Ann Haymond Zwinger, noted author and naturalist, died peacefully on August 30, 2014, in Portland, Oregon. She was born March 12, 1925, in Muncie, Indiana, the daughter of William T. Haymond, a lawyer, and Helen G. Haymond, an artist.
The following article featured in the Colorado Springs Independent on September 10, 2014: