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My Garden Of Life – My Little America


Jody Fuller
By Jody Fuller

There is so much racial chaos in the news. I hate it. It really doesn’t have to be this way.

After a long day, I pulled into my driveway in my little neighborhood and just looked around. I am so blessed. I can see about half the houses in my ‘hood from my yard. My neighborhood consists of around 30-35 houses. It’s like a little America, and I love it.

First, let’s get the bad out of the way. The first house you come upon when you enter Little America is vacant and it has been since I bought my house in 2009. I think it was a foreclosure and is still in limbo. I don’t understand all the legalities of that, but it is what it is. It’s not good, but it’s a reality.
As you drive on through, you see all kinds of goodness.

My next-door neighbors are what neighbors should be. We’ve helped each other out a lot over the past couple of years in a variety of ways. For example, I’ve taken care of their dog when they were out of town, and they’ve taken care of Ruby and Abbey when I’ve been away. They are very neighborly, and I try to return the favor. They are a young couple and just happen to be Caucasian.

My other neighbors are relatively new. As the old folks say, they are a “mixed” couple from Texas. He is a white dude and she is a Latina. They have two beautiful children. I’ve talked to him several times, but she is usually busy with the babies.

Speaking of old folks, we have them, too. I love old people. I pray every night that I stay healthy enough to grow old. In one of the homes, I only see the wife. She works out in the yard a lot, while I don’t think I’ve ever seen him. In another home, I never see them except for when they are coming and going. I bet they watch a lot of Murder She Wrote.

Down the road is an African-American family. I don’t know them, but I wave every time they drive by. I did support their daughter last year for a school fundraiser. I think he’s retired military. That’s good stuff.

I hardly know any of these folks in my neighborhood. After all, it is 2017. Who knows their neighbors?

Next to them is another middle-aged Caucasian couple. He has a shop in his garage. One day, I’ll have a shop in my garage.

On down is a Korean family, and next to them is a Lesbian couple. America! Across from them is an older lady who walks her little dog every day. I’m sure she knows everything that goes on in the neighborhood.

Next to her is a family of rednecks. Now, I don’t know this for a fact, because I have never seen them, but I have heard their truck, which registers a 6.8 on the Richter Scale when it passes my house.

Then there is the mystery house. I’m not sure who lives there. They have tinted windows on their car and disappear into the bat cave when they get home each day. I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Across from me is a single white female, and next to her is a guy. He’s a good dude, but get this; he’s a Clemson graduate. As the late, great Lewis Grizzard said, “Clemson is Auburn with a lake.” I call it “the fake Auburn.”

Rounding out the neighborhood is another African-American family. I know he’s retired military. He even has the license plate to prove it. They are always out working in the yard. They are good folks—lots of waving.

Oh, I almost forgot about the damn Yankees. We are a very inclusive neighborhood. They’re Bama fans, too, which just goes to show how inclusive we really are. They’re good folks. I went to school with their kids.

That’s only about half the houses. I’m not sure who lives in the others, but I know who lives in the ones I can see. I like it. I like the make-up of my ‘hood. That’s my little neighborhood. That’s my America.

Jody Fuller is from Opelika, Ala. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com