A little neighborhood togetherness

I know some but not all of my neighbors, some by name and more by sight, but ours isn't a tight block. It's a typical city street -- the apartment building at the end of the block has typical churn, people on the other (rich) side of the street don't tend to be out and about (they don't mow their own lawns, for example), and I feel funny knocking on doors just to say hi. But I do know some people, including the SCA folks three doors up who I've known forever.

This morning as I was walking downstairs I heard the familiar squeal-thump that the intersection in front of our house produces a couple times a month (sometimes more). Someday someone will get killed and they'll put in a traffic light, but mostly it's fender benders caused by people not yielding (it's not an all-way stop) or people speeding down the hill. This squeal-thump was followed by a car alarm, which is unusual, so I went out to take a look. (If I'd have had any caffeine yet I might have parsed that without looking.)

There was a car nearly perpendicular to the road, and mostly on our sidewalk and grass. It had been parked (no owner present). It was badly dented; I find it hard to believe that whoever hit it was going less than double the speed limit. There was no other car in sight. There were half a dozen people on the sidewalk across the street; two of them walked over to me and turned out to be members of my congregation out for their morning walk. They told me what I'd surmised -- hit and run, two people had already called 911, and they didn't get a license number. They asked if it was my car (fortunately no). People who aren't us park in front of our house all the time; I don't know why, as they are usually passing up spots closer to every other house on the block. I have no idea who this car belongs to. Someone left a note with a timestamp so he could more easily sync up with 911 when he discovered the damage. I went back inside to feed the cats.

When I left a few minutes later (police were just pulling up), the SCA neighbors were out and asked if it was my car. A little farther up the block someone walking her dog asked the same question. It was 8AM; I didn't expect so many people to be out and about. (They usually aren't.) But now I wonder whether, if I hadn't been around, somebody would have left a note on my door or something. I would do the same for someone else, but before today it hadn't occurred to me that I lived in a neighborhood where people might pay that much attention. Neat.