Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Where The Elite Meet To Eat

Tomorrow night is another meeting of The Splinter Group. For those of you who’ve forgotten, The Splinter Group is a local group of Old House owners who get together on a regular basis. We meet each time at a different member’s house and have a pot-luck. We get to see the results of some project, whether completed or on-going. Some people talk about their house’s history or something else pertaining to the time period. Others don’t do much at all. Regardless, there is always a home tour involved.

I guess I’ve been a member of the group for almost 3 years now. The group has been on-going in some form or another for more than a dozen years. I sort of stopped going for a while but then got back in to last year. It’s fun to see other peoples homes. To see what they’ve done. And of course, eventually it is your turn to host the event. Sometimes, though, it seems little more than a cocktail party held on a Wednesday night and I’m just not in the mood.

Tomorrow night it will be at Jeff & Michelle’s 1914 Craftsman home. It is still a work-in-progress (aren’t they all). I’ve been to Jeff & Michelle's before but never for a Splinter Group meeting. They are doing a very nice job with the house. It is a very pleasant mix of contemporary and period styles.

What will really make this intersting is the recent problem with my neighbors. Jeff is a member of the City Council and he was the one I asked for help in dealing with my neighbors. I didn’t expect a lot and I got almost nothing from him. It’s not a real big deal but it was a little disappointing. He said he would talk to someone at the planning department and give me pointers on my letter of complaint and, as far as I know, he did neither. We haven’t spoken since the beginning of January when he said he would get back to me.

I’ve already decided I’m not going to make a big deal of it, and I won’t even bring it up, but I’m sure Jeff will. He is a nice guy and I genuinely like him but he is the consummate politician. Jeff will always want to smooth things over and find a middle ground. Really, in some ways, the members of The Council are little more than figure heads. The paid city staff is the engine that runs the city. The council just gives direction. I’m not sure that there is anything Jeff could have done. It’s just…I don’t know…he should have gotten back to me.

One of the big topics on tomorrow’s agenda will be getting new people. One couple just announced they would no longer be attending. They were a very pleasant lesbian couple that had been in the group for years. Apparently they just recently “divorced” after being together for 9 or 10 years. There are some people I don’t connect with well at the gatherings and others I do. For what ever reason I liked these people and they will be missed.

So we’re looking for new blood for the group. If any of you old house types out there want to make the trip to Eureka on a monthly basis, and don’t mind hosting the group once a year or so, drop me a line and we’ll talk.


Jocelyn said...

This is such a cool thing. I want to plan some kind of community social events for my neighborhood.
I suppose the thing to do here would be join the local Historical Society (there's one for Rogers Park) and get involved there.

Kristin said...

Our friend group in Eutaw does something similar, though it's in a more informal way. We don't have a meeting or have a name for our group. But we do have potluck dinners at each other's houses once very week or two and always check out the latest developments on our houses. It's great! We have hosted only a couple of gatherings at our house because we didn't have a dining room table. Now we do, so bring on the gatherings!