Friday, May 8, 2015

Hometowns and Neighbors—Rock On!


Living in the suburb of a big city in the 1970’s was quite an experience.  I moved a few times but from 4th grade on, my family lived in North St. Paul, a city north and east of Minneapolis/St Paul.  The kids on our block were our friends and at times enemies. We played games, rode bikes, sledded on the hill and grew up, knowing our neighbors…and sometimes their dreams.

In my North St Paul neighborhood, we played kickball and ice skated in Hause Park. We walked to Cowern School and rode the bus to Maplewood Junior High. We shopped at Keindels, Ben Franklin and Harry’s Drug Store and sometimes had a pizza at the Village or burger at Mac’s Dinette. We’d stop and look at the huge frogs in Neumann’s Bar window when mailing a letter at the post office. It was a great place to grow up.


I doubt that there was any neighborhood in the country in the 70’s that didn’t have someone that wanted to be in a garage band. But as Bryan Adams lyrics reminisced, most of those bands didn’t get far.  Our neighborhood was no different.  One such band (and dreamer) lived next door to me.  Brynn Arnes and I were neighbors and sometimes friends. We didn’t really hang out after grade school but we were always cordial. His band was kind of annoying at first…The first part Smoke on the Water can only be played so often before being annoying but at the time I was a very bad clarinet player so I think we are even. His band was invented and reinvented over the years. I heard at one point they played the State Fair talent show. And remember coming home from college and seeing his band's Ghostbuster inspired white hearse parked in front of his parents’ house. 

I have only run into Brynn a few times since high school graduation; once at the Friday Night Car show and at one high school reunion. Both times he was hard to miss since he was the only one rocking pink hair, which is not so uncommon anymore.  I heard that Brynn became a successful musician. (My niece told me she would go to his concerts in Minneapolis when he was with the band Obsession or something.)  I was impressed that someone I knew from my hometown had achieved his dream. 


Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with my old neighbor and many others from the neighborhood.  I saw that last summer Brynn’s newest classic rock band, The Oddfathers, played at the Twins Stadium. And just recently, he collaborated directly with a southern musician, Clay Howard on a solo album is quite a hit on Amazon.  There is a North St. Paul friends group  on FB where neighbors and residents, past and present discuss history and current happenings. One thread connected just about every boy I remember from my 6th grade class discussing their participation in these noisy, summer escapades. They all dreamed about making music for a living, but only a handful of people can say they achieved it. Hats off to you Brynn for achieving your childhood dreams!


I sell real estate. It wasn’t my dream when I was in 6th grade learning math and social studies from Mr. Grossman, but I do like what I do today. It is interesting to me how much growing up in a neighborhood like North St Paul goes into my advising my home buyers. I do try to get people to think about the home and neighborhood, not just what it will be worth in a few years.  Value is important but if you put down roots and become part of the community, your return will be more than just in dollars.  


Ready to make memories in North St. Paul (or another Mpls/St Paul suburb? Email, Call or Text me...I can help!   If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

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