I had a great bike ride through town last week.
The lilacs along 20th Street were positively great, both in appearance and smell.
I noticed lilacs all over town were blooming, mine seem to be a few days behind the others.
Rochelle has neat neighborhoods. Some sections have older homes, some homes built to house veterans after World War II, some built within the past 15 years if not more recently.
There are a lot of house styles too, from 1890 Victorians to bungalows to Sears and Roebuck houses, popular in the 1920s and in several locations around town.
I am always impressed by homes with neatly-kept lawns and well-maintained landscaping. There are a lot of them throughout the town.
Yet it seems for every nine houses that are neat as a pin, there is one with long grass, garbage in the yard, weeds where flowers should be. I can imagine the chagrin that causes neighbors who have nicely kept properties.
The thing is, it doesn’t take a lot of money to pick up the yard, keep it mowed, and pull weeds from the gardens. That effort may help everyone’s property values and create better neighbors.
If I lived next to an abandoned house, I might be tempted to at least mow the front yard so the grass does not get knee high. I passed a couple of those too.
As I pedaled down Lincoln under the overpass, I noticed the massive concrete base had been painted white, I assume because of past graffiti.
What a great canvas that would make! Maybe the city could hold a contest where people submit an idea for a mural and then one is chosen for the wall. Topics could include our ties to the railroad, our Mexican heritage, the prairie….all sorts of ideas pop into my mind.
I think a mural done by a local person would have a lesser chance of being vandalized, although anything is possible.
I am on the Rochelle Area Community Foundation board and over the past couple of weeks foundation members have been distributing checks for projects in the area.
It is a great feeling to present a check for a couple of hundred dollars, or even a thousand to a group that is working hard to improve the community.
The foundation couldn’t do that without the amazing support from Rochelle residents. Thank you.
Terry Dickow can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org