Neighbor Names

Do you know the names of your neighbors? Most of us will admit that we know very few of the names of the people who live in the houses nearest us. The same is true for those who live in apartment buildings or condo complexes.

With embarrassment, I will admit that in our neighborhood of thirty-five homes, I can recall the first names and know the faces of the adults who live in just nine of those homes. We don’t know their names and have never been in their homes nor have they been in ours. I cannot name any of their children. We have lived in this neighborhood since 1993; shame on me.

It wasn’t always this way. Our neighborhood used to have social gatherings twice a year at the fire hall. There used to be small parties at the homes of some of our neighbors. Those all stopped happening many years ago; what happened? Why did neighborhoods lose their glue? I will skip listing the reasons as many who are reading this can generate their own list.

This is just another of those things about modern life that I do not understand, do not like and have no expectation of improvement in the future. People often claim to feel isolated and lonely; could this be one of the reasons?

About authorbillramsey

During his forty-year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote magazine articles and business newsletters. Now retired in the mountains of western North Carolina, he writes a blog and has published four books. Bill's 2015 collection of concise, real-life essays is titled "What Do YOU Think?" He has also written "Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery)" and "Now That I Think About It. Bill's books and are available from and on all e-readers. See Follow Bill on Facebook at
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8 Responses to Neighbor Names


    Times are a’changin. And the current Coronavirus scare will also dampen this – permanently or for the duration only?
    However, what you say is true. I have lived in several different cities around the country, and the ONLY place I lived where neighbors actually bonded was in Houston, Texas in the early 80’s. Everywhere else neighbors did not seem to want to become involved with one another. Even Houston, Texas has now changed as I found out when I returned to Houston a few years ago.


  2. kenalderson says:

    We have three neighbors from corner to corner on our side of the street and six across the street. [one of those is my son]. I know all of their names, basically due to my wife: she is the naboring or noisy type. We have been here for almost 30 years.


    • If the neighbors have been there a long time, as you have, the connections could be easier; but even that does not guarantee happy connections. Smaller neighborhoods in smaller town could help too. Again, no guarnatee.


  3. A lot has to do with the Internet. Also, schools used to be a focal point for families; not so much anymore. Lastly, everyone has been so busy pursuing the American Dream and material wealth that there’s very little time left to explore friendships with neighbors. We’ve become isolated. I agree with you: it’s very sad. We reach out whenever we can, but fewer and fewer folks seem to do that. Maybe in the next life . . . Hope there’s no Internet there, just fishing clubs and social get-togethers. 🙂


    • I didn’t comment on the Internet but do agree. People seem to be content with having Facebook “friends.” There is also the tendency to want only like-minded people around us. We do indeed have a divided nation.


  4. KiM says:

    I know 5 or so but I have to pat our “neighborhood” on the back. One home has a special needs son. He was missing after taking the trash out for the night. Without being asked I was so pleased to see so many of the neighbors take it upon themselves to grab a flashlight and start helping the search. The local police and rescue joined in, even though he is 19 and only missing for a short time, he was looked for by so many. BTW it all turned out okay.

    Liked by 1 person

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