“Oh, wow! Oh, my goodness, thank you, thank you…whoever!” It was a recent, 4-inch snowfall, and I had psyched myself up to go outside to deal with the snow in the driveway. Instead, the entire driveway and sidewalk had been cleared by a neighbor. I had an idea who, but on the other hand, it could also have been…and I thought of at least two other likely suspects. What a wonderful feeling!
The start of 2022 has been quite different from the start of 2021. A year ago, there was a tremendous amount of optimism that the days of the pandemic were numbered, given the coming availability of vaccinations. But we’ve had to deal with low vaccination rates, new corona virus variants, break-through infections despite inoculations, and continued at-home restrictions.
We start 2022 realizing that many things are beyond our control, and we must deal with reality. We still plan for more open events, but with explicitly stated contingencies and back-up plans.
COVID is likely going to be with us for a while to come. In the coming year, NOMCO will look to emphasize community-mindedness on two levels: exercising individual, neighborly acts of kindness, and engaging together in endeavors to make a positive impact on the Maywood community within the boundaries which COVID has necessitated.
Do you have the phone numbers of your neighbors so that you can call on them? I’m not just talking about calling on those who are elderly, but also those who are young, those who have young families, those who are empty nesters, those who have been in the neighborhood for a while, and those have just moved to Maywood.
Please be the one to take that extra step to make a phone call today to one person on your block just to say hello, and ask how their new year is shaping up. If you don’t have a phone number, make an excuse to ring a doorbell – perhaps bring a plate of cookies, a meal, a small toy, a snack for their pet, loan a favorite book or DVD, or help shovel the sidewalk. And give your phone number as part of your kindness in reaching out so they can call if they need a friendly ear to listen, or need help or advice.
How have you shown kindness to your neighbors recently? Have you been a recipient of a neighbor’s kindness? Please take a moment to send a note over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and send a photo if it helps tell a story of connecting with a neighbor or making the neighborhood around you a little bit better. These are the kinds of feel-good stories we all need, especially during the winter days, and we’d love to share them to encourage one another.
Happy start to 2022!
July 10, 2020
Life pretty much guarantees that there will be tough times to interrupt the beautiful times and routine nature of our existence. I had one pastor who would frequently say, “If you haven’t had tough times yet, just keep on living!” Indeed troubles, challenges and tough times are sure to arise. I think we can agree that we are experiencing those times right now. How we deal with them is important. Real important. Support and encouragement from others will be paramount.
In February of 2019 NOMCO started a new initiative, the NOMCO Well Wish Program. Little did we know then that the world would be stricken with a major pandemic that severely changes everything and challenges how we can even interact. We just knew that it is “nice to be nice” and neighborly. That is a sustainable human behavior that is always welcome and should never be overlooked.
From the day we agreed to start the Well Wish Program, our very own “Well Wish Queen” Readith Ester stepped up to volunteer. She has really taken it to heart, serving quietly and humbly. The humble approach is fine, but I am going to take the opportunity to embarrass her a bit right now by profoundly expressing the gratitude of NOMCO for the fine job she is doing. She is carrying the main load for this program. She has served in many leadership capacities in the community for years as well as doing great work with Misericordia. Now in this NOMCO program she really stands out by personifying the loving care that it entails. I think she really enjoys her role being one of spiritual uplift, positivity and low stress! When you get a chance, please thank and encourage her for all that she does.
It is important to understand that the outreach and engagement of the Well Wish Program is born of a sincerely neighborly approach with no element of solicitation of any kind. Simply warm expressions like:
How are you?
Hope things are fine.
Know that we care.
Get well soon!
Sorry for your loss or misfortune.
Congrats on your success!
and Welcome to the Neighborhood!, etc.
These simple expressions are priceless and in my view are the very essence of NOMCO. Thus far we have issued numerous birthday, sympathy and get well cards along with flowers and resolutions at funerals and the therapeutic support that phone calls, conversations and visits bring to people of our community.
Experiencing a crisis must serve to elevate an emphasis on the human spirit and human needs. Our paradigm needs to be one of genuine love, concern, fairness and care for other people, in fact, for all people. At NOMCO, our first name is “Neighbors”. Having neighborly relationships is a downright blessing. It completes you. Don’t you find yourself experiencing an innate impulse to hug a few people that you really miss? It’s enough to make your arms twitch even now! We have had to suppress or adjust many of our activities and our desire to be in close presence with one another. However, all of us can continue to participate in extending Well Wishes as we have with the calls, cards, letters, emails and limited visits.
So, let’s continue to remember each other and keep up the neighborly work, even as we monitor and explore options and opportunities for other means of safe activities and engagements. Thank you and be safe!
January 24, 2020
Vibrant neighborhoods have a healthy blend of residential, civic, recreational, educational, worship and business settings. If any of these are missing, there is sure to be a strain on the community. In 2020, it is my hope to have a healthy blend of these key components of a neighborhood reflected in a neighborly approach to NOMCO's programs, services and engagements. I look to have a few programs in various houses, public and business venues this year. So where should we start here in January? How about a business venue? How about an oldie-but-goodie? How about National Cycle?!
As you might expect any business that has been around since 1937 has a ton of interesting stories, information and insights acquired from a variety of challenges, trials, setbacks, scenarios, triumphs, and successes over the years. Well, National Cycle has all the above and has agreed to host NOMCO to share a bit with us.
If you don't know, National Cycle is the leading manuafacturer of motorcycle windshields in the world. It was founded in 1937 in Maywood by Gordon Willey, with a focus on customer satisfaction. Many solid years were enjoyed making windshields and a host of other cycle accessories at its original location on the northeast corner of 10th & Walnut, adjacent to the park now named Conner-Heise Park.
By the early 60's there were some challenges to its building and location and new opportunities to relocate. So, in 1961 National Cycle just picked up and moved! Now wait, I'll bet you think I mean the business went away, abandoned the building and left town. Nope, nope, and nope! I mean the building itself was literally sliced in half, loaded on huge flatbeds and slowly hauled down the streets of Maywood to be set up again at a new location at 136 S. 8th Avenue (next to the T.H. Ryan location). How about that for a unique business solution and for dedication to a town!
The business continued to thrive and outgrew that building altogether by 1981 when it moved into its larger current facility at 2200 S. Maywood Drive. At 83 years in town today, National Cycle is one of the very largest employers in Maywood with 160 employees helping to keep it on the manufacturing map globally.
National Cycle is a truly unique business and at the very top of its industry. Proudly, it is still right here in Maywood and still going strong. NOMCO is invited for an exclusive visit with light snacks, a presentation and tour of the facility with more insight and amazing stories from Barry Willey, the second-generation President/CEO since 1974.
I ask that you join us as NOMCO spends some quality time with our business neighbor, National Cycle, on Thursday, January 30, 2020, at 6:30pm. Thank you.
June 6, 2019
The theme of my message to you is..."It's In Our Nature!" Let me explain. Do you ever pause and let your senses take in the nature around you? Do yourself a favor and plan more moments in your life to enjoy the sights, sounds, even the feel and smells of nature. Those moments will be relaxing and even therapeutic for your mind, body, and soul.
Our NOMCO feature program for June will be hosted on Saturday, June 8th, 11:00am at the Forest Preserves Trailside Museum of Natural History at 738 Thatcher Avenue (Chicago Ave / Thatcher Ave) and the adjacent woods and large pond in River Forest. We are going to check out some of the beauty of nature that is right in our community and perhaps rather undiscovered and under-appreciated.
We will begin by witnessing the feeding of the museum animals, which includes a fox, coyote, owl, hawk, turkey vulture, snake and more at 11:00 sharp, so it's best to arrive around 10:45am. We will then take a moment for our business reports, and then resume an exploration of the Forest Preserves facilities, programs and grounds. Staff (professional naturalists) will give insightful narrations and explanations to enhance our experience. You are encouraged to wear outdoor clothing, bring your binoculars and certainly bring a good camera.
Take a look at the small sample of photos below. They are fascinating examples of nature captured in the spring, summer, winter and fall, but they have a few things in common. They were all taken by me. There were all taken in Thatcher Woods. They all capture plants and animals in their wild habitat. And they were all taken less than 3,000 feet from my home on 5th Avenue in Maywood! Less than a 5-minute drive to experience this amazing part of OUR community.
If it hasn't been in your nature to check out this nature, just give it a bit more attention. You can start by joining us Saturday. It's very likely to grow on you, like the magnificent Sugar Maples that grow vibrantly throughout Thatcher Woods. It's your nature, it's my nature, and it's our nature! Such wonderful features of nature are right here in OUR neighborhood. That's what I mean in saying...It's in OUR nature! So let's enjoy it more and more. NOMCO will be doing so Saturday. Join us.
Medical emergencies are tough enough even when you are prepared somewhat, but are usually much worse when you have not thought about being ready.
Honestly, many of us in NOMCO are more than 50 years old. (Oops, did I ruin your secret?) So we all really need to just think about preparing ourselves to deal with the unfortunate incidents, accidents, or emergencies of life.
And we are going to do just that, ...together, on Tuesday, May 14th at 7:00pm. Our partner in this very important knowledge exchange is our very own Maywood Fire Department under the leadership of Chief Craig Bronaugh.
We will be hosted at the renovated Fire Station #1 at St. Charles Road / 7th Avenue and will briefly tour the facility as a part of the program. By the end of the evening we will all be a bit more famiiar with:
Remember, it is much better to know this information and not need it, than to need this information and not know it!
You may park in the gated fire station parking lot and stalls to the south of the building and check out the beautiful exterior appearance and landscaping as you walk to enter the doors at the south entrance.
Please join us; NOMCO and the MFD are waiting. Thanks.
December 7, 2018
During this season the spirit of giving is generally running higher than usual. Thanksgiving has just passed and as I begin to write this message, it is "Giving Tuesday", and the snow-covered surroundings reinforce that Christmas is on the way. People everywhere are just more concious about thinking of others in their family and in their community in a benevolent way.
NOMCO is at its best when it focuses on improving the community by simply having neighborly attitudes and being direct contributors through neighborly actions and activities. Opportunities to improve the community are abundant.
There is plenty that stands in need of some improvement without dwelling in a complaint mode. "Complaintfests" are counterproductive. Energy channeled into complaining and blaming may be a bit therapeutic to some but don't achieve very much. Energy channeled into actually making improvements and serving the community are much more prudent.
NOMCO exists as a catalyst for building relationships and continually engaging in those neighborly actions and activities. It is with that in mind that I introduced a "20/20 Vision" for NOMCO Membership where the true spirit of membership is not defined by simply paying the $20 annual dues, but coupling the $20 dues with 20 hours (or more) of NOMCO engagement/community service that represent what we really stand for.
I was extremely pleased that the concept was warmly embraced and immediately adopted! And so now we should all be getting after it, making a difference, being true members and community participants and feeling good about it.
It is important to distinguish that the nature of NOMCO membership and engagement activities are benevolent; not for personal gain, political positioning or polarization of the community. The things we do must clearly be for the greater good of the community and the harmonious, ongoing improvement of Maywood.
Aside from attending the NOMCO programs, here are just a few examples of other member community activities in the NOMCO spirit:
I will continue to report on hundreds of hours of our active participation on our websites and at NOMCO gatherings throughout the year. The things that we do in NOMCO collectively will certainly be impactful. Meet the 20/20 Vision and proudly be part of something special.
November 7, 2018
"Space, the final frontier...to boldly go where no man has gone before." Those are the familiar words which begin each episode of the popular Star Trek space voyage television shows and movies. Over the years, Star Trek has entertained millions of fans with fictitious accounts of space voyages.
There have been a number of movies based on true space exploration accounts, including The Right Stuff (1983), Apollo 13 (1995), and Hidden Figures (2016). Now there is another interesting movie out in the theaters entitled The First Man which tells the story of the famed astronaut, Neil Armstrong's, journey in being the first human to actually land on and take steps on the moon, over 238,850 miles away. Think about that for a moment, to be the first man to walk on the moon! It was an incredible accomplishment that no one who witnessed the live telecast in 1969 will ever forget. If you really want an informative entertainment treat for youerself, just watch the DVD of all of these great movies, preferably in order.
The Last Man on the Moon is a book written by astronaut Eugene Cernan and Don Davis in 1999 which later became a feature length documentary telling the story of his space voyage career. This includes being the last man to take steps on the surface of the moon in 1972.
Cernan was born in Chicago but grew up in Bellwood and Maywood. He attended McKinley Elementary School and graduated from Proviso East High School in 1952. He received an Electrical Engineering degree from Purdue University and then served as a naval aviator and fighter pilot.
He went on to get an Aeronautical Engineering degree in 1963, and was selected by NASA to pilot space missions. During his stellar career he flew in numerous missions including Gemini 9A, Gemini 12, Apollo 7, Apollo 10, Apollo 14, and capped it off with being the commander of Apollo 17, where he actually drove a lunar vehicle on the moon's surface and concluded the Apollo space program with those final footsteps on the moon.
Now let's think about that for a moment: the last man to walk on the moon also walked the halls of Proviso East High School right here in Maywood as a student! An incredible accomplishment that everyone in Maywood should be both aware of and proud of.
We will view the exhibits which include his actual Apollo 10 spacesuit and other fascinating displays and information. We will also view a dazzling 3D space documentary short film shown on the planetarium's dome ceiling entitled, From Earth to the Universe, as well as witness a telescopic view of the current night sky, stars and planets.
Free for NOMCO members. (Guest cost is only $4 each)
RSVP at email@example.com so we have a good attendance estimate.
Doors open 6:00pm to view exhibits.
Everyone must be seated for the film by 6:50pm.
October 8, 2018
"Potluck". Something I have never really thought about much before. However, it's an interesting concept and has been a tradition utilized by NOMCO on numerous occasions across its rich history. We did it again at the recent reunion and celebration of 50 years of this fine community organization which took place September 21st at the historic Masonic Building in Maywood.
The most important thing, of course, was wonderfully bringing together participants spanning 50 long years, old and new, to remember the past, and kick off a promising future for NOMCO. Nonetheless, you have to have food and plenty of it to keep folks smiling and sticking around for a party on a Friday evening, no matter how glad they are to see each other!
I recognized the buffet tables had nothing on them but a tablecloth as of 5:55pm. This made me a bit uneasy since the event start time was 6:00pm. But by 6:20pm a full variety of dishes flooded those tables. At that time I witnessed the line of happy attendees loading their plates with items of their own choice.
If someone came to the event without contributing food, no big deal (unless it were to become a habit), there was enough to bridge any such gap. In fact, there was an abundance, as it tends to be whenever we effectively come together, literally bringing a contribution of positivity to the table.
Why is potluck significant here? The concept. There are simple yet powerful lessons that can be extracted from all of this and from several other features of the event. We did not know exactly what we were going to get through Pot-Luck, but we went in of the faith that people would come through with their contribution. That allowed the planning to focus on providing the venue, the historical information, and the entertainment in a way that worked well.
There was no need for anyone to say (or even think), "my dish is better than yours", but instead have an understanding that it's not about competition or criticism, it's about collaboration. When everyone brings something to the table to be shared with others for the benefit of all, good things are sure to happen. And individuals may choose for themselves which menu items appeal to them most, or meets their selective needs.
So for NOMCO I submit that Potluck...is not luck, it's the result of simple contribution and cooperation at work. And it works!
My expectations are for NOMCO to consciously undertake these characteristics throughout the year. Let's keep it productive, simple, non-competitive, civil, positive, effective, wholesome, friendly, interesting, diverse, informative, and neighborly. Did I say neighborly? Yes, indeed, neighborly!
I appeal to all NOMCO members and supporters to remember our first name, "Neighbors", and let being neighborly be at the forefront of our every engagement. We cannot forget that. As the new president standing on the shoulders of all before me, it is my duty to lead with that in mind and keep everyone in that spirit. Wish me LUCK. Thank you in advance for your contribution and cooperation!
We welcome your support. Membership dues cover our normal operating expenses, and additional contributions allow us to host projects and events which showcase our village and bring our community together.
Please contact us to learn about membership, volunteer opportunities, and how to support our community initiatives.
P.O. Box #623