You hear it all the time — get to know your neighbors. Leave your social networks behind and take a walk.
So, my special education students and I took this advice and went Christmas caroling to our 10th Street downtown neighbors. Starting at the Tracy Community Center, we packed up our bells and hats, I strapped on my guitar, and off we walked.
Our first stop was Fagundes’ Garage. Outside, we saw three men hunkered down under the open hood of an old truck. “Can we sing you a few Christmas Carols?” we asked. “Why?” one of the men replied. “Because, how many times has anyone Christmas caroled to their favorite car mechanics?” We sang one quick round of “Jingle Bells.” Great neighbors!
The students next chose Allure Salon & Spa. The salon chairs were filled with women in various stages of holiday makeovers. And with their voices — and curling irons, scissors and brushes — raised, we all sang. Great neighbors!
Our next stop was The Roasted Bean. Desiree and Alfonzo Lim, the managers, welcomed us and sang along. The next thing we knew, they were filming us for Facebook. (For the cause, we allowed one social network). After we finished singing, we purchased hot chocolate and snacks as we watched the Facebook replay. Great neighbors!
We walked past Main Street Music when out popped Ken Cefalo, the owner, to draw us back inside to sing as he took pictures. Great neighbor!
We stopped near the WIC store where three children and a parent stood. We sang “Jingle Bells,” and they clapped and thanked us. Great neighbors!
My students and I agreed that we would have a few stories to tell about all our great downtown Tracy neighbors.