Thanks for making our show a success!

Wow, over 300 of you filled the Bagdad Theater. There was a line out the door for crying out loud!

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Not only that, you helped us raise over $2000 for public art projects created by community members. More details about how to be a part of that soon.

We couldn’t have done it without our sponsors who you can check out here.

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While you’re here, you should check out the other wonderful work the show’s presenter, Southest Uplift, does for the Inner Southeast Portland community!

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Thanks again for your love and support. We can’t wait to see you next year!

Knock Knock; It’s next year’s show theme!

We want your input on what next year’s story theme should be! This year we went broad with “True stories of bizarre and humorous neighborly interactions” and for the next show we want to hone in on a specific theme. If you have an idea for a great tagline, share it with us! If you know what sort of story you’d like to hear tell us that and we’ll come up with the tagline!

This year we had stories of neighborly love, requited and otherwise. We also heard about some unconventional neighbors (remember those horses?), neighbors saving the day, neighbors stirring up trouble, and neighbors trying to create a sense of community.

What stood out to you that you want to hear more of? What sort of story did you think was missing from the show? For instance, one of our producers really wanted a haunted house story but we couldn’t find one. Others said they wanted to hear two neighbors telling a story together, similar to what Jeanne and Jason at Heliorana did in their video for the show.

Let us know what you’d like to hear next year in the comments!

Story time! Gordon Marsh: The Girl Next Door

I lived in Japan when I was in grade school, in the late 1950s. My father was in the Army, and he was stationed in Japan as a language student. I loved the time we spent there, and the people, and so I studied Japanese language when I got to college. Later, when I was in the Army, I was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. I lived in a studio apartment next to the beach in Haleiwa.

One day a Japanese woman moved into the apartment next door.  She was visiting Hawaii with a group of friends, mostly young surfers, and she was there to surf and also to learn English. I looked for a chance to practice Japanese. I said hello and introduced myself, when we were both doing laundry in the laundry room of the building. I tried my Japanese, but she just laughed, because my way of speaking was straight out of a textbook, and far from fluent. She invited me to join her group for dinner, despite my lack of fluency. They all pooled their resources and cooked dinner together every night.

At dinner, I mentioned that I had lived in Japan as a boy. She showed polite interest, and asked where I had lived. I said, “Tokyo.” Tokyo is a huge city, of course, but I thought that would be enough.

“Where in Tokyo?” she asked.

“In Meguro.” I named one of the large wards that make up the city, where we had lived.

“Oh, where in Meguro?” I figured she knew the area somewhat, so I answered, “West of Meguro station, along Meguro Avenue.” Meguro station is one of the stations on the Yamanote train line that circles the city.  Meguro Avenue runs west from the station for miles.

“Oh? Where along Meguro Avenue?” Now I realized she was very familiar with the area, so I named a major landmark. “We lived just past the Otori Shrine, just a little ways past Yamate Avenue.” That was about as much information as anybody could want, I figured.

“Really? How far past Otori Shrine?” I smiled and decided to give details that she would likely not recognize.

“About two hundred meters past Otori Shrine there is a small street, between a bicycle shop and a shop that sells birds. You go down that street about 50 meters to a T-intersection, turn left, and then go to the last house before the street ends in a set of stairs that go down. The bottom of the stairs was where the kami-shibai storyteller always came to park his bike and tell stories to the kids in the neighborhood. We lived in that house at the end of that street.”

I grinned, having satisfied her curiosity, and I was pretty sure she’d have more information than she could use by now.

“Oh, I know those shops, the stairs, and that house! I grew up in that neighborhood!”

And that is how I met Yuki, my wife and the mother of all my children. She was the girl next door.

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