New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community
Board member Beverly Keller, an 89-year-old former loan agent at Concord Financial, has lived in the cooperative since 1969 and served on the 12-member board since 1970 as, variously, president, vice president and secretary. Her sister and aunt had lived in Section 2 of the complex since 1948. She now laments that a sense of community has been lost over the years — something over which no management company has control.
Bell du Jour
"It's just not the same. Everyone used to know everyone else in the building. Not any more. You used to visit with your neighbors. Now no one is around; the women are working. It's the same all over. People don't ring each other's bells anymore. My niece says that I don't ring bells, either," she adds. "It's true."
She recalls an incident that she says reflects a sense of looking out for your neighbors that used to be prevalent. Keller was working late one night in the management office when she slipped and fell down six steps, breaking her leg. Three porters passed the office, which to them seemed empty, and one of them became concerned.
"Beverly wouldn't go home and leave the lights burning," he said. "Let's go in and check." It was a good thing that they did, too, says Keller, who notes, "I lay there for five hours; nobody could hear me; and then I heard the key in the lock, and thought I saw God. I yelled out, 'It's me, Beverly, come and get me!' I thought I would be there until 7:30 in the morning. Everyone used to look out for everyone else," she says. "It really was a community."
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Photo by Carol Ott.
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