Meet Your Neighbor: Jacob Parker
Continuing our series of interviews with Southern Gables neighbors, to help us get to know and appreciate each other. I first met Jake a few months ago and was immediately impressed with his friendly manner and willingness to help others. Interviewed by Bruce McDonald.
Bruce: Jake, I guess you know the first question I always ask in these interviews, and it’s about our Southern Gables neighborhood. How long have you lived here, and how did you come to choose Southern Gables as home?
Jake: About five years. My father used to live across the street from where we are now, and whenever I visited him I enjoyed our time in the neighborhood. I got to know the area and neighbors really well, since everyone was so friendly. I even met my future wife that way, getting to know her family — so I guess you could say friendly is a good word for it. When I decided to buy the house here, even though my father moved some time ago, it was already familiar, like I had lived here for years.
Well, I guess so! Aside from the family connection, what are a few things that you like the most about the Southern Gables community?
The friendly people, of course. There is always a good level of social interaction such as having parties with the neighbors — like Fourth of July, Christmas, New Year’s Eve. One neighbor will have a theme party like, say, “Christmas ornaments” or another will put on a get-together for St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween or something, and everyone joins in. We even took a trip to Mexico with a neighbor family once. Playa del Carmen, beautiful. Aside from the close relationship with neighbors, the neighborhood is pretty secluded and quiet. I like it that way. In our family we have three kids out of four who went to Green Gables Elementary, and we loved that neighborhood school. It’s a real gem.
How about telling us about a favorite memory with your Southern Gables neighbors?
Sure, the last Fourth of July party was a big success, very memorable. It was a great gathering of neighbors and their friends and families. Fireworks? No, are you kidding? Not in Lakewood, and we sure don’t want to have them here in the neighborhood. We’ve seen those signs about no-fireworks and it’s a good reminder.
What is the most neighborly experience you’ve had or seen in our neighborhood?
I’d have to say I’m on the receiving end of a continuing big-time “neighborly” experience with my next-door neighbor, who has every tool known to man. He is a master of all trades and has been so helpful on several occasions when I had a problem to solve. I like to remember that “what goes around comes around” so I try to pass it along in the same spirit. A neighbor lady had a problem with flashing on her roof and I was happy to go over and do the repair.
What are your hobbies? Your work?
I’m a Broncos fan, in good times or bad. I love music and movies… Music? Do you play? Yes, I play a little guitar. It’s something that I associate with family, and it makes me feel good. My mom plays in a bluegrass band — local gigs and events. What’s the name of the band? It’s called “Troublesome Gulch.” We all think they’re pretty great. It’s not just that band though, it’s a whole-family thing. My mother and stepfather have so many instruments. When we visit she’ll ask the kids to bring their instruments from school to play along. The flute, cello and violins have made appearances. My stepfather plays the mandolin mostly but they have guitars, banjos, hand drums, percussion instruments and all kinds of things that make sound. Everyone is encouraged to participate no matter their skill level. It’s just for fun.
As far as work is concerned, my business is Bear Valley Roofing and Repair. Not just roofing, all kinds of exterior work: siding, gutters, anything on the outside. I started in on this line of work with a family connection, like with music. I have about 15 years of experience with roofing and I’ve handled all kinds of unique situations. Starting my own business, to put that experience to better use, was a big step but it will let me do a lot better job for my clients.
A big step, yes. Can you say what motivated you to take that step?
I recall reading a quote from JFK: “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
That’s a pretty big thought to end on! Anything else you want us to know about you?
Just that I’m glad to be here, glad to know so many good people in the neighborhood, and that I love to help people whenever I can.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate a candidate for the “Meet Your Neighbor” series.