Meet Your Neighbors: Bruce & Stormy McDonald
Another in our series of interviews with Southern Gables neighbors, but with a twist. I have been posting these, but this week we turn the table. Bruce McDonald, answering interview questions written for this series by Christy Cerrone.
How long have you lived in Southern Gables, and how did you decide to move here? We’ve been here since 2006. Stormy is from Pueblo and went to college at Loretto Heights in Denver. I came to Colorado after high school and we met at a dance at Loretto Heights. Blind date, love at first sight. After we graduated and got married, the Air Force took us to lots of different places. We always knew we would come “back home” to Colorado. We decided on Lakewood after looking at a lot of different neighborhoods all around the Metro area. It’s a great place to be.
What are a few things that you like the most about the Southern Gables community? It’s pretty quiet, and the location is close to the mountains and the city. We also like the feel of an “established” neighborhood. When we were looking for a home, the Realtor showing us around commented, “It took me a while but I figured out what you two are looking for. Trees!” We do love the big shade trees all around Southern Gables – well, except during those late spring snows. People too, of course, not just the trees. Since getting involved with the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association, we have met so many nice people that we are glad to know. There is a good mix of older people and young families. We love the sound of kids playing.
Do you have a favorite memory with your Southern Gables neighbors? We have had such enjoyable times at the monthly luncheons and the annual Neighborhood Night Out at the Green Gables school campus. Both of those activities were suspended during the worst of the pandemic but now that they have started up again we hope they will continue. We hosted one of the block parties the Association sponsored last August, and the Neighborhood Night Out last September was a success.
This year’s Night Out will be on August 26 at the Green Gables Elementary School campus. Since becoming president of the Association last May, I have become even more aware of what a great job Doug Whitten has been doing for the neighborhood for so long. It’s kind of intimidating to follow him in this role. I’m glad Doug agreed to stay on with the Board this year, and we have some new people with fresh ideas for keeping up the momentum of helping neighbors know and appreciate each other.
What is the most neighborly experience you’ve had or seen in our neighborhood? Our first winter here, there was a series of snowstorms that shut down all car movement in our part of the neighborhood for a few days. That first winter, more or less snowbound, we had the neighbors on our block over for a “whatever you have” potluck. We learned by example from the neighbors that keeping the sidewalks clear is important. Many times, those who can shovel the sidewalks take care of it for the ones who can’t.
What are your hobbies or recreational interests? Bruce: I like to write.1 I enjoy being part of the Neighborhood Association since I think it does a lot to bring people together. Stormy: I am involved with the American Association of University Women, and I volunteer for a program at church where we handle requests for financial aid, helping parishioners get out of a tough spot. Bruce: Oh, volunteering. I guess that counts as a hobby. I help out at Joy’s Kitchen, right here in Southern Gables. They can always use volunteers.2 People can come and shop for free, no qualifications and no questions asked. Pretty amazing. It’s good food too, and lots of variety – fresh produce, frozen foods, meat, breads and pastries.
What is your favorite quote or saying? Stormy: “Live simply so that others may simply live.” — Gandhi. Bruce: “Expect the best.” — me.
Is there anything else you want us to know about you? After we retired from regular work we joined the Peace Corps and served in Bulgaria. We taught English in schools and at an orphanage, and worked with youth programs in our town. It was a life-changing experience.
To nominate a candidate for the “Meet Your Neighbor” series, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.