Back in the day, there was a porch we called, the free porch in the University Ghetto area, where you could leave things and pick things up...I found it to be so wonderful that I wrote a poem about it (see below)...This week I discovered the 21st Century version of the FREE PORCH online. It is called, FREECYCLE...Apparently, I am one of last on the planet to discover this, but if you haven't checked it out, there is an Albuquerque 'branch' of the organization...FREEcycleABQ. Check it out.

And, here's a copy of that poem...

OUR BLOCK OF THE WORLD [for Gene and Evelyn]
there are days like this
when even grey skies are hot

these are the hot ones
say the gas men
the litterpickers
the meter readers

hot ones
they come like this in summer

there is a porch
on our block of the world
the block where we live
and on this porch
neighbors drop whatever they are done with
whatever they choose to leave behind
to pass on
whatever they choose

and when they leave something
on this porch
on our block of the world
it will be gone by dawn

it is rich
this block where we live
where we breathe and dance
and leave behind all the things
that were once so vital
so precious

and they are gone by dawn

© 2009
Jeff Hartzer

Views: 80

Comment by Jeff Hartzer on April 28, 2009 at 5:09pm
Someone set the Abbott's PORCH on fire, yes. And eventually, realtors complained about it. They re-built the porch and made it more homogenous. Meanwhile, a big house across the street was covered in graffiti for years and much 'worse' a plague on the hood than Evelyn and Gene's Free Porch [that house was eventually demolished).
Comment by Jeff Hartzer on April 28, 2009 at 5:12pm
The Abbott's house (now with different owners as they passed away), is at corner of Silver and Stanford.
Comment by cathyray on April 28, 2009 at 6:41pm
The porch was a staple in the late 60s & continued to thrive until the city wanted to shut them down, then vandalism started & the spirit of the free porch was gone. Many, many folks hated to see it go.
Comment by Jeff Hartzer on April 28, 2009 at 8:22pm
Gene and Evelyn will always be a fine role model for me with their true and genuine generosity of spirit.

If they had only known that one day FREEcycle was gonna be there or that you could order up a pizza on your computer.
Comment by hettie on April 28, 2009 at 8:44pm
I've heard a lot about freecycle and figured "hey, I really should join." in order to use freecycle though, you have to have a yahoo account. okay. the yahoo registration process includes providing a lot of information that has nothing to do with me using freecycle and everything to do with yahoo gathering information about people. I wasn't allowed to create a profile without providing my gender, birthday and zip code. of course, the system isn't smart to enough to tell when someone is entering bad info. (I might add that I look great for someone born in 1901). I'm a big fan of internet communities and I love the idea of sharing what we don't need or want with others who might need or want it. but I'm really put off by the notion that this activity can only happen through the filter of yahoo. if freecycle is a .org, why didn't they go with ning or some other social network service? maybe it's time again for someone to volunteer their porch....

okay, rant over. I'm excited to check out freecycle (when my membership is approved). I have some stuff that's been gathering dust for ages waiting for a new home and we're looking for a bookcase.
Comment by Stephanie on April 29, 2009 at 9:08am
I've been on freecycle for awhile. Met some nice folks and gave away lots of stuff. I also got to do that herb swap I mentioned in the gardening thread. Got some nice Jerusalem artichokes and hens n chicks.

Many teachers and nonprofits use Freecycle, so it's also a good way to assure your stuff goes to people that need it.
Comment by jes on April 29, 2009 at 9:17am
Freecycle is great. Even if you're not looking for anything, it's fun to read what people are giving away -- and what people are taking.. In the 2-3 years I've been reading it, I've seen only two items go unclaimed: frozen breast milk and a wrapped chicken somebody had stuck in a refrigerator and forgotten about for several days. I too am bugged by the info yahoo requires, and was born in 1999 (afraid 200x might trigger something)
Comment by Anna on April 29, 2009 at 9:34am
You don't HAVE to use Yahoo to join FreecycleABQ, though that's the only way you can access the archives and the other features (photos, etc). You can join via email. Just send an email message to .
Comment by Laura on April 29, 2009 at 11:07am
FreecycleABQ is a great resource for landscape materials, too, especially this time of year. We landscaped much of our tiny front and back yard using plants, rock, bark, and other items that folks were giving away. Thanks Freecycle!
Comment by Another Mike on April 29, 2009 at 1:37pm
...did that house also have a motion detecting frog next to the fence on the south side that would , 'ribbit,' when you walked by? I never got used to that -- freaked me out every.single.time.


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