The Disappearing Tight-Woven Community by Todd Rutherford

Douglas M. Hoy’s Paradise: What Could Go Wrong? portrays a tightly woven community on The Gulf of Mexico. Although we might have grown up in a town such as this, these communities are rapidly disappearing in favor of alienation, isolation, and a world of people who do not know their neighbors. In Paradise, Hoy highlights the importance of community and neighborhood in his life, a refreshing look at something typically relegated to nostalgia and a time gone by.

Hoy writes about the kind of neighborhood that has a “satisfying comfort dealing with these close friends in our neighborhood” in which “Most all are your friends; people with whom you have shared many meals and secrets.” It is evident from Hoy’s writing that he has a genuine affection for the people and memories of which he writes, stories that spring from a town of genuine people, filled with friends and neighbors who are “but simple people.”

He writes that the type of close-knit community in which he lives is “a type of relationship within a neighborhood which may become rarer with the passing of each generation,” and for most, it has already disappeared. Hoy’s relationship with his neighbors highlights the necessity of maintaining these kinds of communities where they still exist and re-establishing and fostering the growth of relationships in our own communities, where there may be little trace of humanity and affection.

In Hoy’s stories, it is on his friends and neighbors that he is able to lean and depend upon for friendship, emphasizing the vital importance of community relationships and inspiring a desire in readers to create the same for themselves. Hoy and his friends have shared many good memories, shared simple moments, and shared moments of extraordinary circumstances, which in relating, has involved the warmth and spirit of his community.

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