by Elliot Gold
Upside-Down T Neighborhood Assn.
The Upside-Down-T Neighborhood Association named Kendall Brown, 19, "Best Neighbor on the Block for 2011." The award has been given out annually by the “T” for the past decade. This is the first time in the Association’s history to give the award to a neighbor who was a teen.
Kendall Brown with his "Best Neighbor on the Block" award. Photo by Elliot Gold.
Kendall, who grew up on West Palm Street, was recognized for continuous contributions to the Palm St.-La Corona neighborhood, especially those made during this year. The most significant was his coming to the rescue of a grown young man who had fled a group home this spring, and then got lost on La Corona, which is a cul-de-sac.
While others in the neighborhood came out in an attempt to restrain the young man, upon seeing him, Kendall simply walked up to him and asked one question: “Do you like to play basketball?” The youth stopped running, turned around and replied “yes.”
“Well then, why don’t you join me in a game of basketball?”
Kendall then proceeded to take the youth to the bottom of the T (where La Corona meets Palm Street), where the Neighborhood Association has a basketball hoop on the curb. He handed the youth a basketball, giving him a chance to take some shots into the hoop. When the youth missed, instead of taking the next shot himself, Kendall said, “Let’s move closer to the hoop,” a move which not only got the young man to make better shots, but distracted him while other neighbors located the workers at the care facility who came over and were amazed to find the young man calmed down, not agitated nor needing to be restrained.
Kendall has not only focused on lost youth who find their way into the neighborhood, but lost animals as well, recently rescuing two lost puppies, keeping them in his backyard until he was able to locate the owners.
Kendall attends Learning Works, where is he working toward his diploma.
At the annual pool party of the Upside-Down-T Neighborhood Association, held this past weekend, Kendall received a well deserved long round of applause when presented with the “Best Neighbor on the Block” award.