By Kim Jansen
News Report Staff
It started with a wave from across the street and a quick, “Hello, how are you?,” when Elaine Woodall first met her neighbor, Bob Roley.
With their homes caddy corner from each other on Merchant Street in Effingham, Elaine and Bob Roley quickly became acquainted after Elaine and her 8-year-old grandson, Keegan, moved into a duplex across the street from Bob, and his wife, Linda Roley.
Since becoming neighbors four years ago, Elaine and her grandson have been able to depend on the Roleys, who always go above and beyond to help their neighbors, which is why Elaine nominated the Roleys for the Good Neighbor Award.
The Effingham & Teutopolis News Report accepted nominations for the contest and received several entries in the contest, which coincides with National Good Neighbor Day, celebrated today (Sept. 28).
Elaine’s nomination letter highlighted a very special relationship, especially between Bob and her grandson.
“My grandson often visits with Bob to get a little male guidance, and Bob often is on call to work on his bike or answer his questions that I can’t answer,” wrote Elaine in her nomination letter.
If Keegan’s bike needs repaired or if he needs help fixing something, Bob is always there to not only help, but to teach the boy life lessons along the way.
“If he needs to fix something, Bob will help him do that, but he also shows Keegan what to do,” said Elaine. “He shows him things that I don’t know how to do, and I think those things are important.”
The Roleys also provide a safe place for the Woodalls, who use the Roley house as a safe house and meeting place in case of an emergency.
“Keegan knows he can go there and be safe with Bob and Linda,” said Elaine.
One of Keegan’s favorite parts of living by the Roleys is the couple’s two dogs.
Since Keegan is not able to have a pet, he is able to play with the Roleys’ dogs, who are often outside with Bob.
“I really appreciate Bob and Linda,” said Elaine. “It is good to get to know your neighbors. It is good for the community.”
Elaine added that Bob went out of his way to get to know them and appreciates him taking the time to get to know them.
“People move in and out and no one makes an effort to get to know you. But Bob does,” said Elaine.
When Bob and Linda learned they were selected for the Good Neighbor Award, both admit they were surprised to have been nominated.
“I never expected that at all,” said Bob of the nomination. “They are good people. We have always gotten along, and we hit it off from day one.”
Bob, who spends many hours sitting on a bench along the side of his home, tries to talk to all of his neighbors and keeps an eye on what is going on in the community.
“I just look out for my neighbors,” said Bob, who moved into the neighborhood 35 years ago. “I like to talk to people and to hear their stories. I just love talking to people, and I am outspoken.”
Linda added it is great to have friendly neighbors who you can count on.
“You can help them, and they can help you,” she said.
Roley’s receive Good Neighbor Award
By Kim Jansen