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One July Award Home Winner Knows the Secret about Shared Garages

July 10, 2013

Valerie Herendeen has lived in her cute Southwood Park home since 1976.  Neighbors nominated her home as an “Award Home” and now her yard sports a sign for July.


I was lucky enough to interview her and her very friendly cat “Ben” on the cozy front porch that overlooks the 800 block of Pasadena Drive.  She has always enjoyed the varied house styles and mature trees of our neighborhood.  She said that she and her friends still enjoy walking and driving Southwood Park to see the latest changes to home decorations or additions to people’s yards.  “It’s still fun after 35 years”, said our happy neighbor.

Valerie says that she plants different combinations of annuals in front of her home each year, but this year she kept things simple with red geraniums.  Red must “pop”, because she mentioned that she had several positive comments about the plants.  Her well-groomed yard has different textures in the plantings.  There is a birdbath near the front steps and a birdhouse on the light pole in front.

Her house has a feature that may perplex some folks from other neighborhoods:  a shared garage.  There are several of these in Southwood Park.

Hers has a concrete dividing wall down the middle and it is approached by a double-width driveway.  I asked her if there is a secret to getting along with neighbors when you share a garage.  She said “there’s no secret – – – I’ve just always had great neighbors.  It’s never been a problem.  Since the garage matches the bigger house on the corner, I’ve always let them pick the paint color and I pay my half.  I’ve almost never been blocked in the drive by any of their guests, and when I have been, they have been a little embarrassed because they didn’t realize it was a shared garage!”

We’re not embarrassed to say that we are all lucky to share the neighborhood with people like Valerie.

—Steve McCord

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