I’m talking specifcally about the block between Weber Street and Wahsatch Avenue.
It’s short — fewer than a dozen homes – and narrow — maybe three cars wide. And it’s century-old houses are crowded together.
The street is shaded by a canopy of beautiful old trees. The homes have porches and sun decks. And it’s adjacent to Shooks Run Trail.
Here’s a look at it during summer from Google Maps.
I immediately assumed there must be some fun people living on Caramillo. So I started making some calls. Turns out, my instincts were correct.
These are people who work hard to get along and enjoy their neighbors.
It’s folks like Tim and Camilla Mitchell, who have lived there 18 years. Their high school-aged daughter has had keys to most of the homes, Tim said, because she’s the neighborhood pet watcher for folks on vacation.
It’s Gina Bamberger and Patrick Carter, both doctors, who have lived there since 1997 and even moved from one home to another when they needed a bigger house. They didn’t want to leave Caramillo or their friends.
The neighbors all identify Patrick as being the sparkplug who ignites much of the fun. And they credit Gina for feeding everyone.
The two couples get credit from others on Caramillo for being the catalyts for such events as the summer movie nights they enjoy. A movie screen is hung from one neighbor’s porch. A DVD projector is brought out and everyone contributes to a potluck dinner.
The movies attract dozens from surrounding streets, as well.
Tim and Patrick also were the force behind the Christmas lighting tradition. Tim saw lights draped across the streets of Hilton Head, S.C., and soon Patrick was exhorting everyone to light Caramillo.
The transformation is amazing. Check it out:
Gina Bamberger said the decorated bicycle on the porch typically rests in the garden as a decoration but her son hoisted it on the roof for Christmas. He wanted to add a special touch to the neighborhood decor and the family had banned any inflatables.
Here’s another view of the decorations looking west.
It’s a tradition that started spontaneously. On one night, for a short period of time, the neighbors gather in their front yards, build a fire, play music and give away cookies and hot cider to passersby.
How cool is that? I’m very impressed.
Please don’t call me for details on the cookie and cider giveaway. I’m sworn to secrecy. Maybe you’ll get lucky and stumble onto it.
I know I intend to be there!