Ardenwald residents celebrate their neighborhood with concerts

Although the neighborhood sits astride two cities and counties, see why Ardenwald neighbors come together for and share food, music and camaraderie …

Past neighborhood chair Cheryl Ausmann-Moreno cuts and serves cake.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The earliest of the National Night Out against Crime events in Portland, Milwaukie, and Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, was in one single neighborhood embracing all of those jurisdictions: Ardenwald-Johnson Creek.

As she served up big slices of chocolate and spice cakes, elegantly decorated with the neighborhood association’s logo, immediate past chair Cheryl Ausmann-Moreno reminded us that while the park in which we were standing was in Milwaukie, the houses across the fence were in Portland.

We stopped by their August 2nd celebration, which also kicked off their Summer Concert Series.

Ardenwals’s chair, Ronn Palmer and Milwaukie Police Dept. Captain Jim Colt agree that this event helps draw neighbors together.

“This National Night Out party, and our concert series, is important,” Ausmann-Moreno said, “because it brings members of our community – of all ages – together. We all listen to good music.”

Ronn Palmer, the chair of Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood Association said, “Getting people together helps strengthen community ties. When you get to know your neighbors on your block, it helps increase safety, because they look out for one another. And, we’re building community by bring neighbors together.”

The band, “Dr. Jazz & the Interns” plays on – even after the good doctor has passed away – with the help of Nurse Ethel (Smith).

After a picnic pot-luck dinner, the air was filled with the Dixieland sounds of “Dr. Jazz and the Interns”. As the band members introduced themselves, they paid homage to their leader, known as “Dr. Jazz”, who passed away not long ago. “The week before he died,” said the trombone player, “he made us promise we’d keep playing together.” A new addition to the group is “Nurse Ethel” Smith, who sang big-band favorites.

As she continued serving dessert, Ausmann-Moreno said, “Having our neighborhood split between two cities and counties, some people feel like they’re part of neither one. We’d like to see all of our residents get involved in our neighborhood association.”

Although the Ardenwald neighborhood sits astride two cities and counties, neighbors come together for and share food, music and camaraderie.

To find out more, visit for information about events and community meetings.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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