R-C Neighborhoods: In Mackland, everyone looks out for each other
Without a doubt, everyone thinks that their neighborhood is the best. However, the folks in Mackland have a few extra reasons to crow about their home turf.
What used to be alfalfa fields and pastureland off Highway 88 is now an upscale Minden neighborhood. The subdivision, which was once part of Mack Land and Cattle Co., boasts of conveniences and accessibility like no other neighborhood.
“Location, location, location,” said Susie Roaldson when asked why she moved to Mackland. “The kids keep us constantly on the go, and Mackland is centrally located to things that our family is interested in. Even the river is close by, and my son loves to go to the river to fish.”
When Roaldson was looking for a place to live, she and her husband, Greg, drove through all of the neighborhoods and talked to people on the street.
“It was a great way to get the feel of the place, and Mackland felt like home,” said Roaldson. “There was a secure feel in the neighborhood, and it seemed great for children.”
Tom Henie and his wife, Pam, have lived in Douglas County for seven years. They bought their Mackland home five years ago.
“We had a great debate about living in town versus out of town. With five children, in town won,” said Henie. “Mackland is close to everything – the library, the swim center and the high school. And although it wasn’t there when we moved to Mackland, it is now close to the theater. You couldn’t ask for a better place to raise children.”
Henie also liked the “feel” of Mackland.
“It is an extension of Old Minden with mature trees and well kept homes,” said Henie. “It has the same hometown feel, and by living in town, we have more of a feel of what the community is like. We’re more plugged in.”
Tim and Nancy Bryant and their two children moved to Mackland 12 years ago. Nancy, who says she is a city girl at heart, likes the sidewalks and streetlights. Her children like living in a neighborhood that is close to “all the action.”
“It’s been great for Bradley, but Andrea feels ripped off because she doesn’t have anyone her age here,” said Bryant. “She’s like the Pied Piper for the little ones, but she would really like someone her own age to play with.”
Dick and Dorothy Budd are sometimes called the surrogate grandparents of the neighborhood.
“I suppose you could call us that,” said Dick. “But I think that everyone looks after the children and acts as surrogate grandparents or parents. But we sure do enjoy the children here. They are fantastic. They are well behaved, and they mind their parents. Even with all of the children, it’s quiet here.”
In some neighborhoods, it is the children that binds it together. In the case of Mackland, the organizers of the block parties and camping trips have to be a contributing factor. Mary Jane Hillenbrand organized the first block party. Roaldson and others continued the tradition.
“People make a neighborhood and we take care of each other. To celebrate, we try to do a block party every year,” said Roaldson.
“Two years ago it was on Zaldia. The Tompkins circulated flyers all the way to Highway 88 and we had a surprisingly big turn out. It poured, so everyone moved into my garage. But we still had a great time.”
Roaldson has also organized a camping trip to Walker River Resort.
“Whoever wanted to go was invited. We swam, chatted and drank margaritas. It was nice to get to know each other way from the neighborhood,” said Roaldson.
Bryant said that neighbors are constantly on the alert, and that they help each other in many ways.
“We don’t have an organized neighborhood watch, but we all look out for each other. When one family went on vacation, their cat got out. Another neighbor put the cat back where it belonged,” Bryant said.
“And if I don’t have eggs, I know I can go next door and borrow one. This is an old-fashioned neighborhood.”
“We have a general closeness because of where we live,” said Henie. “Neighbors that walk, jog or walk their dogs in the neighborhood stop and say hello to each other.”
“We mingle well,” said Roaldson. “Retirement people mix well with young families with kids. Families with kids have other families with kids the same ages. And we all have a like commitment to have a nice neighborhood. Yards and houses are kept up – there are grown trees. This isn’t a typical tract type of neighborhood.”
“These are nice homes that are kept up,” said Budd. “That’s a value to us as it maintains the value of our property. As a matter of fact, it’s a gain.”
However, no place is perfect, and some Mackland residents agreed that there is one problem that doesn’t seem to be going way.
“Lunchtime at the high school slightly detracts from our perfect home,” said Henie. “There is about 45 minutes of rampage as kids speed through the neighborhood. But the sheriff’s department does a terrific job at slowing down the kids.”
“Little kids can’t be outside when the high school kids get out of school,” said Roaldson. “It’s a steady stream of speeding cars. They don’t stop at stop signs. They don’t look out for kids in the neighborhood. And if the sheriff is patrolling County Road, they come through Mackland.”
“But it’s a comfortable neighborhood,” said Bryant. “Kids Rollerblade, play basketball or just sit on the grass and talk. Neighbors are friendly. We look after each other. I can’t think of a thing that I don’t like about Mackland.”
“The family really loves it here. We’ve landed in the perfect place.”
“A lot of our kids have grown up together. That makes us close. And we look out for each other. We are a tight knit group.”
“We all have a pact. Whether it’s good or bad we’ll let parents know how their children are behaving. Bradley will be the first to get his driver’s license, and I’ll know if he’s driving too fast.”
“I was on my way to Oregon from Southern California for a fishing trip and I said, ‘Someday I’d like to live in that valley.’ When it was time, Mackland was the perfect choice for us.”