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the[in]sider patty h a l un e s ed by Patty Hannum A glimpse at what’s going on around St. Louis and beyond. A big, creative congratulations to local artist William H. Neukomm, whose painting 'Portrait of Katrina' has been accepted as part of the international portrait competition, the BP Portrait Award . Chosen from more than 2,500 submissions from 80 countries, the painting is part of a special exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London that travels the U.K. through June 2017. Neukomm, now of Webster Groves, is an alumnus of Parkway Central, Kansas City Art Institute and Florence Academy of Art. My next door neighbors just put their house on the market. And while this does not throw me as much as my friend moving away, it does cause some worry. Do you think it would be too much to ask if I could interview potential buyers? You know, assuming all else is equal. How does one go about proposing such a nervy, yet necessary, thing? See, I’ve been really lucky with my neighbors for the past 30 years, and I don’t want to take any chances with this new one. During my adult life, I’ve lived in three different houses. The first, a little starter home in Brentwood, came with elderly neighbors who subsequently went to better places: The Gatesworth and heaven. We ended up with two great new neighbors, who, like us, saw nothing wrong with sitting outside drinking beer while watching our son ride his Big Wheels down the sidewalk. We were not a classy crew, but we had lots of laughs and learned how to be good homeowners by shaming each other into appropriate lawn and home care. We were sad when it was time to move, but a two-bedroom, one-bath house wasn’t going to work once another child came along. Our next house was in Webster Groves, and we hit the jackpot again with neighbors. Next door was a family with three boys who played soccer morning, noon and night and a mom who could take one look at my soccer-obsessed son’s injuries and determine if they required a hospital visit. On our other side was a couple who had raised their kids but weren’t annoyed by ours. I never had a beer with either of them, but that was OK too. We kept an eye on each other’s houses, and all ended up moving to new homes within the same year. I’ve been in my current house in Clayton for the past 14 years, and I lucked out again with neighbors. One of them called one afternoon to let me know that Stella, our dog, was on his very nice, screened-in back porch—and she had made herself comfortable on the couch. Would we mind coming over to get her? Our other neighbor is both neighbor and friend, and besides always keeping her side door open in case I need a cup of coffee, she makes sure to provide us with leftovers from any parties we weren’t invited to. Our next door neighbor, like us, is a dog lover. And then we have our neighbors who are moving. They’ve only been in the house for four years, and we are really just ‘chat and wave’ neighbors. Our driveways are adjacent, and our windows look into each other’s kitchen. I suspect we know more than we let on, which is just the way I like it. So, now I worry. I’ve heard horror stories: neighbors who don’t speak to each other, or who fight over water run-off, barking dogs and kids playing in the driveways. What if I end up with one of those? I really wish I would be allowed, as part of the sales process, to interview potential home buyers. After all, these people are going to see me in my pajamas eating ice cream out of the refrigerator on a regular basis. True, I’m gutsy, but even I am hesitant about asking to help choose a buyer. I wonder if their real estate agent would be open to the idea? contact Patty at phannum@townandstyle.com. 8| TOWN & style | may 4, 2016 by dorothy weiner Surprise! That's what Mason Ridge Elementary A force to be reckoned with, St. Louisan Teri Griege has received a major honor from Fleet Feet Sports to add to her others: She has been named one of five national recipients of The Power of Running to Inspire Award . The author, wife, mother, tri-athlete, Ironman World Championship finisher and Stage 4 colon cancer fighter received the award for her charitable work on behalf of cancer patients, including starting a nonprofit, Powered By Hope Foundation. students and staff said to OASIS tutor E. Laine, who was feted in a surprise ceremony honoring her 20 years of volunteer service to Parkway schools. The retired Montessori school administrator volunteered at Ross Elementary prior to her time at Mason Ridge. Congratulations to the worthy Women of Achievement 2016 . They are Dr. Maimuna Baig, Carol Beeman, Ronnie Brockman, Etta Daniels, Lynn Friedman Hamilton, Carol Swartout Klein, Dr. Marlys Schuh, Annie Guyton Seal, Kathryn Winter and Dr. Patricia Wolff. The women are recognized for their philanthropy in various areas. WOW is a good way to describe Chaminade senior Jayson Tatum, newly named Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year . Evaluated by a panel of sport-specific experts, Tatum was chosen for the national honor from a field of 540,000 candidates! Best of all, this hometowner is a good student and a giving member of the community. He has taught at youth basketball camps and clinics, served meals to the hungry and homeless, supported a program for single mothers, and worked to educate student athletes about social responsibility. St.L is proud!