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Perfect Perches

January 05, 1986

I was delighted to discover that I am not the only California resident who longs for a porch. ("Neighbors Not Friendly? Blame Loss of the Porch," Nov. 24).

A few years ago, I took my two daughters, then ages 11 and 7, to visit my home town of Pittsburgh, Pa. As we drove through Squirrel Hill, the community where I grew up, I pointed out that every house had a porch. "A porch?" they both asked. "What's a porch?"

I realized that their education and even their life style had been inhibited. My entire upbringing revolved around a porch. It was the place my mother put my playpen in the summer evenings, while she and my dad sipped coffee and discussed family matters. In elementary school, the porch was where my friends and I played jacks, dressed and undressed our dolls and practiced walking down the aisle for our wedding.

In junior high school I sat on my front porch with friends and shared intimate secrets. In high school, our front porch was a place to see and be seen.

The porch was the place where I viewed the yearly Memorial Day parade, where I received my first kiss from my boyfriend, my first invitation to a prom, and where I opened my acceptance letter to college. I remain eternally grateful to the Greeks for inventing the porch.

RUTH FRIEDMAN

Granada Hills

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