LETTER- A simulacrum of a column

This week's "On The Block" column ["Wayland's Grant: At home in the faux '50s"] could more aptly be named "On The Chopping Block." Lynn Jo Jameson's disparaging attack of Wayland's Grant seems a personal sore point and is far from accurate. 

As a resident of this truly wonderful and unique new subdivision, I would like to point out a few of Wayland's Grant's numerous strengths. We are a front porch community where impromptu or planned gatherings are frequent. Privacy is greatly respected, yet if people choose to make themselves available, they will find any socialization they desire. We are a diverse neighborhood that includes retirees, singles, DINKs [double-income, no kids] and families of various sizes and ages. 

Wayland's Grant is home to teachers, doctors, nurses, UVA bigwigs, a senatorial candidate, a policeman, and at least five realtors and three builders (surely their perceived value cannot all be wrong). Residents are from around the world; some were raised in Crozet and the Charlottesville area.  

To my knowledge, we have never had an instance of any type of crime. We have sidewalks and nature trails that offer easy access to other subdivisions and to Mint Springs. Should anyone need a cup of sugar, pet sitter, exercise partner, or ride to work, neighbors are more than happy to lend a hand; we do rely on and look out for each other. Play dates and babysitters abound; the older kids gather for flashlight tag after dusk and walk or ride their bikes to the library and Dairy Queen.  

Your writer describes us as a faux ‘50's community. I disagree. Residents and guests alike frequently remark that we are an enviable community reminiscent of an era gone by. She indicates our New Urbanism should take its cues from Old Urbanism and be closer to Crozet. How that would be possible I cannot determine, yet in 50 years, I believe we will be as much a central part of the community as ‘50's homes are now. 

No one enjoys the subdividing of America, but Jameson fails to acknowledge that ‘50s houses were once new construction too; this is not a new phenomenon or point of conflict. I'm proud of my neighborhood. It does not fail, as Jameson asserts. 

Chris and Angie's house (of course I know the homeowners) deserved an unbiased review, and I feel they are entitled to an apology for the spiteful opinions and falsehoods. This column seems the wrong forum for battling suburban growth.

Jameson's opinions and writing are a simulacrum of professional journalism– to use her own condescending verbiage. What was she implying by connecting Wayland's Grant with Desperate Housewives and the tag line "All is not as it seems?" If a TV comparison was necessary, Cheers– "Where everybody knows your name"– is more appropriate.  

And did she really think that your readers who know what simulacrum means are viewers of Desperate Housewives?

Ellen Wilson
Wayland's Grant