Ruby Thomas – A Community Profile


Written by Taylor Borderon

Taylor Borderon: Thank you for agreeing to do this interview, Ms. Thomas. My name is Taylor Borderon from the STEAM for Social Change Program at the Linden Seventh-day Adventist school, and I’m going to ask you a few questions about your experiences and opinions about Laurelton. As a homeowner in this town, what do you like about Laurelton, why did you move here of all places?

Ruby Thomas: No problem, Taylor. I moved here from Brooklyn. I still consider myself a Brooklyner, but I have two granddaughters and since my sister lives a block away and told me it was a good place for kids, we moved.

TB: Do you think that Laurelton is a safe place to live?
RT: I think so, yes. I’ve been here for twenty-seven years without incident.

TB: Have you heard about the addition of the 116th precinct to the neighborhood?
RT: I have, in fact. I think it’s a great idea. I want to keep the “no incident” streak.

TB: Do you think there are any improvements that can be made to Laurelton?
RT: I’m not completely sure of the logistics, but zoning should be made to disallow all these developers making two family homes on single home lots.

TB: How about transportation?
RT: That’s another improvement. Transportation is awful the deeper you get into Laurelton; I know folks who have to take taxis everywhere because their kids can’t wait forever to take the bus. When the kids wait at the Q77 it gets really chaotic.

TB: Do you contribute to the neighborhood in anyway?
RT: I sure do; I read poems to the kids down at the library and help plant flowers in the neighborhood to keep it looking nice. I notice that the business of fixing up the houses is multiplying and a lot of elderly people are moving out, and younger people moving in. They like the flowers.

TB: Do you have a strong relationship with your neighbors?
RT: Definitely. After almost thirty years, I’ve made some of my closest friends here. The stronger the bonds in the community, the better the neighborhood becomes.

TB: Thank you for your time, Mrs. Thomas.