(A series of profiles of neighbors who have long lived or are recent to South Boston by alternating weeks)
Jane Crump, born in Indiana and raised in Weymouth, moved for love to South Boston in 1979. It is here that she stayed, for a period of nearly ten years living on Thompson Island with her husband, artist Norman Crump and where their daughter, Amanda, grew up. But, in the beginning, South Boston was not where she imagined being.
“I remember my mother telling me not to go certain places because there would be ‘Southie boys,’ and then I met Norman in church and that’s where he was from. I remember the day he walked in,” she said. Her early fear became a second love affair with a community she observes carefully and loves deeply. She has weathered a number of losses and heartaches, but is resolute in her life view as one of abundance.
“I have some of the most wonderful friends I could ever ask for here. I can’t express how unique and incredible it has been, and people, even with different views of a lot of things, will help when it is needed. I saw this when I had a broken back, when Norman was seriously ill and had an extended hospital stay, and other times, too,” she said. The Crumps also raised their grandson, Anthony, in South Boston, so she has a three-generation view.
Jane Crump has plenty of reason to be upset but her modest and formidable philosophy is sustaining and contagious. “If you spend your time in life being annoyed, you don’t see things clearly, and it’s a waste of time,” she said.
From the isolation of Thompson Island to the bustling streets of South Boston, Jane has seen the many changes and has a balanced and value centered point of view.
“I am loving a lot of what I’m seeing here. Young men and women who demonstrate kindness. In the grocery store if someone is short, I hear them say ‘I’ve got that.’ There are little examples. Of course, September is tough. I have seen so many near accidents when people drive as if on a highway, and the volume is high. Partying is part of being young, but being a jerk isn’t, she said.
Rarely a complaint without a positive idea, Jane suggests posting some tips in strategic places around town, including bars, about how to be a good neighbor.
“It is about respect, and it has to be communicated. I’m excited for popele starting out here, but it can get dangerous,” she said. “Yes, of course, affordability is a major issue, too.”
Jane Crump, even when sharing serious concerns, conveys an optimism that seems as natural as the water she views and plants she nurtures. She works as an administrator at Tremont Temple, sings with a worship team, supports family and friends, and takes the time to notice what matters, including new and old neighbors.
“I think my major influences were my father, who taught that character is everything, and my faith. It’s complex. Sometimes you don’t get the blessings you want, but you grow, and you rarely know faith when things are going right,” she said.
Jane Crump communicates with humor, steadiness and vision. She is only wrong about one thing. “I’m not an educated woman, “she said as a preface to a comment that held wisdom and insight. Anyone who knows her would beg to differ.
(If you know newcomers or those who enhance SB over the years, please contact Carol Masshardt at email@example.com)