It might be where Dave and Joyce Jones live, but by and large, they consider their house a community space.
The couple regularly invites nearby residents over for “Cinnamon Roll Sundays” and “Wine Wednesdays” to discuss current events and neighborhood topics, such as what’s to be done with the deer that inhabit their Sharon Heights neighborhood, a bedroom community south of Morse Road in the Clintonville area.
“Our door is always open,” Joyce Jones said.
Dave Jones said the community gatherings started when the couple would sit out front and wave at passersby.
More and more people stopped and started a discussion. That led to scheduled theme nights, including “driveway movies” held outdoors throughout the summer. Sometimes, visitors pick up acoustic guitars and perform impromptu mini concerts.
“Our neighborhood is a fabulous neighborhood,” Joyce Jones. “By nature, they’re lively, interesting and educated.”
Partisan politics are rarely discussed, but contentious current events are.
However, seldom do they devolve into an argument and even less often do visitors leave with hard feelings, Joyce Jones said.
On Wine Wednesdays, some guests participate in food exchanges.
“People have formed new relationships as a result,” she said.
At times, individuals drop by for advice or share a personal situation.
The Joneses have lived in their neighborhood for more than 20 years.
Dave Jones, 77, is a retired psychiatric social worker who’s involved with the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Club.
Joyce Jones, 68, is a retired occupational therapist who runs a home-baking business called Mom’s Home Sweets. Her cinnamon rolls are $2 each.
Over the years, the couple have expressed their thoughts by putting out signs in their front yard, which has made them targets of generally polite critics.
In one instance, someone taped a message on the other side of the sign, explaining another point of view. The Joneses took that message and displayed it for the neighborhood to see.
Another time, one of their signs was stolen. An out-of-towner caught wind of the story and offered to build them another one, while saying he vehemently disagreed with their positions.
“Our yard is a comfortable space,” Joyce Jones said.
She said she hopes their message of hospitality and the desire to hold a community forum spreads.
“I’d like other people to do it in their neighborhoods,” she said.
BJ White, a Sharon Heights resident and District 9 representative of the Clintonville Area Commission, called the Joneses “beautiful human beings.”
“I’ve always known them to be good neighbors, to cultivate a community that encourages camaraderie between neighbors. They just love people.”