{{show_title_date || "Smerconish: We could all stand to be a little more nosy, 5/10/13, 5:57 PM ET"}}

The Cleveland kidnappings remind us that we’re losing our sense of community


Let me finish tonight with this.

All week we’ve been hearing horrific details from the Cleveland kidnapping case.

One person keeps coming to my mind.

Gladys Kravitz.

Do you remember her - the nosy neighbor who lived next door to the Stevens’ in the late 1960’s sitcom ‘Bewitched’.

She was onto Samantha’s witchcraft because she was paying attention- often times too much attention.

While weighing the conflcting reports about what was told to the police and when, i am wondering, where was Mrs. Kravitz?

My hunch is that it speaks to a current era of going alone.

Let me explain.

I can picture the block where I was raised.

About 20 feet separated our house from our neighbors.

The Shutts on one side….Haggertys next to them.

The Wrigleys were next door.

The McFanlands across the street, next to the Brussos.

The Stachels were down the block.

The Wodacks and Crouthhamels and Kentopps behind us.

As a kid I knew all of them.

Who was in their house.

What the fathers did for a living.

Today……I know our sons don’t have that kind of awareness of the neighbors, and frankly nor do my wife and I.

I’m not blaming the Cleveland neighbors.  I am making an observation:  we’ve become much more insular.

Caught up in our electronics, but less connected to our surroundings.

Often we had relatives living with us…..Or close to us.  There is less of that too.  They kept an additional eye on things.

There seems to be less of that, too.

In Cleveland, the neighbors say they called the police several times.  The police say their records don’t support that.

When the dust settles, it might be that the police blew it.  That they were called, and did nothing.

Or we might find that despite 20/20 hindsight, the neighbors missed all the signs.

Mrs. Kravitz would have known.

The Cleveland kidnappings remind us that we're losing our sense of community