Overbrook's Men of Tustin take over another part of their neighborhood

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Overbrook resident Frances Mayhew with Brother Beyah in the new garden, photo provided by MOT


In their Overbrook community, the Men of Tustin, a band of men I wrote about this spring, who meet every Monday for ways to strengthen their neighborhood, recently converted a littered patch of grass near Tustin Playground into a colorful garden, with three benches, including one for "mediation." Their efforts were unveiled in a ceremony that included a big Sunday-styled breakfast and a dedication for the neighborhood’s seniors.

Their motivation: "We can’t let them be prisoners in their homes," said secretary Kershaw Leatherbury. "And with all of the knowledge they have, some of our young people need to sit beneath them."

With money from the group’s treasury, Men of Tustin member Brother Beyah designed the garden. Under the big oak tree, president James Haley constructed the benches. Now silver-haired residents regularly take to the park to sit, chat and listen to music.

"And," Haley says, "we got a commitment from the young men to watch over them."