Remember Ethel Mertz from “I Love Lucy,” who would get caught rifling through the Ricardos’ mail? Or the nosy neighbor, Gladys Kravitz, from “Bewitched,” who would be the sole witness to a magical event? Those old TV shows reflected a truism about people: We are curious about how our neighbors live.
Today, people can at least get inside a few kitchens in Columbia. The Kitchens in Bloom tour, featuring four newly remodeled kitchens, is a fundraiser for the Boone County Council on Aging.
“I think it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon,” said Ann Havey, who serves on the board.
She also came up with the idea for the Columbia tour four years ago after going on a similar one in Springfield.
The featured homes belong to Kate Anderson and Chris Pires on South Garth Avenue; Cindy and Marvin Mustard on South Greenwood Avenue; Sarah and John Riddick on Rollins Court; and Scherrie Goettsch and Steve Weinberg on West Boulevard.
Last year’s kitchens tour inspired Cindy Mustard to renovate her home.
“I went on the tour with Sarah Riddick and some girls and decided I wanted to do my kitchen, too,” Mustard said, who lives in the home in which she grew up. Her parents built it in 1954, and, although she and her husband made it their home in 1988, the kitchen stayed the same, with pine cabinets with black hinges and a carpeted floor.
“It was just yucky multi-brown-tan speckled-y,” Mustard said of the old carpet. “It was just really bad.”
Riddick had already decided to renovate her home when she went on the tour last year.
“What’s so helpful are the ideas you get,” she said. “Each house was unique. Cindy and I were like, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new kitchen?’ and a year later here we are.”
On the tour, people will be able to talk to contractors, appliance vendors and granite vendors so they can get first-hand professional advice.
The Council on Aging provides services such as yard work and grocery shopping so that older adults can continue to live in their homes.
“Every penny of the ticket goes toward operating costs for providing services for older adults in Boone County,” said executive director Lois Shelton.