Two retired Maplewood residents, Amby Stevenson and Bob Weidenbenner, have made mosaic address stones for every house on their block. It’s a hobby that Stevenson says has an additional purpose. Residents of the block — the 7600 block of Jerome Avenue — know and look out for each other.
Stevenson started making the mosaics 20 years ago when she and her sister wanted to do something together other than go to restaurants. She met Weidenbenner at the community garden. They got to talking and ended up as a team. Now he does most of the design work.
“He’s my savior, he comes here every morning to make sure I’m still alive and going to the gym,” Stevenson said. Then he spends about an hour in her garage in the morning working on the mosaics.
Weidenbenner said he lets the glass, the colors, talk to him.
“I just love it,” he said. “My mom was a quilter, my sister is a quilter. My dad was a brick layer. So it almost kind of works for me in a way.”
In the beginning Stevenson made some then decided the block needed a block watch. “This was the hook to get everybody to join. Those that didn’t join, now have moved away,” she said.
When she moved onto the block in 1991 only about half the houses were occupied and no one talked. It’s different now she said. “We share information. We actually speak and know each others’ name. We see something, we can send an email or a text. For that part it’s worked out really well,” she said.
Anyone interested in their own mosaic by Bob and Amby can reach Bob at email@example.com
These are some of the mosaic stones on Jerome.