So, inevitably, when the men were short in their count, the shamas would come looking for a few boys to help make minyan, often coaxing them into his car to drive them over to the shul. (One gentleman at the shiva remarked that these days we'd put out an amber alert for such behavior). But boys will boys, and boys outside on a nice day are loath to sit in services, so when some kid would look up from the game and see the man from the shul coming toward them, he would shout, "The shamas is coming!" - and all the boys would scatter.
The sage Hillel taught: Al tifrosh min hatzibur, "do not separate yourself from the the community" (Pirket Avot 2:5). One of the great challenges of urban revitalization is to instill a sense of fellowship, of "congregation" in the truest sense of the term among a disparate and diverse population. In Reservoir Hill, we have neighbors who are older and younger, wealthy, poor and middle-class, black, white and brown. We have people who have never left the state of Maryland and transplants from New York and Chicago. We are about as diverse a neighborhood as one can expect to find in Baltimore, and our diversity is a great source of pride.