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There Goes the Neighborhood
2007-06-20, 8:57 a.m.

Day 1031

I'm a day late on this one. Damn work keeps getting in the way.

Monday night I was putzing around on the computer, enjoying the breeze coming in the former family room windows. Around 9:30 I thought I heard a short string of firecrackers going off. Thought nothing of it. Itís getting close to the 4th, local schools are in finals week (yes, I know, itís a New York thing), thought maybe kids were blowing off a little steam.

Later, closer to 10-ish, I see what I thought was a rescue truck coming through the neighborhood with itís lights going, but no siren. As soon as it hit the main road out behind us, the sirens were blaring. Odd. Then a little later, Zach mentioned something about seeing police cars crawling through the neighborhood, apparently looking for someone or something.

This morning, I got an email from my brother, asking if I knew anything about a shooting on what may have been our street. Seems the print media had one name while the local news channel had another street name. Our street has a name very similar to two others, one in the city, one in the neighboring town to the north.

Two separate sources have confirmed that the shootings were indeed in my town, on my street. The house number looked familiar (thereís only 30 or so houses in our neighborhood Ė they ALL look familiar) so I looked it up.

Then the deluge started. Phone calls from Cindy (while Iím in a meeting), emails from Zach, phone calls from my BIL, more emails from all over. Sheesh. Nice to know people care if they think youíve been shot. Well, it wasnít us, but it was literally around the bend from us just a wee bit. No more than a slightly aggressive 7-iron shot (165 or so yards for you non golfers) from our front yard.

Scary part? We know the family. Their daughter was in Zachís high school class. Best news is that there were no fatalities. The family has had some difficulties, but havenít we all? I donít think it was domestic, the police apparently searching for something after the fact seems to support that. I just donít know any more yet and itís plenty frustrating.

Gretchen, just saw your comment and had to laugh. That bit about sobriety being a prerequisite for attending an AA meeting killed me. I know itís not funny, well, in a normal sense, but I just couldnít help myself. And yes, her looking meeting times up is a sign that sheís considering it. Maybe some of what Iíve said is penetrating. Maybe some of how Iím trying to act and carry on is making an impact. Maybe sheís getting fed up with herself? Who knows.

And Blueyedmom Ė that trip to Pa. is tantalizing, isnít it? Iíll have to float that one by the clan tonight and see what they think. Besides declaring me crazy (no news there), what can they really say?

Finally got some confirmation on the shooting. It was the daughterís boyfriend, who happens to be living there, that got shot. Drugs seem to be involved. I have a feeling that the current living arrangements will be re-evaluated. At least I hope they will be. Their daughter, bringing a guy that drags that kind of crap into our neighborhood? Worst weíve ever had is a random break in or two. Now we have people getting shot? Urban sprawl is ruining the íburbs.

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