Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Life in a small town

We live in a reasonably nice neighborhood. It's not perfect, but we like our neighbors and haven't run into any real problems in the six years we've lived here. If I'm out shoveling the front walkway, I'll always do it for the widow next door, and I'll try to do it for the neighbors on the other side if I'm out before they are. They'll do the same for us.

I usually park in the rear parking pad off the alley and when it's warm, I'll usually see a bunch of kids skateboarding or playing catch or just goofing off in that alley. I haven't given it a lot of thought, but I imagine I would be okay with it if Lily wanted to play like that when she got a few years older.

We have a large park less than a mile away and two small playgrounds with some decent equipment for Lily even closer. When we go to play, sometimes Jen will take a sharpie along to cover up graffiti, leaving behind her humorous edits like "Sock my cook" on the underside of the twisty plastic sliding boards. It's a nice quiet community.

One of the two playgrounds is a on the grounds of a local grade school. Details are still sketchy, but apparently on early Monday morning, a man was followed out of the corner bar and beaten to death by two other people outside that school.

There aren't a lot of details out there yet, but the victim was gay and one of the alleged assailants has a history of vituperative anti-gay slurs. The police aren't calling it a hate  crime yet, but the victim's partner believes it was.

I'm appalled that it happens here. I'm appalled that it happens anywhere.

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