It happened

Seeing someone get shot with a gun is traumatic. I was unfortunate enough to see people running down the sidewalk in the middle of a lovely summer day shooting at each other when the kids were all out playing on the block; I saw the same folks the next day as I was driving up to my house. A person in a car shot a person on the sidewalk. I pulled in to my parking space and sank down so I could not be seen, then crawled over to the passenger side and exited; trying to keep down.

I did call the police, and I had good descriptions of the car and the people, as they were the same ones form the day before. I knew where they lived, as did the cops. At least one person was sent to prison on a third offense charge that had a mandatory 10 yr. sentence.

As for myself and my children, I did not sleep for a couple of nights. My son was picked up in front of our home, but my daughter had to wait one long block away almost right across from the building where the criminal activity was centered. I kept her home for a couple of days. I could not bear to go out there with her to wait, and I was surely not going to send my child alone. I finally took a taxi to see my doctor; she gave me a prescription for sleeping pills, the first time I ever used anything like that.

The landlord for that apartment building lost his rental license. The building was closed; the tenants dispersed. Some of the folks on the block were grateful; the next year we had an accidental shooting involving young teens in a home across the alley from my house. The responsible adult was charged and sentenced to community service. Her service was given to establishing a block watch club and setting up a community garden in the middle of the block.

Those good things lasted a couple of years; the lot was sold after that and a new house put up. The woman who had established the block club really wasn’t community-minded, and that was the end of the block watch. I went back to being a vigilant parent who looked out for everybody on my side of the block.

There was a community meeting at one point where someone wanted to have me arrested for being vigilant. It was inconvenient to have someone out there who talked to their children more than they did. A couple of adults leaned out their second story windows at one point, after I was assaulted by a ten year old, yelling that someone ought to get rid of me, kill me…this kid that assaulted me almost got thrown down on the sidewalk; I managed to restrain myself. I spun around and grabbed him by the shoulders and told him never to do that to anybody again. He was as tall as I was but very skinny and his assault on me had a sexual component to it. Disgusting.

The cops were called; I think that was the main starter for the community meeting. I stayed home as I knew how this would go if I left the home unoccupied for those couple of hours. Sure enough, there were the kids left behind trying to get me to leave my property and come after them. It was sickening to see; I was not sorry to move away from there ten years later.

I didn’t let these things drive me from my home; I was a stay at home mom living with a limited income and I did the work, hard work, trying to keep my family safe.

Yes, I have been through the wars in my life. If I seem a little tough and salty, there are reasons for me to have behaved that way. I do not take well to being pushed around, much less attacked.

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