Thursday, July 18, 2013

Friday, July 12, 2013

Not In My Town

Friday, July 5th. 7:45 AM. Eighth and Cass. 
An older black chevrolet pickup with the word "Knucklebuster" written in red atop the windshield drives south as I go north. I sneer and look in the rearview mirror to see a Monster logo sticker in the truck's rear window and ask myself a sarcastic "really?" 

Get to work. Check the news. Horrified by the tragedy only a few blocks away in the night. Do I know the victim? Oh god… 
Not in my town.

Saturday, July 6th.
More news comes in. Similar incidents. What was a terrible tragedy is now an ominous homicide. I'm angry. If I see Knucklebuster I'll smash it up with a baseball bat.  No reason really other than someone needs to pay and someone needs to do something. I'm scared too. How does this happen? 
Not in my town.

I did not know Kelly. But I could have. She could have been my friend; my wife; my daughter 20 years from now.

Days go on. I eye every dark colored pickup truck suspiciously - any signs of front end damage? A short bike ride is a victory lap. I shouldn't be this anxious. 
Not in my town.

Thursday, July 11th. 2 PM. F&M Park.

1500 celebration participants in a town of 14,000. A procession so long it is measured in minutes instead of miles - 9 minutes of cyclists. Many donors do do something. I ask myself a hopeful "really?" I cry. Because this town will not be angry; will not be suspicious.
Not in my town. 

(pic from UpNorthLive's Facebook page)

I was angry. I was scared. I was blaming.

But I won't. Not anymore. My town said Remember to Love. So I will. Our family will ride to the Pavilions for a concert on the lawn. We'll ride to get ice cream. We will all ride. And Remember. And Love.

This is my town.

I share this, because perhaps, like me, you have been angry and not known what to do. But we do know, don't we? 

Remember to Love. Each other. Our Town.

Thank you for your spirit Kelly
Thank you for your actions Pauly. 
Thank you Traverse City for saying "Not In My Town".

(pic via twitter @glhjr)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Into The Realm Of Absurdity (on social media)

It is the middle of the National Cherry Festival and in an odd coincidence Traverse City and northern Michigan are being mentioned at a ridiculous level just over the past few days.

Some examples:

Freep: Michigan becoming foodie, wine-lovers destination and Traverse City: Come on up, the dining's fine

MarthaStewart: Secret Michigan: Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula

ChiTrib: Go away with Carter Oosterhouse
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. Traverse City, Ojai, Calif., Jerome, Ariz., Palm Island, Grenadines and Capri, Italy.
Livability: Top 10 Best Small Towns, 2013: #8 Traverse City, MI

And from Ken Scott Photography, many folks are sharing this on Facebook: