Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Walking Without a Police Escort...



During my calm & peaceful walk to the library this morning, I was thinking about some kids whose walk to the library isn't so calm & peaceful.  I heard about them in a recent blog post from a public media outlet in California.  Here's how the story began...

"Elementary school students and teachers from New Highland Academy in Oakland marched to the local library Thursday...with a police escort. They used to take the six-block walk every third Thursday, but gun violence in the neighborhood halted the monthly outings."

The kids even did some brainstorming about the walk, listing the Pros & Cons of making the library trip.  The accompanying pic (above) is a snapshot of their perspective.  Their talk of violence, guns, mean dogs, etc. made me much more thankful for the predictably boring walk I take every day.  A few years ago, I  was visiting with an FHU grad student (a single young lady) who walked about 8 blocks to campus every day, and she explained how she would alter her path every few days...to be less predictable...just in case there was someone watching & trying to figure out her pattern.  I didn't tell her how shockingly paranoid that sounded (to me) in our quiet, little town.

That wouldn't be so paranoid for some people, evidently...like these Oakland, CA kiddos.  Yesterday, I kinda lamented the fact that I live (and walk) in a town where everyone knows everyone & there's little anonymity.  Today, though, I'm thankful for all the small town atmosphere I walk in.  No police escort necessary.  Who cares if someone I know sees me picking up trash on the side of the road?  At least no one's going to threaten me with a gun as they drive by.   

Weather report:  Not too cold, but so windy it could mess up the hair on a bald guy.

P.S.  Delittered only a bit today.  I think the wind blew most of our litter to the next county.  Found an empty pack of Swisher Sweets cigarillos, though, and promptly disposed of it.  Not too familiar with cigarillos, but if I ever took up smoking, I'd have to go with a name like "Swisher Sweets."

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