All my eggs are in other baskets today.
My daughter is visiting her mom. She is doing pretty good considering!
I put my daughter on the spot and told the nurse in charge of activities that she is an excellent piano player. I tell her she has a gift and should use it.
The Thirteen Year Veteran of Life is at a friend’s house.
His friends are well mannered and have all the outward fixings of “Yes Maam, No Sir” and button down shirts tucked in with a belt.
Today, I guarantee they will be a cutting ties of polite society for the certainty of scrapes, severed fingernails and torn clothing.
Roughhousing and playing in the woods is part of what makes boys men. Sometimes I think the boy never goes away.
No one is home and I am not feeling an adventure with my Beloved in the hospital.
I did decide took a quick look at my childhood stomping grounds after dropping my daughter off.
Now, I will tell you upfront, If you are queasy or squeamish, let the rest of this post go. I feel like telling a tale in a particular way and it is not for everyone.
Circle and Airport is no place to fool with in Colorado Springs and was worse 30 years ago. It was called “K Land” for the Kmart at the top of a hill nearby.
This was so common that the police had RVs with squad cars parked nearby so they could respond faster to the area.
Children mimic what they see oftentimes.
As a result, I had my first fight at 6 years old at the doorstep of this house.
The door was locked, he was shoving me and I shoved back. Fists landed and he got hurt, returning with his brother for round two..
The second fight was at the gate several minutes later and I learned hood style respect the hard way.
I became good friends with the two I initially fought. Gerrod was my age and Josiah his older brother was two years older.
From them I quickly learned to fight for control of my yard and then my street. I learned about alliances and a little of leveraging influence, as well as numerous bad habits.
Josiah was trying hard to join the Crips. They didn’t want him at the moment because he was Hispanic. The Hispanic gang wouldn’t take him because he was too young.
Josiah begged to get jumped in and so they enclosed his head in duct-tape as an initiation.
Josiah almost died because they couldn’t get the tape off. I was there the whole time and they said they would kill me if I said anything or tried to help.
The duct tape incident served as a lifetime reminder not to join a gang.
The kid who put the tape on Josiah’s mouth, nose, eyes and entire head was thirteen and his homies were late teens and young adults.
The Hispanic gang normally cool, and I learned how quickly someone could turn under twisted circumstances. One second we are playing army and the next we are playing for keeps.
Shortly thereafter, the thirteen-year-old was shot six times in the butt at a party. I am not sure if he is still alive, but the last time I saw him was in a wheelchair.
I am not sure who was involved in the shooting, but I wonder if Josiah’s family had a vested interest in making a statement. I am sure it has long since been figured out.
In the same timeframe, the neighbors with the trampoline got hit with a driveby.
A Drive-By is when someone takes thier car to a rival area and shoots at as they pass through. It is a cowardly act and a lot of noncombatants fall victim.
I found my first drive-by shell casings about 2 blocks from this makeshift Memorial. I was about 7 or 8 years old. I found out from police officers that they need them for investigations and stopped collecting them.
The picture above is at John Adams Elementary School.
I attended this school for a short time in 3rd grade. The principal carried a baseball bat for protection and to look intimidating. One time he yelled at me and I sassed him right back to save face. I wasn’t about to be a punk in front of my classmates. I thought they would have beat me up if I did not.
There wasn’t a lot of Reading, Writing, or Arithmetic going on there. The basketball was good and the rules were limited however.
I briefly shot some hoops with Fatima Maddox, now a Harlem Globetrotter. If it wasn’t this hoop, it was a similar location. She told me basketball would be her life and she was right.
Fatima Maddox had other shooting in mind, and she has influenced a lot of people.
I hopped in the car and headed home, benchmarking where I came from and where my children are. My quick look had become long reflection.