Getting out of bed last Sunday morning we were greeted by an unexpected sight upon opening the door to make sure the world was still there.
As I've documented previously, we on the NWA (Neighborhood Watch Association) have been considering getting a vehicle for which to patrol the Neighborhood and keep the ne'er-do-wells at bay. We have cast aside our plans of mounting a gun turret on a golf cart and just decided to to cut the pretenses.
Shock and awe, ladies and gentlemen.
That's right! We're going to cruise the streets, getting 12 miles to the gallon (Suck it, Al Gore!), and keeping the street safe! That and taking it on beer runs. We're still getting it prepped though. It needs a few touches. Probably need to paint a white star with a red, white, and blue streak behind it. That and we need a spiffy uniform and a code name for our driver.
Now you're probably wondering if we considered WWTNT (What would the neighbors think?), and frankly speaking as the outpost station of the NWA, we don't care. Folks talk about taking back their street from crime. We don't have crime on our street anymore. You know why?
We're all batshit crazy and armed. And we don't care who knows it. Word has spread since the last bunch of punks tried to break into the NWA HQ and ended up zip-tied in the garage at gunpoint. Of course it was spread mostly to the cops who wanted to come out and have a good laugh that the little idiots' expense, but that's beside the point.
The bad guys are on notice. Try to mess with our street and you'll be seeing this:
Right before we run your ass over.
Boston Dawna is retiring. For those who are big fans of the movie and comic book KICK ASS here's an example of someone doing the job and not being an idiot. There's a trend that gets a bit of press here and there. It was especially getting noticed when people suddenly figured out that there were movies based on comic books that come out every year. They're often called 'Reals', as in real life super heroes. We even had a local one, Death'shead Moth, who I'm pretty sure has hung it up.
This people dress up in outlandish costumes and patrol the streets to deter crime. Many do charity work and try to help the community. I do wonder what these people's reaction was to the KICK ASS. Considering the violence involved in the story hopefully many of them took a hint and retired.
Boston Dawna is the real deal. And when I say that I don't mean she has a ton of fancy gear or powers. She just has a knack for spotting crime and has over the years developed a working relationship with law enforcement and the community. She does what she does to help her community. She enjoys it. There really should be more people like her.
There are people who wish there really were superheroes. Well, people flying around with powers and bright costumes won't be happening, but looking at the example of the heroes we read about on Wednesdays we can maybe be inspired to do more than turn a blind eye when you know something is wrong. Its not sticking your nose into somebody else's business when that person's business is hurting others. If you know something it wrong, know not suspect, then grab that cell phone that you're using to text your friend and call somebody. Keep an eye out for your neighbor. If you see something weird going on, give them a call and ask if they're alright.
Looking out for others is better than turning a blind eye.
I've spent year going all around the Hampton Roads area fixing and building stuff. I grew up here. I have a lot of memories of things being very, very different. I can remember when I-264 was just I-44 and it was toll road. I can remember when Pembroke Mall was really fun to go to with video arcade and the movie theater was the place to be. Things have changed as things tend to do, and being a creature of habit I don't visit my old haunts too often. However over the last week I've found myself in places I never thought I'd go to again.
First off was a church. This was not a church I had ever attended, but I was well acquainted with the roof. I had helped patch the vast rubber area on a nearly annual basis. I had coated the built up area a couple of times with various coatings. I had even replaced the shingles by the steeple. It was steeple that brought me back.
Its a giant fiberglass thing that sits atop a very steep shingle roof. Its in two sections. There's the tall section that reaches to the sky, and there's 'Brian's Box'. The Box rests on shingles and is anchored to the building with steal cables. The top section is anchored to the Box with metal rods, which is why we returned. Over time the the top section had become loose so the rods had to be replaced. So two of us had to get into Brian's Box and replace them. Not a lot of fun being in a giant fiberglass thing about 3 stories up and it's moving. Being inside of it when it shifts is plenty to get the heart rate up because its quite noisy. Still the mission was a success.
It got the name 'Brian's Box' because my buddy Brian was the main person who climbed in and out of it to jack it up and replace the shingles. And yes, it is true that you can fit two men in Brian's Box. One guy even got stuck in Brian's Box. Fortunately, nobody caught anything from Brian's Box.
It was weird being back there. The rubber roof had been replaced by a white membrane roof. There was metal around the top of the flat roof covering the top of an area I painted years ago. Like any place you visit after years of absence there's always differences, but enough familiarity to draw you back.
It was a lot more so on Sunday. The Church my family and I have been attending had moved to locations and to my surprise it was a place I knew very well and had not been to in nearly 20 years: my old high school. The place had been added onto a bit but not much. There was a new baseball field in the back, which isn't surprising since David Wright played there long before moving up to the majors. The benches that only the seniors were allowed to sit on had been moved and I'm wondering if senior privileges were still observed. The hallway where all the English classes were held had a plaque over it which read "Halterman Hallway". I remember having Mister Halterman for British Literature. Not the easiest class but Mister Halterman seemed like a good guy and graded on the curve (thank goodness).
That hallway was where I first started really writing. Yeah, I had one English teacher, Missus Warren, who was terrible but I figure she's been staked and beheaded by now. The others were actually really good. There was Halterman, who I mentioned. There was also Mister Conover who was cool with me reading comics and even asked me to bring him an X-MEN comic because he hadn't seen one in years and was curious how the series was going. He also played a hell of a bass guitar. Finally there was Mister Babb. He's the one who got me writing. He's the first one to really encourage me at it. So yeah, all this, his fault. We loved his class.
There were lots of things to bring me back. The class pictures were on the wall, including a small one of me which was a flattering enough photo. A bit of airbrushing and it being in black and white helped a lot. There was artwork framed and hanging in front of the school library, and I remember when two to those pieces were being worked on in my art class. My work wasn't on display. I wasn't that good back then. Ryan and Jen were.
This is of course the fond memories. High school sucked for me just like it did for everyone else. But fortunately its the few memories if the fun times that managed to hang on the longest.
And now a little story about family.
That's the whole nine yards for today. See y'all Friday. There just might be ten yards.