"Bullets are flying from a young mans hands. People are dying, no one understands".
A line from "St. Roch blues" by Hurray for the Riff Raff.
So its been a little over two weeks now since the shooting at our local college. I have been meaning to write a response to all the kind comments to my last post, but as I explained to another brother here, every time I sat down to write it seemed like all my thoughts would scatter like a handful of quail. Still don't know if I'm up to operating RPM's yet, but I wanted to thank everyone for all their thoughts and prayers for myself and our community. They are all greatly appreciated. I'd also like to thank Dutch for introducing me to Hurray for the Riff Raff, with his post in the "What are you listening to?' thread on the "The Music Hall" board. Been kinda binge listening to them ever since things went down. For some reason their music just seems to resonate with me at this point in time, especially their song "St. Roch Blues". I believe its been therapeutic, so thanks again Dutch.
As a wise brother from across the pond pointed out in response to my last post, "time, as they say, is a great healer", and I suppose this is true. It does seem that as look around our small town and listen to people talk, that some of the sharper edges on our stones of grief are being rounded off as they go tumbling down the river of time. And maybe that's just the nature of grief like this. It never truly goes away, but over time the jagged edges get smoothed down enough you can live with it.
Signs are still up all over town and there was a "comfort gathering" put together by several local churches out at the fairgrounds today. Truly amazing to me, how the community has pulled together in support of the victims. A number of local companies are making and selling a variety of signs and stickers, and sending all the proceeds to various relief funds for the victims. One of the local tattoo places was even offering "UCC strong" tattoos for donations of any amount to one of the relief funds. The day after the shooting, Dutch Brothers (a chain of local coffee stands), was giving out all of their coffee and coffee based drinks for free as a sign of support for the community. I've also heard that pizza hut was on campus when classes resumed, offering free personal pizzas to the students and staff. Speaking of the students and staff, on their first day back to class, the road leading to the college was lined with people waving flags and holding signs telling them how much they were loved and supported.
On a personal note, I guess I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that something like this has happened in our small town. My ancestors settled here before Oregon was even a state, and I grew up on a ranch that had been in our family for the last 150 years or so. In all that time, nothing like this had ever happened before. Maybe that's why, like so many other people around here it seems, I felt that something like this might happen somewhere else, to someone else, but certainly not here and not to me or anyone I know. It will always be "the other guy" that something like this happens to. And yet, (as I observed in a pm to the aforementioned "wise brother from across the pond"), this experience has underlined the fact that to everyone else on the planet, I am "the other guy".
Wasn't sure if I should have just tacked this on to the end of my previous post as an update or go this way with it and create a new post. If I chose wrong, I apologize and the moderators are free to do with it as they will.
KPIC is the local CBS affiliate for Roseburg, so anyone who's interested can log on to their web site (kpic.com) for their coverage of all this, including of course, the presidents visit to speak with the families of some of the victims. There's an article on there today about Chris Mintz: "Man hailed as hero in UCC shooting tells story in Facebook post". The article includes a link to his Facebook post, which was well worth reading imho.