Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Memories of Mr. "W"

While I don't believe that walking across a lawn justifies shooting at or killing someone, and the ultimate blame/responsibility lies with Charles Martin, the above title linked story reminds me of when I was growing up.

In our neighborhood we had Mr. "W" who was very, very, very, meticulous about his lawn. He spent alot of time on his yard and it was green, lush without a weed to be seen. Two things irritated Mr. "W", anyone walking on his lawn or neighbors not dealing with their crabgrass/weed issues that threatened his yard. You learned at a very early age to not walk on his lawn. If you did he would yell at you and if it appeared you were not going to listen he would walk down and talk to your parents. Of course there was the natural desire to tempt fate and to not get caught walking across Mr. "W's" lawn. Yet that would pretty much guarantee you were going to get your behind beat by your parents for harrassing him. We viewed him as a grouch who was being over protective of something silly like a yard, our parents knew that since his retirement and the loss of his son that his yard was what he focused on. It gave him a purpose, made him feel pride in his accomplishment as he viewed his yard. We grew up to understand that too, and ended up being the ones to shoo the next generation of youngsters away from Mr. "W's" yard, when he was in the hospital one summer before he died, a group of us former troublemakers cut, watered and trimmed, more carefully than we had ever done on any other yard in our lives. I was 15 then, the same age as the boy who was killed.

I'll never forget the look on his face when he came home and saw our surprise. One of the worst things about driving down my former street now is seeing what the yard looks like in the decades that Mr. "W" is no longer with us.

So, while I don't excuse the shooting and I don't think it was a valid reason for anyone to die over, I also know that this situation could have been avoidable. On both sides...


Me4Prez said...

I wouldn't have killed the kid. Maybe just a little trip wire that flung fire ants at them.

Lisa Renee said...

Ouch...I got attacked by fireants when I was Oklahoma years ago. I was sunbathing and didn't realize that those things even existed or they were that mean and nasty.

Trip wires probably would have been a better option if he had to do something.


Me4Prez said...

I ran into a few in Virginia while in the Army. That was good times

Stephanie said...

I'm with you on this one, Lisa.

A yard isn't that important, yet neither is it that much of a "hardship" to refrain from entering someone else's yard.

I did notice that the article made a point of saying the boy was still in the street. Would it have been a different sort of legal matter if he was actually in the man's yard?