Wednesday, June 17, 2009
1) This is not a joke. The following events are true and accurate and experienced by yours truly.
2) Cameron, TX: Population approx. 5300 (yes, really)
3) Time since moving into the new house: two weeks
So, for those who are familiar with the blog, it comes as no surprise that I'm writing about this Sunshiny Town called Cameron, which I sometimes (lovingly...*cough*) refer to as God Spit, Texas. This is another of those posts.
It's a gorgeous June Tuesday night (nope, not even a WEEKEND! Can you even believe it?!) and I'm sitting outside on my beautiful deck while my four babies frolick in the new pool. They have Shan's laptop playing music to which they've choreographed this odd pool-dance thing to. I'm standing on my deck, watching the refreshing shimmering blue of the pool, the beaming smiles of my amazingly talented children when all of the sudden...
BAM! BAM! BAM!
Three gunshots in rapid succession. We all freeze then instantly jump into action, herding the smaller ones out of the pool and up the deck as another three
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!
explode in the air, sounding like they're RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE!
The kids are screaming and Carly scurries them all into the bathroom (smallest window, like this is a tornado or something) while I snag my cell and dial 911 while opening another drawer and pulling out the Constantly-Loaded-Walther, also known from hence forth as WALT. I dash back out the door onto the deck and I'm telling dispatch that I heard three shots in rapid succession, about a 30 second pause then three more shots. She kind of puts me on hold and takes another call of someone else reporting it, but apparently this guy went out his FRONT door and got a look at the car as it sped away, and noted that the gangster was right-minded enough to turn on his stupid left blinker when he got to the four-way stop two blocks down. How socially conscious of him. JERK!
I hear voices from the deck. Our house sits on a full city block, a total 0.51 acre, so our side neighbors share their backyards to our backyard. Two neighbors to our one backyard. Make sense? So we all start comparing notes.
THEN! I see from the backyard that going down the road is someone on a GOLF CART! HUH?!?! Oh wait... it's the HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL! No, I'm not kidding.
Now, for the record, I grew up in Dallas/Ft Worth. I lived in Cove for awhile where we did have some stabbings at the schools. But in CAMERON?! Gangs?! Uh... okay.
So, in the end, it's a block party. And I'm not kidding. 10:30pm and the intersection is filled with cops and detectives searching for casings (they found four of the six) and all the neighbors gathered together. So, I got to meet some new neighbors I hadn't met yet. That's nice, right? Then more people start to show up who HEARD IT ON THE POLICE SCANNER and came to check it out, all saying hi to each other and blah blah blah and "How is your grandmother doin'? She good? Good to hear it!"
I stand there, godsmacked.
The police and the neighbors all reassure me that in all their lives living here on "this side of town", they'd NEVER heard gunfire or any gang activities. Yeah sure. Not only did it sound right in my front yard, but it was in the street literally in front of it. I'm kinda thinking they were aiming at the the principal; he lives next door about 1/2 a block down. HE, of course, thought my house was the target. The casings were found right between us, so I'll go on thinking they targetted him and he'll probably keep thinking that they targetted me and we'll both revel in our denial.
About a year after moving here and living out in the country, I'd heard a gunshot then too (I'm pretty sure I blogged about that too). The cops came out and said it was someone shooting snakes. Eeep. But this wasn't snakes. This wasn't the country. This was a few blocks from the schools in the middle of "the good part of town". Very scary in this odd surreal way of everyone hanging out, and all that was missing was a bonfire and marshmellows on sticks.
The weird part? Yes, I mean weirder than the above. Shandie's friend was telling her some details, and get this! It was members from this gang: Eighteen and a Half.
I'm not kidding.
This town has "half" streets. So like 401 N. 15 1/2. So they have a GANG named EIGHTEEN AND A HALF?!
Better hope 15 3/4 doesn't raise up to take you on! And you better really hope you don't ever meet the gangs in Austin or Dallas where they're not named after HALF STREETS.
This has been your newest Cameron update. A shout out to my new neighbors, especially the across the street neighbor Mr. Hooker, the high school principal and owner of the golf cart. You rock!