after that incident, I decided to wait a day or two before I made another appearance. This time I got a call from one of my domino friends asking me if I wanted to go to another BBQ. This time it was in a better neighborhood.
These people were from New Orleans. A family full of gold upper frontal teeth.
I had to accept this invitation because southerners can cook their ass off. They had food galore including mussels and crab legs. They also were domino freaks. I had a wonderful time there.
In the next few days I had decided to stay at home and enjoy my own house.
Rode to the hood to see what everyone was doing. As I walked up the drive way Ms. Jackie approached me and asked me if I saw the news yesterday. I answered no, why?
She said, my son and my nephew got shot. I said, “what”?
By then big rod came out the house and said, girl I’m glad you were not here yesterday. Some shit went down. And of course they told me the story.
It started out with jackie’s son wanting to shot a game of craps. Her son and her nephew was at the end of the drive doing their thing, playing each other for money she said. They called over a few of their boys to play and now there was 4
Jackie’s son ask big rod if he wanted to play? He said he told them no that he needed all of his money to pay his bills and did not want to take the chance of losing it. They tell me that it was still daylight at the time. Maybe around 7:45pm. Big rod said that there were a few unexpected guess that showed up to watch the game, but they never asked to join in. He said he was tired of watching so he went back into the house. He later looked out the window and the two unexpected guess had gone.
So around 9-ish these two same guys rolled back up to watch again. According to Ms Jackie, she was watching tv when she heard gun shots. She said that she hesitated to look out the window but the fact that the shots were so close she looked out and opened the door.
Her son and her nephew were down on the ground. These two guys came back, shot one in the ass and one in the leg and took all the money and left. She was telling me that it was like a dream. The police was there with yellow tape and the local news station was there.
I was like OMG!!! In my mind I told myself, that I was glad that I did not hang out with them that day.
After hearing all that I stayed away for a few more days before they called me back up to play domino’s and cook out on the grill again. This time I showed up at the BBQ with a bottle of wine because as I said you must bring something.
We were all there laughing and having a good time when we noticed 5.0 cruising up the street. Ok, we see that squad car all the time. In about 15 minutes they cruised back up the street and parked. Nothing special. After a moment or two, 2 more squad cars rolled up. Then a police car from another area (Whitehall) rolled up. Then three more came and a patty wagon.
We were like WTF!! is going on? We stopped playing and a helicopter flew over head. I said to them this is Ohio, I feel like I’m in Chicago or New York. This neighborhood is live!!
So we sit back and watched to see what had happened. I figure that with 7 squad cars and a copter, somebody must be dead or wanted. While we were trying to figure it out they had brought out the house this sister that stood about 5 feet tall. Hands cuffed behind her back hair all out-of-place, no socks or shoes. What in the hell did she do?
Come to find out that one of her sons was acting up and she knocked the shit out of him, so they sent 7 police, a wagon and a helicopter to get her.
You think that I would say that this is getting old but, nothing like this happens in my neighborhood.
The following week we all decided to gather our things and go down to the Kings Art Complex to listen to jazz from 6 to 9pm. It was very nice. No drama. Thank God!!
Everything was alright for a little while when Big rod ask his neighbors if they wanted to do a little cooking. I guess they were planning on cooking in doors this time. A few of us had stopped in to say hi to him, when he told us that the two families were about to cook and as usual he invited everyone.
I told him that I had to make a run and would be back later. Well, later came. I rolled up at the same time as tone and his girl.
when I got out the car I said WTF has happened now. 2 american red cross trucks was there. Big rod was walking around frantic with both of his hands on his head. We approached Big Rod and said what happened?
The family (mixed couple) that was connected to him was cooking something on the stove and they were using grease. The mama was yelling at one of the kids and left the house. She must have forgotten about the grease that she left on the stove. It caught fire.
Now mind you at the beginning of post summer 2011 (1), I told you that the two apartments had back doors that they both leave open to communicate and there is a small landing that separate the two.
The fire swept the house in no time. Ms. Jackie said that she heard fire alarms going off, but she knew that it wasn’t hers so he thought that it was the lady in front of her. She walked out the door and saw fire blasting out all the windows. She was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off because she was trying to find all the children and did not know if any of the kids got trapped inside.
Since Big rod and his neighbor leave their back doors open for communication, the fire walked across the way and burned Big Rods house as well.
American Red Cross put him and his family up in a penthouse hotel for a few days until his landlord prepared another apartment for him in the same area. Rod said that he was hoping that his landlord placed him in better neighborhood, but he claimed that it was all that he had to offer.
When did this happened… only 11 days ago. I believe it was August 29th 2011.
We are all glad that everyone made it out ok without getting hurt or burnt.
The days following the fire we all chipped in the get him some new items to get him and his family started over.
Have I been back to the hood since the fire? Yes, labor day weekend but only to deliver him some bath towels.
So here it is the end of the summer and what a summer it has been.