What Are We Doing?

I had meant to write you a cheery semi-inspirational post today…one that began with my first chore…

Applesauce from windfall apples (thanks to Susan.). I went off about 9:50 this morning to get a haircut, fearing it might be the last for awhile as the virus closes in again. Then I got a text from R…

WHAAT? And I rushed home…parking a block away and finding this:

And then the day unfolded. A traffic stop gone wrong, a chase into our neighborhood and a death and shooting. Here. In Gloria’s lovely flower bed, carefully tended for years now, lay a dead man.

We had many many policemen and women from the State Troopers and the cities of both Salem and Keizer. The kindest of them assured us it was an event that had nothing at all to do with OUR neighborhood…that it was random…they had lasers and metal detectors and even a drone…

And finally, at the end of a very long day, they removed the body…

…and we brought our car home, but the work went on…

And nobody ever came to check on us or give us information…and it was…upsetting. Twenty years ago, forty years ago, maybe even 10 years ago, a traffic stop didn’t result in a death. No matter what the guy did, this was not the correct result of nuanced police work. We have too many guns. We use them with impunity. This has something to do with everybody’s neighborhood…make no mistake readers. Bang bang.

Keep in touch.


  1. Gun sales have spiked to an unprecedented high. People who have never had a gun before are buying guns. Fear and anger under this president have made all of us more vulnerable. I am so sorry that this violence came to your doorstep on a beautiful day that should have brought you the joy of autumn’s bounty.

  2. So sorry this happened. I couldn’t agree with you more about the gun issue. Hopefully, 11/3, things will start to change.

  3. So sorry this happened. So sorry this happened so close to you. So sorry about the trigger-happy idiocy that is rampant. Shoot first and sweep questions under the rug later seems to be the modus operandi. I must say, I am in no way the target group that deadly traffic stops happen to, but when I see a police car or policeperson now, my reaction is NOT “my friend and helper.”

    1. One day I was stopped for failure to signal (turning right from a one way onto a one way…not much else to do). I’d never been stopped before and started to get out of the car, ignorant of the rule that you never get out of the car). Two huge young policemen drew guns pointed at me and shouted “Get back in the car, get back in the car.” When he came to the window he said “you can see why we were concerned…”. But I couldn’t really. It was a traffic stop and I’m a little old lady.

  4. Cripes, Bonnie, that’s a little too close to home. One wonders why guns were drawn. I hope the police provide a complete and truthful account of the event.

  5. and here I was…in my house all day just yards away (as the crow flies) and didn’t hear a thing…oh my…this is so sad…

  6. The words in my mind are not fit to print here……I am so sorry you had to undergo this most unfortunate happening. Your photos really told the story well. Apples in the sink was the best, and i went back to it for comfort.

  7. Our American life has now become just pure torture. We have abandoned our senses in favor of base and primitive instincts and a bottomless abyss of defecting thinking. It is now unimaginable, especially after the most recent years, that we can ever recover a civilized and decent national life. It appears we would rather shoot to kill. I observe that no matter who wins the election next week, and may God choose the blue path, this swirling, sad and destructive conduct will remain with us. Your observations are keen, disturbing. and sorrowful. Glad you are unharmed in the midst of the chaos.

  8. Sorry to hear that happened to your day. It is a unnerving experience. We my nieghborhood experiences gun shots every week. You have to be alert around here. No bodies resently but a month ago we experienced an evening of three locations within a block and a half of my house. They shoot up some cars, one bullet went into a house. One guy went to hospital (shot in leg) but wouldnt talk. Police came late and we had to give them the information. 58 shell casings found and some were from a AK47. All gang related, i understand that a california gang was in town (turf negotiations)and that night there were other locations active. The gangs run the neighborhood park now and its drug haven. The police dont do anything, they just drive by. I think they just prefer to know where every one is. My neighborhood two step forward and 4 back. jj

  9. I too think we cannot go back. I hope there is some young person out there who has an idea…a solution. I saw Walmart took guns and ammo off the shelves before the election, but the real question is why does Walmart sell guns and ammo?

  10. after we read in the “salem reporter” that some 50 “proud boys” with AK-15’s and clubs and knives, openly drinking alcohol took over bush park on a sunny day frightening families enjoying picnics and frolicking and the police who were present did nothing we knew all was lost. they call what we are having a “soft civil war”. how lovely.

  11. Dear Bonnie and Roger, how sorry I am that you had to go through this in your beautiful neighborhood. And how very grateful and glad I am that you are unharmed, physically at least. I grew up in a tiny town in Eastern Oregon where everybody had guns. I went to gun club with my dear father because that was one activity we could do together. I was a good shot with a rifle but I could not hunt because I couldn’t bear to kill anything. There was a gun fight near us that resulted in a death. One man was accused of rustling some of the other mans cattle. The owner killed the ‘rustler’ and was acquitted of any wrongdoing doing. That incident has worried me all my life because we knew the shooter. We have gone much, much further with gun violence even than in the old days. It is terrifying. But surely it should not happen in your green and gentle neighborhood.

  12. thank you for this, Bonnie. We all needed this info. also, thank you for the comment on guns. I am very anxious about guns at polling places. this is a really sad event ……love, Ginny

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