The arboretum and park in general is beautiful in all seasons but it is especially nice now with the mid-summer, pea soup like water and flowering Lilly pads. And that is why it was so incongruous to see the local SWAT team try to seal the perimeter of Durand Eastman Park.
We had gathered at Parkside Bowl, a party of ten, in 90 degree weather, just as the commotion began. I was using the same black Galaxy 300 ball as the last time. Louise did not have a rock’n roll shirt on and her sister in-law and niece were here. Even without air-conditioning the eight lane joint felt as comfortable as an old shoe. Within minutes the police had blocked off the Sweet Fern entrance to the park. There was something called an “active shooter” alert on the beach near where Kings Highway meets the lake and rumors were flying.
Someone had stolen a yellow Hummer during a burglary in another part of the city. A yellow Hummer! Can you think of a more conspicuous car? And they drove it to the beach where the cops surrounded it. Shots rang out. The six suspects, four men and two women, got away. Helicopters hovered overhead. The suspects managed to steal another car, a red Mercedes with “GOLF-1″ license plates that was parked out front of the golf course with the keys in it.
We continued bowling. I fed the juke box and Jeff flattened the pins. At eight we headed down the street to Louise’s backyard. The road was still blocked off and cop cars swirled around the neighborhood. We played ping pong in the garage and listened to old blues records on Matthew’s turntable. I put new RAM in Jeff’s MacBook. We drank beer that Tim, the preacher, brought and we all left when Mary Kaye announced she had to work at six in the morning.
We came home and found an ominous robo-call message on our landline. “Active shooter alert, suspects at large, last seen in your area, stay inside. Don’t go near the windows.” Our house is all windows. It was 90 degrees out. We went down to the pool for a midnight dip. All the neighbors had their lights on. We saw Rick out walking his dog. Life goes on.