In opening an “independent voice” local paper, while I waited for a pizza to be made at an independent local pizza shop, the first thing catch my eye, a half page ad thanking the city for their support.
Love Locke Day had streams of people visiting our neighbourhood in a show of solidarity and support to the businesses that were vandalized.
Now please, I’m not demeaning what happened or the destruction some businesses experienced.
It wasn’t until after the shops closed that day and several days later, when my daughter was walking at night did she feel a sense of threat. A neighbourhood in which she (and all my kids) would/could freely and carefree walk to the school, the library, the park or a friends house suddenly had her taking off her rose coloured glasses and looking over her shoulder.
You see on evenings like that Saturday night, while people dined in coffee shops and restaurants , residents were in their homes; watching tv, conversing, unwinding, some asleep. Hearing what was similar to gun shots (but we’re actually fireworks specifically chosen to simulate gun noises) wonder and fear filled the walls of their homes. Residents were out walking their dogs. The one night when a dad or mom is thankful they relieved a youth from the nightly walk of fido, placing them in the midst of the chaos.
So in opening that paper and seeing the ad and all the businesses thanking the city for their patronage, I’d like to extend a thank you, on behalf of all the residents of Locke Street. Thank you. Thank you for enjoying our neighbourhood, where you can stroll leisurely and enjoy our hospitality well beyond the shops. Thank you for your care, concern and support.
It may take a bit longer (than replacing a pane of glass) to replace the fear, to feel safe, nightly walks might have a quicker stride to some seniors and children but the smiles and “good morning” and neighbourly feel remains.