Saturday, April 20, 2013

First hand account of a bombing

The  results of  the explosions in Boston and Texas are heart wrenching. The news accounts brought back repressed memories.

In the 1970s-'80s  there were two warring organized crime families in St. Louis making the daily news. In retaliation for infractions to each other, they'd blow up one anothers' cars. The first bombing I can recall happened on a department store parking lot right down the street from where I worked. Luckily I didn't see, hear or feel that blast.
I taught one of the grandsons. He said he'd forgotten his show and tell, so I told him to TELL us something. When the little guy stood before his peers and said, "My dad's got all the booze in the trunk of our car..." I smiled and said, "Thank you for sharing today." I just knew he was going to name everything in that trunk, and I did not want to know.

Second incident in the mid 1970s: my children were small and we lived in a very stable, blue collar neighborhood where immigrant women (referred to as The Scrubby Dutch) brought out buckets of hot sudsy water on Saturday mornings and washed their granite porches and steps. Parents didn't have to worry; children were safe playing outdoors. It was a time of family values.

Our home was one block off a main thoroughfare where dozens of independently-owned small businesses thrived. When one of the store fronts vacated, everyone wondered what would go into that building. The day the sign went up, the neighbors' collective sigh was a whoosh of disbelief and discontent. An adult bookstore a block away? No way! Everyone was up in arms. The second week of operation, neighbors were still wondering which official to complain to and how to get the business out of the neighborhood.

At 2:30 a.m. my dog had to go to the bathroom, so I walked outside into the warm air with her and gazed at the starlit night. I had just climbed back into bed when a deafening blast rattled homes and broke windows for two square blocks. I thought a plane had crashed. Outside, the night was eeerily still, save for the murmur of neighbors in night clothes milling about wondering and waiting for the sirens. The odor of gun powder permeated the air.
The newspaper reported that the several sticks of TNT placed outside the establishment blew the crime boss, who lived above the store, clear out of bed and across the room. No loss of life, just shattered windows and security.

Third bombing: mid 1980s. Bill was several car lengths behind the car driven by one of the crime bosses. When the bomb under the hood was remotely detonated, it blew the guy to bits. Highway 55 came to a standstill for hours.  
Those were horrifying, isolated incidents. I can't imagine what it is like living in daily fear of sick individuals in foreign countries  who prey upon innocents. My heart breaks for those affected this week in Boston, Texas, across the globe ... and also for the kid who allegedly did it. I pray we learn to seek peace, and stop the hate.  


Kim said...

I've never witnessed anything like that, thank goodness. I doubt the young man who is suspected of doing this will get much compassion from anyone.

At these times of unfathomable hatred and violence, I have to remind myself that there is far more goodness in this world than bad...I look for the kindness.

Susan said...

Good recollections, Linda. The kid allegedly involved in the Boston bombings went wrong somewhere. I don't know where.

That's a sad story in itself. He had every opportunity to get ahead. He was in a country that allowed freedom. He was smart. He was a student in a fine university.

WHAT HAPPENED? It's anybody's guess.

I don't think he and the brother planned to die that fateful day.

They didn't seem to have the aftermath planned at all. So perplexing.

We must all find forgiveness or at least pray for him as well as for all the victims of the bombing. WWJD? Susan

Sioux said...

Seeing all the runners dressed in yellow and blue--running in St. Louis to reach out to the people of Boston--that warmed my heart.

Bookie said...

Your husband's comment about the mother waiting for these two boys was a reminder that everyone is someone's child. This world is hard and seems to be getting harder. I have not sorted all this out in my mind, but am aware that it is a lot of deep evil.....

Judy SheldonWalker said...

Absolutely horrendous. The disrepect for one another's life is so sad.

Merlesworld said...

Why did they do it, the people who were killed or hurt were not known to them so why does any organization or person think they have the right to do something like this it is so unfair and wrong we must all learn to live together in peace or our world will not survive.

thisisme said...

I see that the mother of these two boys is still in total denial, saying that her sons were framed. So, so horrendous and sad all round. I think the FBI did really good in catching the two culprits so quickly, but my heart goes out to all those affected by this incident.

Daisy said...

I've never witnessed first hand anything like these incidents. It's bad enough seeing them on TV. So much sadness has come out of the violence. I pray for peace too for us all.

K9friend said...

It's been nothing short of a horrifying week. I hope someday soon watching the news will become an uplifting pastime rather than a tragic one.

Critter Alley

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Geez, Linda! That's scary stuff you've experienced. I admit I've been quite sheltered from anything like that.

My husband and I were talking today about those two responsible for the Boston bombing. What in the world did they expect/hope to accomplish? So much loss and heartbreak. Peace is a wonderful thing to strive for, but it does seem impossible to achieve when so many individuals believe violence is the solution to everything.