Lost Too Soon

chess.jpgAs you must know by now I drive a taxi. A few years back “Sears” had an account with me. The area of service extended from the Golden Gate to Pacific Grove. For Sears I would taxi parts and dry ice out to businesses and homes. In those days if you bought a refrigerator at Sears and it broke down, 25 pound blocks of dry ice would be delivered until the repair could be made.

The Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhoods were in my delivery zone. We’re talking in deep, not just on or just off of Third Street. I never felt fear going up to the homes.  I would have to wait until numerous locks were turned and pulled back. But then, after the residents got over the surprise of seeing a white woman cabbie standing on their doorstep, it was like any other delivery in any other town.

The difference was noticed during the drive in and out of BVHP. I could feel the rancor exuding from the young men, who’s only job seemed to be leaning against buildings and keeping an eye on ‘the hood’. They would give me the look. You know, the what are you doing here look. Though I never had any real problems, I do recall feeling relieved when I was on 101 and headed back to my own South Bay turf.

For different reasons the violent crime and homicide rate is much lower in San Jose than in all of the other Bay Area cities. But then, violence can happen anywhere.

Not even the upscale shopping and housing complex of Santana Row (San Jose) is immune. Last Friday night at 1am some men causing a problem, near the large outdoor chess board were asked to leave. Officials believe the same men returned around 2am with a gun(s), and opened fire on a group of security guards. One guard was hit in this drive-by shooting. Thankfully he was doing well enough to be released from the hospital.

So many young people feel that the world is against them. That they will never achieve a place in life, never leave their stamp. They lack guidance and the inspiration to do their best, to feel worthwhile. Violence is easy.

I like this quote from one we lost too soon:

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.–Martin Luther King, Jr.

1 Comment so far

  1. tyler82 (unregistered) on January 16th, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

    I know that “look” very well. I once did a job inside Hunter’s Point. Driving through, there was a strong, repelling psychic magnetic vibe that I got from the locals standing outside and I know that I was not in safe territory.
    But this also works the other way around, when the “wrong” people travel through Pacific Heights etc.
    I saw a Simpsons episode last night when the town of Springfield was divided into two separate area codes. The new area code broke off from the old one, and the town that used to be as one started fighting between themselves and a wall was built between them. This was silly to watch but it is such the reality that we live in, we have created so many walls that we make enemies out of others in our own minds.

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