Every now and then, a new cycle of activity or troubling matters strike towns. At times, the events are tragic beyond comprehension.
Our hearts grieve for the families of those killed by a crazed gunman while attending, of all things, a Batman movie in Denver last week.
In Homer, we get accustomed to not having the kind of news that shakes other towns; not the many shootings in Anchorage or the waves of crime that always seem to occur in Wasilla.
Sleepy Homer can be likened to a college campus on most days. When we put out the newspaper, the stories are more likely to be about an award one of the town’s many achievers won, or the controversy over a new sign ordinance.
When the fight gets hard here, it’s about getting a gasline built when our governor didn’t initially want it. Or whether the sea otter population is as high as it seems.
Lately, though, the stories are on another cycle. We’ve had a man murdered at Anchor Point, the tragic Beluga Lake plane crash, a shootout on the highway.
We’ve had a young woman nearly run over while jogging on the Homer Spit as a reckless driver evaded police.
On Friday, when Alaska State Troopers closed down the Seward Highway just south of Anchorage, a carjacking/kidnapping suspect was thought to be headed our way.
Does this sound like our cosmic hamlet?
There’s a bumper sticker seen around town that says, “Please, keep Homer weird.”
The expression is a reminder that Homer is quirky and “different” in a tone of peace and tranquility — and letting people have their idiosyncrasies. At least, that’s how we view a pervasive attitude.
But take heart. When too many of these more tragic events strike, it really is a case of “that’s life.” Don’t take offense. No town gets to be completely protected from the slings and arrows of misfortune. Though we can yearn.
It would be good to get back to normal here, arguing over sandwich board signs or learning something new about sea weed. Let other towns debate what to do with their crime waves – we would rather not have one.
But as the saying goes, into each life the rain must fall. In the meantime, be careful out there.
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