I spent most of this afternoon digging the weeds out of the traffic circle at the end of the block. Three people actually came over and helped: Jay-Z, Junior's little brother, and a woman I didn't know before. "My parents grew up in the South, Arkansas," she told me. "They had the prettiest garden on the block."
"So you came by it honestly," I said. She picked up my shovel and went to work on the dandelions.
Earlier, a guy I know from a little west of here was out walking his dogs. Mr. Dog Fancier is my top source for political news. He went to Ald. Thompson's ward meeting at Kennedy-King College yesterday afternoon. He told me about 100 people showed up. She basically gave a State of the Ward speech. She's planning to build an SRO somewhere southeast of here, and she talked about the senior project down by 59th and Ashland. Apparently she did not take questions from the audience. Mr. Dog Fancier came away unimpressed and rather put off by her "arrogant" attitude.
Apparently Action Now has been meeting at the Sherman Park Library. Perhaps they will take some steps to hold her accountable to her constituents.
We also talked a bit about the aftermath of Jason Gill's death for the blocks around here. It does seem like there's some effort to redraw the local gang lines at the moment. Not fun.
My gardening buddy noticed this, too. A group of young men walked by and yelled something offensive our way. She said she'd been hassled by them yesterday, too.
Most disturbing of all, at a point when I was by myself in the circle, Yup-yup staggered over with a swollen face and a couple of bad cuts. He'd been beaten pretty badly. Apparently he owes people money. I asked if he wanted to go to a doctor and he said no. I think I should have called for an ambulance, but I didn't.
In significantly better news, late in the day Junior's brother told me his dad was out on the block trying to fix his wife's car radio. I went over and talked to him about the traffic circle and explained I would like to pay him to help me with this as if he were doing my lawn this summer. That seemed to pique his interest. He's going to look for some black plastic to put down to keep the weeds from growing back while I call the city and find out how soon we can get new plants and mulch.
P.S. After I was done and relaxing on my back porch, Dorothy showed up in the alley at my back gate. She told me she had called the Probation Department today, but whoever answered said she'll have to call back tomorrow and speak directly with her P.O.
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