Small town living is changing

Published 12:20 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

As Bob Dylan sings, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

Gone are the days when we could leave our homes with the doorsunlocked or items left out in the yard. Gone are the days when youcould leave the keys to your vehicle in the ignition while you raninto the convenience store for a gallon of milk.

I don’t want to sound all doom and gloom, because it isn’t likethat, but Bob was right – times have changed and so has the worldaround us.

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Small town living has its advantages and one of those has been alow crime rate and a low percentage of violent crimes.

My first memory of a brush with crime came when I was about 9 or10 years old. I had just gotten a brand new bicycle for mybirthday, which was in October. Around the first of December myfamily all loaded up in the car and headed off to the annualdowntown Christmas parade.

When we returned home, we found that my brand-new barely2-month-old bicycle was nowhere to be found.

That incident taught me a very valuable lesson – cherish whatpossessions you have and keep them safe and out of sight fromsticky fingers.

When Dennis and I moved back to Brookhaven eight or so yearsago, we moved back to my old neighborhood in the Pearlhavencommunity. This is home. It’s where my grandparents, my mom and mygreat-uncle and cousin live. It’s where I grew up. I have lived thebiggest majority of my life on this street.

And up until last week, the only brush with real crime I’ve hadon this block has been the theft of my birthday present almost 40years ago.

Memorial Day brought the second episode to my community when thevehicle my 27-year-old son was riding in happened up behind anothervehicle that was acting suspicious on a deserted end of our street.To give you the short version, the driver of the suspicious vehicleconfronted my son and his friend. Before it was all over with, thedriver of the suspicious vehicle appeared to intentionally hit myson with the van he was driving and sped away. My son was throwninto the air and into a fence.

The hit and run occurred just a block from our house, while myhusband and I and other family members stood outside of our home.My son suffered a broken wrist, scrapes and bruises and is verysore. Luckily, his injuries were minor considering what they couldhave been.

I knew the van was bad news when it passed my house the firsttime. Just minutes before the hit and run, I had called the policedepartment to report the suspicious vehicle that was in ourneighborhood.

Quick thinking got the license plate number of the van. Policefound the owner, who had loaned out the van. But as of Wednesdayafternoon, the van and the driver had still not been found.

I’m waiting for the police department to complete theirinvestigation and hopefully make an arrest.

In the meantime, members of our community have formed aneighborhood watch program, called the Main Street Community BlockClub. We want to keep our streets safe, and free of drugs andcrime, and hopefully prevent something like this from happeningagain in our community.

I still love our small town and the area where I live. I’msaddened that things are changing and that crime seems moreprevalent than in the past.

And how was your week?

Lifestyles Editor Tammie Brewer can be reached at The DAILYLEADER at (601) 833-6961 ext. 134, by e-mail or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551,Brookhaven MS 39602.