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Four dead in Annapolis

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    edward ericson


    Folks I’m not usually trying to bring downer stuff around here but reportedly, four of my fellow ink-stained wretches were shot today while working at the Annapolis Capital & Gazette. A lone gunman appeared at the glass door and unloaded a fucking clip into the fucking newsroom.

    And I am sitting at my desk in tears.

    Here’s the editor, a few hours ago on Twitter.

    <span class=”FullNameGroup”><strong class=”fullname show-popup-with-id u-textTruncate ” data-aria-label-part=””>Jimmy DeButts‏<span class=”UserNameBreak”> </span></span><span class=”username u-dir u-textTruncate” dir=”ltr” data-aria-label-part=””>@<b>jd3217</b></span>

    <p class=”TweetTextSize TweetTextSize–jumbo js-tweet-text tweet-text” lang=”en” data-aria-label-part=”0″>Devastated & heartbroken. Numb. Please stop asking for information/interviews. I’m in no position to speak, just know <s>@</s><b>capgaznews</b> reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays – just a passion for telling stories from our communty.</p>

    <span class=”metadata”>2:07 PM – 28 Jun 2018</span>
    These men and women are reporting their own “active shooter” situation while colleagues bleed to death. Because that’s the job.
    That’s the job they get paid like $60,000 to do, tops, for 50 and 60-hour weeks.
    Every once in a while someone, usually in all innocence, explains to me that “the liberal media” is trying to undermine the American Way and “ban guns,” or that reporters make up “fake news” to sway the gullible into backing some outrageous communistic policy like, say, “universal health insurance.” But of course, if we actually did that, the country would probably have universal health insurance and—I dunno—maybe a ban on those ridiculous bump stocks that turn your AR-15 into a machine gun?
    But that’s not the job. It’s not what we do. The job is, mainly, going to courts and writing about the cases. Or going to the city council meeting and writing down the things that got voted on. Or listening to the mother in public housing tell you how many times she called the super to get the outside hose bib turned on so the kids could fill the little pool on a 97-degree day, then calling the super yourself and getting the bloody valve turned. Or going to the place where some corner boy got shot up and asking the other corner boys what happened (“Kna man, din’t see it”) while waiting for the kid’s mother to stop screaming long enough so you can get her to spell her son’s name for you, and maybe put your hand gently on her shoulder.
    Because that’s the job.
    Please, no one say that to me any more the phrase “the liberal media” or “fake news.” I will lay you out. No bullshit.
    Thank you.




    Patti heard before I did and texted me wanting to know where you worked. There is no good side to this except that you are Ok.


    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"



    We know one of the victims.  These atrocities are getting too

    close to home.  Glad you were not involved.

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    Chevy 2.8 V6, 5 speed

    edward ericson


    Sorry for your loss, Ric. I didn’t know the folks personally but met Rob once or twice at an awards thing and knew John by reputation as well. These folks were the heart and soul of the craft, and I’m still sorting through my own emotions.

    That this came about in part because a reporter or columnist wrote about a court case—a very small harassment case that kind of illustrates a lot of things a court-beat reporter sees all the time—has me shaken. I have had people tell me that what goes on in their court case “is nobody’s business.” It’s never an easy thing to explain to an angry or distraught person that, in fact, court records are public—everyone’s business—and for good democratic reasons.





    Sympathies to all.

    Tragedy is nothing new to me personally. I’m anti-gun because, although my grandfather (born early last century) hunted up until I was a teenager I was never a hunter myself and I was shot in the arm at my first job at a hotel by unknown person. I didn’t even know it was a bullet hole in my arm (only very painful). Just wondered how such a deep hole got in my forearm when stacking chairs in the middle of the night. Bright metal flecks appeared around the scab. I could only guess maybe a bullet was shot from somewhere in the building, hit the metal of one of the chairs next to my arm.

    A close friend got a handgun and threatened me (and parents) when drunk in the middle of the night just because he wanted me to go outside with him.

    My younger brother’s friend Jerri was going to her first job interview from a newspaper ad. Was phony and the guy shot her several times, dumped her unclothed body in a nearby lake. I had told her it wasn’t anything to be nervous about when she stopped by on her way there, just tell them why you would like to get job and answer their questions. Her father called us that night looking for her and I was the one who answered the phone, and that’s all I could tell him about it. While the Green River serial killer murders were going on FBI thought that was another but wasn’t.

    A mugger wanted my $18 pocket watch from a K-Mart while I was going to a University of Washington night class. Shot me in the side before I took gun from him and shot him in the face. I didn’t realize what happened and still went on to class.

    There were many other incidents unrelated to guns yet I still had to fight for my life with another serial killer who asked me to look at something under a freeway overpass outside of downtown Seattle late one night. I also didn’t know what had happened until much later, remembering eventually I had been able to get out of the choke hold after he jumped on my back. He was showing me what appeared to be bodies of other people, seen only by my matchlight when attacked.

    Another time while walking along Green River Road outside of Kent WA, a girl driver with 2 teenage boys pulled up to me and wanted me to buy them “booze”. I refused and one of them from the back seat with car door open pointed a gun, as well as I could tell, so I got in. She drove wildly not far from there as I was saying it’s Sunday and I don’t think alcohol is sold anyway. Going fast around a curve she lost control and a group of 4 or 5 little kids on bicycles were there. She ran them down. I don’t know what I saw from there on, only that I was walking across a bridge over the river. I read the news story with her picture in it, Dorothy Judge was the name, and I wasn’t sure what was real or not as I thought about it.

    Not many years between all that, and not many afterward when I moved back to Alabama, people shooting guns all the time around the old farmland I lived on, which was bought by my father from his oldest brother (a 24 acre property he owned but not lived on). And I couldn’t deal with that very well, so when they were shooting along the edge of my yard 100 feet away I called police. Later on the family at a house 1/4 mile away were shooting a shotgun at me and my home, pellets raining down. Hit me in the leg, I was on my tractor digging a shallow drainage ditch. This being before I was fully aware of all the things going on with my life in a fairly short span of time. The main thing on my mind was my brothers girlfriend being shot to death and I hated guns. I was in a rage and went to their house, confronting them at the door. Next thing I know the 11 year old kid said, “The police said you’re trouble”. Obviously because I had been calling about gunshots where I lived. Yeah, believe it or not.

    Many more terrible events before I moved there, like a suicide of a guy I didn’t know but had stopped me on the sidewalk asking me what people would think if he killed himself, and I came across him near same place hanging from public park swings. I couldn’t lift him out and knocked on doors of houses looking for help late at night, then I don’t know what after that.

    I had mental blocks going on, as I would recall things then immediately forget again. I eventually started writing them down, along with approximate times or years.

    Then more happened, during a night I couldn’t sleep I went to walk around at a boat launch on a creek waterway. Found what looked like shoes and legs in the brush waters edge, think I tried pulling the legs out. Don’t know what from there. Next day a coroner car and police were there when I drove past and I told them about being there before. Found out a woman was decapitated by her husband or companion once it was in the news stories.

    All that during the 1980’s (which began for me with Mount St. Helens erupting and being there too). I lived like a recluse for the 1990’s while my older sister died from complications due to respiratory distress after being stung by a yellow jacket. Her and some other family members had stayed in Washington. I was asked to go see her in the hospital, where she was for 3 weeks, but either my fear of flying or subconscious worries of what to believe if I went back there or both prevented me. All the while I prayed for her from home, but I also wasn’t sure what to believe anymore if real or not. Was just before my Halloween birthday.

    Along comes 9/11 a few years after that. I still hadn’t finished writing all the things I wasn’t able to bring to the forefront of my mind, except briefly. In more recent times, I had a little girl walked up to me at an outdoor shopping mall while sitting watching kids play in the water jet fountain. Was a couple months after my Mom past away from brain cancer, June 2008, when the Casey Anthony and Caylee news was prevalent. She only said “Not my mom.” I looked over at the two Hispanic women nearby that seemed to be with her. I didn’t know if she meant me or one of them. Far-fetched, I know, but I might resemble Casey Anthony when my hair is long, so either way. Not that I thought of it at the moment but as time went by I wondered again and again about that. The girl really looked like Caylee from TV pictures, albeit with perhaps darker hair, but it was partially wet too.

    And just within past few weeks, police were hoping to find out about a body someone found along a tree line, only saying there were red gingerbread man printed pants. I had recently remarked about that to myself when I saw a girl walk past me with a couple other people, at either the same outdoor mall or a couple different carnivals/fairs going on just before that. I just thought it was unusual to see a gingerbread man pattern on pants. I felt I couldn’t call police to tell about that, one reason being it wasn’t much to go on and another is local people have been persecuting me for just going to public parks and watching ball games. Suspicious stranger kind of thing. Anyway, as that story turned out it was a 13 year old Hispanic girl and her grandmother was missing whose body was found later. Both killed by a couple of Hispanic men they were able to find and they said the murder of the 13 year old was “brutal”.

    BTW my 2nd job was as security patrol car driver for an area including 4 towns. I was always considered observant, and as much as I liked the job it wasn’t good for me, a lot of pressure, and I quit after a year and a half. Everyone who knows me knows how passive I am. Maybe a secondary thing in my life, bad news stories, I read and see them with numbness, sickliness.

    Also was just months ago a 3 year old girl was shot through a wall of the house, she died soon after. That house is 7 away from the one I lived at when I was 3, same street. I went to talk with them after their candlelight vigil for her. I seriously don’t know how I continue on with any sanity myself… well, that’s another matter. Questionable sanity? I’ve been on Social Security Disability since early 1990’s and not because of physical problems.

    It all really takes away from what would otherwise be highlights of good things in my life, just feel I don’t have that. I was able to live next to Cape Canaveral/Kennedy when I was a kid, seeing the first moon launches. My Dad became an executive with Boeing Aerospace and ultimately managed part of the International Space Station for Boeing. He was a Great Depression era baby, born 1933 in an old slave quarters of a plantation after his family house burned. They were very poor (redundant, sorry) and he was last of 13 siblings, 3 girls which died after birth. Him and Mom married at 17 and 19 years old, living in a tiny house alongside her parents house that they built, and were together for 57 years. Korean War Veteran. An average family of average families to be sure, from my point of view exceptional maybe because of the other families I knew when growing up with so many problems.

    As you can see by now, this is actually a tirade or words I’m spouting because I wanted to give a response. I try to refrain, to be sure. Somewhat unintended, I just believe you should hear what these things are to people like me. There is an onslaught being perpetrated on everyone, anytime, by anyone. Those of you able to cope, still must do just that. I never want bad things to happen and it always hurts, others and myself. I was happiest when very young and ignorant, and all that is long gone. What keeps me going is a stubbornness to seek out the good things and have fun. My usual advice to others. Whether or not I keep getting knocked back down myself.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Bob.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Bob.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Bob.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Bob.
    edward ericson


    Wow, Bob, that’s some heavy stuff. Sorry to bring it all out of you like this but thanks for sharing it. You’re among friends.



    Thanks for that, Ed! I probably should edit it again to remove all the middle and leave only the beginning and end. I forget it only makes for putting things on the minds of other people.

    Other edits were done to fix errors when I reread it. You sure wouldn’t want me to talk in person, I don’t even do well about ordinary talk. LOL

    It’s just awful the things people must go through. Many years ago I realized I was affected too much by news stories or reality TV (for instance COPS), so I stopped the constant watching for bad news. No newspaper and I throw out the occasional free ones in the mail.

    I would visit my Mom and Dad to find them watching local or cable news, the COPS show, Dr. Phil, court shows and such. I always mentioned maybe they watch too much of those things trying to get them to change to other things. But I should talk, I still do a daily local news check myself. Things I can’t do anything about. There’s something about it all, like having an open wound already and pouring salt in, if you get what I’m saying.

    Last night when I went to a public fireworks show and pulled into a church parking lot, trying to find where I could park, a very nice woman was welcoming me to use a space there. I had been by earlier to see how the park was getting ready and that church roped off most of their lot except several spaces along street out front. They were having a barbecue and tables set up out there. When I went back later on I looked to see if any of those other spaces were still available, they had removed the ropes  and the place looked full. She was happy to give me a space although I said I was going to the park next to them for the event. Maybe because everyone from the church was already there, don’t know. She also gave me a bottle of water I tried to politely refuse. I talked to her a little bit more, and I realized how low I was feeling before that. Made for a better time, just talking with a stranger who was happy to talk about whatever.

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