On our way home after a gig in North Portland, we swung by Hawthorne street. Yesterday it was the scene of a terrible accident. A teenager was crossing the road. A car stopped for her. A young person driving the car behind that car stupidly decided to swerve around the waiting vehicle and struck the child dead right in front of her horrified mother. I happened to be nearby shortly after it happened. and it's safe to say that ruined my happy mood. Iv'e seen a lot of people dead on the road and it's always hard. Today, as we returned to the scene we found two groups. The Pissed off Portland style gathering who made a colorful island in the middle of the street, and the kids from the deceased kid's school choir. We pulled along side but our Portland friends invited onto slowdown island. While there we were happy to see our pals but very bummed about why we were there. The news was there, the cops and lots of random folks. Lots of cars honked support or yelled "Get outta the road!" The protesters were thanking folks for slowing down and occasionally griping them out "Get off your phone!"
One of the organizers told me that the school kids on the sidewalk didn't like that the protest was going on. They wanted to sing a song so the protesters respectfully moved to the opposite side of the road. Olive and I made balloon flowers for the kids and soon Olive was sobbing together in the arms of someone she doesn't know about another person she never knew and will never know. We stayed as long as we could but then our timer went off. We aren't done working by a longshot.
Gotta go make fliers and deliver them. Tough day in S.E. and the usual surreal sensation of seeing profound joy and happiness (at our gig, they had ponies) then awful public grief. I feel just as bad for the kid who was driving. That one mistake will be a haunting for life. Glad this day is almost done.