(My Wednesday Fall Fancies feature returns next Wednesday).
I grew up in the most populous city in the United States, New York City. And, over 25 years ago, I moved to the Binghamton area of upstate New York.
So many people think "New York City" when they think New York State, but so much of New York State consists of these small rural towns, where everyone knows everyone else.
Monday, after work, I was browsing Facebook. A business near Bainbridge, New York (another small town, near Afton, and about 35 miles from Binghamton) that I follow called Frog Pond posted about the "tragedy in our town today" and asked for privacy for the affected family, who they (of course) knew personally.
I immediately went to local media websites. At the time, there weren't many details. There are more details now, but enough still remains a mystery - including the main question - why?
It was apparently an incident of road rage, which ended in a parking lot in Bainbridge, with a father and son shot and the son dead. The family suffering the loss lives in Afton. The father, who is in a hospital a mile or so from where I live, ignored his serious wounds and tried to perform CPR on his dying son.
The shooter? A retired New York City policeman.
Afton mourns. Bainbridge mourns. They are in shock. A woman is widowed, a daughter is without a brother. Things like that don't happen in an instant in small towns some 35 miles from Binghamton.
Meanwhile, people in Binghamton, which suffered one of the largest mass shootings in American history back in 2009 (14 dead), feel a small part of the pain we felt that day.
This has happened too many times in our country.
Another day in the life of an American town.
Tomorrow, back to happier posts.