Living in a small town spoils you. If you've moved from a larger area, you are amused at local people who consider having two people in front of you at the grocery counter a long line and may feel out of place when you realize everyone around you went to school together.
Although small town living may not be for everyone, I prefer country roads and quiet streets to racing against vehicles in five other lanes of traffic in hopes of clearing the next light before it turns red. I love the fact that it's a big deal when the next town over doubles its police force with the addition of two new officers.
Bristol, Tennessee is large enough that you may not have to use a magnifying glass to find it on the map (I think the name "Bristol" may be in bold type on a state map) but it's still small enough to carry that certain charm and security - lots of security in the knowledge that our last homicide was four years ago.
So, imagine our surprise - and horror - when we heard that someone had shot and killed four people at a local apartment building before killing himself. And one of those people now dead was my husband's closest and dearest childhood friends. Although they haven't run around together in years, my sweetheart is feeling a loss from deep within.
I have heard the stories many times over, of two friends outrunning the local police chief on curvy country side roads. Of sneaking out (and later in) late at night to do those things that mischievous teenage boys do. Of girl-chasing, Chevy lusting and when Roy fell in love, moved to Illinois but later returned to this area when his marriage failed.
Roy's funeral is tomorrow. Please pray for his family and friends, for all those whose loved ones were killed in this horrific situation, and for the family of the young man who later turned the gun on himself. What pain all these people must be in, as well as the neighbors who once felt secure in their homes.
In case you are interested, the story is here.