I need to say that I have known my friend since The Garden days, that was my very first restaurant job. Since those days many seasons ago, I have been running restaurants from Seattle to Santa Barbara, and other than funky dives with peanut shells on the floor.
I have never encountered the enormity of property destruction that I have witnessed in the last year at her place. Her place is well loved, the food generous and she works really hard, lots of hours each day. And then there is her community involvement. She has supported the kids, teams, sports events, throws the biggest party in town in May and at the restaurant from birthdays to baby showers… she has even over the years bailed kids out of jail. But, her place is getting tagged, carved up and graffittied more than I can wrap my head around.
I don’t understand vandalism and property damage as a personal expression. How can this be OK? Why can someone gouge so deeply that there is sawdust? Parents sit there and have even been known to join in… What kind of values are being instilled either actively or passively? Not even to bring up manners or codes of conduct, somehow this is a grave mistake. Where is parenting? This is not OK, not remotely.
The broken jukebox seems to fill some entertainment value as kids punch the buttons like they are winning a video game or maybe pinball as they smack at the sides. My head can’t wrap around this, and my heart breaks for either clueless kids with no guidance, honor or personal integrity or more frightening some creepy entitlement to mark something.
I wonder why people sitting there witnessing this have nothing to say? This would be where I insert it takes a village but, I wonder, if the village is a reflection of some weird fear of social media lameness? I am at a loss to understand. And it makes me angry, but, I think I am really just sad.
Thanks for the place I can say this,
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