Today I thought about my first home, in the Delray part of Detroit. I remembered something awful that I couldn't possibly recollect, but it was talked about enough that I recalled the story. In fact, it's included in my second book, "A Sideshow Journey". I was either an infant when it happened, or not born yet.
Anyway, it was the early 1960s. There were some really rough kids from the neighborhood around Dill Street. They were brothers. They got ahold of my sister's kittens, poured gasoline on the little calicos and set them on fire. The youths thought it was pretty funny. My dad had to finish the kittens off as they were beyond saving.
My sister was inconsolable. My dad called the police, and a vet had to examine the little things, as part of the investigation. The police talked to the kids' parents who "reasoned" with the cops. The police then said, "Well it was just cats. What are ya' gonna do. Boys will be boys." Those boys were thugs and later ended up in prison for assault and worse.
I can't help but think, what if there had been intervention sooner and the parents hadn't stopped the authorities from doing their job? Those kids might have done better with their lives and the victims might not have suffered.
Today while I was walking through a park in a really nice town, I saw a kid beating on a wall with a broomstick or pole, doing damage. I told him to stop. He wouldn't. I had a talk with the middle-school aged kid and told him to do good, build something rather than tearing it down. Instead he followed me for about a mile harassing me. Finally I went to a house and the elderly couple that lived there saw what was going on and called the police.
I wonder what will happen. Will his parents say "It's just a wall he was beating and no harm was done to the "little lady"?