Friday, March 16, 2007

Paramount Showdown

While Chris and I were driving in the car today we were reminiscing about a trip we took to Southern California a few years back with our friend Trish and her daughter. It was a fun trip, we drove down to Los Angeles and spent a week enjoying the sun and all the tourist attractions southern California has to offer. Of course we went to Disneyland, Universal Studios and spent a significant amount of time sight seeing in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Bel-Air. Being that it was my first trip down there it was a very memorable one for me. But for all the things we did and saw nothing was more memorable than the afternoon spent at a friend of Trisha's house.

You see, when we first arrived down there the plan was to drop Trish off to spend the weekend at a friends and then Chris and I would continue on down to Palm Springs to spend a few days with his grandparents. Trish's friend lived in a place called Paramount which is part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Paramount is bordered by Compton to the west. For those of you who do not know of Compton it is know to have one of the highest violent crime rates in the United States. It is known for its gang violence, you may have heard of the street gangs the "bloods" and "crips." Not the most pleasant place in the world. When I realized where her friend lived I was a little scared to even have to drive through the area. We arrived mid afternoon and helped Trish unload her luggage. As we were unloading things from the car there was a car parked across the street and there were two young black guys hanging around. Chris and I decided that since his grandparents were not expecting us until later that day that we would have a nap and relax for a few hours before we headed back out for the drive down to Palm Springs.

Once we were in the house I realized I needed something that I had left in the trunk of the car. I didn't want to go back out because those guys were still hanging around and they made me a little uneasy. Chris was quick to tell me I was just being paranoid and stereotypical because of their age and the fact that they were black and the area we were in. I agreed with him and realized it was silly of me to assume every black male in the area was a gang member ready to shoot things up. So out I went to the car to get what I needed, as I was walking to and from the car I could feel them watching me. It was really creepy. Once back inside Chris and I settled in for a nap in the spare bedroom while Trish and Ashley got comfy on the couch.

I don't know how much time passed before we heard the loudest noise. Chris and I immediately were on the floor. All we heard was "pop, pop, pop, pop" !!!! There must have been about 10 of them. We ran out into the living room to peek out the window with Trish and sure enough the nice young guys who had been lurking around the car across the street were now jumping in the car and peeling off down the street, tires squealing and all. It was insane. Within minutes cop cars came tearing down the street and spent the next half hour or so walking around the property collecting stray bullets and checking things out. CRAZY!!!

It was insane. My heart was racing and I was terrified. I could not believe for the life of me that right across the street there was a drive by shooting. I could not believe that the same young men that had been watching me had just filled a house with bullets. Perhaps one of the scariest and bizzare things I have ever experienced. It was crazy and I could not wait to get in the car and head to Palm Springs where all I would have to worry about was friendly seniors telling me stories about their grandchildren. Which reminds me of the the few days we spent there, but that is a blog for another day:)


Anonymous said...

wow, that's insane! sounds like a movie - sometimes you have to go w/ your instinct. Glad you were all okay?
last week there was a full out fight in the weight room & apparently both were known to police - one was well known & had spent a couple of years in jail already. Not to mention I caught young people in the family changerooms having sex, & I thought I was not sheltered....Sometimes it just still shocks me.

Andrea said...

That is crazy scary!

Tammy Williams said...

Crazy! I never knew about that story! Next time you will have to tell Chris to just go outside instead of you. Scary!

Your story reminded me of when I was in the Dominican Republic and my host family and I were all in bed when we heard gun shots outside. We all ran to the door to check it out and all I could see was my host dad running up the street after some guy (the shooter I think). I was so terrified that I ran back to my bed and curled up tight. All I could think of was that I could die in some foreign country. The next morning the cops were lining the streets (looking for evidence I suppose).

Crazy life stories!

Jodi said...

How freaking scary! That is why I never leave home! ;)

I am glad you are all okay.