Smiles

hiestands

You know I’m kind of fascinated by my dad’s grandma, Ina Mae. Part of it is that every story I hear of her makes her seem like a miserable old cuss. My dad thinks she may have been a professional mourner. The only thing my grandma ever told me about her (she would have been my grandma’s mother-in-law) was that she had a “fiery temper.” And yet, it was her helpful naming of her children with a bunch of family names that helped me track down so many folks.

Once, I had a dream about her. All she said was “look at my grandma.” That, so far, hasn’t led anywhere. But I trust the dead. For the most part.

Anyway, there she is in the middle–smiling. I know of no other picture of her not looking like a stern German man. But here? You can kind of believe she was happy some times. That’s her brother, Ernie, next to her.

I posted other photos of my people over at Facebook, if you’re curious.

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When You Know Something’s Wrong

This story in the Tennessean has really shaken me. I can’t say that we didn’t hear about this. We may have. But what we get told about isn’t always comprehensive. My co-worker had a dude come into the office when she was in there by herself and get within arm’s reach of her while she was at her computer before she noticed him and raised a ruckus and scared him off and there was no alert sent out. The police even told her they had video of him entering offices at the Med Center. Their thought was that he was reaching into women’s purses, taking their credit cards out, writing the number down, and putting the credit card back. My co-worker thought he was trying to get into her purse.

But there was no warning sent out campus-wide. There’s a rumor that one of the downstairs offices was broken into. Again, nothing.

Anyway, the point is that the parking garage this woman was raped in is the parking garage I’ve been avoiding, if at all possible, parking in for the past 14 years. It’s poorly lit. I’ve had men come out of the stairwell and just hover, watching me. I had a guy follow me halfway home from that parking garage. I guess that dude must have been an employee.

I don’t know any women who work on our end of campus who park there unless there are no other spots.

It’s one of those things you think Traffic and Parking must notice, but, if it fills up with students, maybe it’s just not that easy to see that female employees are avoiding it.

I keep thinking–should we tell someone that we don’t feel safe parking there? More than that–that we all know it’s not safe to park there? That it wasn’t before this happened and that it’s not now? Should we have stood on the sidewalk out front and told female students it wasn’t safe? Should we be telling them that now?

There are better designed parking garages on campus–better lit, better set up so that you don’t feel easily isolated in it. I wonder why we can’t get a re-designed parking garage, then.

I don’t know. I guess this is fairly incoherent. I just hate that a bunch of us know something is wrong and yet, it continues to be wrong and people are getting hurt.