What a full week, these days are memories made in an instant –  My worst day was Thursday when my cat, Ringo was killed by a speeding car. A car not slowing down for a cat in the road and then taking off and not acknowledging that you have hit a 20+ pound object.
I was rounding the corner with my son Adam at around 7pm, still very light out, and my neighbors were flagging me down.  I looked down and saw my big fishing buddy on his side, dead from the impact so at least he didn’t suffer. I saw his face banged hard which made me think he looked right at the car at that instant of impact. I didn’t hesitate to pick him up, I wanted him back at home, back to where nothing else would harm him. I carried that heavy, limp body home and held him in my arms for a long time.
Adam dug a nice big hole in my garden as I hung onto Ringo, fondly thinking of his crazy antics. How he would bite you if you petted him one pet too much, how his tail had such personality. What a character!                       This macho cat had been found by my next door neighbors as a young feral kitten at the place Kristi worked. Ringo was a beautiful blue eyed, white striped baby, he found a wonderful family who loved him and let him exert his feral ways. All the neighbors knew Ringo and were completely seduced by his blue eyes.  On a daily basis he visited his favorite people, walking right into homes where people fed him and enjoyed a brief visit. Everyone who met him said he was so cool.   He was a lover, a fighter, a poet and king.
When I moved in, (Ringo was 2 years old,)  with my own feral cat, Church and the girls Frankie and Sealy, Ringo and his brother Flip all blended together in harmony with my cats from day one! Not a scrap between any of our cats at all. They sat on my opened door screen porch in the back or on the driveway. Usually at least two of the males were within a few feet of each other at various times during the day. And yet, Ringo was not shy about fighting with other cats  not to his liking.

Ringo loved to go after anything, even snakes. I never worried about snakes down at the lake when fishing because Ringo would not hesitate to challenge one. Yes, he killed birds and ate them, lizards too which he downed. Rats and mice and moles he killed for sport,  I sometimes would see him stroll by with something which I would rescue, but he was quite a hunter with an appetite for ‘game’. (Put the name Ringo in my search and you can read back stories.)  His favorite thing to eat were fresh fish, he loved shiners and bream and sometimes there was quite a struggle between Ringo and the heron both wanting fish. Ringo would sit there as long as I sat at the lake, he would nap near the pole, he read the water like fine, sheet music, those ripples on the lake were sweet vibrations to his senses, especially when a pole on the ground moved with a reward for him. He sat up in nervous anticipation to eat till he was full, (leaving the head.)  He also loved minnows and ate in abundance, (I would net them in a small plastic whipped cream tub as Ringo enjoyed his appetizers!) I will miss my fishing buddy. He’s buried out in my garden – I now know where he is all the time now. And when I woke up on Friday and thought about it, it would have been much more fitting to have given him a viking send off in a flaming shoebox out upon the lake, but there’s a burn ban, and I really wasn’t going to set him on fire, that’s creepy –  and with my luck the flaming cat would head toward some dry brush and Ringo would start a brush fire and how would I explain a viking send off for a cat to the police? This loss has been a big one for our family.

Let’s backtrack to before the tragedy and look back at Sanford news events,  After the Trayvon Martin shooting  we have been plagued by media making our town out rather negatively. Famous people and groups came in and some of these radical groups like The New Black Panthers were showing signs that read “ban the “white owned Sanford Businesses”. That’s ignorant and what did the small downtown business community have to do with the shooting anyway?  Glad to get rid of the Panthers and  Neo Nazi Nutz who wanted to stir up something claiming they were here to protect white citizens, Fuck Off Neo Nazi’s and New Black Panthers, we need your negativity like hemmorhoids, like boils, like slimy slugs! Go and be a downer somewhere else where you are welcome, we don’t feel anything good comes from your attitude of racial hatred.
I’m happy they decided to arrest George Zimmerman and find out what exactly went wrong. Let’s deal in facts from now on, let’s see the truth and how the Sanford police filed their report and handled the horrific loss of a young life. The marches have been peaceful and now with the arrest,  it’s time to breathe.  Media has been both effective and negative, we will wait now for the trial and see how the “Stand Your Ground” Law applies . While it allows people to save their lives from criminals, it can also be a tool to get away with murder quite literally. It’s a law that criminal thugs like gangs use to get rid of rival gang members, a law used to do harm to people who don’t deserve it like Trayvon, unarmed and on his way home.  He wasn’t trying to break in or steal or bother anyone, he wanted to take his skittles and ice tea and go back to his family – I can’t even imagine how Trayvon’s family must grieve for their loss. Let’s hope we get answers.
The shooting took place about 8 miles from downtown,  the business owners have been losing clientele because of all the protests,  media almost salivating for something crazy to happen for something to talk about for a new news cycle. Thankfully all went peacefully, no fights, disagreements, no violence and many people including business owners from Sanford all  walking together asking for justice, for answers.
Now finally with the arrest, things have really quieted down. Alive After 5 this Thursday was huge, many people came to downtown. A true showing of community support! Another showing of support came out of  making hands from cardboard and putting a positive word or peace sign and stringing the message across businesses around downtown Sanford. Over 380 people have made hand designs. Next Saturday you are invited from 9-noon to come the Sanford Farmers Market by the clock tower and trace your hands and work your creative magic so they can be added to our chains of hands. Come show you care! Look around, enjoy the many restaurants and galleries, furniture, antiques, consignment clothing and more. Our little business district is full of goods –  come enjoy what we have to offer. Remember, April 21st, 9-noon, help us create a positive!
Check out the Farmers Market with fresh fruits and veggies, slushies, orchids, sauces, honey, art, and many vendors. Make it a great day and leave your hands on cardboard for posterity – here’s a view of Alive After 5 and hands on togetherness for a better community.