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The strangest, scariest, most dramatic thing that you've seen in your n'hood

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I've been stuck behind a fully stopped freeway that was cleared for a life flight!   Amazing.  Everybody turned off their cars, because we obviously weren't going anywhere fast, and we could see the half dozen large fire engines and ambulances up ahead.  We were on a 6 lane freeway, packed side to side, bumper to bumper, all waiting and talking and wondering and - whap, whap, whap - in flies the helicopter.  It landed on the freeway, nearly a quarter mile in front of us, but the accident vehicles were actually well off the road, having busted through the chain link fence and ended up yards and yards into the ice plant. 

We also, at that same time, lived rurally, and shared a driveway with a Grange Hall that had a huge parking lot, and was another location for ambulances to bring people to be flown in a life flight chopper.  Those choppers have red and white strips on the tops of their big horizontal blades!  They flew in often enough that the goats got over being scared of the noise and wind.  They did training flights out of there too, to add to the number of times we saw them.  One time I had to fast talk my way past the fire engine blocking my driveway, explaining that I lived at the end of the driveway beyond the Grange, and I HAD to PEE, please.....

I think the strangest thing that happened during our time at that house was the  time a commercial truck failed in its attempt to cross the highway down the hill from us, and it fell over on its side in the center median with the most tremendous BANG.  Shook our whole house, and it took hours for them to reroute north and south bound traffic, unload the not small truck, and then winch the truck back to vertical and set it on its wheels.

This one happened while we were renting a house.

One morning, as she's making breakfast, my mother notices movement in a section of the backyard with a low fence separating it from the rest of the backyard. There's a person there. He looks around a bit and makes a beeline for another side of the backyard, bordering another house. She calls the landlord, whose first question is "have you called the police?"; upon being told that she has not, he does so. As it turns out, they're already in the area, because they're looking for the guy! When they discover that Mom can't confirm he didn't head into the house (the layout blocked her view of part of the area he moved into), they tell us to clear out of the house while they search it. We're waiting outside when we hear shouting and gunshots from down the street. Mom moves us behind a car until everything seems to have calmed down. She ends up getting brought over to help ID the guy, because she actually did get a decent look at him (none of us kids ever saw him, we weren't looking the right way the first time and didn't get brought over the second). I never did find out why he was on the run from the police, though.

After moving to where we currently live, we also had a house across the street catch on fire. The interesting bit was that the street was an expressway (which our house backs onto), so there was a sound wall. I couldn't tell whether the thing-clearly-on-fire-and-producing-much-smoke was a house or one of the two gas stations right there. It also attracted many fire engines. That was actually how I noticed it in the first place: heard sirens, looked up, saw massive amounts of black smoke, screamed. Indeed, we had probably ten fire engines out there trying to keep it from spreading (Mom and I went to go look, to confirm that whatever was on fire wasn't a gas station).

Raccoons mating!

A lemonade stand!

Yup, that is how tame my subdivision is.

The fire/gas station reminded me of one when I was in college.  I was at work when we were told to evacuate the book store I worked at.  A guy went off the deep end, went to the gas station next door to us, told the gas station attendant that he had better leave, doused himself with gas and was trying to light himself on fire. The attendant had the sense to hit the gas cut off when they saw what was going on and called the police.  Everyone was evacuated from the area for safety. Sadly, the man succeeded with his plan but the attendants actions prevented the station from blowing up and injuring others.

My family has lived in the same complex for two years. We have noticed a trend of fairly young people that move in to a unit, drive very nice ($50K and up) cars and don't seem to leave home much. They hang around outside a lot, all hours of the day.

About a month or so after moving in, we usually notice police activity at that unit.

Narcotics had a major bust today when I came home from work. Three more drug dealers off the streets.


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