Yesterday evening I played my normal Wednesday night event. I enjoy this time of the week and normally we have so much fun. Unfortunately, the mood of the night shifted to anger when we discovered that one of our band members was beaten outside in the parking lot with the intent to rob. The band member was getting his equipment out of his car when about 6 or 7 youths rushed him and started beating and kicking him. According to my friend, one of them even had a gun. As he laid there on the ground one of the youths said “You know what this is about… hand it over.” Before anything else could happen something made them disperse quickly. I was really upset when hearing of this, and I am so sorry that I wasn’t there at that particular time to help my friend. While nothing can change what happened, I am hoping that posting his experience will help others. You see, this happened during the nighttime hours, and he was handling his equipment by himself with no one else around at that time. They rushed him while his attention was turned towards the handling of his equipment in the car so he never saw them coming. They got to him through the element of surprise. The best way to make sure you never become a victim is for you to pay attention to your surroundings. The lot was big enough for him to lock himself in his car if he had only taken notice of this gang approaching beforehand. Since he knew the other band members would be coming soon he could also have just waited for them to arrive so that there would be witnesses around. Thugs will prey on you only when they know no one else is around to identify them. Finally, it is beneficial to have a mode of defense. You don’t need a gun. My other friend (who is a police officer) said that mace of pepper spray will render anyone incapacitated and out of commission. Women especially need to have this and it could definitely help save lives. The gang that did this were cowards. The place where we play is not even in a bad neighborhood, but these guys just happened to be roaming through it on this night. I remember years ago pulling into a gas station to get gas. As I pulled up next to the pump, there were 2 young males looking around VERY suspiciously. None of them was buying anything and the both of them kept talking quietly at each other while “pointing” to different people buying gas. This triggered something in me, and after they pointed at me I made my own assessment to drive off. Later on I heard that there had been a robbery there. I paid attention and I did not become a victim that night. Please never assume that something bad can never happen to you. Punks who want your money will come to your neighborhood to get it (because they know that the chances of you having it and them not being recognized are greater). When you drive into someplace at night, don’t get out of the car immediately. Survey the area first and make note of anything you deem “suspicious.” Pay attention wherever you go, and hopefully you can avert being the “next victim.” Thank you for reading my Daily Thought, and as always I wish the very best to you that life has to offer.
Bill Withers (grey hair to the far left), his daughter in the middle, Anthony Hamilton in the white shirt and cap and Brett Jolly to the far right