San Bernardino

December 2, 2015, Chino Valley-  I was involved in overseeing a series of lessons, holiday song practice and the making of decorations for our classroom.  Then, there was the pilfering of a math test master copy, which did the thief no good, as I simply switched to Format B, for tomorrow’s assessment.

Then came news of the latest horror, the killing of 14 people in San Bernardino.  I have been through the Inland Empire many times, most recently visiting nearby Riverside, whose downtown I find quite enjoyable.  I have only driven through the edges of San Bernardino, and my feelings for the place have been mainly vicarious compassion and concern.  I was worried during the serial arsons of 1980-1, when it appeared someone was dedicated to taking out as much of the city as possible.  During the Big Bear hostage-taking and murders, a few years back, I felt an ominous twinge, that the shooter might bust out of the resort town, and engage in further mayhem, down the mountain.

Today’s events, unfortunately, come as no surprise.  “Berdoo”, as some have called it, has always presented itself to me as a city on edge.  The shopkeepers and wait staff in area restaurants have seemed to be of shorter tempers than in other parts of the I.E., and certainly other parts of California.   The city has its charms, and it would be a fine thing if those were accented.

Now, however, we see another dark day, shaking the calm that had started to set in, a few days after the carnage in Colorado Springs.  I always feel we need, as a nation and as a species, to close ranks around the suffering, and most definitely in both of the most recent episodes.  No city, no community, should have to hang its head in shame, and no place ought to feel abandoned by its neighbours, or by the rest of humanity.

As the answers come forward, regarding the reasons behind this latest attack, let us tell San Bernardino:  “It’s going to be alright.  America is with you, and the nation will not forget this day- anymore than we would forget the terrible anniversary coming up:  Sandy Hook.”

10 thoughts on “San Bernardino

  1. It’s been a long, difficult day in the IE! San Bernardino has recently been reported to be the most crime-ridden city in the State, and perhaps even in the country. It has always had a dark criminal element, and it probably should not be a surprise that there should be major incidents in the vicinity. That, however, does not excuse the suffering imposed on so many people by one or two, whether terrorist (international terrorism) or simply a disgruntled employee. To quote one of the presidential candidates, I refuse to accept this as normal — unfortunately, I believe that we are not yet ready to say that it will be all right.

    San Bernardino and Redlands are places that were, within my lifetime, where people went for the clean, healing air — where much of California’s citrus was grown, beautiful gateways to the San Bernardino mountains. Many times I have driven through both — I have been right past the locations of today’s incidents, and have worked intensively with people at Loma Linda, one of the hospitals that took in today’s victims — a most impressive hospital and medical university.

    Again — it’s been a long, difficult day in the IE — and it affects us all!


    • No, a city’s ambiance does not excuse the carnage, such as we witnessed yesterday. We are, indeed, all Bernardinistas at this time, and as a nation we have to be better. Loma Linda is an exemplary hospital, and my late wife’s grandfather was one of its early benefactors. Her SDA relatives lived in Loma Linda for three decades.


  2. The anniversary of Sandy Hook is coming up, yet we are no closer to a resolution.
    More and more proof that it doesn’t matter where or why or who, at any point someone can make a decision that wreaks havoc on everyone else.
    I’m especially saddened for those most directly affected.


  3. There was an article in the L.A. Times a few days back discussing the fact that San Bernadino is slowly crawling out of it’s bankruptcy. I went on Google maps and planned an itinerary for a Photo Expedition to both San Berdoo and Riverside…but when I’m that…close…to Lake Arrowhead, I want to procure the keys to the cabin and stay for a few days.

    It’s closing in on wintertime, so I’ll wait for any trips up near the hills till after snow melt. (Although God knows what’s in store with “El Nino” on the horizon all across the state.)

    I always cringe when I see things like “Pray for San Bernadino”. It’s just a place. These seemingly random acts of violence are almost like a virus, affecting the “he was a quiet guy” sort of people who they later find bunches of questionable material on their computers. The seem to be happening everywhere. No one is “safe”. Because the “terrorists” are right down the street. (I wrote an essay following 9/11 back when I was on Geocities proclaiming that it isn’t strangers from other countries we have to worry about. It’s the quiet guy who lives in a part of town which we never visit.

    The first thing I think of in this particular instance is that the couple who were gunned down just had a baby. I’m grieving for this poor soul, who will be marked by this incident their whole life. If someone is touched so much in the head that they would go on a killing spree, why have kids for heaven’s sake. That really angers me.

    I think I’ll still plan on taking a photo expedition to San Berdoo as well, perhaps next Spring. I used to deliver merchandise up there when I was a truck driver for the FedMart chain in the 70s. I consider all of Southern California my back yard.

    It’s not the place, it’s the demented mind of certain segments of humanity, and they live anywhere and everywhere, and I have no idea how society is going to “fix” this. Humanity has lost common sense and morality. And it seems to be getting worse as I (we) age. And the perpetrators are all so young, and hopelessly lost. (Not all are young, granted, but a good number of them are.)


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