Stop Touching Things

"Miss! you can't touch the artwork..."
"He means you, too, G-ma"

Friday, October 23, 2009


For many around the state, the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling was a shocking and sad crime. For me, it was a watershed. I was 11 years old when 11 year old Jacob was taken, and living just an hour south of his hometown. I remember standing in our family room, having come downstairs to talk to my mom, and stopping short as we watched the coverage unfolding on tv. I know she talked to me about what was going on. But I just remember the horror. It was the very moment I learned that bad things happen. It wasn't that I was very sheltered as a kid — I grew up in the Twin Cities — I knew about safety and that bad people were out there. But until Jacob's experience was broadcast, it wasn't real. I didn't know him, but feel like I did; his tragedy is a very real part of my life. Years later, when a schoolmate was kidnapped and murdered by his neighbor, purportedly because he "was different", I thought back on Jacob, and I wasn't the one in the counseling office the day after the Pioneer Press put Grant's photo, complete with a gunshot wound to the head, on their front page. I already knew the truth by then. Bad things happen.

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