Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jim on Doing Something about it

"I grew up in Saint Louis. I came to D.C. for the first time in 2004 as an intern. Then, I moved back to Saint Louis and applied for the Peace Corps. I went to Africa with the Peace Corps and came back to D.C. in November 2007. I was living in Brookland and then moved to Shaw in May 2008.

"Before the snow, I hadn't met any of my neighbors, except for the people above us. Through the snow storm, I have met most of the people on the block. I am from the Mid-West and we know that when it starts to snow, it is best to shovel every few hours. I have probably dug the same stretch three or four times during the first day or two. I knew it wouldn't be dug out because I knew the businesses on our street don't typically dig out their walkways and it would be around for a while. There are a lot of older people in this neighborhood and personally, I wanted to be able to get to the Metro, so I did it. People thanked me. I really confused a lot of the homeless people in the area. They were carrying around shovels and digging people out for money. They couldn't figure out why I was digging out someone else's property and not getting paid. I had a lot of long conversations with them. I don't know if they thought I was stealing their business, but it was clear that these walkways were going to stay covered unless someone did something.

"I went through about 400 lbs of salt during the storms. I have about 40 lbs left and I am just getting the corners. A lot of people walk through here and there is a lot of vacant property. They dig things out eventually, but not fast enough for I don't know what the laws are for digging out your property, but if you have a sidewalk in front of your property, you should be digging it out. Rather than just be angry about it, it is better to just go out and do something about it. I like being active. It is probably part of the volunteer spirit and finding something to do when you are home and stir crazy from all of the snow."

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