Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Groene Case

I've just read a lot of the postings on Netscape about this case. I've never lived this close to a situation like this. Though I don't know the family, we certainly run in different circles, I am well familiar with their home. You can't miss it when on I-90 - going East out of town you pass the Wolf Lodge Steak House, then the campground and then there is the little white house. Most would see it and never give it a thought.

That the family wasn't of stellar quality - that's a cultural judgment. They are not un-typical of long time northern Idaho folk. They do what they can to make a living and their choice of recreation and relaxation is often at odds with what is considered an acceptable norm by those coming in from different environments. After the timber industry died the jobs did too. A lot of these folks are adrift in world that is foreign to them. I'm not making excuses for them - but I do understand that they see the world through eyes much different from mine and those like me who came here wooed by the beauty of the lakes.

So the criticisms of how they may have lived - alcohol, drugs, a son in prison - the long hair and biker image is of no matter in the case at hand. No one deserves to be the victim of the monster that committed the crime. The kids, no matter what you may think of the family, were innocent. They were well liked - including Slade, the 13 year old who perished with his mother and her friend.

We are a community of great divides here; you have to live here to know and understand it. But one thing, there is no divide over the outrage of this circumstance. In this you will find no stronger community. And because of that, no matter the faults I find with this community, I find a thread of common ground and a basic decency and solidarity that will prevail against any and all that should dare to threaten it.

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