Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Small Town Life

My town, Ojai, is the kind of town where everybody knows everyone and everyone has a small price to pay for living in a rural paradise. I love my town. I can drive up the road and be at the Krishnamurti Institute within minutes, soaking up spiritual vibes and contemplating life from the shady vantage of a massive lemon tree.
I have my pick of cool places to eat. I love Reuben's, which has the best Mexican food in California. I can eat at all kinds of places...but, things I love about Ojai are disappearing. The Tottenham Court Tearoom closed, leaving a huge hole in the social whirl here. I loved having tea there with my mom when she came up from San Diego to visit me. She misses the tea. I miss the cute piano player.
Something else has been missing in Ojai lately.
People's stuff.
Yep. Stuff started disappearing here from people's cars.
And sometimes, the cars too, vanished.
I happened to notice a red sedan with a man and woman in front roaring up and down Ojai Avenue. They were conspicuous by sitting around smoking dope in the kids' playground behind Busy Babes (tacky).
These stoners, or as my friend Stacy insists, chemically aware folk, were not at all secretive or even selective. I didn't think much of their presence at first since we are a happening town (honest!) and visitors come here either on their way from LA to Santa Barbara or on their way TO LA from SB.
But these people seemed to drive around and around.
It all came to a head this week when they allegedly stole a credit card from one of their victims and bought a nice meal at a local restaurant - not my Reubens - and next thing we knew, they were being arrested.
They are transients who got wind of the rather nice life here and thought they'd ease us all of the burden of being happy and thinking we were relatively crime-free.
Bridget Campbell, 21, and David Williams, 26 have pretty hefty bonds they have not yet posted so they languish in Ventura County Jail pending arraignment.
Thankfully they were caught midway through a coastal crime spree that began, apparently in Santa Barbara.
The beauty of small town life is that thieves stick out. Especially stupid, voracious ones.
There's another huge benefit to this beauty. Being in a small town means that when you are able to identify your stolen property, the police return it immediately. No need for it to languish in the limbo world of "evidence."

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