Historic Kenwood, St Petersburg
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Historic Kenwood was the St Petersburg neighborhood where we lived, and where Amy was beaten. As residents of the area for three years, one that was deceptively close knit, we were expecting after her slaying that a crowd of peasants would gather, carrying pitch forks and lit torches in order to call for justice for our murdered pet. Nothing of that type eventuated. After three years of being in the area, patronizing the local merchants, delivering the neighborhood newsletter, attending the neighborhood meetings, taking part in the neighborhood events such as clean ups, I though that there would be a stronger reaction in deploring the crime and offering assistance.
Of the four thousand people living in that area, only one offered any sort of addition to the reward money. $100. We won’t name him as he may prefer to remain anonymous, but as heartening as his action was, it was disheartening that no one else saw fit to make any sort of contribution. Especially in an area where so many had profited from the renewal that it had enjoyed (it was once much like South St Petersburg). Those investors turned out not only to have deep pockets, but to have very short arms.
Others did offer some assistance in door knocking, and when there was a suspect, another person did allow me to sit on her porch to surveil the house he frequented. As an aside, she had the same first name as the male person who offered the reward money, must be something honorable about that name.
I did address one of the neighborhood meetings. I am not much of a public speaker so wouldn’t expect to galvanize people into action, but by the look of the stony faces there at that Historic Kenwood meeting, there was not much interest in offering any help. I got the feeling that a lot of the real estate agent / investor constituency of Historic Kenwood were much more interested in clawing back any good reputation that the area could salvage after the crime wave that it enjoyed and still persists to this day.
The people who can’t tolerate crime and are believers in justice have already left, such as Lisa and Kevin, Jeff and Susan, Tom and Michelle, plus those such as Cliff and Joe, who while milking the Tampa Bay area for rare employment opportunities, know that their destiny is not in Florida. Another neighbor in Historic Kenwood was burgled twice and their dog assaulted with a fire extinguisher. They decided that they had enough after two years and moved out. They had hosted a couple of the neighborhood pot lucks, so I guess that these events finally sapped them of their enthusiasm.
Those who are left tolerate crime. A friend of ours didn’t even mention to her husband the tragedy that befell us. It may have been because she was notoriously and loveably self centered, or maybe because it was nothing out of the ordinary. Another couple, who were connected with law enforcement, one being a Tampa cop, who had even fed Amy and her fellow felines while I had been away just days before the assault, also surprised by not stepping up the plate. A friend who was a cat lover herself never mentioned it. She, her husband and young son eventually fled to South Carolina. One person, lets call her XB, who I had become very close with, also never mentioned it to me, though that may be because she lived in a cloud of pot smoke and wellbutrin. Everyone else I imagine just buries their heads in the sand or is so jaded to the violence and other crime in St Petersburg.
I really feel let down by my former home city and neighborhood. I am sure that many others feel the same way.
Animal Cruelty in Historic Kenwood
I remember one woman, a South St Petersburg type, who kept her dog on a short leash in a hot exposed front yard. I told her to give the animal some shade and water. She seemed a bit mentally challenged, to honest.