|Photo: Brian Wilkins via Flickr.|
When Kirk told me about a shooting in Seal Beach, it made me nervous. I grew up in the very next town, Long Beach, and Seal Beach was one of our many beachy teenage hangouts. My memories there are endless - getting ice cream from Grandma's on the corner, flirting with the lifeguards, bikini shopping along Main Street and happy hours too numerous to count.
|Seal Beach Pier|
The population count from the 2000 census was 24,157. In 2010, it was 24,168 - 11 more people. And I'm pretty sure I know at least three of those. Not a lot of big changes happen there, which is the crux of the Seal Beach charm. It's nickname? "Mayberry by the Sea."
Sadly, thanks to an angry, deranged ex-husband, Seal Beach became a place of mass murder when Scott Dekraai busted in to a hair salon and killed eight people, including his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier - a girl I knew from high school. It's a sign of modern times that my high school annuals, once kept purely for nostalgia, have now become a reference tool for Facebook invitations and shooting victims.
|Michelle Fournier, pictured at left, with Christy Wilson.|
There is a candlelight vigil tonight and I so wish I could be there to honor the dead, including the innocence lost in this tiny seaside town. The OC Register is publishing the entire victim list tomorrow and it makes me nervous. As Susie wisely observed in her email today:
I'm keeping so many people in my heart and prayers tonight and in the days going forward, including every single citizen of Seal Beach, California. But mostly, for Michelle's 7-year-old son. Evidently, this gruesome insanity was sparked by a custody battle and the irony is, now that little boy has no parents at all."We may have moved away but we come from a village."