I happened to catch a headline on Yahoo about half an hour ago about a shooting and hostage taking in Binghamton, New York. The American Civic Association, a part of United Way which is involved with assisting immigrants, is the target.
My uncle was the urban renewal director in Binghamton in the 1960s. It's where my father grew up and his sisters and brothers lived. All of my first cousins on that side of the family grew up there and I'm pretty sure some of them are still in the area. I just hope no one is near where this is going on.
The events are taking place at 131 Front Street, about half a block from what I remember was the biggest department store in Binghamton, where my aunt ran the "foundations" department. The 60 mile drive each way from where I lived is something we did several times a month, often on Thursdays which was the night shops were open late in Binghamton.
The world is not so large a place that things in a city 3000 miles away can't affect us. When the shooting happened at Virginia Tech, one of the professors killed was the son of a science fiction writer I've photographed. I worry that in a place where I have so many contacts, things could hit closer to home.