I went to the “Danger-zone.”  That is an interesting song with relevant meaning for me.  I lived and worked on kibbutz Beit-hashita near the Gilboa mountains in my twenties.  I have also lived in some parts of Queens, Brooklyn which were not the safest and I have trekked through some interesting countries on my own so I am not prone to exaggeration when I say , we inhabited the “danger-zone” with our Cupcakerie location on Busch Boulevard.

Initially, I had no fear until I learned that one of the other proprietors, whose husband was a deputy, was afraid to stay alone in the store.  Since Mike and I were accustomed to baking together in the mornings and then splitting the shift, this made me a bit apprehensive.  So, I did what all good English majors resort to:  I began to research the area and read the crime alert.  It was not uncommon to note that we were on the 4200 block of Busch and on the 4800 block of Busch several robberies (armed) took place along with assaults morning and throughout the day.  Hmm.

Then about a couple of years after we had the store and some of the store leasers changed, we had people who would park and hang out all day in their car with darkened windows.  It seemed as if they were transacting business.  As an English major, again, I felt destined to write it all down.  There is a story but I was also jittery.  I am not sure but I suspect it may have made some of our customers’ jittery  especially as many of them were women and women do not like to feel scared walking out of Mel’s Hotdogs to get a cupcake across the way.  Cupcakes goes best with puppies, friends, shared conversations and not innuendos, crime, and “watch your back.”  I was usually very determined to not let my husband know it scared me although I am very certain there were times I over reacted.  Our store was set up so that when you went to the refrigerator to get the cupcakes, you had to leave the front which had the cash register.  There were several incidents when I was alone where I had a customer from one of the stores nearby who tried to go in the back and who I met when I was coming out.  She told me she thought we allowed customers in the back.  We had two phones stolen which were left on the counter by mistake but no robberies.

Some of the more interesting customers included a man who wanted to sell me a stun gun. I remember there was a customer eating in at the time and she listened speechless to the conversation.  There were frequent salesmen selling meats, pocketbooks, etc. out of the back of the car and a fortune teller who came in to tell me my fortune.  All I wanted for him to say was “This too shall pass.”  My mom used to say when she heard of some of my risk taking trips in New York and overseas was “God protects the innocent and the lucky.”  I believe this is what she said.  I would like to believe someone was looking over me.  Maybe it was my mom.  If so, thanks.