I never did find out what happened to the couple involved in the motorcycle accident the evening of the vigil downtown just after the El Paso shooting. I went to pay my respects to gunshot victims that were represented by 284 pairs of shoes laid on the west lawn behind the bandstand. The Herald-Zeitung reported there would be an interactive art exhibit and guests were asked to bring flowers to contribute. I brought a handful of sunflowers from my garden. 

As I walked down Seguin street toward the plaza my heart sank when the shoes came into focus. Large boots, high-heels and tiny ballerina slippers were all painted equally in black. As I placed my flowers, I saw that each pair was labeled not with names but with the geographic location of 284 U.S. mass shootings since 1/1/19. 

I chose to grieve alone on the backside of the bandstand. The reverend just finished a prayer when I heard a sickening crunch followed by screams. I turned to see a motorcycle sliding horizontally across the round-about and two people strewn into traffic. I dropped my purse and ran toward them through the shoes in that out-of-body way that seemed like lightning-fast slow-motion. I knew whatever I was about to see I would never be able to unsee. Ironically it wasn’t the first time I’d had to make that decision; my husband was killed in a motorcycle accident some years ago. 

Mercifully, someone ran faster than me to render aid while I instead turned sharply to block traffic. Somebody came and put an orange vest on me. I heard the injured man calling out to his lady rider but she didn’t answer. I think she might’ve been in shock. I didn’t turn to look. For the second time in my life I chose not to see what I could never unsee. I could hear the Samaritans rendering aid telling them to be still as the sirens got closer. I diverted traffic until NBPD arrived and took over. 

I numbly walked back through the feet-less shoes in the dark to find my purse and then to my car and locked myself inside and sobbed. I wept for humanity knowing that in spite of it all we’re exactly the same. We are all flesh and blood; heart and soul. That’s it. I hope that couple is ok. I think of them often. And those damned shoes.

Anjie Frazier,

New Braunfels

Recommended for you

(2) comments

Shirley Fraser

Dear Anjie Frazier,

The world is a better place because you are in it.

Stephen Baird

A great letter!!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.