Editor’s note: Last week, gun violence hit the Downtown Lawrence area and took the lives of three young people enjoying a night out on the town. We here at I Heart Local Music tend to only report on music-related news. Though it happened Downtown, where many live music events are held, it was completely unrelated to the music scene so we didn’t issue a statement. However, it affected many scenesters, as they viewed the destructive aftermath as they were exiting many of the shows for the night.

In response, local promoter Jacki Becker of Up To Eleven Productions has penned a response to share her heartbroken sentiment since the incident, and we agreed to post it on our site. You can read it below.

An Ode to my Love Affair with Mass Street
 
You are the street that, just a few months ago, over 6,000 people came to and sang along with my neighborhood friends the Get Up Kids
 
You are the street where over forty thousands of us celebrated together our first national championship in 20 years in 2008 (with only one incident)…
 
You are the street that we rode our bikes on behind a pedal hopper, from South Park to Liberty Hall, celebrating the marriage of Amber and Dave…
 
You are the street on which I marched to Take Back the Night…
 
You are the street I fled to when the Arcade Fire played the Jackpot, windows and people dripping sweat and I needed a breath of fresh air…
 

Busker Fest / Photo by Fally Afani

Busker Fest / Photo by Fally Afani

You are the street where we have seen fire walkers, break dancers, and a woman who can rip open a phone book on busker weekend…
 
You are the street on which I’ve poured over Astrokitty comic books, and drank thousands of cups of coffee from the Roost and Bourgeois Pig on…
 
You are the street I high-fived new friends on each time KU, again, didn’t win a national championship…
 
You are the street people flock to and save Santa every year…
 
You are the street where I have wondered who the fuck is that playing at the Replay, then paid $2 to check it out…
 
You are the street where I have had many a conversation outside the Red Lyon while my friends smoked cigarettes…
 
You are the street that evolved into a concrete Peloton for whizzing professional cyclists to race…
 
You are the street where I always find my sunglasses at Wildman and ATC…
 
You are the street where I dropped my first slice of pizza, large as my face, in front of the Japanese friendship garden…
 
You are the street where I go to find my Essential Goods for the best birthday gifts…
 
You are the street I have bobbed my head at this is my condition playing on the bricks because who wants to play inside the venue…
 
You are the street we annually parade down with cars that have merged with Art Tougeau in May and horse-driven carriages in December…

You are the street filled with patios for happy hour cocktails at Merchants and 715, depending on where the sun is shining…
 
You are the street where I drip gold rush ice cream on the sidewalk as I try to suck out the malted milk ball at the bottom of my Sylas and Maddy’s ice cream cone…
 
You are the street where I’ve given the bottom of my bag coins to the man who plays saxophone on your corner…

You are the street where I came busting through that gigantic wooden door out onto the sidewalk one night after dancing to Sell Out at the Jazzhaus…
 
You are the street where I’ve brought turkey subs and leftovers to hungry folks on the concrete slab at 9th and mass…
 
You are the street filled with Etc., and a dog named Max…
 
You are the street I caught candy from a city commissioner on, where I’ve worn all green and wondered what theme the Sandbar float will be each St. Patrick’s Day…
 
You are the street where I have placed my feet into the bronzed footprint of the legendary Tim Griffith, while doors opened for the Flaming Lips at Liberty Hall…
 
You are the street that welcomed the first brewery in Kansas, where I know I’ve drank at least a thousand beers…
 
You are the street that always makes sure my house smells of cucumber melon from Waxman…
 
You are the street that I’ve seen a Stuffing cat sprint onto from her Love Garden home (a lot)…
 
You are the street that is a Wonderfair of printed and written conversation…
 
You are the street where you can wave at the former mayor cutting hair in his shop…
 
You are the street skateboarders and cyclists still ride on…
 

2017 Mardi Gras Parade / Photo by Fally Afani

2017 Mardi Gras Parade / Photo by Fally Afani

You are the street where my friends dressed as jellyfish and celebrated Fat Tuesday with a marching band…
 
You are the street whose marquis at the Granada has welcomed bands, wedding proposals, and presidents alike…
 
You are the street I honk for hemp on every Sunday…
 
You are the street that allows us to speak..
 
From the fires that burned you down in the 1800s, to protesting on you in the 70s and 90s, to the crowds that flooded you after the national championship in ‘08, you, Mass Street, have always been a place of action. You are the street I have walked down and biked through practically every day of my life since I graduated from KU and began working in music downtown.
 
It’s okay to hurt. It’s good to mourn the senseless loss of life through gun violence. It’s okay to say I’ve walked that way every day and wondered. It’s good to reflect, to always remember the hurt; that’s how we heal. 
 
Lawrence, let’s make this street ours again. It’s the heart of our city – the place where we celebrate, shop, eat, drink, explore and cheer en masse. On Mass.

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