Shape Up Or Ship Out

Fighting neighborhood crime is just the tip of the iceberg for Capitol Hill's Unsinkables.

Minutes later, her wish comes true. She and Goss spot two men walking along Pearl, and one of them is drinking a beer. But since he apologizes and hands Goss his can of Coors Light, she lets him go with just a warning.

A half hour passes with little activity, and then, as the group approaches a parking lot near the Office Depot on Colfax, a man jumps out of the back seat of a car, hops in the driver's seat and speeds away. The top of a woman's head can be seen as he takes off. "Looks like they just finished doing...something," Goss says, shaking her head. She's disappointed that she didn't catch the john.

After walking along Colfax for 35 minutes without incident, the group turns down Washington, where they find a homeless man passed out behind a fence. Goss and Calcamuggio rouse him and call Denver CARES. He manages to stand up, and despite their instructions for him to remain seated, walks toward them and almost falls right into Calcamuggio. After they get him to sit back down and receive word that the CARES van is on its way, the Unsinkables move on.

The Unsinkables before their first crime-fighting walk of the year.
Anthony Camera
The Unsinkables before their first crime-fighting walk of the year.

By 11:55 p.m., the group is down to Goss and three neighbors: Anderson, Nachtigal and Mary Stollenwerk, who joined them late in the evening. Once again, they find themselves in front of Bonanza Liquors. A young man is standing against the building with his hands in his pockets, looking around nervously. Just as another man is about to enter the store, the young man approaches him and tells him he forgot his ID; he asks the man to buy him a beer. Glancing sideways at Goss, the older customer chooses his words carefully. "I'm sorry, but without seeing your driver's license, I can't buy you any beer."

Goss, who shakes her head in disbelief during the exchange, turns to face the young man and asks him what he's thinking. "Didn't you see me standing here?"

The young man says he's sorry and leaves. Quickly. For the next couple of minutes, the neighbors stand at the corner. They seem a bit restless, as if they can't decide what to do next. They watch the people walking up and down 13th. There are college-aged kids heading toward the Snake Pit, a midget waiting to cross the street, a man walking his dog, all of them minding their own business.

The Unsinkables marvel at how quiet the night has been. Nachtigal yawns. Anderson says she's tired. Her companions are, too, so they decide to call it quits. Right at midnight they say goodbye and walk off in separate directions, hoping for better luck next time.

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