One Year Later

Anniversary noun

an·ni·ver·sa·ry | \ ˌa-nə-ˈvərs-rē
, -ˈvər-sə-\

plural anniversaries

  1. the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event
  2.  the celebration of an anniversary

Some anniversaries are meant to be celebrated, some only mark a spot – a moment in time when things changed. Today is not for celebrating.

It’s been one year since the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks.

One year since we learned that twelve people weren’t coming home.

One year of  wondering why?!?

Once Upon a Time, I was a DINK* who spent her free time drinking and dancing with friends and strangers at the Borderline. It became my home-away-from-home on the nights when my husband was working and there was nothing good to watch on (pre-Netflix) TV.

Motherhood changed that (FYI motherhood changes everything). I promised to return to dancing after the baby was born, and so I did – 18 years later. There were tons of new kids on the floor, but some of my friends were dancing still. Introducing the girl to my old hangout made my heart sing.

She loved learning to line dance and said that Borderline “felt like home.” My husband is not a C&W fan, but he didn’t begrudge us our mother-daughter bonding nights.

All too soon the teen told me that, although dancing with “long time” (I suppose I should be happy she didn’t call us “old”) attendees was fun, she wanted to join her friends at College Night . As a college freshman,  her father and I were concerned that College Night was open to all ages, but when a classmate invited her to a birthday celebration on November 7th, 2018, we gave in with a “Don’t walk to your car by yourself.” and “Make friends with the bouncers.”

She changed her mind at the last minute. She had “a ton of homework”, and a long road trip planned for the weekend and decided staying home was the best choice. Or maybe her guardian angel blew sleep dust in her eyes.

I don’t know why she stayed home, but I will be eternally grateful that she did.

We still dance together at local Borderline events at The Canyon Club in Agoura and Sunland Winery. They may not be “home”, but our family of heart is there, and they’re amazing. Funny, smart, friendly, kind, willing to help people with two left feet, willing to make friends out of strangers.

There are memorial events planned over the next few days, and  a ton of stories being told today. A lot of interviews with the friends and family members of the twelve we lost. My heart is with them, and with the 248 people who were there but managed to make it home.

We’re still here, and we’re #BorderlineStrong. And maybe, just maybe, that’s something to celebrate.


*DINK – Dual Income, No Kids








4 responses to “One Year Later

  1. Great story, Tracy. I, too have been using my blog to try to give people a look at what really makes Borderline (hint, it’s not the building). I also got to share it with my daughter when she turned 18. I think that’s one of the biggest differences between our community and a typical bar. It’s not uncommon to see multiple generations kicking it up on the dance floor together (I know of at least one family that has 3!). How many places can say kids come in there and feel comfortable socializing with their parents and grandparents. We’re so fortunate to have this extended family who hasn’t wavered once in support of each other.

  2. Thank you. You’re right – Borderline is so much more than a building. I had no idea that there was a 3 generation family on the floor! Our Borderline family is just that – a family of heart that’s grown stronger over the past year.

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