Lowe seemed to enjoy directing traffic from her perch. That's how I noticed her. I was shooting video of a nearby empty lot where fancy new town homes will soon rise. I needed the pictures as part of a broader story on how an ethnically-diverse, lower-income neighborhood was becoming, well, the opposite.
She was the just the character I needed. Someone who has lived the change. Someone who wasn't afraid to tell it like it is on-camera. And I'll say it, someone who wasn't a white newcomer.
I was about to ask Lowe a few questions when the congestion in front of her driveway started to clear and I observed something that said more about this community than anything I could write for TV.
A young white woman was sitting in that VW, unable to move her car (I later learned she ran out of gas). At first she seemed unnerved by the black man who had just gotten out of his beat-up Suburban and was approaching.
He instructed her to get back in and steer, while he pushed from behind. He struggled, and so I set my camera down and added some weight behind the stubborn hatchback. It inched forward.
And then she ran over the guy's foot.
He briefly howled in pain as she coasted down the hill, out-of-sight, but he did not seem bothered by what just happened.
"Is it broken?!" I asked (his foot, not the car).
I'm pretty sure he just made some remark about how he was glad her car was no longer blocking the road. Then he got in and drove away.
Above us, Lowe cheered.