Aaron Salter Jr., 55, was on duty at the security job that supplemented his retirement income. Ruth Whitfield, 86, was buying groceries. Celestine Chaney, 65, stopped in for strawberries for the shortcake she and her sister were eager to enjoy.

But their plans went awry. Salter’s work shift ended sooner than he expected. Whitfield didn’t make it through her grocery list. And thoughts of strawberry shortcake evaporated in a flash for Chaney.

Randy Evans can be reached at DMRevans2810@gmail.com.