October 23, 2001
This weekend I took a trip to North Carolina to visit my parents. Now you have to understand that we are talking about the boonies here. Primarily an agricultural area this small town is surrounded by swamps and pine trees. The closest location of any consequence, Fort Bragg, is nearly an hour away.
On Saturday afternoon, I heard the loud thump of rotor blades coming over top of the pine trees separating my parents’ home from the nearby cotton and soybean fields. Knowing there was a crop-dusting company that uses a helicopter located in a nearby town, I thought I would take my little daughter over to the field to see them at work.
Unfortunately, the field was farther away than I thought. I didn’t feel like dragging my 3 year-old through the blackberry bushes that filled the woods between the field next to my parents' home and the field where the pilot was at work. Disappointed, I returned to the house and forgot about it.
The next day I attended my parents' church. Arriving a little late, I ran into another late member. “Oh, I’m late,” she said. “I had to go back home. I was coming to church and I saw a helicopter with a tanker truck beside it. I had to go back home to call some friends and see who these people were.” I replied, “So, were you afraid there was anthrax in there?” She only smiled sheepishly.
Now I am back in Greenville. I learn that certain retailers are saying that only the managers are to open mail coming into the store. It was feared that the retailer would be a target of the terrorists.
Handgun sales are up. Anthrax is showing up in the fruit bowls of suburban homes. If this space were made available to list all the interesting anecdotes, we would fill your browser's buffer! Now I ask you, why would a terrorist want to put anthrax in your fruit bowl? What are you going to do with a handgun against paper envelopes and 767s?
Am I sticking my head in the sand because I don’t think that a crop-dusting helicopter is there spraying anthrax on cotton plants? Now, if a crop-duster is seen over downtown Columbia headed toward the capitol building, I’d be glad to pull out a handgun and do my part. Don’t laugh, I remember a story growing up about a farmer who got mad at a low flying crop-duster and put a shotgun slug through the plane’s canopy.