Thursday, February 20, 2014
Maybe you just can't keep a secret in a small town.
I went out for dinner last night, just a quick ride out to this place we found by the lake. It wasn't crowded and it was a nice , tranquil place for a quiet meal. After I ordered, two young men came in the door. I recognized them from the gun club. I only go to one meeting a year, you have to make that one , it's the safety lecture. The rest of the monthly meetings I skip. You do get to know people at the range though. I haven't been going like I used to, but while I didn't know these fellows by their first names I knew their faces and "clans". There are families that have been up here since the 1840's, a special group that anyone who lives in a rural Southern community will instantly understand.
They came over to "visit" and asked if they could join me. I have absolutely no capacity for small talk, and I have a profound and amazing ability to say things that I mean well, which come out wrong and offend people. On the other hand, you can't say "no" without being spectacularly rude. So I asked them to sit.
I needn't have worried, neither of these men had any problem with conversational skills. They wanted to tell me all about this gentleman they knew from the club. He was "one of those folks that stores up food and guns and ammo and such..." I thought they were talking about me, and I wondered where this was going. It was a bit of a shock.
But I was wrong. They had been over to another club members house, to look at a gun he wanted to sell. He took them into his basement to his gun safe, and they saw copious quantities of MRE stacked up, and pails of long term storage food. Once they asked about it, he was apparently pretty open with them. The man seems to be an old school survivalist, and apparently has been for many years. I've known this fellow myself to the extent that we "throw up our hands" at each other if we pass on the road, but that's about all. He's not from the South, retired from FEMA , and talks too much while people are trying to shoot. That's all I know about him.
But listening to these two younglings, it seems "John" is a full scale , long term, survivalist of the old school. They tried to repeat what he told them about economics and his motivation, but it was sadly garbled. Neither of the men I was sitting with had the slightest grasp of the standard topics survivalists talk about among themselves, or had ever read anything about them. But it struck me that it wasn't going to be long before everyone in the gun club, and their wives, and their kids, and the people at church, all knew everything there was to know about "John." I wondered if he was recruiting for a group. Both of these young men were tough, honest country people with all the requisite skills you'd look for if you were building a band of merry men (and their families) for a post collapse scenario. Both were locals, from large extended families in the farming community. Maybe they lacked discretion but no one is perfect.
One interesting thing that was said surprised me. One fellow looked straight at me and pronounced "he's like you , he hates the government too." How could he possibly know how I think on that? I'd never had a conversation with either of these two other than to talk about guns. I certainly don't talk politics at the range. All I can think of, is that when I worked at the general store, at the gun counter, years ago we used to talk politics. These two young men would have been kids then. But it must be that I got tagged back then, and it's just filtered on down through the years.
Over the years, from time to time, I've had people here to do things I couldn't do for myself. I wonder how much of what they saw has gotten around. The firemen who had to come put out the chimney fire a year ago at Christmas saw everything, because the gun safes, a big store room, and the "radio room" are all down on the same level as the wood burning stove. Maybe I've been kidding myself about the level of my operational security all these years. Maybe I don't actually have any operational security, and just never knew it.
Not much I can do about it now though.