Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Seems Obvious

Robert was sweeping the floor of my classroom until this week, when the office switched him to a different part of the building. Robert would come in around 3:15 and we would talk while we both worked, mostly stories.

My favorite story of his had to be the time he and his friend were out hunting nearby. Two guys with shotguns, enjoying some quiet time outdoors, in some of the beautiful open space out here. They weren't finding much to shoot at that day, to hear Robert tell it, but it didn't matter. It's nice to be out with another male friend walking around.

Out in some unincorporated area they found some kind of campsite near a couple of outbuildings, some kind of shed that was old and decrepit. Since it was out in the middle of nowhere, the gentlemen got curious as to what might be inside, so they looked in either through a window or perhaps even through the wall, as that's how decrepit this shed was.

What they see inside was somewhat surprising although not unheard of at all out here, a laboratory with camp stoves and batteries and cans of Drano and acids of one kind or another, paint thinner, rock salt, hoses running in varicose patterns through pans and tubes. He didn't mention an odor but it might have spelled like ammonia.

They looked at each other. Fathers, both of these guys. Men who have raised children and know other people's children and love their town. They had shotguns. They did what seemed obvious.

Not the safest move, mind you. A place like this usually has gasoline or other accelerants in some casually-contained manner and adding hot gunpowder to the room is a volatile notion. But Robert's still here, sweeping floors early in the morning until suppertime, listening to a boom box with Christian rock music at 7:30 AM and greeting the children with a smile.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

No.... not the wisest way to handle the situation. Glad they walked away unharmed.

Also could have been bad if they'd caught the folks doing the "cooking" in the act.

Lots of labs like that in my neck of the woods (unfortunately).