By Grant McGee: CNJ columnist
The newest issue of “Mother Earth News” landed in the mailbox the other day. The Lady of the House thumbed through its pages as we sat under our shade tree. I was just starting to doze off when she laughed a bit and tossed the magazine on my lap.
“Read that,” she said. “It’s right up your alley.”
“What is it?” I asked, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes.
The magazine was asking readers to give them input on what they would do to “prepare if you knew that five years from now everything would cost 10 times what it costs now.”
They meant everything — fuel, groceries, animal feed, everything.
The article touches on growing your own food, how would you get to work and what would you do if there were “roving gangs with guns” that would steal your food and fuel?
“Well, don’t you think things are getting a little weird now what with prices rocketing up?” I asked The Lady of the House.
“We’ve been through it all before, remember?”
Then I remembered 1973 — the Arab Oil Embargo, the 55-mph nationwide speed limit, you could only fuel up on certain days depending whether your license plate ended with an odd or even number.
That was when I first heard of the Survivalists, folks who were stockpiling food, living way out in the country, waiting for the collapse of civilization and ready to meet the unprepared coming down their country road with a smile and a loaded shotgun.
I was inspired then to write in my high school newspaper about what the future would bring because of the embargo. And being a knowledgeable and wise teenager I believed I had my finger on the pulse of things to come.
The incredible rise in gas prices from 38 cents to 55 cents a gallon would usher in a kinder, gentler time of bicycles and maybe even horse-drawn carriages. Once a week we’d have to walk or ride a bike to school or work. We would be growing food crops around our houses instead of having lawns (but corn or grass, my dad would still be making me pull weeds).
And who can forget the Y2K scare? A huge chunk of the world believed that our computers would flip out when their internal calendars clicked over to the new millennium, 010100.
Whole systems would shut down. Even here in Clovis, plans were laid out by the city government to tackle the chaos that never came.
I was ready to fill my bathtub so there’d be drinking water but I never got around to scrubbing the thing. I think my buddy Wayne in Roswell just recently finished all the bottled water and canned foods he had stockpiled.
Then, when something dark and real finally did happen on Sept. 11, 2001 we were stunned and shaken, but you know what? We dusted ourselves off and made it through.
I handed the magazine back to The Lady of the House. That article made me think about times of nationwide, even worldwide change. Somehow we make it through because that’s what we’re supposed to do … live, keep going.
“So, do you think we should get a rifle to defend ourselves against the roving gangs?” I asked The Lady of the House.
She didn’t answer me. She kept reading an article about homemade cheese.
“Look,” she said. “We can make our own mozzarella.”
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: email@example.com