Well, things went surprisingly well, and certainly could have been much worse. They got him, the kidnapper – he’s dead; and they got him, the hostage child, safe and sound.
Then the local Southern sheriff and some other authorities gave a news release to the media crowd. I almost died laughing as they did so.
They did it in a good old fashioned Southern way of course – that’s the way the law works down here – as CNN, Fox News, and others are learning to their dismay and no doubt some behind the scenes curses, and confusion amongst certain Northern – and Californian – groups.
They stonewalled them. (actual conversations are paraphrased for brevity, just the general gist of what they were saying . . .)
Over and over again questions were answered with the statement, “It’s an ongoing investigation, I can’t give you the answers right now.” Or “We’re still processing the crime scene, and it’s gonna take a couple of days.”
What they mean to say is they’re going to get their story straight – everyone on the same page – before anyone says a thing.
To be fair they never said “No comment,” – though they could have. What they were saying was basically the same thing.
“How was it done – the rescue?”
“We aren’t going to give specifics about methods or strategy . . .”
“What about that explosion we heard?”
“This is a crime scene, and still under investigation . . .”
And around and around it went.
After the interviews I switched over to CNN just in time to catch some lady reporter – from the North, no doubt, or Atlanta (since Atlanta doesn’t belong – not properly – to the South anymore: it’s been taken over by those “damned Yankees” – the ones who have come down to stay . . . (as the saying goes around here).
She was interviewing a “childhood friend” who had grown up with Mr. Jimmy Dykes, the kidnapper.
“This Mister Dykes shot at his neighbors, killed his neighbor’s dog with an iron pipe . . .” – the CNN reporter went on with a bunch of his ‘things’, followed by (in a tone of outrage), “Those were crimes!! I don’t know how things work down there – but those were crimes!”
“Now maybe they were,” the ‘old friend’ drawled, “and maybe someone should have looked into them, but . . .”
and he went on to thank the reporters for showing up, the sheriff’s department for rescuing Ethan
And I just laughed – at the CNN’s Northerner’s frustration and inability to understand the attitude down here. Not just by most of your “country citizens” but your Southern cops. It doesn’t matter what happened “down there”, what the process was that they went about, neutralizing the old man and saving the child. They aren’t going to say a thing until they’ve got their stories straight – each and every one of them. And don’t you dare break ranks! If you do! . . . I shudder . . .
you’ll be avoided at every Baptist meeting you go to, you’ll be blacklisted by the crowd. Your family might divorce you, disown you, or worse.
They might even shoot your dog down here.
I have to laugh when I see the fairly liberal and law minded Northerner come down here – where guns are prevalent, and many people share some, if not many of the attitudes about some of the things that old man did – the ability to guard your own property, keeping dogs out of your yard (for the animal control will not “come and get them” unless you’ve got them tied up first).
In some places it’s considered not just a right, but a duty to get rid of a stray dog. And our form of euthanasia generally comes out of a shotgun or something like that.
People don’t quite get it. Just as California is like another country (and New York / New England special amongst themselves – and often thinking that of themselves as well) – so is the real deal “South” – the one I’ve been (mostly) raised in, grown in, been around. It’s full of rednecks like that old man – crotchety old bastards who may – or may not – be carrying a gun. Most aren’t nearly as antisocial as this Jimmy Dykes nut – they’ll help you if they can – but they’re rough and tough and used to taking things – the little ones, anyway – into their own hands.
“Why didn’t anyone report him?”
Well, because for the most part he was like most of the folks here – or at least the country ones. Not wanting the government too much in their business – but some is all right – many of them serving in the military and taking care of things back home. Their home. And around here that, like family, can mean something else.
Hard to explain if you ain’t been raised in the South – raised on grits and sand and Southern red clay. Where the police officers aren’t very friendly, and there’s old dirt going on. But they will “do the right thing” – or at least as they see it and can call it. Just like they always have. Not always a bad thing, not always good. Old boy Sconyers had his BBQ place to go to – where’d they’d sit and get their stories straight on things, and before that a place downtown.
Things are different here in the South – as I think CNN, Fox, and the news outlets will (once again) learn. These old boys can be tight lipped and won’t say anything, or nothing they shouldn’t – just right now.
Later on, though, the nut might crack – and then we’ll see what meat falls through.