1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Alert;  Keenly watchful; ready for sudden action; vigilant.
Dan Duff

There hasn’t been a time since World War ll when we have had to be so keenly watchful. Our shores and borders are being crossed every day by people who do not wish for our government to know they are on American soil.  They know if they are found out or discovered they will be sent back to their country of origin.  We know there are people who are roaming freely about the country who wish us great harm and if called on by their handlers they will kill or maim as many Americans as possible.

Since September 11th, we have been tracking down and pinpointing the people who were responsible for the carnage in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.  We have a new cabinet level position in Washington to help in tracking down these vermin.  We have an alert system in place that goes up and down as the intelligence data dictate and it goes from “low” up to a “severe state”  of alert.  At the time of this writing we are one level down from that in the “high state” of alert.  This system is good if it is done right and “wolf “ isn’t cried too often.  Already there are people who say it is a nuisance and no one should pay heed to it any more.  Well, that is until last week.

The sudden pronouncement from Washington that we should all go out and buy some clear plastic and duct tape put some extra fear into the population.  That worked for a little over two days and now that is being put off as nonsense, because we all have to breathe and our house has to breathe and if you seal the house up from the inside, eventually you will run out of oxygen and we will find millions dead in their homes. When they saw that this was going to be a problem,  they said  “just do one or two rooms in the house and then go in and seal it up if the alarm system tells you the terrorists have put something in the air.”

I felt real good about this alert notice because I already had a couple of real big rolls of duct tape and some clear plastic.  You see, being from West Virginia I found at an early age about the blessings that come from possessing duct tape.  The uses of duct tape is endless and the repair cost using it is cheap.  A gun stock can be repaired or re-attached and prolong the life of the shotgun through three or four more daughters getting married. I have heard tell that the tape takes paint well and the shotgun can be painted white for a formal wedding  in the hills.

When I was discharged from the military,  I bought a used car.  While the motor and transmission were good it was quite evident the winter snow and salt had eaten well into several body areas of the car.  West Virginia had a vehicle inspection law enacted which called for a vehicle passing a certain criterion before it could be licensed.  It was certain that this car would not be cruising the highways and byways unless something could be done about the condition of the vehicle.  I of course went down to the local gas emporium, shoe repair and Bible store and inquired about how many tons of body putty and paint it would take to get me ready to visit the inspection station.  The owner would have been more than glad to do the necessary work and there was a gleam in his eye when he informed me of the cost of such an operation.   I did some quick figuring in my head and found that for a  just a few dollars more I could be driving a new pickup truck straight out of the showroom.  So I asked about an alternative.  His reply was quick and to the point. 

“Duct tape”, he said.

“Duct tape?” I asked.

“Yep, its done everyday around these parts.”

I bought the tape and fixed the car to the point of passing the inspection.  After that, it seemed for every emergency I had, duct tape was the answer.  Soon having extra rolls of duct tape around was as essential as having extra batteries for the flashlight or extra rolls of toilet paper.

I understand that the government had been experimenting with the new West Virginia quarter.  They had to recall them because the duct tape that was holding the two dimes and a nickel together was clogging up the vending machines.

To be on the safe side, I decided to get in touch with some of my relatives back in West Virginia to see if they had the necessary amount of duct tape and clear plastic on hand as the government people recommended.  They informed me that they had been ready since last fall, because every winter they use clear plastic and duct tape to keep cold air out of their trailers.  They also keep extra duct tape around for fixing water hoses in the cars and small plumbing leaks.

I think it is a wonderful idea that duct tape is going to war.  It has been at war in homes around West Virginia  for years.  Maybe there should be a special alert phase between the “High” and “Severe” state of emergency.  We will call it “Duct Tape” state of emergency. When that one goes up it will mean that every American will take stock of how much duct tape they have on hand in case we are attacked.