Wednesday, Oct. 20, 1983
Jimmy asked me on Monday when he could start back to school - for him kindergarten at Berea First Baptist Church. Since that church is out of the way, I promised him that I would check the public bulletin board down at Bi-Lo to see if the church had a bus picking up children. It has become obvious in the last 25 days that no gasoline or diesel is readily available to those cars like ours that don't have electronics that help them run. After I had started the fire in the pit in the back yard, Jimmy and I walked down to Bi-Lo to see what notes had been posted there.
I had not been surprised that the church had suspended kindergarten for a while, but I saw many new notices had been posted since last week. One of particular notice was that a man with an old pickup and some cleaned-out 55-gallon drum was offering water from the Saluda River as long as he had a way to transport it. I assume that he has had little luck in getting any more gas than the rest of us with running vehicles. Anyway, I put a note that I would be interested in a barrel.
Pastor Settle told us Sunday evening that the mayor's office had formed what they were calling a "provisional government" for at least Greenville and Laurens Counties. Towns on the borders with Greenville county had begun to work with the major's office as well. County Council, which oversees where we live, had essentially merged with City Council though none of the politicians seem to have given up their offices. Word is that the plans are in the works to take over the Bell Tower Shopping Center across from the health department. It's nice to see that the law enforcement of the city and county have been very visible since that day the bombs fell.
Well, I started digging up the back yard with a hoe on Monday after we got back from the visit to the bulletin board. I talked over it over with our neighbor Nannie Ferguson who has had her garden of tomatoes and green beans behind her house every year since we moved here. I hope to hear from a guy who makes mulch from yard waste about how I can build my soil using clippings from mowing the yard last month. I have read in a book in the library downtown about how to change that gasoline motor into a generator - makes sense, if I can get all the stuff from Radio Shack to make it work. I think I may be able to at least keep the car battery charged that way. It would be nice to have some electricity in the house. I think only the hospitals and police stations have reliable power these days.
Speaking of the hospital, we started acting as a clearing house for refugees over at Beth Eden. We cleared at least half the beds of those not needing special care - you know, old enough but not quite 'sick enough.' I have been asked to check on a few that happen to live in the Berea area with families now having to take them back to live with them. I think its mostly those who had been expecting those social security checks on the 3rd. Local administrators of social security have told us that they cannot 'write checks' themselves, but hope to 'hear from Washington' soon. Somehow, I think we're on our own for a long time to come.
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