Monday, March 02, 2009

Paranoia in Texas

Last week I drove along Hwy. 287 from Amarillo to Ft. Worth. I am writing a song about driving across west Texas and decided to take some photographs for a video I intend to make. I looked for an appropriate, safe place to pull off the four lane and noticed a dirt road to the south. I pulled off and parked up the dirt road about 50 yards from the main highway. Stepping out of the car, I proceeded to take photographs of the sky and deserted landscape. You can see two of them on this posting. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a state trooper slow down, do a u-turn and head my way. He pulled up behind me and started to ask questions.. What are you doing" Why are you taking photographs? Why do you have a tow hitch on your car? What do you tow? He was very polite and I answered all the questions to his satisfaction. He said they had to do this since 911. We talked a while. He asked if I had any CD's and I showed him. Finally he said "good day" and turned and left.

That was when I started to ask myself some questions. Have we become so paranoid that if someone pulls out a camera we have to find out exactly what they are doing? What would have happened if I had been taking a photo of an historic monument like the Alamo instead of this place in the middle of nowhere? Maybe we are going a little too far. I was intending to take more photographs that day, such as the "Watch out for rattlesnakes" sign at one of the rest areas, but decided it wasn't worth having to explain.

No comments: