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.