This story happen this weekend and is only fitting because I am a little over half way through the book Patriots by James Wesley Rawles.
I have known Bill for three years now and we have only spoken a hand full of times. His wife and my wife are friends as well as his daughter and my middle daughter are good friends. The only times I have been to his house is to either pick my up daughter or drop her off.
Bill and his family live in what I would call, seclusion. Owning about seventy five acres on a peninsula that darts out into the lake, the property is heavily wooded in most spots and surrounded by water on three sides. The one mile long drive winds it's way thought trees and pastures with a quarter mile straightaway at the lowest point of the property. The white gravel road finally comes to rest at a beautiful house high on a hill overlooking the property and the lake.
Bill has always been reserved and quiet. The few times I picked the girl up, little things around his place would catch my eye and I wondered about them but respecting his privacy I would not ask. I picked out camoed structures up on the hill in the woods along with different types of motion sensing devices strapped to a few trees along the drive. I knew I would do the same if I had his place so really didn't think much about it.
He has been to my house a few times as well buying chickens.
The last time he was over about two weeks ago and after the chicken deal was done, we were walking back to the truck and he pointed and asked "Is that a rain water harvesting system you got there?"
"Yes it is" I replied back.
"Hmm" is the only sound he made in response as he scratched his chin.
We continued our walk through the back yard towards the gate when he paused and pointed, "Is that a solar oven?"
Again all I replied was, "Yes it is."
Another "Hmm" came from his closed lips and he continued on and got in his pickup and left.
Early Saturday morning I took the wife over to his house for a girls play date his and my wife had planned. The girls were going to spend the day window shopping in town. I gladly passed on the invitation to go.
I drove slowly up Bill's driveway and talking with the wife on how I would love to own this property. I went on to tell her where I would put the surveillance cameras, the LP/OP, spider holes and many other things to secure us and the land. I told the wife the 1/4 mile straightaway of his drive was a perfect spot for an ambush if someone breached the first line of defense at the gates. Yup, that one got a weird look from her.
After dropping the wife off I started back down the long drive. Off to my right I saw his truck racing out from the woods, bouncing from side to side to get to me before I got to far away. I thought, oh man he must not recognize the truck and thinks I am a looter or something. I thought about racing off for the fun of it and to just to see what would happen but then thought maybe I should just stay put and let him come to me because there was no way I could outrun a bullet.
He drove up next to the truck and with a weird kinda look said, "MDR, your one of those survival nuts aren't ya?"
I fired back not knowing the outcome, "Well, if you must put a label on me then yes, I guess I kinda am."
He then got the biggest grin and said, "Follow me, I want to show you something"
I usually try not to go back into the woods with a guy I hardly know, and being on his property made the whole situation a little worse. I was armed and I was sure he was as well. The movie Deliverance came to mind and as I gripped the .357 revolver I had under the seat. I said to myself, "I was not going to squeal like a pig today".
We wound around through the trees with me tight on his bumper for fear getting lost for at least a half mile and then came upon a clearing. What I saw made me envious even before I left the truck. Bill jumped out and with a wave of his hand and a half bow gesturing a sound of "waalaw".
Like a kid eager to show how much candy he got on Halloween, Bill slaps me on the back and said, "MDR, welcome to my retreat, you are now one of only six that has ever seen it".
I went from nervous to honored in less than a heart beat. A two story stone building stood before me. He told me it had stone walls 6" thick for protection against raiders. The windows were placed so he could look out and see from all directions. Bill even went as far as to trim the trees so to have "lines of sight" as he called it. Floodlighst filled the tree tops pointing away from the house to blind anyone approaching. He called it the "deer in the head lights" look. He was set up.
Then with a half crooked grin he said "I knew you were here before you even pulled into the driveway".
I knew I saw some of that stuff on the trees. He then showed me a monitoring system that only a high security prison would have.
Without going into a lot of detail, he showed me his food storage, water system, electrical system, observation post and some of his surveillance system. When I asked about his weaponry he quickly changed the subject so I am sure he was not ready for that just yet so I let it go.
Bill even has a fortified chicken coop. When he was showing it to me my mouth just hung open. Electric fence and razor wire is all I am going to say about it. With pride he said "There ain't nobody getting my eggs but me".
Bill and his wife gave my family an invitation to seek refuge at their compound if we needed it when it all goes to hell. He told me with another slap on the back, "I can't defend all this by myself".
He then asked what kind of firearms I had. With a grin I told him "I will show you mine if you show me yours first".
Knowing Bill might come in handy one day. I just think it was funny he called "me" the survival nut.