. . . lived in Missouri, apparently. From local newspaper columinist T.J. Greaney, one more reason the Founders really should wonder about the quality of the p.r. representation they have been receiving. Apparently one of their recently-deceased modern legatees liked to spread his message on bathroom stalls:
In the 1960s if you entered a restroom or a phone booth, there’s a chance you might have noticed a three-inch-square sticker at eye level. A closer look might show the image of a rifle crosshairs superimposed over a menacing text:
“See that old man at the corner where you buy your papers?” the sticker read. “He may have a silencer equipped pistol under his coat. That fountain pen in the pocket of the insurance salesman that calls on you might be a cyanide gas gun. What about your milkman? Arsenic works slow but sure. … Traitors, beware! Even now the crosshairs are on the back of your necks.”
The author of this screed is Robert Bolivar DePugh, and his goal was terror. For more than a decade, DePugh led a shadowy militia group known as the Minutemen. Their stated purpose was to use guerilla warfare to repel the Communist invasion they always believed was at hand. Later, they vowed to root out Communist spies they swore were entrenched in the U.S. government. War, in their minds, was always imminent, and a group of armed patriots was the last best hope for the Republic.
“He saw himself as the Paul Revere of the 20th century, that he was going to save the United States from Communism,” said Eric Beckemeier, who grew up in DePugh’s adopted hometown of Norborne and wrote a book in 2007 chronicling his movement. “It was delusions of grandeur, almost.”
Almost? Anyway, the whole piece is well worth reading. Not exactly a heart-warming local human interest story, but also not exactly not.