3 Apr 11

I met Rodney Crocker at a gun store in the southern part of the peach state back in 1985. I was looking at a rifle for defense purposes and he noticed I was checking out an AR-15. He said it’s a good gun but he preferred an M-1 with a collapsing stock so you can use it in close quarters. I bought the 15, mainly because I was comfortable with it.

Rodney has a gun dealer’s license and can get any weapon out there legally. He gave me his card and told me to come  up to his place if I wanted to buy ammo or another weapon. He produces his own ammunition in a building next to his home.

His home is in Hawg Valley (not found on a map by that name), where access is by a narrow road from the main highway and then it becomes dirt and sand mixed with a few short asphalt streets. The settlement consists of a couple of dozen homes, from mobile homes to unique dwellings that were put together over a period of years. Rodney has a masters degree in public administration but makes a living selling weapons and ammo to various clients. He has a wife and no children.

Rodney claims that a scientist in 1927 found the skeletons of ancient people who were 20 feet tall in the La Brea Tar Pits in Southern California.

I said I never heard that before.

He said, “It’s true. There was a write up in the paper about him and the book he wrote on his find.”

I asked him about the newspaper and the man’s name and he said he would get all that and mail it to me. That was 24 years ago.

Rodney is about 6 feet tall with a strange looking build. His body bows out in front and his pants look like they might fall off in back. There seems to be nothing there to hold them up. Kind of like a 90-year-old man.

Criminals don’t come into the area because the locals make sure they know if strangers are around. If they don’t have business there, they leave quickly. If the delinquents cause problems, such as vandalism, Rodney and a few of his friends dress up in dark colors and wear masks. Then they catch the delinquents at night and persuade them to cease their bad behavior or else.

Rodney built an 800 yard firing range on his land and about 200 that he borrowed from the state. A 10-foot high dirt mound backs up the targets.

He once bought a junk 1950 Mercury and placed it in front of the mound. Inside he placed a couple of 50 gallon cans filled with gasoline and some explosives. Everyone had their fully automatic rifles loaded with 30 round magazines. Rodney set up a 50 cal. machine gun and a full belt of ammo at one dollar per round. Click on image.

The line formed up.

He yelled, “Ready on the left? Ready on the right?”

“Fire!”

The line started blasting away with red tracers showing the way to the target. The 50 cal. hit something and a double explosion of fire and debris woke up the hawgs, coons and armadillos. The fireball billowed up above the trees. Minutes later the remains of the Mercury, torn apart, was still in flames. I used my sound protection but I could still hear ringing in my ears for a few minutes. Click on image.

While we stood around and discussed the demolition of the car, Rodney invited me to visit him on the fourth of July.

He said, “I make my own fireworks. This show is better than Disney World.”

I thanked him and said that I would certainly consider doing that.

Rodney has a unique method of dealing with people he wishes to influence so they will make the correct decision in anything that would impact his plans.

One day a middle-age couple and a realtor came to look at some vacant land next to Rodney’s place. He wanted to build an ammo factory on the land  but didn’t have the money to buy it. So Rodney, always thinking in his own special way, put on a dirty undershirt and a pair of boxer shorts with valentines on it. He was barefooted as he headed for the door, grabbed his AK-47 and put a magazine in it.

Then he headed toward the three visitors who were standing by a tree. The man with valentine undershorts walked a bit like Charlie Chaplin in the silent movies, all the while with a large grin, looking like someone with an IQ well below a hundred.

The three looked up in surprise, and stared with frozen eyes and open mouths. Meanwhile, Rodney stopped about 30 yards away and looked in the gully next to the street. He jacked in a round and pointed the rifle at something below and opened up on full auto.

When he finished, he looked up and gave the threesome a big grin and waved. Then he turned and walked back to his house. The realtor and two clients, meanwhile, went quietly to the car, got in and the car’s tires were smoking for about a block.

Rodney is like no one I’ve ever met. But I guess he means well.

No. I can’t honestly say that. I don’t really know what he means.

I do know that Hawg Valley is on another list I have.  At the top is Somalia.

(This is based on a true story. All of the names have been changed.)

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