Friday, June 5, 2009

No.33: The Battle of Tupelo

The Enemy
I remember my dad coming home from work in the middle of the day once in the early 1960s. It had to have been in the summer because I was at home. After he quickly changed clothes, he asked if I wanted to go with him to the co-op. Now I might have heard of a co-op, but I’d certainly never been there, and I’m not sure he had either. Nevertheless, I always enjoyed it when he asked me to go somewhere with him, so off we went. On the way to the co-op he filled me in on something that to my young imagination sounded like a real adventure. An infestation of armyworms was moving through the neighborhoods of Tupelo, devouring lawns as they went. We were going to the co-op to pick up some poison, a sprayer, and an extra length of garden hose. People all over Tupelo were preparing their defenses against the invading worm. These were armyworms and we were going to war.
The actual battle wasn’t nearly as exciting as I had imagined. We sprayed the lawn with the poison and even went to several neighbors’ yards and helped them. And we never saw the first sign of an armyworm anywhere near our neighborhood. I was disappointed then, but now I realize the best wars are the ones that never happen.

1 comment:

  1. The armyworms are coming! the armyworms are coming!!
    i remember those horrible things. they seemed like they crawled out of a low budget sci-fi movie and into our neighborhood. And the green icky remains dotted the streets and sidewalks when they were squished by cars, bikes and over zealous kids!