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Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason


When that time came, we entered a winding, tree- lined driveway that paralleled the banks of
a private lake, ending at a ranchero style home half-buried in a hillside. The interior furnishings
tastefully matched its exterior design with modern functionality, if not quite overt opulence.
We talked to the preacher for half an hour, before we went back to the church to set up for
his sermon. This is when I discovered some of my expectations had been wrong; I had thought
his flock would be desperate and miserable people. Though obviously poor, they treated us with
a casual respect, did not intrude on each other's privacy or ours, and viewed life in black and
white terms. Literally.
When we asked, they said they attended church because they were raised to do so, and
though there was a significant difference in lifestyles between God's mouthpiece and their
mouths, this was an understandable demonstration of what the nearness to God could do for you.
That the congregation paid for the preacher's lifestyle made perfect sense to them, as did the
pomp and circumstance of the Vatican make sense for Catholics living in barrios.
When we were alone, I asked our reporter, Gavin Hewitt, if he understood where the
blockage in their reasoning might be, to which he said that wealth was not a criterion for
evaluating the value of one's life. However, he agreed that illiteracy, filth, and hunger, would
likely diminish the quality of it. Noncommittally (BBC) British to the core…
We decided to shoot additional footage of the people at play, to balance our story visually,
when we learned that a couple of "the boys were ‘goin coon huntin."
The scene was straight off a Hollywood lot: The first pickup truck to arrive was a faded red,
ancient Ford with round, dented fenders, and battered body. The owner, dressed in baggy denim
overalls, was gangly thin, but I could tell I wouldn’t have done well arm- wrestling him.
He was casual but deliberate, treating his hound with a rough affection that did not
undermine his manhood, before setting the dog loose to sniff a tree and pee. Then he called him
back, " Bleeewww ... Bleeewww-boy. Git heeauh!"
Jerking his head toward another open-back pick-up turning off the road, he said to us with a
nod, "Cuzin comin yonder."
The second truck and its occupant came from the same library of cliché stock shots—used
and tattered. The mandatory deer antler gun rack mounted over the rear window bore a well
cared for shotgun, as had the first man's vehicle. The hound was a clone of the first animal.
Gavin went to chat with him, as the man reached the back of the truck: he treated his animal
with a manly, rough affection before setting the dog loose to sniff and pee on a tree—the same
tree. Then he called him back. "Bleewww.... Bleeww-boy. Git heeauh!"
Blue number one proved to be a wanderer, and required some attention, whereas Blue
number two was conscientious and quick to respond. As a result, the soundtrack made little sense
as "Blues" could be heard every few seconds, followed by different commands from two sources.
The explanation of the full church, and the minister’s private estate, resonated with every
command—absolute conformity.
With his fiery sermon on tape, and interviews from members of his congregation safely in
the can, it was time to leave; we went to the rectory to thank the preacher for his cooperation.
Unexpectedly, he ushered us into a room where he all-but forced us into a row of four chairs,
which had been set up for the specific purpose of catching us when he stood so close that we had
to back into them, or ask him to slow dance.
Up close, he was even better than we had on tape—a riveting soul-saver, sans spittle, fully
in command of our personal space. Flanked by his honor guard of three dark-suited lay
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