December 12, 2016
Books Can Be Powerful Weapons, But Not These Books
by Ryan Harrington
Last week in Ozark, Missouri a suspicious package was left outside the Christian County Justice Center in Ozark Square. More specifically, the menacing package sat abandoned in the public sally port of the Justice Center.
We’ve got the beginning of a good yarn here, and I promise to return to it just as soon as possible, but first — what on God’s green earth is a sally port? Turning to our longtime friends at Merriam-Webster, we learn that little architectural curiosity is “a gate or passage in a fortified place for use by troops making a sortie.” In other definitions those same soldiers are making a “sally,” which makes a good deal more sense. Thus we return to our story.
The KY3 local news report on the subject covered the developing story for an hour until Lieutenant Jeff Lofton informed the on-the-scene camera crew that the square had been cordoned off so the sheriff’s department could determine “what in the world that was.” Such a determination involved calling in the bomb squad to X-ray the package, and submitting those images to analysis.
To everyone’s relief, it was merely a box of books “that someone just left.”
As a precautionary measure, the bomb squad open the box and, in Lofton’s report, “went through those items, very finely, and determined that it was a safe thing.” The news anchor echoes this statement calling books “completely harmless.” We here in publishing hope that not all books are completely harmless, but we’re glad that these particular ones were.
In related news, if you see something, read something!
Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.