Tuesday, June 12, 2007

And now for something completely different

Yesterday evening having pizza and fruit at the farm of some nearby friends we got to talking about organic, almost-organic, and traditional tree fruit farming.

I remembered that back in the day when we had an apple orchard I read something in California Farmer magazine about someone drinking a glass of malathion. This was during the medfly scare.

Well last night David knew the guy's name (B.T. Collins) but we thought it was during the Reagan governorship. Actually Collins (a republican Viet Nam double amputee) was appointed by Jerry Brown as his chief of staff. Sounds like a very interesting guy. Time magazine describes the malathion incident:

Brown's fears notwithstanding, state officials said it was safer to spray from the air than the ground. Reason: the Malathion is mixed with molasses, sugar and yeast and falls in coffee-graint-size droplets that cannot be easily inhaled. B.T. Collins, 40, director of the California Conservation Corps, gave the most dramatic demonstration of its safety: he drank a glassful of Malathion diluted with water to the concentration used in the spray.

On findagrave.com an entry quotes some of his personal "rules":

You stand up for your people. You dig your own foxhole. Don't tell your best friend who to marry. Never argue with a cop. Always send handwritten thank you notes.

Reminds me of David Hackworth, author of the very interesting About Face, not to be confused with Alan Cooper's user interface book of the same name :)