|The Lawnmower Guy|
SC Lawnmower Man Rides To D.C. Rescue (Fits News "Unfair, Unbalanced" link): Fear not, federal government … the Palmetto State is here to help!
Just when you thought the so-called government “shutdown” had incapacitated America – as only a 17 percent reduction in the most bloated bureaucracy in human history could do – riding to the rescue is some Grizzly Adams looking dude carrying a South Carolina state flag.
His contribution to the cause? Mowing the grass around the Lincoln Memorial. Talk about having a dream, people! This is just incredible on so many levels …
First, that someone would do something selfless in our society (imagine that). Second that this random act of agrarian independence wasn’t shut down in advance by National Security Agency snooping. And third that the administration hasn’t dropped a drone on this guy’s head yet.
Say it with us, everybody: “Free cut grass! Free cut grass! Thank God Almighty we got free cut grass!”
UPDATE: S.C. Rep. Mark Sanford has issued a statement praising Chris Cox …
“Chris embodies what it means to be not just a South Carolinian, but an American,” Sanford said. “He saw a job that wasn’t getting done and decided to take care of it. We are not a nanny state, and when government in this case chooses not to do something it’s in keeping with the American tradition to ask, ‘What can I do to fix the problem?’ Chris’s example is one we could all learn from in Washington, and accordingly, I applaud him.”
(Mod: The local Washington DC version of CBS News picked up on the story. Sadly, at the end of this piece you will read the obvious conclusion to the story.)
One-Man Militia Cleaning Up National Mall For Vets With Park Service Furloughed (CBS News WDC link): You probably haven’t heard of the Memorial Militia. It’s likely the group’s only member hadn’t heard of it before nine days ago.
Now, armed with a chainsaw and lawnmower, Chris Cox is on a one-man mission to clean up the National Mall as the Park Service employees normally tasked with keeping the area tidy sit idle during the shutdown of the federal government.
Cox, who resides in South Carolina, says he isn’t motivated by political reasons but feels obligated to help as veterans prepare to descend on the nation’s capital for this weekend’s Million Vet March.
Regardless of how many former service members actually attend the rally, Cox says making them presentable is just the right thing to do.
“These are our memorials. Do they think that we’re just going to let them go to hell? No,” Cox exclusively told All-News 99.1 reporter John Domen. “If they shut down our memorials, we’re still going to take the trash out, we’re going to clean the windows, we’re going to cut the grass, we’re going to pull the weeds, we’re going to do the tree work.”
His tasks for Wednesday include clearing a large 12-inch thick branch that had fallen onto a tree-lined path near the reflecting pool and mowing the lawn around the Lincoln Memorial.
Cox does not have a ride-on mower. Instead, he is using a simple gasoline-powered variety that one could find in millions of homes across America. And he does so with a smile.
Cox, who carries with him the state flag of South Carolina, hopes his Memorial Militia will expand to include other volunteers before Sunday’s event. If not, he plans to keep working the area between the Lincoln and World War II memorials as best he can.
“There’s a lot of preparation to get ready for them and there’s nobody here representing the government,” he said.
Park Police do not condone Cox’s mission for liability reasons, but let him work undisturbed for a time. He believes he was given an unofficial green light because his heart was in the right place.
But the green light was rescinded and authorities asked Cox to disband the militia. He agreed and has stopped the cleanup for the time being with the work far from complete.
(Mod: As just noted, Chris Cox, the guy who has since become known as the Lawnmower Guy, proved too be too much of a good thing for the authorities and was asked to leave.)
Authorities Tell Memorial Mower: Get Lost (The Weekly Standard link): Earlier today, an unidentified bearded man took it upon himself to bring his lawnmower and a few tools to the Lincoln Memorial to provide free groundskeeping work to the closed federal monument.
It's unclear how much of the expansive lawn behind the memorial was mowed, but Park Police were alerted and three cruisers with multiple officers showed up.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD watched the officers observing the mystery mower from a distance, as he appeared to be packing it up for the day, carefully placing his blue South Carolina flag in a tube attached to his tool-toting dolly.
According to Park Police public information officer Sergeant Paul Brooks, there was no arrest made. "He was asked to leave, and he complied," said Brooks.
(Mod: I'd been thinking a little bit about what it means to be a volunteer, which is why this story appealed to me as much as it did. Rather than filling out applications, or getting fingerprinted as you apparently are required to do in our town right now, this guy saw a need, packed up his lawnmower, drove to Washington DC and started cutting the government's lawn. Which, as random as some might see this as being, was his personal act of volunteerism. He saw a job and just did it. So maybe that should be a standard of volunteering? You see a need and just do it? You don't do it for any awards, or recognition from the local authorities, or getting your picture in the paper, or even spend too much time worrying what people might think. You just do it. Why? Because it seems like the right thing to do.)