I love Durango’s roadside markets. But before making my purchase, I just wanted to check and see if bombs for sale are protected under the Second Amendment? Are there background checks? Also, I’m sure that the seller is quite safety conscious. Notice the orange cones for added security. Sign me, “Kim Jong ill”
Allow Action Line to defuse the situation. The object for sale has military origins, but it’s not a real bomb.
That’s what we learned from John Paul, who created the whimsical “conflict resolution device” in his shop on County Road 203 in the peaceful Animas Valley.
John’s an ace hot-rod builder, so he knows more than a thing or two about repurposing objects and welding cool stuff.
The body of the BLT (bomb-like thing) was actually the underwater keel for a U.S. Navy training target.
The Navy went through a lot of targets.
They resembled bulls-eye billboards on pontoons. Vessels towed the contraptions across the water at the end of really long cables.
Once the targets were moving, eager sailors then blasted the crap out of them with weaponry at hand.
Despite the keels being submerged 4 or 5 feet, they received significant collateral damage.
“I originally had three of these things,” John said. “Two of them had serious dents, probably from large caliber machines guns.”
But the body of the BLT is a survivor.
John decked it out by welding four fins on the back end. Voila! – you go from the recipient of hostile friendly-fire to the one dishing it out.
This proves it’s much better to give than receive.
The roadside relic has created some buzz, including with a La Plata County sheriff’s deputy who stopped to check it out a couple weeks ago.
“The officer wasn’t doing a safety inspection or anything,” John recalled with a laugh. “He was just really curious, as are a lot of people. It’s not every day you see a bomb for sale on the side of the road.”
Wayside weaponry has the added benefit of slowing down the County Road 203’s notorious scofflaw speeders.
Maybe we should classify the bomb as a Weapon of Mass Distraction.
In any case, John is pulling the trigger on finding a loving home for his creation. He has several vintage cars he’s working on, his garage is jam-packed and there’s no room left.
So if you are interested, call John at 259-1217 and make an offer. The object weighs no more than 90 pounds, so it’s easily redeployed.
“I’ve had some lookers, but no takers. The market for large fake bombs is somewhat limited,” he admitted with a chuckle.
Action Line suggests the city immediately purchase it for the U.S. Highway 550/160 intersection art project.
Regardless of which design is chosen, all three proposals insist on incorporating local symbols and icons into their design.
We should have armaments.
The median is directly across the river from where a mill in 1943 secretly began processing uranium for the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic weapons dropped on Japan. The Vanadium Corporation of America continued operations there until 1963.
The mill is long gone. The radioactive tailings are buried behind Smelter Mountain. The site is now our leash-free play area.
Instead of enriching uranium, we’re enriching the lives of our pets.
The Durango Dog Park. It’s the bomb!
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if your nuclear family includes a dog named Radon or Isotope.