From CNN (not CFN) comes the heartwarming profile of a crotchety old man and his Superfund town " a man described wearing powder-blue pants and a town described as one of the nation's "most polluted toxic-waste sites."
Orval "Hoppy" Ray, 84 years old and deadly with a cane, is the subject of CNN's profile of a dead Okie town: Picher. Good ol' Picher, with its lead poisoning, mountains of toxic chat and creeks that spew orange water. Just don't tell that to Hoppy, who loves his hometown like a baby clutching his favorite binkie.
Hoppy, like almost everyone else in Picher, was begrudgingly bought out by the government in a bid to start cleaning up the Tar Creek Superfund site. Hoppy was moved just a few miles away, to Miami, but that's just not the same. The displaced group came together for one last hurrah at Picher's elementary school.
Sitting in the hall so no one could pass by without notice, Hoppy was described as whacking people on the shins " or the groin! " and reminiscing about the time before their town was in danger of collapsing into the mines below. Hoppy has also self-published three books about Picher, pre-toxic wasteland.
We haven't had a chance to read the books yet " the latest is titled "Just Call Me Hoppy" " but if they're anything like the tales from CFN intern Bucky's grandma, we're sure we'll read all about how great it was back in the day, even if kids did have to walk barefoot to school, five miles uphill both ways, dragging a wagon with only three wheels behind them.
Hey, we kid because we know it'll be us someday. Hell, Bucky is still in college and he's already been overheard muttering about the noise kids are listening to these days and how they just won't get off his lawn.