Are You on High Alert Against Terrorism or What?

Week of June 12, 2002

Jun 12, 2002 at 4:00 am
Mary Hosto-Boyle
Realtor, Justine Petersen Housing Corporation
"I'm one of the most high-alert people you'll meet ... except for my mother who has cases of bottled water in her basement. But I have these waking nightmares just thinking about all the ways the terrorists could infiltrate our system, poison the water, maybe, or put something weird into the fast food. It just seems so easy -- there must be a million ways."

Thomas L. Grant
Maintenance Supervisor, KFJ Manor
"Oh yeah, I'm high alert on that. Ever since 9/11. I watch the news and I'm looking out. It's a job too, because you can't really tell a suspicious character from a regular guy. Now, I'm not paranoid, but I am alert. You've got be aware of your surroundings anyway. It don't have to be because of 9/11 -- it could be part of your everyday activity."

Don Tinsley
Keyboardist-Sequencer, Urban Jazz Naturals
"I would say I'm on major high alert. My band's playing the VP Fair this year and I see they're having security checkpoints to get on the Arch grounds and it's kind of sobering when you realize, 'Hey, I'm playing under a giant monument on the Fourth of July.' Vulnerability is really an issue there."

Greg Doyle
Waiter, Crazy Fish
"I'd say I'm on medium-high to high alert. The September 11th attacks were scary enough, even though far from here. But since the anthrax scare, which was closer to home, I think St. Louisans now have somewhat of a prickly feeling about the possibility of terrorism at their door. Being from Ireland, I say that feeling is nothing new to Europeans, but it's definitely new and unique for Americans, particularly in the Midwest."

William Bell
Retired Absbestos Worker, Local Number 1
"Anything I see, I report. We had a strange fellow come through the neighborhood and I called 911. The police came and told him to move on. You see a strange-looking guy, you keep your eye on him see if he's acting right or not. You know, I'm a person who picks up on every little thing. My wife says, 'You're too observant.' But that's OK. I think citizens should be alert to anything -- anything that's not right."

Matt Judd
Actor/Coffee Monkey, The Chocolate Bar
"I'm as un-alert as I ever was -- before the September 11th attack and even going way back to the early '80s, when I first heard the word 'terrorism' and I found it hard to believe it existed."