PICHER, OK (ABSNN) - Gary Linderman owns the Old Miner's Pharmacy in downtown Picher, Oklahoma. He hasn't much business lately, mostly due to the fact that the entire town of Picher has been declared "hazardous waste site," by the federal government.
Picher is a ghost town with one live pharmacist. While there's nothing inherently funny about the town's demise, almost all of the residents were bought out by the feds and moved to different towns. All of the businesses in Picher have closed, except for Linderman's pharmacy. By the way, that was 30-years ago.
Linderman declares, "I just can't close up shop and leave. It wouldn't be right. People are creatures of habit and if I closed the drug store, where would people get their drugs?"
"Just what about 'There is no one left in town, Linderman,' doesn't Linderman understand," asked the official in charge of the Super Fund clean up?
"Lead contamination led to the town's being shut down. Maybe Linderman sniffed a few too many lead fumes, because that guy still is refusing the buy out," said the federal agent in charge of the demolition of the buildings under the federal Super Fund, the agency that cleans up contaminated areas left behind by industrial polluters that cannot be charged with the clean up. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
"I sell the only drugs in town. Plus, I have snack foods on my shelves and in my coolers," said Linderman. "If I closed up, it might throw people off."
For the past 30-years, the town has been designated a hazardous waste site. "If he'd close up, maybe people would stay out of town and the contaminated areas," the federal agent told reporters off the record. Linderman refused the buy out in 1981, and although there are only a dozen or so hangers on around the town, you have to wonder if they are already filled with lead and poisoned beyond all known medical knowledge.
This is a true story that reads like a spoof. And it is bizarre every time you read it. We salute the lead polluted Gary Linderman's everywhere; the refusal to give up in the face of absolute certain failure is a success in its own right. American entrepreneurs are the key to American greatness, leaded or otherwise!