On the morning of January 26, 2016, I traveled to the Harney County Resource Center (HCRC), formerly known as the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, from Burns. I had arranged to get the necessary information for some articles I intended to write.
When lunchtime came, I went to the mess hall. The Sharp Family had just begun with one of their songs, and I saw Ammon Bundy sitting with others at a corner table. I walked up and asked if I could sit at that table, and Ammon, graciously said, “Yes, please sit down.”
I had spoken with Ammon a number of times, in the months prior, though we had never met. As I introduced myself, I realized that he had been looking forward to our meeting, as I had.
We discussed the stories I intended to write, and he was fully supportive of the story lines, especially the one that would be about the people of Burns and their reactions to certain events, both in and out of town.
Before I left, the Sharps began another song. I had heard audio tapes of their singing during the Bundy Affair, but they didn’t compare to the live performance I heard that day.
After lunch, I located Ryan Payne. We had spent over a week together in November finishing a PowerPoint Presentation for Committees of Safety (CoS). This presentation had been used to explain the concept of CoS to some of the residents of Harney County. They then formed their own Harney County Committee of Safety.
I gave Ryan an inscribed copy of a biography of Robert E. Lee, which now still sits where he placed it. I had also forgotten to bring long johns, and needed some bottoms. Ryan went to the storeroom and retrieved a pair, explaining that they were from the delivery made through III Percent Patriots, just a few weeks before.
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