I wish we really knew what happened. It was the strangest thing. It was last Monday. Everything was perfectly normal. My husband was getting ready to go to a meeting of the West Hills Community Association.... We were going to have a bowl of soup and then go to the meeting at seven.
Our mail comes pretty late in the afternoon so my husband Reuben didn't go out to check it until that evening. He came back in and said, "You should really come out and see this." That morning, our mailbox had been knocked to the ground, but we put it back up. When he went out there, it looked like it had been tampered with, and there was some sort of a noise—like a ticking noise—coming from it. It was very, very loud. We didn't know what to do, so we called the police... Next thing you know, we had five police cars out there. Well, they decided they didn't like the idea of approaching it either, so they put their bomb robot, Eddie, on to it. Have you seen Eddie before? If you haven't you're really missing quite a show.
Eddie was remarkable, but when he got the mailbox open, they didn't discover anything inside.... Then they noticed these objects in one of our trees out front, a really lovely Japanese azalea we have.... The police said it was the makings of a bomb—a casing and a timer—without an actual bomb. There were no explosives. It's like something you'd make just to harass people, to scare them. I'm an elected official, and the police thought it might be related to that. Then they said it had to do with the fact that my husband is a dentist. I'm not sure it had to do with any of that. I didn't think it was any kind of personal threat at all. Course it just scared everybody to death. We did manage to make it to our meeting before it was over, and we had a pretty good excuse for being late.
City Councilwoman Barbara Pelot, as told to Charles Maldonado, with assistance from Bailey Swilley