DES MOINES, Iowa — When the owners of the Blazing Saddle in the East Village first opened an offensive letter the bar received this afternoon, the first reaction was to laugh. After all, the long time gay bar gets hate mail like this a few times a year, and they usually post the letters on the wall for all to see. But this letter was different. A white powder came out of the envelope and spilled on to the bar.
“When the powder came out I thought, wait a minute.” Owner Robert “Mongo” Eikleberry said, “After 9-11 you just can’t trust anything.”
Then there was the last sentence of the letter. “This is your punishment for sinning against God, and hopefully you’ll die from the anthrax on this letter.”
So the owners called police who brought in the fire department and a hazardous materials team. “The police and fire department blocked the entire street off.” Eikleberry said, “Nobody leaves. Nobody enters. And when hazmat finally got here in the full containment suits they come out and took their very expensive equipment and analyzed it. Found out it was Gold Bond Medicated Powder.”
That doesn’t mean the author of the letter is off the hook.
“After the determination was made that there wasn’t a hazardous material, the letter ultimately was turned over to the U.S. Postal Inspectors for follow up investigation.” said Sgt. Scott Raudabaugh of the Des Moines Police Dept.
Folks here at the Blazing Saddle say if the author’s goal was to scare or intimidate them, that mission failed.
“If you worry every day about something..somebody gonna get ya, you’re gonna get old real quick.” Eikleberry said, “And I refuse to do it.”