Dusty Chivington and his wife, Betsy, were on the layover part of their flight. The 17-years married couple, who are civil war re-enactors from Minnesota, were on their way to participate in the annual Festa Confederada, an annual celebration held in Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, Brazil to commemorate and celebrate Southern culture. It is held around April 26, Confederacy Day in the United States.
While the couple had no trouble in their home state, they soon wreaked havoc at the security line at Denver International Airport. The trouble first began with a saber.
A TSA x-ray technician spotted the sword as Dusty placed it on the conveyor belt for the scanner. When asked if it was a weapon, the reply was negative. “It is an historical artifact,” offered Dusty. Skeptical, the official placed a hand on the offending item only to be rebuffed by an emphatic neigh. Dusty’s horse, Binky, standing behind his owner, appeared to be upset.
“Is that real?” was the only response the TSA technician could get out with no one quite knowing whether he was referring to the horse or the saber.
“He’s my emotional support animal,” Dusty explained, “He has to travel with me all the time; I even have a doctor’s note explain’ the situation. He did perfectly fine on the first flight; he’s a good horse and I even clean up after him if need be.” Mr. Chivington showed reporter Buck Hummingbird the industrial sized plastic bags he carries with him at all times just in case Binky has an accident. Also with him was a 50 lb. bag of oats, a bale of hay, and all the gear needed to ride. “It all fits in the overhead compartment,” Dusty proudly offered.
The Denver officials balked at the presence of a horse in the security line but, “They only noticed once me and Binky were waiting in line for the X-ray thingies,” said Dusty.
Meanwhile Betsy was having her own problems with security. True to form, the couple had decided to dress up for the occasion, Dusty in his grey-colored uniform and Betsy in a hoop skirt. Such skirts were not made to easily fit through an airport security scanner and the poor woman became trapped when the sides of the scanner twisted her skirts around her, causing the machine to jam.
Ms. Hummingbird interviewed Betsy through one of the windows as firefighter personnel attempted to free her. “We are quite proud of our heritage. Dusty grew up in Georgia, while my Daddy was from there. When we heard that there was a celebration of Southern culture, complete with barbecue, dancing and hoop skirts, we had to be a part of it, no matter where it is located! It’s my first time traveling outside the United States,” Betsy added.
DIA spokesman, David Bragg, was left speechless. “I really, REALLY don’t know what to say. How the hell did that horse even make it on the first flight?” he muttered to himself.
Other expectant passengers were a little more peeved. “The fuck you bringing a horse on a plane for?” yelled a man dressed in a ‘Hillbilly Treasure’ T-shirt, cut-off jean shorts and flip-flops. “No self-respecting woman should ever dress in that!” another passenger yelled. Extra TSA personnel had to be called to the South terminal screening area as the scanning machine had to be shut-down for extensive repairs and those passengers shuffled into line for the other three.
David Bragg did say one thing, “Criminal charges? Who the hell knows…”
As your reporter found out later, Dusty and Betsy Chivington, along with Binky, made their flight.