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STYLE & CULTURE

Before the storm

Talk of war is everywhere. Concerns range from global to the intensely personal. The Times talks to Southland residents for their thoughts.

March 05, 2003|Gayle Pollard-Terry | Los Angeles Times

Talk of war stirs the air, everywhere. The mention of Iraq, Saddam Hussein or nerve gas can start jittery conversations, angry debates, patient explanations, intense protests -- and questions, incessant questions from fearful children, anxious moms, impatient supporters of President Bush and equally impatient antiwar advocates. * The concerns range from the macro -- Will we go? ShouId we go? When will we go? -- to the intensely personal: How do I stop the nightmares? Will it be harder to find a job? If terrorists attack the United States, who will start the family telephone tree or the group e-mails -- r-u-ok? Should I stash cash at home in case the ATMs don't work? Will gas, already over $2 for a gallon of regular, keep going up? Should I take that trip? Do I need duct tape? Will earthquake supplies suffice for a war survival kit? * Around Southern California, Los Angeles Times reporter Gayle Pollard-Terry and photographer Francine Orr recently stopped people on the street and asked: * "How is the climate of war affecting you?"

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