Mr Mauser you say? From the government? Well, I certainly glad that they've taken some interest. Better late than never I guess. But you can tell them straight away - we don't need them. Our town's doing quite well on our own.
Now, now - don't go feeding me no party line. I'm sure they've got all sorts of offers up their sleeves, from surplus supplies, tank escorts, to making one of us governor of the new territories once their all set up. Thing is though, we didn't suffer a failure of imagination. Not that I'd expect expect some hide-bound bureaucrat touring the zone in a suit to know what imagination even is. I'm just ribbn' yah, but that is the key.
So many people are too attached to the past. They find an old car, and then go out of their way to provide the infrastructure to make it work again. find parts to replace the burned out motors, set up solar panels to charge the battery, find tools to fix the transmission. Brother - there be four good wheels and a chassis - just strip out the old five hundred pounds of broken engine and hitch a horse to it! Why go all over creation to fix the damn thing?
But, no. Most folks want their old lives back, and will risk reanimate and space man to get the supply.
Around here, we adapted the past, but a more distant one. Turned old water heaters for plumbing into boilers to run steam engines. Sure the metal was light, but they withstand a lot, and even more when we set the things in concrete, and burred them 'cept for the top. Put some heavy gauge steel on top of that, and there you go. Well, you need to be careful, and it paid off that we have some engineers here to check our work - but we're all set. Underfloor heating, expansion engines, a small turbine - its all good.
Wood, running rivers, make your own windmill - doesn't have to be an air-turbine, just good for a mill stone. I tell yah - I've seen places with electric lights and running trucks, but you need to grind wheat by hand. Lot of good being able to see how hungry you are at night is doing them.
Now, I certainly am proud of the old US of A, but too little, too late. Now when the airplanes are flying again and satellites are back up, maybe we'll be dragged into civilization just like old Dead Wood was in the eighteen-eighties. But we are not going to grant allegiance just because some documents say its still the government. Prove they're the in control, and well, what other choice will we have?