Not a spoiler - the first chapter of TRF reveals the plan of a bunch of Klansmen to blow up a high school in Sedalia, MO during a racially-integrated ceremony to honor Scott Joplin. Since what I knew about explosives would have rattled around inside a watch case, I set out to get information. I learned a good bit about dynamite, but couldn't quite get my head around the specific protocol for its use in bringing down a building.
And Ralph was a contractor!
Ralph turned to Jim, who waved aside his concern. "He's a writer," Jim said. "He's probably doing a story. Go ahead and tell him what he wants to know."
Two days later, on my way home, it was only as I was next in line for the customs inspector that I realized I was carrying in my shirt pocket a pad whose first page was titled, "How to blow up Hubbard High School." All of a sudden, air-conditioned car or not, I was sweating profusely. Too late to turn back. It occurred to me that I might tear out the page and swallow it, but I thought no, I'm probably on camera right now. They'd lock me up and pass a tube down one end or up the other. Bad idea.