25.2.16

Chapter XVi, Denial

Most of the bombings were small, many in abandoned buildings, hence the rumors that the demolition workers were responsible but as there was no proof of any involvement on their part they denied it to the end.

Enforcing curfews and having the North Carolina National Guard on the streets wasn't good for public relations either. The demolition and construction workers were a tough breed who worked hard and played hard. Most were young men and most weren't above a night on the town at any opportunity. These young men could work all day at hard labor, drink all night, come in, shower, eat breakfast and go right back to work sleeping only on their lunch hour for several days at a time. This is not unusual behavior among young men in the trades, it's almost expected, but when an entire city becomes filled with this one type of demographic... Well, the system becomes taxed.

Soon the new Guilford County Jail wasn't big enough and a constant rotation of drunks and brawlers had to be briefly held in the old jail making everyone glad the County Commissioners hadn't fallen for downtown developer Milton Kern's scheme to buy the jail and convert it to a non profit homeless shelter.

Greensboro was becoming like the Wild West with the only businesses willing to locate anywhere in town being saloons, brothels, flop houses and liquor houses. And with all the City owned ABC stores having been bombed out even Greensboro's elites were sometimes to be seen dressing down and making their way into places they would have never before ventured. While there was a high probability one could end up in a brawl or be shot at a liquor house the local liquor houses seemed to be off limits to the bombers. Obviously the bombers weren't Muslim.

There was still the occasional right wing agitator come to town as had happened when the Reverend Nelson Johnson had been killed saving the lives of children passed out from smoke inhalation but the damage they caused was minimal and with the majority of Greensboro's population now being poor people of color and young radicals most KKK types weren't going to hang around very long. Racist they may be but stupid they were not.

When time for the next election came around a local blogger named Jeff Martin, known to many as Fecund Stench, who had long been critical of Mayor Vaughan, decided to run against her.

His campaign got off to a great start but it didn't take long before his writings about insurgencies and revolutions came back to haunt him. The Mayor's supporters used the fact that Mr Martin had for 25 years made his living writing computer software and began saying that he could have been the man behind the bombings-- someone smart enough to design devices to remotely stop city buses, dye the pools in the Greensboro Aquatic Center blood red or even attack the annual holiday parade with exploding drones.


But then Jeff Martin did the worst thing he could have possibly done to Greensboro and Nancy Barakat Vaughan.

Disgusted with the rhetoric, Jeff Martin withdrew his name as a candidate for Mayor of Greensboro just one week before the election leaving Nancy Vaughan to run against no one in what would become the worst public relations nightmare in the history of the City of Greensboro.

In a year when voter turn-out was the highest it had been in over 50 years, Nancy Vaughan won reelection with only 2% of the total vote. Mickey Mouse had more write-in votes but no one can find Mickey Mouse to determine if he lives in Greensboro and is eligible to serve as Mayor.

Indeed, something was surely in the water.