DON'T FORGET TO LAUGH
Brick is So Yesterday!
“It is not enough to acknowledge the elephant in the room. It must be killed and removed to make way for new growth.” This pronouncement was from Mr. D. Stroi Davidson, the not-so-great, great, great, great, great grandson of Brigadier General William Lee Davidson.
We were sitting on the back patio of Toast, enjoying warm cups of coffee under a clear blue sky. As we sipped our drinks, drivers pulled into the postal parking spaces then headed for Main Street. This infraction was not worth noting when one considers the mountain of important issues facing our town. This is why we hired Mr. Davidson. Mr. Davidson, an international expert on urban planning, was here to share his findings and opinions on Davidson’s (the town, not the man) future with our committee, which consisted of Woody Wilson, Danny Hill, and myself.
“First,” Mr. Davidson began as he opened his notebook, “Get this ‘charming old town’ nonsense out of your heads. Davidson is a progressive place. If someone wants to see old buildings with brick sidewalks, they can drive to Old Salem. It’s not that far. And besides, they have really good cookies.”
“All your cute town ordinances are killing your economy. Do you think Vegas gives a damn about ordinances? If you want businesses like your precious Kindred to succeed, I have one word for you. Drive-thru. Cars can squeeze up beside it, no problem,”
A gasp was heard from Woody. When the waitress returned, he and Danny refused coffee refills and ordered Tito’s, straight. After downing their shots, Danny cleared his throat and asked Mr. Davidson to continue.
“The elephant which needs to be slaughtered is that damn college! How could you folks miss something so obvious? Davidson is now about money, not education.” My companions stared blankly as Mr. Davidson continued.
“It’s way past time to face facts. Physical colleges are obsolete. Davidson College is a waste of grass surrounded by a bunch of old, deteriorating buildings. Anything you want to learn is on the internet. Hell, a degree from the University of Phoenix would be a lot cheaper than attending an actual school with dorm, food, and book costs. And that online degree would be much more valuable because it’s from a university, not some piddly college. If some student insists on having ‘the college experience’ send them to Boston. That’s what it’s there for. Um, I mean, for that is why it is there.”
At this point, Danny passed out cold and fell face first to the bricks. Woody and I left him there.
Our presenter continued. “I guess ol’ Mr. Hill can’t take hearing the truth. Too bad. But if this town is going to survive, you can’t hide your head in the sand any longer! Those run-down campus buildings must be razed. The brick is so “yesterday.” Time for it all to go.”
Woody ordered and downed another shot.
Our international genius now unveiled his great plan. “I just returned from China. Let me tell you, they got it right! Instead of dated brick structures and leaf dropping trees, imagine glimmering high rises around a central courtyard with a pretty fountain. We’re talking 40 stories here, providing housing to a heck of a lot of people. That makes it affordable!”
“Now, you may be worried about the strain this would put on the infrastructures. No problem. Water can be pumped directly from the lake for showering and toilets. Drinkable water will be found in plastic bottles, as always.
“China has 742 million people living in urban areas. Presently, Davidson has what? 260? Think of how this town would boom with millions of residents. They could all take the 15-minute commute to Charlotte, then come back and gather around the fountain. Of course, I-77 will need some long overdue improvements. That shouldn’t be a problem. And Main Street can become a toll road.”
A tear trickled down Woody’s face as Davidson went on. “This may not be directly related to your town, but that nuclear plant should go, too. In China they burn coal. It is a cleaner and more abundant energy source. Wouldn’t you like to be rid of those irritating nuclear drills? Damn things hurt my ears.”
As the sun headed for the horizon, Davidson closed his notebook. “Well, that about sums up my report. Davidson has been ‘okay’ for a long time. Don’t you think it’s about time to make it something grand on a global scale? I’m telling you, the potential is here if you are willing to grab it!”
Woody sat with his head in his hands, quietly sobbing. I shook Mr. Davidson’s hand and thanked him profusely for his suggestions and the work behind them. The town paid $450,000.000 for his proposal. I’ll be damned if we’re not going to use it.
Carol Wilber Bradfield is one of those "Lake People." She snuck into Davidson many years ago when someone left the gate open one night. If seen, please approach carefully and give her a hug... and cash if you have it. Lots of cash. Thank you.