29 June 2008

Our Protesting Adventure

There was an article in the paper today about the collider in Europe about ready to be turned on, which reminded Grandma and me of the time long, long ago when we joined the protest movement in the town of Ontario, New York. Well, here's how it happened:

Back in the 1970s, our Government decided that we, the people of the United States, and more specifically, the scientists among us, needed a super collider to play around with, so they initiated a contest among all the states to see which state would have the best plan. Never mind that work had already begun in Europe to design and build a super collider, and that our scientists would be able to share in the work there. So the Powers-That-Be in Albany, New York appointed a commission to prepare plans for, not one, but two sites. One site had the southern arc of the huge circular collider running right under Hill Cummorah, the sacred hill where Joseph Smith found the plates that were used to found the Church of Latter Day Saints. Needless to say, the Mormons were not amused, and applied enough pressure on the commission that they moved the giant circle a few miles north, which put the northern arc right under our house. It was to run under the local cemetery, down our street, and under the local Methodist Church, which is on the national register of historic places. When the plans were leaked to the public, a massive protest was undertaken. Grandma and I, along with Grandma's mother, and many neighbors joined in the protest rallies and marches. There was an informational meeting of the residents with the commission members and the Lieutenant Governor, at which we were all allowed to speak for or against the project. I stood and informed everyone present that the work would involve digging up the cemetery where Civil War veterans, and members of Grandma's family among others, were buried. At that, the Lt. Gov. turned to the commission members and asked if that were true; they concurred. As I remember, only one person spoke in favor, and he was roundly booed. Not too long after that we learned that the project had been granted to Texas, and after several millions of dollars were spent on the Texas site, the project was dropped.

Grandma and I have fond memories of our days as civil protesters, when we made banners and placards and marched, chanting "No collider here", through the streets of Wayne County. One former neighbor still has one of the protest signs hanging prominently in their garage. We plan to salute it when we visit them in July.


Ronabear41 said...

I remember that time! I had just started working out at the plant and remember the signs on 104.

Rick Watson said...

Hey Grandpappy, I love this story! You can make a difference if you stand together.

Pizza Guy said...

I remember thinking we need to do this. I still think we should have.The pros and cons could have been resolved. The economic impact could have been immense.Have you checked out how depressed this region is lately?I am a dummy who still lives here and going BROKE from paying TAXES.