Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In Hillsborough, North Carolina?

Initial reports of the firebombing of a Trump/Pence headquarters in North Carolina stated that the location was Raleigh, NC.  Hours later it mentioned the place as the Orange County headquarters of that campaign.  Yesterday the location was pinned down, in national media, to Hillsborough, the county seat.

That was somewhat of a shock.  The town is known well here as it was my mother's birthplace and the long time home of my grandmother.  This historic town, founded in 1754, was the center of North Carolina's government during the Revolutionary War in the 1770's.  It is unclear how much it grew during the 200 years after that, as the average population was 1,400 in the 1950's, '60's, and '70's when I visited often.  It was a quiet and friendly small town, with a sense of pride.  My history focused grandmother seemed to know everyone there, or at the least she was able to talk about them.

With its attractive location, from the 1970's on it increasingly became home to academics from UNC and Duke, and to literary figures or aspirants who liked the fact that it was a small affordable town with an unusual number of well educated and well informed citizens.  With a population of 6,000 now, it has changed significantly, but the center of this small town still looks the same(at least it did the last time that I was there for a funeral service, in 2006).  The marker in front of my grandmother's former house was still there, "The Piano Teacher's House", but it was beginning to be impinged upon by untrimmed shrubs.

This home sweet home for an extended family is such an unlikely place for an act of political violence.

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