The Eternal Mayor - Part III

At that moment, Battling Bob stood and the room went silent.

"If we're done giving these poor boys the third degree, I have something to say," growled Bob. No one challenged him. "First, I think they ought to be commended for volunteering to fix things up all these things around town. They're nearly caught up now, and as long as they dedicate themselves to an honest day's work they shouldn't need to volunteer on weekends any longer.

"Next, I'm tired of everyone whining about money and taxes. The problem is we need more industry in this town; that would put a quick end to the tight money. Well, I took care of all that. When I got wounded at Saipan, I played a lot of poker with the fellow in the next bed. Rich fellow, as it turns out, from Centre County. He owes me a lot of money. I paid him a call a week or so back and we had an animated discussion. He's decided to build a factory here to square the bet."

"Bob," cried Fred, exasperated, "You can't do that. There's ordinances, laws, hearings, all kinds of things that need to happen before one brick can be laid for a new factory."

"It's six hundred jobs, and he's breaking ground in ninety days," Bob shot back. "If anyone on the Council has a problem with that, why just stroll over here and take it up with me."

After a long pause, Willy Parker asked meekly, "What kind of factory?"

"Televisions," Bob replied. "It's going to be the next big thing, and Walnutwood will be right in the thick of it." The crowd stirred, and Fred called several times for order to no avail.

Lucas Winthorpe leaned over to whisper in Jim Clancy's ear: "Television's a pipe dream. It'll never replace the radio."

Big Jim grunted in agreement.

Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (12)