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Friday, September 22, 2006

If you never got out of your car in downtown Winston-Salem...

You might drive past the BBT building, but you wouldn't know that if you stand on the sidewalk just in front of it and look up, you can make yourself dizzy.


You might marvel at the architecture of one building in particular without ever realizing it's the jail.

You would never see the whale? fish? drawn in pencil inexplicably on the boarded-up door on Third Street.

You would never get close enough to this plaque to read it, since the lane closest to it is blocked at the intersection of Third and Liberty. And so you'd never know it was a memorial erected in 1921 IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF THE FORSYTH COUNTY MEN WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE IN THE WORLD WAR.

And, while you might notice this wall behind the bus station,

You'd never get close enough to realize how detailed it is,

And you'd certainly never see the other side, which has the plaque declaring the wall to have been erected "In Memory of Safe Bus, Inc. 1926-1968". And then you'd never meet the man who tells you that, to the best of his recollection, it was a black-owned bus company that served East Winston during those troubled years, the man who takes you inside the bus station so you can see the sanitized, official history of transportation in Winston-Salem etched right into the windows.

And that would be a shame.
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