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Searching for the Saints
Dancing Bruce Thomas to be first Saint of Carrboro?

On a recent bicycle ride past the Westwood Cemetery(built by the Westwood Family), I noticed something a bit peculiar. All the gravestones were on the west side of the driveway, crowded together, yet the on the east side of the driveway there was not a single gravestone. "How odd!", I thought to myself. "I think this calls for an investigation.", so I put my best reporter right on it.

Digging through town records, historical archives at The University of North Carolina and running searches on the Internet, I came up with the following information.

The Westwood Cemetery was opened in 1898 with great fanfare. It was the first of it's type and quite innovative for it's time, not to mention the great aspirations the little village of Carrboro had for it's future. When the plots when on sale, they were quickly purchased "because the residents wanted to be buried near the Saints." "How odd", I thought to myself, there are no Saints in or from Carrboro, "I think I need to look into this further". So what I thought would be a simple case of quickly getting information that I needed, turned into a time-consuming task of research that we try to avoid at all costs, but since we'd already started, we decided that it would be a waste of time not to run the complete story....even if it meant more work!

The Saint question was a bit perplexing, but as I dug deeper I came up with the following information. At the end of the century, Carrboro was in it's liberal heyday(you think it's far to the left now, it's nothing compared to 1898 Socialistic leanings it had back then). There were many issues being discussed back then, but the main one was desegregation and the integration of the Black community into the dominant white society.(We're talking 60 years before the Civil Rights Movement-that's pretty progressive).

The Not Saints Section of the Westwood Cemetary

Sensing that Carrboro was going to be leader in many areas of social change, the Westwood family bet it's future that Carrboro North Carolina would produce a huge number of Saints. Thus they came up with a two fold plan. Save the east for the Saints and the west side for the "not Saints". The marketing worked phenomenally as the grave sites were purchased in a matter of days as the promise of being buried with the Saints was the next best thing to being one.

Alas, as you can see, The Saints did not come marching in. The promise of many Saints was never fulfilled and the reality is that Carrboro hasn't produced a single Saint yet. So there you have it- a Saintless cemetery, with little hope of a Carrboro Saint being produced....

Although..... there has been a move to lobby The Pope to welcome a few of the top citizens of Carrboro into Sainthood, and help attain the dreams of the early Westwoods. The lobbying groups, the Popular Sainthood Search Team(PSST) and the Sainthood Historical Unification Search Hermanos(SHUSH) are secretly working to lobby The Pope to offer Sainthood to some of Carrboro's leading citizens. There work is top secret, but The Carrboro News was able to get the short list of who they think have the best shots and their strategy to sway The Pope.

The Saints Section- Not much progress in the last century

1. Dean Smith- The all time winningist coach in NCAA men's basketball, a leader in the fight for desegregation and by far the closest thing Carrboro has produced to a Saint. The Lobbies are hoping that The Pope is into basketball. His relationship to Michael Jordan is a huge plus as everyone on the planet knows who Michael Jordan is, so "Michael Jordan's college coach" should carry a lot of weight.

2 Michael Jordan- With his humanitarian outlook on life(taught to him by possible Saint to be Dean), great basketball skills and 6 NBA championship rings and an NCAA Basketball championship put him up at the top of the list. Unfortunately, his mediocre professional baseball career, and McDonald's commercials may have done much to lower him to the position of "not a saint". At this point it's probably not looking good as he has kind of dropped out of the limelight. The time to enter Sainthood was probably at the apex of his career.

3. James Taylor- He's had an ugly little bridge named after him and didn't complain, so that's a sure vote for Sainthood. Unfortunately, he's had some problems in his past that don't lend themselves to Sainthood. His best chance was if The Pope had a daughter that was say, 45-50 years old and either attended UNC or listened to pop music in the 60's and 70's. Not looking good for James, at this point.

4. Dancing BruceThomas- Bruce is single-handedly fighting the blatant racism to forbids black men from dancing in Carrboro. With a smile on his face and a gentle nod, he thanked the security guard who forever(if his dancing privileges aren't reinstated), banned him from dancing. Bruce then kissed the ground, bowed to the Gods of all four corners of the earth(East, West, North and South- or at least within 15 degrees of each) and calmly walked over to the table, sat down and didn't dance. Now, that is the way a Saint would have handled the situation and gets our vote for Sainthood.

The Carrboro News wishes PSST and SHUSH the best of luck and we hope that they can start bringing some Saints to Carrboro. In the event that they do not succeed we believe that it may be easier to get a few Knights into Carrboro(The Queen seems a little hipper than The Pope- Paul McCartney was Knighted and I doubt The Pope even listened to The Beatles)as an alternative.


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