A Williamson County legislator made news last week with an attempt to rename state Route 840 for former President Ronald Reagan.
There’s no real surprise there, as acolytes of the ailing former chief executive have for several years been engaging in a campaign to rename everything from National Airport in Washington to a mountain in New Hampshire in his honor.
In fact, Republicans in the state legislature have attempted, just in the past two years, to name five bridges, two roadways, a tributary of the French Broad River and a Washington County sewage treatment plant after Reagan.
But even this attempted naming orgy pales in comparison to one plan put forward by Charles Sargent, Republican legislator from Franklin, who last week introduced a bill in the General Assembly to rename heavily Republican Williamson County after Reagan.
The county was named at its formation in 1799 after Hugh Williamson, surgeon general of North Carolina troops in the Revolutionary War, who also served in the U.S. Congress.
Sargent is unimpressed. “Nothing against Williamson, but some sawbones from 200 years ago can’t compete in our affection with the Gipper,” he says. “This would be the first county in the entire U.S. to be named for President Reagan, and what a great honor it would be to have Nancy come here and cut a ribbon next Fourth of July.”
While that would certainly make an unusual Independence Day celebration, other members of the legislature say that Sargent shouldn’t issue that invitation to the former first lady just yet.
“There is no way we’re letting that happen,” says one Democratic member of the legislature. “They seem to think this is Soviet Russia and they have the right to come in here and start naming everything after their beloved leader. Well, Williamson County isn’t going to be their Leningrad.”
Even if the bill fails this year, Sargent vows to bring it back again.
“We [Republicans] gain in numbers every year; it’s only a matter of time until we make this happen.
“Those people driving south from Nashville will someday be crossing the Reagan County line,” Sargent says with a broad smile. “Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?”
(The Fabricator is satire. Don't believe everything you read.)
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