With all due respect to Jeff Foxworthy…

Update: ABC Director Michael Murphree responds and defines “night missions” – thanks Michael:

“…We have maintained a dialogue with City and County officials regarding sign placement, proper and improper. We began placing signs on Friday nights and returning to pick them up on Sunday nights. These trips usually began with dinner among friends, then a casual drive across the county placing signs properly in public view. Some of these Fri and Sun evenings took until late at night, and the term “midnight riders” or “midnight missions” arose out of it. Nothing nearly as sinister as some would like to believe. Whoever is placing signs on utility poles are not doing so with our knowledge. I know of no one I have been out with (a local pastor and two housewives) on a “midnight mission” who has even suggested doing so….”  Read the whole thing

You know you’re an ABC’er when….

Over at the ABC forum, ABC of Guilford County member Ruby McGhee posted a list of indicators that I can relate to.  Anytime a citizen gets heavily involved in a particular public issue, your life changes in many ways…

You start reading the editorial section before your eyes are open in the morning (#1 & #10). You get to know elected officials on a first name basis (#12,#14, #15).  Your pattern of conversation changes (#5 & #19)… and so on.

I’ve been through it and have also developed relationships with media types as she points out will happen if you are on the front lines (#7 & #16).  Ruby also mentions all of the non-activists things that many Guilford County parents do even if they aren’t an ABC member such as buying school supplies for students you don’t know (#4 & #18) and you communicate with parents you don’t know because of a common problem (#6).

Ruby also mentions something (#2) that I wondered about when Director Michael Murphree mentioned “midnight riders” at the ABC meeting the other night.

ABC sponsored signs are being tacked high up on telephone poles – I mean real high up – all over Greensboro during the night.  Whoever is placing the signs knows what they are doing because specific measures are used to make sure that it takes a concerted effort to remove them in that first, they are at least ten feet off the ground and second, the fastening devices are long roofing nails with plastic washers.  Such a fastened sign cannot be removed by city employees easily, so they tend to stay where they are tacked which I am sure is intentional… and illegal.

Ruby and Michael, in advance of me becoming privvy to the secret handshake and obtaining my ABC membership card, is this what “midnight riders” refers to?  If, not… what exactly is a “midnight rider” and a “night mission”?

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