It was July, 2007, and a young man I'd met at an early gathering of CasinoFacts.org had mentioned in passing that he'd made some calls and had actually found some places across the country where they'd fought a tribal casino - and won.
I begged him for more information. Where are these towns? Was it the same situation as in Middleboro? Did the casino threat really go away? How'd they do it? I wanted so badly to believe that a tribal casino wasn't as inevitable as they said it was - but I hadn't been able to find anything.
There's danger, I knew, in wanting to believe in something so much. It's tempting to grasp at straws, but I'd decided to never accept anything but concrete evidence. I wouldn't base my hope on just more hope.
Because they told us it was a done deal. Inevitable. Sign on the dotted line. It was as if we were a patient given 18 months to live and well-advised to get our affairs in order.
It never sounded right to me. It never even sounded American to me.
The next week the man handed me a paper with some notes on it, and I started doing some checking on my own. I And sure enough, there it was. The tiny town of Plymouth, California. I wrote a post about it - The Myth of Inevitability - Part 1. My readers seemed to sigh in unanimous relief.
Years later I would meet one of the grassroots activists that helped stop that casino in Plymouth, but for that moment, in and around Middleboro, everything was right with the world.
The war was still long from over, but for now, there was even more reason to fight.
We may have been overwhelmed, anxious and frightened. But we weren't stupid.
We'd all heard it said so many times. Attorneys, investors, selectmen, tribal members, media types, legislators, people on the train, and at the podium, and waiting in line at the counter.
Once, on the floor of Massachusetts House of Representatives, we were even called 'deluded' for believing it wasn't.
Well, Mr. Calter, I've got your 'deluded' right here.
Apparently, a month and a half ago, the Federal government rejected the Tribe's application for land in trust in Middleboro.
And I've waited a long time to type the title of this post.
Growing up in the 60's, in a world of hippies and riots and protest I heard it all the time: 'Question Authority'.
I guess some of the most useful lessons in childhood aren't the ones taught in school.