Friday, January 19, 2024

The Battle of Cripple Creek

 It took some doing. The people of Cripple Creek did not want to change. But in the face of relentless protests, they finally capitulated.

The protesters were a pack of wheelchair people, blind people and people who walked using crutches, with some Down Syndrome people and epileptics mixed in. They called themselves  The Campaign to Abolish the “C” Word. And they descended upon Cripple Creek with but one goal in mind: to get them to change their offensive name.

Their opening salvo was a press conference which was held outside City Hall in Cripple Creek. Several protesters spoke of how they were teased as children by other children who called them the “c” word. They demanded that the name Cripple Creek be changed to something more dignified.

But the mayor of Cripple Creek balked. He said the name Cripple Creek was bestowed upon the beloved and nurturing creek by the first settlers who came to the area generations ago and that it endures as a symbol of the proud heritage of the citizens who have built the namesake town that sprang up around the creek. He accused the protesters of all being “outside agitators.” The Cripple  Creek Chamber of Commerce also balked. The chairman said it would “wreak havoc” upon the local economy to have to change the name of Cripple Creek Boulevard, Cripple  Creek  High School, Cripple Creek Savings and Loan, the Cripple Creek Diner and the Cripple Creek Nursing Home, just to name a few examples..

Public opinion was decidedly against the protesters. Townspeople spat upon them and called them terrorists.

So the protesters adopted more aggressive tactics. They put into play their "kamikaze” strategy, in which they jumped one by one off of the Cripple  Creek bridge into Cripple  Creek itself. Those that couldn’t swim drown.

This drew media attention around the world and forced the town council to hold an  emergency meeting. A resolution was put forth to “modernize” the name of the town and the creek itself to something “not offensive and dignified “ The resolution passed, even though the townspeople who packed the gallery jeered and someone held up a sign that said Over My Dead Body.

And that’s why Cripple Creek is now called Person Who is Differently Abled Creek.

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