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Chapter 18: Postscript

So ended my first job as archivist for the Amarillo Project.

The locals who had been so aggressive as a murderous mob had to realize that they were in an impossible situation. I like to think that my little speech at the end of their “trial” helped. Whether it did or not, they couldn’t very well murder their prisoners and they didn’t really have any plan. So they just sat there and waited for the army to come.

I’m happy to report that the army never did come. Instead, they sent an emissary to negotiate a new deal. They would bring in a competent administrator and staff who would put the project back together – on the further end of the project grounds and far away from the locals. They man they sent had a background, I’m told, in hospital administration.

They plan to have a bigger fence and, possibly, patrols to make sure the addicts stayed on their side. It makes me happy to note that the revolutionary government does want to continue the project. The first carloads of free opioids are already on the site, and they are starting all over. The addicts that were scattered on the prairie came back almost immediately. They had nowhere else to go. More of them are arriving on every train. In that sense, we were a success. Maybe even a big success!

Just to make sure they didn’t make the same mistake twice, the new administrators constituted a governing board with local people represented. I’m proud that they picked me to be on it, too. They will have to get somebody else to write down all their speeches and statements, because I’m through with that. I’m on the administrative side now!

Commissioner Joe Torres took Jane Early with him when he left. They were holding hands on their way to the train station. Might as well have been destination honeymoon.

Jane Early’s compatriot, Dr Anson Jones, is still hanging around. He is apparently still intent on finding volunteers for his experimental people-remaking process, and he doesn’t think he could get participants anywhere else except among desperate drug addicts. Whether or not he will find the money to re-build his laboratory is another matter, and I have my doubts.

“Bishop” T.E. Gormley has left Amarillo for parts unknown. I assume he was a little bit uncomfortable with the possibility of some reckoning for the people that were killed by the mob he formed. Wherever he is, I’m sure he’s still preaching against the revolution and calling it godless.

I feel moved to sum up my experience with Joe Torres. If you take his own word for it, he was never an administrator. He himself thought he was only sent out to head up this project for other reasons. He was never sure that they even intended to succeed out here. I actually think he did a crackerjack job, and I think people will take note of it. From the point of view of an uncommitted observer, he pioneered a very unusual kind of experiment and he saw it through to success. The big mistake of not consulting local people wasn’t really his mistake, even though he sure took the blame for it.

When I first met Joe Torres, I was in love with his image as a dashing revolutionary leader who had been the most assertive of them all. He was the only one, by reputation, to actually put an end to some of the plutocrats who were destroying life on our planet. He was associated with the cleanliness of violence. But I think that he’ll be even more widely respected for his non-violence in this very trying situation here in Amarillo. I haven’t been in love with Commissioner Joe Torres for some time, but I respect him far more than I had ever imagined. I hope he goes on working for his revolution. I think problems are getting resolved, but it's not easy, so people like Commissioner Torres are at a premium!

All of the old staffers were relieved. I mean that “relieved” in both ways. They were replaced by new staffers and they were glad to be done with this place at last. I know how they feel, but, confidentially, I’m tickled to get to stay. I’ll be the only carry-over from the first attempt, and I intend to make sure everybody knows that I’m the only one on-site with actual experience.

Yours with a certain amount of gratitude and a certain amount of relief,

July Eason, Former Archivist for the Amarillo Project



--July Eason, Former Project Archivist

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