Cities: Brother, Can You Spare a Bus?

Brother, Can You Spare a Bus?

The letter asked whether Vienna, W. Va. (pop. 13,000), had any motorcycles, hospital beds, sewing machines, wheelchairs, buses or other equipment to spare. After Mayor William Owens finished reading it, he did what any skeptic would do: he tested the signature by running a wet finger over it. The name Jose Duarte smudged. Says Owens: "It was real." The solicitation was one of more than 100 that El Salvador's President Duarte, himself a former mayor (of San Salvador, the capital), has sent to American cities requesting assistance for his war-ravaged nation. Though many of the mayors contacted by Duarte expressed sympathy,...

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