It's a shame that not a single leader from the city of Rock Hill came downstairs to the City Hall Rotunda - Latin for wheel - this week when 22 people from the Miller Pond neighborhood came by for a visit.
A few bureaucrats scurried by, as happens in city offices, as these people "surrendered" in their battle against annexation, in which the city threatened to cut off their water.
The big shots missed the final act of a classical tragedy fit for textbooks. Tragedy, from the Greek, literally, the song of the goat. A drama that leads to an unhappy ending, with the central character or characters doomed to defeat, yet they fight on anyway even if they are destined to lose.
Perfect for the city, because in this play it was destined to win and did win because the city threatened people with dry taps, and an endless supply of both water and taxpayer-funded lawyers. Annex, or don't bathe, said the city.
The neighborhood sued. They lost.
This is a story as old as Rome or Greece, yet played out in Southernized English thousands of years after those empires annexed places by sword. Rock Hill uses lawyers and water. Same result.
The 22 doomed heroes who showed up, and dozens more neighbors who also fought, they rightfully have called the city worse names than "goat."
Miller Pond is home to some nice houses, sure, but the people who live there worked hard for it. Most wore jeans and sweatshirts and jackets, the clothes of the people.
The people came to officially hand in signed annexation forms, ending the legal fight over whether the city could force annexation by threat of water, for which these people had paid triple the going rate for years.
The developer who built Miller Pond agreed in 1998, with the city running water lines outside the city, that when annexation came knocking, all would agree.
The problem is many people claim they never read or saw that agreement. Some did.
Either way, Miller Pond did what people do when backed into a corner - they fight. And lose, heroically.
"What you have here is a bunch of unhappy people," said neighbor Ron Childs, who came with wife, Tina. "To put it nice."
Michael Murnane and his sons, Patrick and Riley, showed up.
"Violated is how I feel," said Michael Murnane.
Mackey Carroll with the beard and his tough work-hardened hands, and his wife Beverly.
"Throw in dissatisfied and disappointed," said Mackey Carroll.
Mike Hayslett, Kevin Winsch, the list goes on. A guy named Jerry Williams, who wanted the event to end so he could go to work and pay for his water.
Neighborhood president David Grigg led the charge, doing the talking, so becoming the Greek hero. Doomed to die in this play, Grigg gave a news conference to TV crews that have the curiousness of field mice, yet gave a speech that any politician would envy.
He used the word "honor." The city wanted them to "honor" an agreement that some didn't know about by using the honorable tactics of cutting off water.
He talked about "right and wrong" and how so many people from outside Miller Pond had donated money for lawyers, because without a doubt Miller Pond lost in court but won in the court of public opinion.
He talked of a battle lost, but worth it - especially if dozens of other neighborhoods in their situation don't get similar treatment.
A big guy named Brent Peddy said he was frustrated, and not real happy, as he prepared to join the city of Rock Hill as a resident and taxpayer and water customer.
But tragedies end as they must. The hero would lose. Achilles does not survive. David Grigg died a little at that rotunda, under one of five statues in Roman style called "Civitas" that cost taxpayers more than a million dollars about 20 years ago.
Civitas means the group of citizens who constitute a state or city-state, according to one definition. Or civitas just means "citizenship." One definition calls it "a shared responsibility, a common purpose, a sense of community."
Miller Pond's residents, all 22, said they had civitas. They were exactly that. United.
The city of Rock Hill, well nobody was there to say what they got out of this water war that turned into a tragedy watched by the whole country. Their civitas is measured in statues and money and gallons of water.
The suits upstairs, the city leaders, did not show up. Maybe they did not know about 22 people in their midst, bearing annexation forms that turn into tax dollars.
The main antagonist of this play, Carey Smith, retired just before Brutus plunged in the knife, anyway, so he would not watch the ending of what he started.
Helen of Troy was the face who launched a thousand ships. Smith, the face who threatened to turn off a thousand taps.
But if Smith or any others had been around to hear it, they would know the curtain fell, and the audience left with just one word: