Most of you are probably at N.C. Policy Watch’s “Crucial Conversation ” luncheon today with N.C. Schools Superintendent June Atkinson where she’ll be talking about the state’s public education system, a minor topic of conversation these days.
You’re not there? Well, you should be. Here’s some Lunch Links for you with some great pieces of journalism that caught my attention.
First, Rolling Stone has this amazing and horrifying tale, “The Poorest Rich Kids in the World ” about how the children who stand to inherit the Doris Duke
fortune (yes, the Dukes of Durham’s Duke University and the Duke tobacco fortune) were abused, maltreated and neglected in horrific ways for most of their childhood. (The kids are now teenagers.) The reporting and writing in this longer-format piece are phenomenal, though incredibly disturbing to read, and an awful reminder that child abuse can and does happen in all types of homes. I’d mark this one a must-read, it’s that powerful.
An excerpt from Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article :
Raised by two drug addicts with virtually unlimited wealth, Georgia and Patterson survived a gilded childhood that was also a horror story of Dickensian neglect and abuse. They were globe-trotting trust-fund babies who snorkeled in Fiji, owned a pet lion cub and considered it normal to bring loose diamonds to elementary school for show and tell. And yet they also spent their childhoods inhaling freebase fumes, locked in cellars and deadbolted into their bedrooms at night in the secluded Wyoming mountains and on their ancestral South Carolina plantation. While their father spent millions on drug binges and extravagances, the children lived like terrified prisoners, kept at bay by a revolving door of some four dozen nannies and caregivers, underfed, undereducated, scarcely noticed except as objects of wrath.
“We were so fearful. I would hide in cupboards smaller than that,” says Georgia in her Southern-tinged lilt, pointing to a two-foot-tall cabinet in the kitchen of their spacious Park City, Utah, home where the twins, now 15, are reassembling their lives and residing with their mother, a woman who has seen her own share of trouble and who has only recently become a presence in her children’
A little closer to home, WCNC in Charlotte had a great report  using some old-fashioned reporting techniques and showing what Watauga County’s decision will mean for the more than 9,000 Boone voters now crammed into one voting precinct. Here’s a preview: students at Appalachian State University will face a 17 minute walk to their new polling place,
But I’m sure this won’t discourage anyone from voting, will it? There’s great hiking in Boone, include hikes to cast your constitutionally-protected ballot.
My goal wasn’t to depress everyone during my Lunch Links this week, so here’ s a more uplifting read from the New York Times I really enjoyed about a small clothing manufacturing company, L.C. King, that has survived in Tennessee by serving the needs of smaller, niche fashion designers.
The article (click here ) references a Raleigh menswear company, Lumina , which I hadn’t heard of before and Greensboro’s Cone Denim , which has been making denim since the 1890s. Cone Denim is a really big thing right now in the fashion world thanks to places like Raleigh Denim , N.C. Policy Watch’s neighbor in the Oak City’s warehouse district and sells in places like Barney’s in NYC and other such fancy places.
I’m no fashionista, and definitely don’t have any $200-plus jeans, but I love finding out about these family-owned factories in the South and in North Carolina that are carving out places in the economy by giving nods to our past.
Hope that was enough of a high note to end on, enjoy your lunch.