Research Triangle Park, NC area - What Land of Milk and Honey??!?

Subject: Research Triangle Park, NC area - What Land of Milk and Honey??!?
From: Maurice King <benadam -at- CYBERDUDE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 09:30:45 -0500

Dear Michael,

You speak as if you think I'm an immigrant from the Middle East. FYI, I was born in Durham, NC; I graduated the Durham Public Schools and know the RTP area when the Park contained all of four companies, all of which were connected to the then-dominant tobacco industry. I even remember when downtown Durham was a lively place; if you can't imagine that, then you're really a newcomer to the area. I also remember the days when the Ku Klux Klan recruited members from the schools; that prompted the educational system to require each student to sign a pledge card in which the student agreed not to join any sort of club that was not within the school system. It's a bit different when you know all the history first hand; you see everything in a different light.

I also know well what it means to come from Buffalo, NY; my undergraduate years were spent in Rochester, NY, where the running joke is:

Q. What do you do during the summer in Rochester?
A. If it falls on Sunday, I play golf.

Buffalo and Rochester are anything but inspiring places to be. I was more than ready to leave the area after I graduated. However, North Carolina was not an option for me. I would never have returned if I had not had a child with special needs that could best be addressed in the outrageously overpriced town of Chapel Hill, where I reside today. To clarify, Chapel Hill was only UNC and graveyards when I was growing up. Today it's bigger, but it's is still nothing more than UNC and graveyards in my eyes. My Israeli wife says it looks like the Gaza Strip; when we visited the Mediterranean restaurant on West Franklin Street, one of the Arab employees there agreed with her fully!

I'll take a big city any day over living in a house surrounded with trees. As my wife said, she fully expects some day to find a gingerbread house with the witch looking for Hansel and Gretel. She has even floated a theory that people who choose to live in such isolation have a problem interacting with other people, and she may be right.

- Maury

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