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Not scary


Thanks for your recent focus on Durham's image. It was a real pleasure to read my neighbors' words about all the unique things they appreciate about life here. Thank you, too, for the article by Jeff Stern on the genesis of Durham's scary image. He did a fine job of research, digging through the clichés and stereotypes, and the airport history was particularly fascinating. I've been a Realtor in Durham for over 25 years, and I am most interested to see that the opinions of Durham by my competitors to the east are a little less, umm, "specific" than they were 20-some years ago, if no more informed. Subtle bigotry is still bigotry.

In particular, your article demonstrates that the so-called fears about Durham are no more scary than adorable little boys' mulberry-stained hands. Those who bother to get out of their cars and get to know Durham find a vibrant, intelligent, passionate, engaging community that will welcome and weave you into its fabric and texture. I came to Durham in 1978, knowing no more than that it was close to Raleigh. Over the years, Durham has taught me a lot about loving my neighbor, especially the one who doesn't look like me or sound like me. I am so much richer in all the ways that count for the lessons.

I'm not sure the mainstream media will ever "get" Durham--it's too complicated to be a sound-bite town. But Indy, you do, you do. Thanks!

Ellen Dagenhart


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