In the comments section and through e-mail, I’ve had some questions regarding the Mangum Opus. Here are my replies.
Q: What new could come from this book?
A: There are a few items related to the case (Mangum’s April 11, 2006 meeting with Mike Nifong, for instance) for which we have never received a credible explanation. (Nifong claimed in court that Mangum seemed “traumatized” and said only 15 words.) Unfortunately, since Mangum is—at best—a fantasist, anything that she would say, even about Nifong, would have less than zero credibility.
There is, however, one item that could be revelatory. Of the case file, around 1000 pages of Mangum’s psychological records were turned over to the defense attorneys but ordered sealed by Judge Osmond Smith. To my knowledge, no one outside of the defense team has seen these records (I haven’t, and Joe Neff’s articles also didn’t draw upon them).
Mangum’s publisher could comply with Wendy Murphy’s previous demand for the public release of the entire case file by posting these records on its websites. Possible questions such a move could answer:
- What type of mental illness did Mangum have?
- Did she, for instance, hear voices telling her to do things?
- How often had she fabricated charges against people in the past?
- How long had she been taking anti-psychotic drugs, and what prompted doctors to prescribe them for her?
- Did her mental problems have any bearing on her discharge from the Navy?
Given that Mangum has elected to pen her “poignant” memoir, her publisher (who has claimed to have seen the entire discovery file, presumably including these documents) should ensure that the information is released publicly.
Q: Why did Mangum choose to publish a book now?
A: The Occam’s Razor explanation would be money, especially since her publisher/press agent has given less-than-credible alternative theories. In his press release, he claimed that she never had told her story (false: she had given an invented tale to the N&O, and had an opportunity to speak with both ABC and 60 Minutes). Then he said the case was being prolonged by the civil suits, or by bloggers—yet Mangum isn’t a party to the civil suits (though she might now be), and most case-related blogs, including this one, had scarcely mentioned Mangum for months until she re-injected herself into the case.
The idea that Mangum could profit from helping to perpetrate this hoax is obscene; as Joe Cheshire astutely noted, she should be subject to a civil suit unless her memoir concedes that she lied and talks about why she chose to lie.
Q: Do you think that there now exists a completed, copywrited document that will be released in some commercial form in October 2008? Could the press release be referring to a work that is still surreptitiously “in progress” for which the instigating parties are looking for signals of how to best proceed and what content to include by ‘testing the waters’ with this (preliminary) announcement?
A: It generally takes several weeks (at minimum) to several months to move from a completed manuscript to the book actually appearing. Since Mangum’s publisher/p.r. agent claims the book is done, there’s no reason to doubt his statement.
I have received several (anonymous) comments—each of which appears to have come from the same person—claiming to have “exposed” the fact that no Mangum Opus exists, alleging that the Mangum publicist is merely perpetrating a fraud on the public. I haven’t cleared such comments because the anonymous commenter provided no evidence to corroborate what is an extraordinarily serious charge against Vincent Clark.
In his/her most recent comment, the anonymous commenter said that my refusal to clear his/her comments showed that “for you, it’s just not about the truth.” I’d urge the commenter to look at the comments policy: while I try to clear as many comments as possible, I don’t clear potentially libelous comments. I would urge, therefore, the anonymous commenter to produce evidence for his/her serious charges against Clark.
Q: Do press releases announcing book publications typically have a completed “book” to point to?
Q: Do you find the injunction included in the press release by the triumvirate of parties putatively representing CGM that we (the public) desist from contacting her directly a little bizarre? Wouldn’t it be up to her to refer us to them if she chose not to deal with any of us directly? Their verbiage implies a contractual arrangement between them that we are somehow bound by.
A: Yes, this is bizarre: but what else should expect by this stage?!
Q: Does the book have to be cleared by an attorney?
A: With every publishing house I have ever heard of, controversial manuscripts first are cleared by an outside attorney (to avoid possible libel claims). It’s hard for me to see how any reputable attorney could clear a manuscript by someone like Mangum. I e-mailed Clark several weeks ago to ask him the name of his outside counsel; he declined to provide one.
Q: What have been the best responses to the book thus far?
A: Joe Cheshire talking about the Opus in this video.
And Bill Thomas appropriately observing, “Any book written by Ms. Mangum should be displayed in the fiction section. I think it’s very sad she's trying to capitalize off the false and malicious allegations she made against members of the Duke lacrosse team.”
Is Clark a Communist?
I wonder to what extent Ms. Mangum is capable of giving informed consent to the writing and publication of "her" story.
It would also be interesting to know who is giving her advice.
Listening to Joe Cheshire's measured comments in reaction to the press release about the book, it occurred to me that - conflicts of interest aside - Ms. Mangum would do a lot better turning to him or to someone like him for advice about why and how and what to say about her involvement in the Duke case. As Cheshire pointed out, there is an opportunity, a good opportunity, for Ms. Mangum, provided she tells the truth and expresses remorse. The record of what happened is so clear, so well established and so readily accessible that unless what she describes is largely consistent with the record, she runs an unnecessary risk of having even more of her life publicized.
As it is, I get the feeling that once again Ms. Mangum is being strongly encouraged to head off in the wrong direction with not much regard for her own well being.
That sort things seems to have happened over and over again as the Duke case and then the Nifong case unfolded. Broadhead, Nifong, much of the press, Mangum and now, apparently, Mangum again seem to have gone off the rails hurting themselves and others. Why?
Some years back, when a local track superstar did not pay me for a $75,000.00 driveway, I had to file a lien in order to get paid. During that period a friend asked me: "Did that surprise you?" I must admit, it did not because I was the first to file a lien. Others didn't and they were cheated out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now I ask Bill Thomas: Does it surprise you that Mangum is trying to capitalize off the false and malicious allegations she made against members of the Duke lacrosse team?
Amazingly, K.C. retains his disciplined lifestyle and has not yet been driven to drink over this abominable affair. Of course, he survived his own Alice-in-Wonderland tenure situation at Brooklyn College, so he is well acquainted with the world of the Looking Glass.
Cheshire is right; Crystal Mangum and her family have not been subjected to the rigors of civil court. So far, they have skated, but perhaps their string of good luck is over.
Tell you what, K.C. I will drink to you tonight!
I think it would help tremendously when assessing this latest from Mangum if the public knew more about Vincent Clark.
He seems to be a rather strange character with no substantive record at all.
It would seem that he's trying feverishly to get his one big moment on Oprah.
With all the problems in this world, I continue to be disgusted by these superfluous, yet destructive, people.
Demolish them in the legal arena.
Maybe a self-penned "book" will be published via Microsoft Word and bound at Kinkos by a failed slip-and-fall lawyer but I doubt much else will come of this. Any one of us has more to write about than Mangum and can do it with the use of a spell-check too!
Debrah writes @ 3:45 PM
"I think it would help tremendously when assessing this latest from Mangum if the public knew more about Vincent Clark."
The "public" can learn a good deal about Vincent Clark by doing some very simple searching online.
The full text of the press release regarding the proposed book can be found here.
The press release contains, among other things, Mr. Clark's home phone number in Lillington, NC which he has had for several years; his e-mail address; a link to his website; and a link to his employer's website.
Reading his website, you will be treated to his views on, among other things, The Duke Lacrosse case; The Jena Six case, the war in Iraq; health care; performance enhancing drug use among track athletes; and his preferred candidate for President of the US.
And Debrah, since you and Vincent are practically neighbors and support the same candidate for President (no doubt, together with the Group of 88), you might have run into Vincent at a dinner party and simply forgot his face.
Fortunately for you, since you simply adore making judgments about people based solely on their appearance (See: Ralph Luker, and more recently, the new City Manager of Durham), there is a photo of Vincent on his employer’s website.
I assume that KC will do a book review when it comes out?
Till then I hope she takes Joe Cheshire advice and confesses and talks about the forces in her life and the pressures that she was under both external and internal that caused to bring false charges in the Duke case.
I'm telling you, she's going to punt it.
Whatever she says about the party and immediate aftermath on March 13-14, 2006, her account is going to be pieced together from what Nifong, the DPD, and maybe some of the press said, or said she said, happened-- their words, not hers-- because she isn't going to remember it that well, not now, not after so long, after so much time, so many tears. And isn't about to get sued over it.
This publication has a decided air of unreality about it-- starting with the loving-hands-at-home press release-- but the point is for Mangum and her publisher to cash in on what's left of her "celebrity" quickly and avoid "the complex legal aspects of the case," not re-open it. As much as I wish she'd try.
The Last Dance for Grace is going to disappoint everyone but psychologists.
dave in l.a.
Some people get squeamish and a bit self-righteous when comments are made about the physical appearance of others.
I have one solution for the faint-hearted and the dreary:
Stay inside your homes, pull the shades, and lock the doors.
I've got news for you.
We are all judged--up one side and down the other--by almost everyone we meet or pass on the street.
On a daily basis.
Everyone is going to get old and ugly, but why rush it?
IMO, more should be openly discussed. Americans are some of the fattest people on the planet.
Just sit down and watch strangers go by for a few moments.
Nine out of ten are out of shape, about 40 pounds overweight, and usually have something going into their mouths.
I don't say this as a way to make fun of anyone. This is a most serious issue and the less it is openly discussed, the more growing children feel that eating themselves into oblivion as they sit at their computers or watch television is OK.
Does anyone know how much extra food you have to consume just to gain ten pounds?
It's a lot.
For the past two years I have spent much more time on the computer because of my love affair with Wonderland and because of the horrific episode at Duke and in Durham.
As a result, I very rarely work out---something that used to be a ritual.
So, just the way exercise was an addiction before, it's been replaced.
And the difference it makes, physically, is astounding.
We should not be shushing people about this issue. We all should be shouting about it.
It is literally a matter of life and death.
Of course, there is no solution for politically partisan loons who need a good mirror.
Well, I for one hope that this book is published. There is no way that such a book could not make those associated with this woman look even more foolish. The brilliant but assinine Duke administration, the horrid, second-rate Duke faculty, the horrific ambitious district attorney, Mike Nifong whose character borders on that of a sociopath, the inept Durham police force and it Barney Fife allies, the Duke resource officers, the Durham city government, and sundry others who were taken in by their own ambiton and predjudice . . . what a farce of characters . . . and Debra where's the fat? Why the story is fat all over . . . I can't believe it either.
Anyone else read that she (Crystal) intends to donate a $1 per copy of her book to womens' shelters?
It's a clever enough move - it will subconciously reinforce the perception that 'something happened' whilst linking her to battered women / DV victims (even though she wasn't battered and isn't a victim of anything other than her own delusions).
good point 10:26-
The $1 donation to battered women clearly implies CGM was one.
Anyway- another question for KC (since this is the Q&A section)-
When I finally get around to writing a book and having it published- does the usual arrangement with the publisher have me getting a set amount of money per copy sold (as the CGM Memoir suggests since she is going to give $1 per book sold to this worthy cause) or is there a more complicated arrangement?
Let's say KC wanted to give $1 for each copy of the paperback release of UPI sold to The Vincent (Ed) Clark Remedial English Fund- would he have his publisher send the money directly there as the copies were being printed or would he send it from the proceeds he recieved after copies were sold?
So many questions, so little firm footing....
RL alum '75
The press release has some hilarious bloopers and lies. For example,
Mangum is referred to, oh-so-delicately, as "the alleged accuser". Ex-cuuuuuse me.....did she make an accusation, or did she not? Is there some DOUBT that she was the accuser?
And I love the brazen lie that "Were it not for the Duke Lacrosse Case, she likely would be described as a bright, young woman from Durham, North Carolina, who has had a difficult life." Uh, no. She would have been described (if at all) as exactly what she still is: a stupid ugly whore, and a psychotic. But an anonymous one, instead of a notorious one.
maybe the book will clear up some things such as
1-what happened to the other shoe
2-what went on in the car after the two dancers left the party
3-what happened at the hospital
4-where cousin jackie is now
5-how big was that bathroom anyway
6-who is the father of her youngest child
7-what is CGM doing now and is she OK physically, mentally, socially, and financially
8-what was her degree from nccu
9-did she have a ghost writer for the book
10-will she have a press conference to answer any and all questions
I finally figured it out!
Vincent Clark and Mangum delayed release of their opus to coincide more closely with the release of the updated edition of UPI.
Another scheme from the brilliant mind of Clark.
More from the Trinity Park-Mangum enablers:
Duke students draw more complaints
By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
Aug 27, 2008
DURHAM -- Thirteen Trinity Heights homeowners asked for and on Tuesday got a meeting with Duke administrators to talk about a new round of complaints about off-campus student behavior.
The residents were to meet with three Duke vice presidents, a city councilman and a Durham Police Department captain.
Their leader, Clarendon Street resident Christine Westfall, said they would press Duke officials to use the school's own police force to clamp down on late-night disorder caused by students.
Westfall said they also want Duke to begin a long-term effort to house all the school's fraternities on campus, rather than allowing them to set up ad-hoc party houses in the neighborhoods bordering the school.
After spending two years dealing with the situation, "what we've decided is that Duke [has been] asking neighbors and city police to police and manage what really is their problem," she said.
She added that left unchecked, the party house scene will contribute to neighborhood blight by discouraging owner-occupants from living near campus.
"Most of us feel if it goes on for years, we're just going to move," she said. "It's too much to put up with."
Westfall and her fellow homeowners wrote Duke President Richard Brodhead and city officials in late July to ask for the meeting. Brodhead responded by assigning vice presidents Larry Moneta, Michael Schoenfeld and Phail Wynn to get together with the neighbors.
Moneta heads the school's student affairs office, Schoenfeld is public affairs and government relations director and Wynn is in charge of Durham affairs.
Wynn said the administration is interested in dialogue.
"The issue they're concerned about is also an issue of concern and importance to us," he said. "We're eager to work with them to see what we can do to address [it]. This is something that comes about every year, and part of what we need to do is work with the neighbors and landlords to come up with some sort of plan."
He added that the school also needs to counsel students, "primarily seniors, about what appropriate off-campus behavior is and what being a good neighbor is."
Duke is hardly the only university coping with such problems, but its difficulties have received international attention thanks to their role two years ago in triggering the Duke lacrosse case.
Just before that incident, the school spent millions buying up a series of houses in the Trinity Park neighborhood. The move tamped down problems there, but Westfall said students responded by renting more often in Trinity Heights.
The result has been a running barrage of complaints about late-night noise, strewn garbage and at times petty theft, she said.
Residents also aren't happy that the administration's usual response has been to urge students and neighbors to get to know each other. Westfall said that unfairly puts the onus on residents.
While the Trinity Park loons continue with their complaints about Duke students, it appears to be Duke students who still have the most to fear:
Duke police issue warnings, up patrols
By KEITH UPCHURCH : The Herald-Sun
Aug 27, 2008
DURHAM -- Duke University police are warning students and increasing patrols after two Duke students were robbed over the weekend.
Maj. Gloria Graham of the Duke Police Department said on Tuesday that the department issued a text message on its Duke Alert System and sent out e-mails to everyone in the Duke community about the robberies.
Graham said officers went door to door at Chapel Towers Apartments on Morreene Road, where the robberies occurred, and to nearby Partners Place to warn residents about the crimes. Police also passed out more than 200 fliers in the area and have increased patrols there, Graham said.
She asked that anyone who sees anything suspicious to call Duke police at 684-2444.
Meanwhile, a CrimeStoppers reward is being offered for information leading to arrests in the two robberies.
The first holdup occurred around noon Saturday in front of the rental office at Chapel Towers Apartments at 1315 Morreene Road. Three people were sitting in a car in the parking lot when a man approached the car, opened the car door and demanded money.
The man threatened to shoot the victims if they didn't comply. He implied that he had a gun, but no weapon was seen. The man took $60 from the victims and ran toward Morreene Road.
He is described as black, in his teens to early 20s, with a small to medium build and short hair. He was wearing jeans and an orange shirt.
The second robbery occurred about 2 p.m. Sunday on Morreene Road outside the apartment complex. A man approached two victims, demanded their money and threatened to start shooting. He kept his hand tucked inside his pants as if he had a gun, but no weapon was seen.
He took cash from the victims and ran on Morreene Road. He was described as a dark-complected black man in his teens or early 20s, with a slim build and very short hair. He was wearing a tight, white, tank-top shirt and long, gray, baggy sweatpants.
Anyone with information on these robberies is asked to call Durham police Detective Victor M. Figueroa at 560-1020, ext. 227; Duke University police Sgt. G. Smith at 684-6424; or CrimeStoppers at 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felonies. Callers never have to identify themselves.
Like the Lubiano publishing claims of forthcoming publications presenting themselves to the breathlessly waiting public, the hoi palloi of a reading public, panting, are passively waiting with baited breath for the miracle of this imaginary tomb's imposition of its virtuous writing in the arena of expectant fiction. Ah, to be suspended from the ceiling of anyroom let alone the bathroom while Martians hoover overhead and all around while everone concerned has multiple orgasms and spreads DNA everywhere and nowhere at all . . . oh me, oh my . . . I must be in Kansas, Toto . . . because it doen't seem to be Durham . . . perhaps an excerpt from a forthcoming document of unrealized and unrestrained literary license.
Should this wretched creature make even one red cent from this "memoir", the REAL Duke victims (Reade, Seligman and Finerty) should already have a lien in place to take it from her. I don't give a rat's eardrum whether or not she is donating $10 from each book's sales to battered women - she has comported herself in a despicable and, I think, felonious fashion and should not profit for even a nanosecond from her disgraceful conduct!
... and the Back-to-School crime wave continues in Durham.
Unusual Break-In Baffles Durham Police
By LA TASHA MCKEE: The Herald-Sun
Aug 27, 2008
Durham Police are investigating an unusual car break-in that occurred Tuesday afternoon at The Streets at Southpoint shopping mall at 6910 Fayetteville Rd in Durham.
Persons unknown had broken the drivers' side window of a car belonging to Duke student Walter J. "Skippy" Chatworth IV of Greenwich, CT.
Chatworth told police, "I had gone into the mall to pick up a couple of pairs of chinos and some deck shoes. I had left two Duke football tickets on the dashboard of my Lexis. When I returned, someone had broken my winbdow and placed four additional Duke football tickets on the dashboard!"
Durham police are baffled by the incident. Durham Police Corporal Raife Sikes stood with his thumbs
in his belt, spitting a stream of tobacco on the ground in disgust and told reporters, "Why, that's the durndest thang I ever seen!"
The investigation continues.
Re: The article about Duke students drawing more complaints:
Am I the only supporter of the players who thinks it would, in fact, be a good idea for off-campus Duke students to either behave like good neighbors or live far enough away from other people that their boisterous ways will not disturb the peace?
Has the the lacrosse case somehow given students the license to treat their neighbors with disrespect?
Sorry, but I don't buy that.
Q: Have you seen this?
The Duke Chronicle now:
Pro Bono Publico
By: Kristin Butler and Ed Rickards
Issue date: 8/25/08 Section: Columns
Last update: 8/25/08 at 7:43 AM EST
"The column Pro Bono Publico will appear each Monday with a joint byline. We promise to be fair and principled, probative and informative, analytical and critical. Our focus will be university policy and governance, and readers can count on us to hold administrators' feet to the fire. That starts right now.
We regret that at the outset President Richard Brodhead has refused to grant us an interview. We explained in summertime e-mails we would be writing more about him and his administration than any other journalists, on campus or off."
Read the rest- - - >
Surprising that more employees at NCCU have not donated more.
What I figure is, that the "neighbors" complaint is bushwah.
If the horrible Duke students were violating any kind of noise or other behavior ordnance the neighbors would be dropping the dime on them and the Durham PD would be along forthwith, brutalizing the Duke students and piling on false charges.
Let's not forget that almost everything said against the lacrosse team was an outright lie and the rest was so distorted and exaggerated that it amounted to deception.
These neighbor complaints are pure nonsense.
Of course Duke thinks it's all "bad enough".
Naturally Brodhead picks Dean Mamzer who is reliably anti-student. Or, at least, anti-white student.
On the plus side, Duke and Durham are still up to their nipples in the soup and in some not-to-distant future are going to discover the true meaning of PAIN.
If one lives in the noise cone of an airport, one should expect some noise.
If one lives across the street from a church, one should expect cars in front of their home every Sunday.
If one lives next to a college campus, one should expect all that goes with it.
Is it only me that thinks it odd that no one seems to get wound-up over protesters, pot bangers, and New Black Panthers
Sorry Ken but can't jump on that bandwagon. I am not of the mind that every problem the neighbors have with Duke students is the fault of Duke students. I've had good neighbors and bad. I've also had some that would complain (as we say in Texas) if you hung them and the rope broke.
There's a news story that one of the "saintly" neighbors in Trinity Park has been cited for throwing a beer bottle through a window of the infamous Duke Lax house.
If you live near a university, should you not know there will be students (and the attendant behavior)in and around your neighborhood?
I personally am tired of hearing how bad the Duke students are. How rude, inconsiderate, blah, blah, blah. Are there not any poorly behaved NCCU students? Oh, that's right, they must not bothering those who consider themselves "privileged" members of the right neighborhood.
Duke students seem to be "fair game" in Durham and I don't understand why any thinking parent sends their bright young student to a place where they are despised and targeted.
The great majority of Duke students are just that . . . students. Make friends with them . . . get to know them . . . the overwhelming majority of them will at least match the excellent behavior of the lacrosse team. They come from families for the most part that respect their mothers and fathers . . . they respect older people. Work at creating a bond of responsibility with them for goodness sakes . . . don't expect them to be 80 year olds. They will tell you when they are going to party. They will be loud and boisterous and full of energy. They are young for goodness sakes. Try to help them and yourself by establishing ground rules and be tolerant. Every student isn't wonderful . . . but the majority are . . . and responsible. Use some common sense. Get one of the tough kids to ramrod the party . . . I don't mean someone who will fight . . . I mean someone the group respects . . . set limits . . . show leadership for goodness sake . . . participate in that sense. These kids will take care of you belive it or not. We will have to depend on them . . . it is in the nature of things. This whole affair was run by people who had isolated themselves in their self-righteousness and ignorance of the "other."
Is Duke a state school?
I am completely torn between utter dismay at the thought of anyone profiting by publishing anything about their own criminal activity and a strong personal interest, nonetheless, in reading this book. There is still a lot to learn.
I am not so concerned about this book potentially harming the thoroughly exonerated defendants. As several have noted, the case record is very well established, and civil litigation should offer ample redress for libel, if needed.
How astonishing it would be if Ms. Mangum did take this opportunity to apologize or offer any sort of explanation for her behavior.
The book title seems to set a conciliatory tone. And the press release implies the book will aid public understanding of CGM. That can only happen with some painful details about Ms. Mangum's medical history. Tales of hardship could only be inadequate to the task.
What we already know is quite revealing. Early in the case we understood (I hope I am remebering this correctly) that CGM regularly took Depakote, which is used to treat migraines, epilepsy, and bipolar disorder. She experienced numerous wild and mutually exclusive delusions about the night of March 13. (Surely, intentional liars generally follow a more believable and consistent story line.) She presumably mixed her medication with (1) alcohol (she drank quite a bit of beer on March 13 which is absolutely forbidden for someone taking medication for serious mental illness), (2) very irregular sleep (according to her driver's description of the several days before March 13--another big problem for anyone who is mentally ill), and (3) extreme, dangerous, hypersexual behavior as evidenced by the Mr. Mehan's DNA testing (not a sign of someone in control of their faculties). In the unlikely event Ms. Mangum is able to recognize and acknowledge her problems, even if she says nothing specific about the night of March 13, the book really would soften public perception.
Absent a pretty detailed and compelling explanation, Ms. Mangum stands to lose quite a bit with the publication of this book. It will be difficult for the press to ignore the book, and I suspect even the most PC will find such an open target for ridicule irresistible.
Maybe I am dreaming...
I would not want to live next to a collage party house in Durham or anywhere else. However, the Trinity Park crowd could not separate being irritated at late night partying from rushing to support false rape accusations and wholesale condemnation. They let their neighborly irritation morph into hatred and embarrassed themselves before the world as a result.
The Herald Sun should be referring to this case as the Duke Rape Hoax. It would be truer and would not continue the damage done by the false accuser and her supporters(some of whom live in Trinity Park)
I posted this question on the wrong thread. I read on the net that CGM was trying to raise money for law school or grad school. Could somebody in the know please tell me if she is allowed to join the bar. I thought that she had felony conviction(s) in her past. I thought she would get an automatic denial from the bar for that.
Re: Student behavior
Thanks for the responses to my comment. I have known many Duke students over the years, living as I do near 9th Street. Oh, and I'm married to a Duke grad! So, I know that the overwhelming majority of Duke students are wonderful folks. I even know that the overwhelming majority of the students who might be a little over-the-top in their partying are also great people.
Nevertheless, when Mangum made her allegations, it's pretty clear, at least to me, that years of previous problems between students and local residents contributed to the tendency of many of those residents to pile on rather than support the players.
I also realize that when you live close to a college, you're going to experience some of partying that goes on. That's generally a good thing -- it adds to the vibrancy that attracts non-students to the area. But people can legitimately disagree about the balance of wildness to calm. And when (town) neighbors complain about (gown)neighbors, it doesn't necessarily mean that the town folk are unjustly out to get anyone. Sometimes, as Freud supposedly said, a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes, people just want a little more peace and quiet.
Here's an interesting tidbit.
Brown does seem to be a decent guy which makes him unusual among those who run Durham.
Durham councilman once worked for Biden
By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
Aug 29, 2008
DURHAM -- Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was a tough taskmaster when he started out in the U.S. Senate 35 year ago, says Durham City Councilman Eugene Brown, who'd know because he was Biden's press secretary back then.
As remains common in Washington, D.C., generally and on Capitol Hill in particular, "You were expected to work long and hard," Brown said. "No comp time."
Biden was then the Senate's youngest member, and in his first term ranked 100th in seniority. The ranking carried few perks.
"We were in this tiny room because when you rank 100th, you don't get much," Brown said. "We were so cramped together OSHA [the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration] would have disapproved."
Brown doubled as Biden's speechwriter, an assignment with a few challenges because the famously loquacious Delaware senator has always been willing to improvise mid-speech.
But the future councilman learned to work with him.
"As a speechwriter you don't normally write for someone; you write with them," Brown said. "Part of the job is certainly picking up on their cadence and their rhythm. Some of it is about music and poetry. You try to combine that with some facts."
The Brown family has a double connection to Biden because Brown's wife-to-be, Signe, also worked for the senator as a part-time receptionist while she attended law school. Biden toasted the couple in his office when they got engaged.
They have stayed in touch since, often through former Biden chief of staff Ted Kaufman, a lawyer and sometime Duke University law school lecturer who's "part of a cadre of people who've been with [Biden] off and on for 30 to 40 years," Brown said.
The Browns hosted a fundraiser for Biden in their Durham home in 1987 when he first ran for president. The event went well, although a family pet, a canary, sang through part of the candidate's speech.
Brown had anticipated Biden's addition to this year's Democratic ticket, telling people during a toast at his daughter's June 22 wedding that he hoped to see his former employer become vice president. Suffice to say, he believes presidential nominee Barack Obama made the right call.
It was "a much-needed choice to help balance the ticket," in part because Biden "can certainly talk to the people who should be voting Democratic but have drifted away from our party, working people," Brown said.
But he added that the upcoming race will be tough. "I don't know of any other Republican that can really challenge our ticket as much as John McCain," the GOP's presumptive nominee, Brown said.
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