Dependable Erection

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Another reason to hate Duke

I'm 54 years old, and i'm still not quite sure what it is i do best in this world. I know there's a couple of things i suck at besides blogging. One of them is asking people for money, which is why i'm especially proud of the fundraising effort i led to raise the $1500 we used to build this sign at one of the gateways to our neighborhood.

It was bad enough when the copper letters D U K E K A disappeared a couple of years ago. (The P & the R were removed several days later either by a copycat or by someone wishing to distract attention from who might have committed the vandalism.) I heard second hand that they'd been spotted at a certain frat house on a certain nearby campus, but since the authorities at the campus declined to actually look for the letters, we let it slide, and remade the sign with gold paint.

This latest low class act of vandalism is just, well, stupid and tasteless.

Our neighborhood shares a name with the University, but that's about it. We're not one of the partner neighborhoods, we're too far from campus to have hardly any students living in our neighborhood, we never see any Duke students come by to volunteer at any of our cleanups or other events. But it sure looks like the Dookies know where we are, doesn't it? Wonder if whoever did this knows, or cares, that a Durham native and Duke alum designed and built this sign, based on a design originally drawn by the late Grace Richardson?

Wonder if anyone from Duke is going to be willing to pony up to repair this damage?

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  • It's a shame, really it is, but what we see here is absolutely nothing compared to what the students do pretty regularly to Chapel Hill.

    This is the reality of life in a small college town that's good at sports. Truth told, we get by better than most, and we do much, much better than some.

    There's no way to know whether the people who painted the sign even had any affiliation with the university. If you haven't noticed, people around here get really excited about the leather pumpkin throwing competitions, even if they've got absolutely no ties with the institutions involved therein.

    Honestly, I don't know what "Duke" as an institution could do to curb such behavior (short of abolishing the pointless distraction that is "college athletics," but I'm pretty sure that Duke does, in fact, like money). You're looking at off-campus vandalism, and it's up to Durm's finest to pursue (or, almost certainly, not pursue) an investigation.

    By Blogger Jeremy T, at 11:04 PM  

  • The last time this sign was vandalized, Durham's finest pursued it right up to Duke University, where the powers that be, under whatever gentleman's agreement DPD and Duke U. have, decided to let things drop.

    What i want is a positive response towards contributing to the repairs from Duke. What i don't want is to hear that "things are better here than elsewhere." I hear that often enough from Durham boosters.

    I spent the first 40 years or so of my life elsewhere. Guess what? Some things are better here than there. But many things are not. This is one of them.

    By Blogger Barry, at 8:22 AM  

  • This is such bullshit. Regardless of whomever did this - Duke student or not - Duke U. should step up to the plate and immediately - like today - hire somebody to repair the damage to this sign. While they are at it, they should also pay to have replacement copper letters crafted and installed.

    It's just the right thing to do.

    By Blogger Steve Graff, at 9:33 AM  

  • by the same extension, and not to play the duke/unc card, should i demand restitution from unc for all of their fans (clearly not related to the university) that yelled and cajoled other fans at the 1st/2nd round games in greensboro last year?
    yelling at kids, berating anyone not wearing their colors. is unc or any university responsible for the actions of their athletic teams fans? its a shame the sign was tagged like that but i really do not see how this is duke's fault or a reason to hate duke. that seems to be the default mode way too often.

    By Blogger next time, at 10:10 AM  

  • Do you really not see a difference between yelling at someone and defacing private property?

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:17 AM  

  • Oof. This post made my stomach turn.

    By Blogger Phillip, at 10:26 AM  

  • I have always admired the craftsmanship of this sign, and to see if vandalized like this is just sickening.

    Regardless of who stole the copper letters, and now spray painted the sign with graffiti, it reflects poorly on Duke University. If Duke wants to stop the degradation of their "brand" they should step forward to offer to pay for the repairs. The cost to Duke to do so would be a mere pittance. The cost to the Duke Park Neighborhood Association would be immense.

    BTW, "next time", there is a big difference between yelling and cajoling the fans of the opposing team and vandalism. Both are thuggish behavior, to be sure, but one has left physical damage that will cost possibly hundreds of dollars to repair.

    This just seems be be yet another example of the "broken windows" theory at work. Speeding cars, cars ignoring pedestrians in crosswalks, drivers involved in hit and run accidents, littering, vandalism, to name but a few examples. Way too many Durham residents don't give a damn about you, me, their neighborhood, your neighborhood, the environment, or any thing else for that matter. It's all about immediate self gratification, and to hell with the consequences. So many selfish, unthinking people here. It's very sad.

    By Blogger Steve Graff, at 10:28 AM  

  • Had someone driven down my street at 3 am the other morning honking their horns and screaming "Go to Hell Carolina!" i would probably have been annoyed, but i would have gone back to sleep and probably not even called the cops.

    I do think it's funny, and i ran into this a couple of time the other day, that people around here assumed that i must be a Carolina fan if i wasn't a Duke fan. As hard as it may be for some folks to comprehend, for some of us college basketball is barely a blip on the radar screen.

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:36 AM  

  • of course i see a difference. my point is how far do you take the responsibility? if last year someone had spray-painted the sign with "go unc #1" would you have demanded that unc pay for the sign being fixed? that is completely unrealistic. my point is that sports inspires all sorts of idiotic behavior but doesn't require the institution to pay for things like this.

    By Blogger next time, at 10:39 AM  

  • Funnily enough, after last year's UNC victory, our sign was untouched. Maybe because it doesn't say "Carolina" anywhere on it?

    You say you see the difference between the two behaviors, yet that's the example you raised. Obviously it's a useless one.

    Where do i draw the line? I'd like to see a contribution from Duke towards repairing/replacing our sign. I don't think that's too much to ask.

    I have no idea what the relationship is between UNC and the town of Chapel Hill, but i have no doubt that the University takes some responsibility for the behavior of its students (paying for extra police presence, perhaps, or providing funding towards cleaning up damage to town structures?) in those years when Carolina celebrates athletic victories. To my knowledge, this is the only instance of damage to off campus property as a result of Duke's championship. At least it wasn't burned in a bonfire, eh?

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:49 AM  

  • you are asking duke to pay for a sign because of an act of vandalism, off campus, that is not necessarily even student related. that is what seems useless here.

    By Blogger next time, at 11:11 AM  

  • What difference is it to you what i choose to ask Duke University to do?

    At the very least, as Steve as noted, this kind of thing makes Duke look bad, even if, however unlikely it is, no one from the University community was responsible for this.

    There is some value to Duke taking some steps to fix this. They may choose not to recognize that value, but the act of asking is itself not useless, regardless of the outcome. At the very least, it makes the Duke hierarchy aware that some in the community are tarnishing their reputation.

    By Blogger Barry, at 11:23 AM  

  • I'm pleased to say that Duke U has responded positively to our request and will be working with us to restore our sign and hopefully help us take steps to prevent a reoccurrence in the future.

    By Blogger Barry, at 1:45 PM  

  • I saw nearly identical graffiti this morning on a commercial sign near the Club and Roxboro intersection. Looked like it had been done by the same person. That sign said "Build to Suit" or "Space for Lease" or something like that. So maybe your sign would have been vandalized even if it didn't say "Duke" on it.

    By Blogger Sarah, at 4:23 PM  

  • Duke is almost certainly currently in the process of making money hand over fist selling National Champ gear all over the country. Slotting a little of that coin over to a neighborhood sign that was a casualty of that victory is the right thing to do.

    Kudos to Duke for doing that. Good job.

    Now, on the other hand, ADF has apparently dedicated its season to Talman Trask. Really puts a damper on me wanting to get tickets.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 2:40 PM  

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