Opinion

Hailing week’s good news

Carlos Mauri Bardales performs during a ceremony at Oval Park dedicating a bench to Dorothy Kitchen's contributions to music education as founder and director of the Duke University String School, on Sunday April 30, 2017, in Durham, NC. The bench is nestled in the 12th 'history grove' created by communities in partnership with the Museum of Durham History celebrating individuals or groups who have helped shape Durham.
Carlos Mauri Bardales performs during a ceremony at Oval Park dedicating a bench to Dorothy Kitchen's contributions to music education as founder and director of the Duke University String School, on Sunday April 30, 2017, in Durham, NC. The bench is nestled in the 12th 'history grove' created by communities in partnership with the Museum of Durham History celebrating individuals or groups who have helped shape Durham. ctoth@heraldsun.com

We’ve had no shortage of good news to be excited about in our area this past week.

A report on Wednesday from the Museum of Life and Science brought mixed but mostly good news about infant red wolves. The birth of six of the critically endangered species was cause for considerable excitement last week, as the museum welcomed its third litter of red wolf pups. It participates in collaborative breeding programs for the species, once a top predator throughout the southeastern United States.

Sadly but not unexpectedly, one of the six pups has died. Another is ill. But four are doing well, nursing successfully, gaining weight and showing no signs of any congenital birth defects.

“They are robust and active with a strong sucking response and full bellies — all positive signs,” said Deborah Vanderford, the Durham museum’s attending veterinarian.

Another museum marked a significant event this past week, too. The Museum of Durham History dedicated its 12th history grove, this one honoring long-time musician, scholar and teacher Dorothy Kitchen. The museum started the history grove concept several years ago to “plant their flag in different neighborhoods,” as museum board member Steve Channing put it at last Sunday’s dedication.

Each grove is planted with native trees and small plants, and each has a bench and a marker identifying the honoree. Appropriately, the bench in the latest grove, in Oval Drive Park, is in the shape of a violin. Kitchen said the bench is a place where anyone can play a musical instrument. “You don’t now what that will inspire people to do,” she said.

She apparently inspired quite a few people. “She has this wonderful balance of asking something of her students and also making it somewhat enjoyable for them,” said Carlos Mauri Bardales, one of her students at the dedication.

Achieving balance — in this case between anger and making a statement of love — motivated several people along Prince Street this past week. Tuesday night, someone had used children’s sidewalk chalk to sketch a couple of swastikas along with the initials KKK and a crudely drawn phallic symbol.

“I was very upset and didn’t know what to do about it,” said resident Mindy Oshain.

What she did was to send out an email to her neighbors:

“Let’s meet tomorrow at 8 o’clock — I’ll bring the chalk — and we’ll turn the graffiti into animals or into creative things.”

That’s what they did.

Soon, the graffiti was replaced with pictures of a rainbow and a horse, peace signs and messages of love.

Rebuffing hate with love — we’d like to think that’s something that helps make Durham, Durham.

  Comments