Letters to the Editor

04/04 What You’re Saying: Daniel Read, and John Sharpe

What is city’s vision for Duke Park?

An open letter to the mayor and Durham City Council

As you know, the Duke Park pool was closed in 1993. The tennis courts have received about zero attention from the city since I moved into the neighborhood in 1986. There has been a lot of talk since, but basically nothing has been done except to build a bathroom. A dog park is about to go in, which is nice but very low cost use of dead space. So it breaks my heart to get this email from someone who recently moved into the neighborhood:

“I am a neighbor in Duke Park. Moved in in the fall 2017. I would love to meet and talk a little about the plans for the Swimming pool and tennis courts at Duke Park. Is there a vision for the future? I know the bicycle coop has rented some space from the parks and rec.”

Is there a vision for the future? It would appear to me that the only vision is continued neglect. We have watched patiently while many other projects have been funded and completed and our park remains sadly neglected. I hope the city can fund the pavilion (which the neighborhood association supports) and upgrade the tennis courts this year.

Daniel Read


Going without a logo

Unsolicited remarks about my old UNC hat were up with basketball season this year. Comments ranged from “You’ve got the right hat” to “What’s that trash on your head?” and worse.

However, I wasn’t trying to profess any particular allegiance. Instead, it just was one of the few hats I could find that would fit my thick, size 3XL skull.

You see, when I returned to Durham to complete my college education in the latter 1970s, I finished at Duke but took courses at Carolina too. So, unlike some who are entrenched in the rivalry, I tend to like both for different reasons.

Over the years, sometimes I’ve worn a Duke ball cap and at other times a UNC hat. However, I’ve always had a problem finding one to fit. Hats with “One size fits most” will blow away in the wind.

Once in the late 1980s, I even got an upholsterer to put a one-inch extension on the back band of a Duke ball cap that I kept for years.

Then, a few years ago in an Internet search for 3XL hats, I found that UNC hat -- but no Duke hats were available in that size.

Anyway, a few months ago I decided it was time to get a Duke hat for a change. So, I tried ordering one from the Duke student store. Unfortunately and as expected, it didn’t fit and I had to return it.

The next idea was to order a plain 3XL hat on the Internet and get it custom embroidered. First I tried the Big Hat Store, where some 3X hats were on sale. They didn’t fit either and I had to return them as well.

Finally, I found 3XL ball caps on the Internet at Big Head Caps and ordered two that fit at last. However, when I stopped by the custom embroidery shop in Durham, I was told they could not stitch “Duke” because it would be a trademark violation. Instead, they said I would have to go to the custom-order department on campus at the Duke student store.

At that point, I decided this was getting to be too much trouble. I wasn’t trying to draw any comments anyway. Instead, I mainly wanted to shield my bald noggin from the sun and keep it warm.

So, in the end I decided just to keep my new hats with no logo at all and I haven’t had any comments since ...

John Sharpe


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