Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tuck it Away

I started reading a biography of Doris Duke, The Richest Girl in the World, by Stephanie Mansfield. I've only read into the second  chapter, but some telling signs that makes me want to research the Dukes more. It begins with Doris' grandfather returning home from the Civil War, as a southerner, a widower and in debt. The first tobacco crop paved the road to riches with his son Buck's business sense.
Grandpa Evans said his grandmother, Emma Duke from Martha's Vineyard, was related to these Dukes in North Carolina. She is the one who married David Evans, a circuit rider preacher(see July 31, 2011 post).
In this book, the last paragraph of the first chapter "The Dukes of Durham, once known for their strong Methodist background and work ethic, were gradually succumbing to the kind of self-destructive habits that accompany sudden and enormous wealth." The next chapter, we see the fading hours of Washington Duke and his death. In his will, "Money was left for aging Methodist preachers, the 'circuit riders' who had so influenced his early years." Could David Evans be one of those influencers?
Now some more memory joggers. When Gerri Lee and Thom moved to Basking Ridge, New Jersey, many celebrities live or lived around there. DeLorean, Tyson, Onassis, the Lindberg's. And Duke had an estate near by. We went one Sunday to view the gardens. I am remembering my mother talking about Emma Duke. I had little knowledge of Doris Duke or understanding that my mother felt we were related to them. Oh, sometimes to revisit with the knowledge I have now. I loved the gardens and hot houses. Still would love to have an indoor garden.
I see many possibilities in the story of David and Emma. Oh, for the time to dig into all of this. I will tuck it away for a time I'm not playing catch up with the computer for work.
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