Friday, July 26, 2013

An achingly sad description of a rural place

In April, 2012, the New York Times ran a feature on Carroll Academy, a high school for troubled kids in west Tennessee's Carroll County.  Today, the Times revisits Carroll County with this story, "That's as Bad as it Gets."  There is much I could say about John Branch's moving depiction of several of the young women who are at Carroll Academy, a creature of the county's juvenile court, but I'll stop with sharing this poignant description of the place:
It is a rural place, quietly troubled by the hollowing plagues of small-town America — unemployment, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy among them. The problems lurk in the shadows between landscaped brick homes and the bucolic countryside. 
West Tennessee may be merely a proxy for anywhere. There might be a thousand Carroll Counties around the country, proud and simple places, fading almost imperceptibly with the slow passing of another time, where old-timers wish for a future more like the past, and the young people have little imagination for anything other than the present.
The story features quite a bit of information not only about Carroll County's economic milieu, but also about the details of its drug problem, which seems to be getting passed from one generation to the next. Marijuana, meth and prescription drug abuse are all mentioned.  

Carroll County's population is 28,390, its poverty rate 18.5%.  The county seat is Huntingdon, population 4,109.  

Here is my blog post about the 2012 story.  

1 comment:

Tobias said...

This is fantastic!