The All-American town of Brevard, NC has a seedy underbelly

People usually use articles of this nature to segue from how they disliked their hometown growing up, but subsequently, this dislike turned into love further down the road. With Brevard, this is not the case.

Keep in mind that I am not a negative person. On the contrary, I am a very positive person. But with Brevard, while there are positive aspects on the surface, it has a dark underbelly typical of the average American town.

Whenever I reluctantly have to hear people talk about how much they love Brevard, I try not to be patronizing, but I feel guilty about being negative and ruining their positive impression. Lately, however, I just don’t care.

It’s true. Brevard has waterfalls. Brevard has white squirrels. Brevard has mountains. All of these things are good and fine and jolly. It’s the reason so many elderly Northerners who moved to wealthy retirement communities in Palm Beach suddenly move there to escape the heat and high prices, rediscovering the happiness of youth as they whip out their binoculars to bird-watch and paint pictures of the mountains and white squirrels.

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Waterfalls: the picture perfect postcard image for which Brevard is known. Larisa Karr/The Blue Banner

That’s about as good as it gets.

What the tourism board and a majority of cemented middle-class families who work in the very corrupt city government fail to mention is that Brevard is a town rampant with racism, drug addiction and bigotry.

I will never forget the elderly black woman, Edna Glaze, who was murdered in the mid-’90s  by a member of one of the town’s most prevalent Southern families. He was released and not charged with the murder, according to a 2014 news release by District Attorney Greg Newman.

Recently, the FBI is investigating a case where three boys who attended the local high school went to a black classmate’s house with ski masks, a rope, knives and a stick, threatening to lynch him. In the later 2000s, a former classmate of mine from this high school showed up at a party in blackface, thinking that it was a genuinely funny joke.

Another incident that will never remove itself from my mind is when I was seated in a car, taking the test to get a local driving permit. I was sitting with two girls who attended the high school. One of them opened her geography book and said to me, “You seem smart. Could you show me where the United States is on the map?”

The methamphetamine, heroin and pill addictions prevalent in the town of Brevard have been a sustained aspect of the community. In my senior year of high school, the vice principal took the entire school into the auditorium, informing us of the latest phenomenon of 2009 —  Pharm Parties, where people emptied out the contents of their parents’ medicine cabinets and chased those jagged little pills down with liquor.

In the high school, students were subject to frequent drug raids where security guards essentially locked students in the classrooms they were currently in. They held onto tightly-roped German Shepherds, who scoured the classrooms for any trace of drugs. Such a regularized drill encouraged an environment of fear, paranoia and genuine lack of enthusiasm to go to school.

Another fucked-up facet of Brevard is the church culture, the good ol’ boy network who constantly humiliate and discourage women from wearing pants because they are part of the “lesbian movement.”

Women are made to feel inadequate, incapable and genuinely shamed for possessing the bodies that they do. The bigotry does not stop there. Nearly every sermon includes a heavily course, abrasive rant against the “damned homosexuals,” liberals and Muslims who are “destined to burn in the eternal damnation of hellfire.” Hearing these tyrannical and horrific diatribes instills a sense of mistrust, fear, anger and paranoia, which, when coupled with all the other horrible elements in the city, foster a brutal coldness to other members of the human race.

The people who attend these churches, of course, are the same people who drive around with huge polluting pick-up trucks and Confederate flags. They shoot animals with their beloved rifles and skin them after, load themselves up on Roxies and Klonopin, and slowly kill their brains and their genuine interest in life.

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A pedestrian strolls the streets of downtown Brevard. Larisa Karr/The Blue Banner

I’ll always remember sitting in a class at a local community college, which I was taking for dual credit in high school and college. The professor, a rare brave foreigner from Australia who for some reason decided to live there temporarily, was asking a woman from Rosman (a town that is 10 times worse than Brevard) what she wanted to do with her life. Her response? “Stay in Rosman.” “Don’t you ever want to leave?” he inquired. “Nah,” she replied.

It was at this moment that I knew beyond a measure of a doubt I had to leave. This despicable, disparaging black hole that sucked people up and made them completely ignorant was killing my spirit.

The depressing silence that I experienced each and every day in Brevard had taken its toll on my psyche. There was nothing there for me. Nothing inspired me. The backdrop of pristine nature felt hollow to me, especially in the context of just how ugly the people in the town could be.

When I was younger, if I went to some semblance of a place that had a city feel, especially near Asheville, my spirit was lifted and I became excited. A cluster of buildings where I smelled fried food, people walking inside and outside, and cars pulling up and backing out was thrilling to me. I just wanted to feel the world move, to experience the passing of time as I watched people move back and forth, to know that there were places, experiences and hopes that existed outside of the dead lull of the “city” I had grown up in.

Now, at 24, I have lived in other places, and I have realized that sadness and silence are not necessarily things that you can permanently get rid of. Still, whenever I go home and pass the border into Transylvania county, and roll past the gas stations with signs that say “all guns allowed” and the fake, middle-class suburbia centered in the middle of the city, I am immediately hit with a pang of sadness that multiplies itself as the journey continues to my house.

There is, however, one positive aspect to living in Brevard: It teaches you a lot about the sinister elements of human nature, and makes me alert to characteristics of people I don’t want in my life.

54 thoughts on “The All-American town of Brevard, NC has a seedy underbelly

  • April 7, 2016 at 6:49 pm
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    lol why are you so mad though

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  • April 7, 2016 at 7:07 pm
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    Wow….I am a little speechless. If you look you can find all those things in every city and town. Seems to me you should run not walk away as fast as you can and not come back to Brevard….ever. The town will thank you.

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    • June 5, 2018 at 1:24 pm
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      I love how people who have never lived anywhere else assume that racism and bigotry are constants. You should travel more.

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  • April 7, 2016 at 8:44 pm
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    Dear Ms. Karr,

    It is very unfortunate that you have chosen to disparage an entire town in this manner. The “facts” you use to make your case are nothing more than rumors and personal antecdotes.
    I can assure your readers that there are indeed many very good people in Brevard. People who are kind, generous and decent. Folks, who for example, have busted their rear ends to establish and sustain one of the most active and effective Boys and Girls Clubs in NC- a place that is absolutely essential in the lives of hundreds of minority children in “racist” Brevard. There are countless other examples of similar efforts in Brevard. I won’t waste anymore time addressing what is nothing more than an obviously disturbed individual’s unfiltered stream of consciousness. Shame on UNCA for allowing such drivel to be printed in its student newspaper.

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  • April 8, 2016 at 12:42 am
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    Brevard does contain wonderful people, but I think this author is addressing the issues and not writing an all-encompassing biography on the town. Until we as a town are willing to openly accept this kind of criticism and recognize that problems do exist, our efforts to better the community are lacking. To claim that Brevard is the one place where racism does not exist is an atrocious oversight.

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  • April 8, 2016 at 5:27 pm
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    Wow. I wonder if the writer has noticed the drugs, violent crime, decay and malaise to be found in Asheville – or any other town for that matter. Grow up. You can make a difference by changing yourself first. Life is full of things that need fixing. Prepare yourself with an education, life experience, and get a job…and get about it.

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  • April 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm
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    Oh my god, people, stop being such children. I grew up in Brevard and couldn’t leave fast enough- maybe it was the fact that I had white men constantly calling me a “nigger bitch” on the streets, or the fact that wearing jeans was considered “dyke-ish” but the childhood that I had there was nothing short of horrific. Just because y’all personally dislike reading the truth about the town doesn’t mean that you can censor it.

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    • April 29, 2017 at 10:54 am
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      So what your saying is theres not much crime or gang activity or fatherless children problems, theres not much welfare and high taxes to pay for all the entitlement programs that come with the black community. Sounds like a good law abiding safe place with good people living there, sounds like a great place to move to.

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      • September 4, 2018 at 1:19 pm
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        That’s exactly what i’m thinking. Thanks to the the person who wrote this article for helping me to decide to move there.

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  • April 8, 2016 at 8:57 pm
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    Just because you cannot see it, does not mean it doesn’t exists. I mean, you do believe in God don’t you.

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  • April 9, 2016 at 9:11 am
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    I thought this was going to be interesting or even satire. But no. It’s actually what someone thinks of our town. Life is what you make it. You can make a difference or you can complain about it. Our town is great for the most part. Filled with caring people who spend much of their time volunteering and helping others. I’m sad that the writer grew up here but can’t see it.

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  • April 9, 2016 at 9:22 pm
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    This is the dumbest thing I’ve read in a while . You need to take your opinions and exaggerated ideas and look at the bigger picture. Your own entitlement and privileged nature must realize you are no better than the problem you are stating. I understand your points but your narrow-minded views make you little better than the people you are criticizing. I wish you’d take a moment to understand the world around you and the other people who live there. Think about the other cities with true crisis like baltimore or even Charlotte. REALIZE

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  • April 12, 2016 at 2:06 pm
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    I have lived in Brevard for 17 years now, a transplant from the northern midwest large city. I see all that is described in this article as true. Yes, some good things exist in Brevard but believe it to be true that the “Good Ol’ Boys” still run Brevard and there are many bigoted people among us. I have close black friends in this community that do concur with the drug issue, esp. in the black neighborhood, like Brevard Housing Authority or Silversteen.

    I personally witnessed people from NY, NJ, MS and FL raise their racial ugly bigotry with millions of dollars of assets for them to count when done.

    Brevard is part of the “South” with all its problems, just covered up by a small American town facade. It is NOT Asheville or even Hendersonville. We love to talk about White Squirrels, Broad and Main streets, the restaurants, how the mayor owns the hardware store, etc. Little Mayberry, but the truth hurts.

    Just outside of town in Rosman where the KKK held meetings back in the day, I know for a fact that a Maytag repair-man said he would not go into that town after dark and his white partner advised him that was a good idea. There are no black people in Rosman or near it.

    Guns are paramount, everyone has one and a NRA sticker to boot. Guns don’t kill people, people do. Driven by hatred, bigotry and ignorance.

    There are great things about Brevard, the Brevard College, Porter Center, the Brevard Music programs but mostly for white people.

    Yes, there are other facts missing form this article but the points made are unfortunately true.

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    • August 24, 2017 at 12:20 am
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      How about the ability to cover up murders where the sheriff himself might have been implicated for allowing cocaine etc. to be dealt as long as the tax was paid and that refers to the sheriff prior to Milton Whitmire as I’m not naming names. That fine sheriff’s family member was the culprit that killed Jaqueline Lee and essentially took Stanley Sanders with him as he I’m sure made it seem ok to Stanley to have sexual intercourse with Miss Lee and why wouldn’t she get in the car with the true murderer who used Sanders as a pawn since her mother was dating him albeit he was on the clock at Ecusta but everyone knows that shipping was an easy department to become missing.from unnoticed. The assailant I speak of went to prison for shooting the Ingles of Etowah store manager in the eye and upon his release from prison committed suicide but did anyone ever inquire of a one armed man named “Speedy” that died on Frozen Creek since he had only one arm pulling him behind a pickup til he was dead and armless wasn’t a big feat however wasn’t it because he didn’t wanna pay Mr.Hubbard the sheriff taxes for selling dope and had threatened to go to the SBI but good old Brevard nothing has changed hell William Cathey former assistant DA told the judge the NC Game W
      Arden had charged a man for spotlighting a goat not a whitetail deer and charges were dismissed and yes these accounts are true ask anyone in the age of 59-70 formerly employees of OLIN ECUSTA GLATFELTER and see if they don’t all corroborate these accounts regardless of skin color and then ask if anything has changed.

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  • March 11, 2017 at 3:58 pm
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    You sound like a very angry hateful person. Actually, you sound like the bigoted, racist, ignorant person you try to make these people out to be. I was born near there. Never have I witnessed anything like you say. There are good people that live there. They could care less about the color of someone’s skin. They do not think about it. Those who cry racism are actually the racist. You should apologize to these people. How can anyone take you seriously? You really need to see someone for help.

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  • April 8, 2017 at 4:53 am
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    I’ve lived in a lot of places and in each place there was an opportunity for someone to feel this way. In Brevard there are fewer who have this sort of sophomoric “chip on their shoulder” attitude, than there are in most other places.

    There are so many people moving to Brevard because they want to be here. They aren’t moving here for the factory or government jobs, it is simply because they want to be here.

    As for seedy underbelly, that is ridiculous. The worst part of town isn’t even all that bad.

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  • May 11, 2017 at 7:17 am
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    Thank you very much for this insightful article. My wife and I were looking for a nice, quiet place where we could retire after raising our two children in the heart of Charlotte. We have been looking at property around Brevard and thought the town to be very cultured and civilized. When the realtor brought us to Rosman, we were horrified. The two towns are like night and day and yet so close to one another. We are both of caucasian ethnicity but would not be caught dead in Rosman after dark (I’m with Dan on that one). After reading this article, I think my wife and I will be looking elsewhere. We like to see what the locals have to say about the towns they live in but there were too many threads on this line describing the bigotry in this town for us to ignore. Both of us are native North Carolinians but the last thing we want to experience is racial dischord and a city drug problem.

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  • May 26, 2017 at 10:50 am
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    So now gun owners and/or truck owners are drug addicts killing animals. What a bunch of bull—-!
    A lot of small-town communities started out as quiet, rural places; once “discovered” that very quality has undergone changes and now begin to resemble the places where some folks have fled. If you want small-town, then you have to accept the small-town way of life– warts and all.

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  • May 29, 2017 at 1:22 pm
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    I’m glad I read this article. I’m about to retire and read good things about Brevard but I’m getting a bad feeling and it doesn’t make me feel confident that Brevard is the right place so I think I’ll pass.. Bad vibes – bigotry, negativity, good ole boy attitude. Also my fiancé is Black – I’m white – and I know racism exist.. No thanks. If anyone can recommend another place in the Carolinas where they are opened minded and good people, please let me know.

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  • May 30, 2017 at 10:16 am
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    I was born in Brevard but moved away by the time I was two. Where I did grow up was in a small town in East Tennessee. I can understand the anger and resentment coming from Larisa. I too spent my teenage years surrounded by racist, sexist, homophobic good ole boys and it’s not much fun if you don’t share in those attitudes. It’s scary. It’s disheartening. It’s lonely. It stinks. At 24 I felt a lot like Larisa. I had escaped that town but I was still angry and had knots in my stomach every time I had to go back for a visit. Now that I’m much older, I know that yes, there were some big problems with the town I grew up in, but if I had tried a little harder, I would have seen that there were lots of things to love about that town as well, including plenty of lovely people.

    It’s funny because my happiest times growing up were summers when I would escape the East Tennesse town where I felt like an outsider, for my peaceful paradise, Brevard. My recollection of Brevard is much different than Larisa’s. My summers in Brevard were spent exploring waterfalls and hunting for newts with people who were artists, hippies, and adventurers. They were open-minded and loving. My grandmother who lived in Brevard for 70 years, was a strong independent woman who loved animals and nature. She raised her five strong independent daughters in Brevard with values of respecting and helping all people no matter how different they were from you. When my grandmother died not long ago, several local families offered their homes to members of my large family who were returning to Brevard for the services.

    So when I read this description of Brevard by Larisa, I was surprised. I don’t doubt her experience though. Luckily for me, the circles of people around me in Brevard were warm but it’s not hard to believe that outside of my little summer circles, that there were also circles of people who were turning their own hurt into hatred. This exists in all towns and unfortunately can be more concentrated in smaller more isolated towns. It’s not hard to believe that the colorful mountains that provide Brevard with waterfalls and protect its charm have also protected some outdated and ugly ways of thinking in some of Brevard’s residents. I’m sad that Larisa was surrounded by that during her time in Brevard and wasn’t able to connect with the loving people that I know to live there.

    I’m guessing Larisa’s emphatic language dripping with resentment isn’t helping her cause but those of us who love Brevard should look past that and not be too quick to dismiss her account. We should take it as a call to reach out to people in Brevard who may not have supportive circles around them. I know there are plenty of people in the land of waterfalls who do that daily but I’m sure as a whole we can do more.

    Larisa, I’m genuinely sorry for your rough experiences that have obviously had a big effect on you. I think as you grow and have more life experiences in more towns and cities and countries, you’ll realize that some of the things that hurt you in Brevard were a result of living in a small town and some of them had less to do with your location and more to do with your individual circumstances and dynamics. I hope the next time you cross the border into Transylvania County, you are lucky enough to have more positive experiences interacting with some of the friendly, genuine, and generous people who live there. No matter what town you are in, sometimes you have to make the effort to find those people. Sometimes being a little more open-minded yourself will make those people come jumping out of the woodwork.

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  • June 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm
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    Miss Karr certainly generalizes throughout this opinion piece; and in my opinion she fails to see the irony therein.

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  • July 6, 2017 at 11:26 pm
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    I’ve experiened a wide array of communities throughout the country, having lived in NJ, FL, KS, CO, KY and NC. Brevard is by far, the nicest town I’ve ever lived in or visited. Amazing people, a nice mix of culture and so much beauty. I recognize everyone’s experiences are different but my time living in Brevard has been nothing but positive.

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  • July 15, 2017 at 5:21 pm
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    Looking in from the outside. I have visited Brevard and was impressed with the southern charm. Every town and city in America has a huge drug problem, thanks to the Demorats and open border policy. When you let the rats in, what do you expect will happen. If people from Brevard don’t want godless people moving in, then don’t move there. If your awake and well informed, you have seen the damage done by the Obama/clinton Demorat open border policy. Never mind the 10 trillion in debt added by Obama in just eight years. Destruction from within is the agenda and result. If you live in Brevard or nearby, beware of anyone from a Democrat state that moves in, and wants all sorts of services for free, but again at your expense as the taxes go up, and up, and up. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, local taxes have doubled in the past eight years. $6,000.00 to $9,000.00. All because the local town officials granted themselves huge pay raises and will get 80% of their salary for retirement pay, all at the tax payer expense. So, yes beware of outsiders who don’t understand or respect southern heritage, church, and good manners. A good example are the fools who want the civil war monuments taken down. These same hateful and destructive groups want to erase history, jam down your throat ungodly behavior, and who also support importing Muslims. This destructive behavior will certainly destroy this once great “Christian” Country. So, if the local good ol boys are protecting the town from outside influence, then I say god bless them.

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    • August 22, 2017 at 9:39 pm
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      Wow there, Paul Revere! Sounds like you have a bit of prejudice inside. This is not a partisan issue really. It’s not about Democrats or Republicans. We are all trying to decide what kind of city Brevard is, remember? Your rant above really doesn’t help out very much…. all it does is confirm that you hate the Democratic party, Obama, “outsiders”, and Muslims. (by the way.. Paul Revere and the rest of the founding fathers were adamant that there would be a separation of church and state, and so you are WRONG when you say it is a “Christian” country.) It is a country where we can choose which religion we wish to practice! As far as the monument thing goes, try to walk in the shoes of someone with skin a few shades darker than your own, who might have discrimination and extreme prejudice in their background. How would YOU like to walk into a building only to be greeted by a STATUE that glorified something that had threatened you your entire life? Can you just try to imagine it for a second? It would be a scary and very threatening feeling! Almost all of these statues were erected during Jim Crow, not to memorialize the Civil War dead, but to threaten and intimidate the black folks. That is FACT, look it up. Your “local good ‘ol boys” (i.e., KKK) “protecting” the town from outside influence should be ashamed of themselves! Did you see what happened in Charlottesville???? Did you??? I don’t know about you, but MY father fought in WWII against a villian named HITLER, a NAZI with the same beliefs as those fools in Charlottesville! I think it’s very wrong for you to stand up for “good ‘ol boys” who believe the same crap that caused my dad to have to go to war for our amazing country over 70 years ago! If you represent Brevard, you should be quiet. You aren’t doing a very good job dude. By the way, I am very very white, I love Jesus, and I am not impressed. Try to watch something besides FOX NEWS.. they are only interested in brainwashing you. Try reading your news instead of watching it on TV, and from multiple sources… I don’t even know why I’m trying here…. when you are saying God bless those kinds of people….. shame, shame, shame.

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  • July 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm
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    Hey Paul Revere-
    Wow rant much? Nice fact based analysis of a personal insight to small town Americana. Just the way a dictator imagines it. So what is it again? We shouldn’t raise taxes for helping people just build bigger and bigger weaponry? Oh yeah, sounds like North Korea. Keep any diverse dialogue out, while we supress the masses, keep “intruders” out, and just pretend that The United States was at one time a perfect Norman Rockwell picture.

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  • August 21, 2017 at 11:04 pm
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    Lovely lovely lovely. I am preparing to move from a major “C” in Ohio and have been doing my research to determine if I should live in immediate Brevard or perhaps a surrounding town/city/village/dirt road. I have to say that many facts touched on in this article are humorous to an extent. Drugs exist everywhere (I bet my city has more problem than yours), but the fact that the are doing SOMETHING in attempt to protect their youth and town is a plus imo (being a teen was rough…but it’s better to have the police present and willing to prevent the drug epidemic we are facing today than to have drugged up teens ((insert sad face)) ). Racism is everywhere (did Brevard have multiple race-wars? My city did and we came out stronger and better informed afterwards). It is everywhere, it’s about who you surround yourself with and what you do to face it when you see it.

    You know what, I don’t even want to continue responding to this. You are 24 years old? You have much to learn. Take these comments as constructive criticism and try to present both sides of a story next time…that way you can attract twice the readers ;P

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    • October 8, 2017 at 3:42 pm
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      This oerson said to present both sides….I think the point made in the beginning was this IS the other side. The one side that everyone hears or read about. Good. And the inside scoop which shows the OTHER side…completint the idea of “Both sides” just as you wanted.

      Think about it

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  • October 13, 2017 at 5:44 pm
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    Larisa,

    I have lived in small and large towns in Ohio, Florida, California, and Georgia in my 58 years, before coming to Brevard. All communities are made up of people, and people are “good” and “bad” EVERYWHERE. Depending on which people you associate with, will define your experience.

    Ten years ago, we moved our family to Brevard after visiting many times. My oldest son went to college here. My younger kids went to 4th grade through high school, and graduated from Brevard High in the last few years. As an involved parent in the schools, through sports, marching band, and as a frequent fill-in bus driver, I have had a pretty thorough look. We had many a bonfire/marshmallow roast gathering at our home. We visited many churches before settling on growing, vibrant, protestant Christian church close to downtown with a Ukranian Pastor and membership that is diverse. We have enjoyed Brevard and the many positives that you and many others mentioned.

    As for the negatives, I guess you can find the “underbelly” you are describing anywhere, even here. But, it is NOT the predominant culture here.

    This is a community in transition, reinventing itself. Gone are the Ecusta/Glatfelder, Dupont, and other manufacturers, which left a gap in middle class jobs and caused many families to go elsewhere. But, active retired folks and tourist are discovering what many locals have taken for granted for years. Many transplants are helping to revitalize and encouraging locals in the process. Home building and renovation is vibrant supplying some good trade jobs. We still need more entertainment for young folks that aren’t into the outdoors, and non-service jobs for those that want to progress up the economic scale. Brevard is a good place now, and headed for a positive future.

    Larisa, you haven’t seen anything worse in people than I have seen out in the world. Come back and heal yourself and your town by being the positive influence that you didn’t find in those around you. Maybe even visit my church the next time you are here. Join the change!!!

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    • July 27, 2018 at 7:34 am
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      Love this post! As someone checking out Brevard for a family move, this was encouraging and insightful view. Thank you for sharing.

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  • October 20, 2017 at 7:59 am
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    Wow! This young lady’s article just knocked the wind out of me. I am a recently retired Gay man that had been considering Brevard as a contender to relocate.Now, I’m not quite sure. The area is lovely but I would not want to live in fear. Some of her article might be dismissed as hyperbole,but still gives me pause. I have been looking for a modern day “Mayberry”and thought Brevard might be it.

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  • February 1, 2018 at 6:28 pm
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    this is a fact in a lot of small towns in the south….I commend you for your opinion on what you felt no matter what age you are….luckily there is a small pocket of progressive young people making a difference….but don’t leave the town area…scary in rosman!..beautiful country side…but geez!

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  • February 14, 2018 at 10:20 pm
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    I’m from Rosman and I ain’t never goina leave we love are guns and are trucks and not tourists locals only yee yee

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  • February 27, 2018 at 11:37 pm
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    I left brevard because I wanted to give my mixed children a better education and a better way of life. They are free to be black, gay or muslim if they chose and not be scared to leave there home.

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    Reply
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  • March 19, 2018 at 9:23 am
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    Interesting reads & comments. My husband and I are looking to relocate to the mountains from the flat lands of Indiana. In our late 50’s, and not yet to that point of independent wealth, we know there are far more issues to consider than the beautiful bounty of nature that God provides in Brevard, NC. Thank you to those who have posted the positive points of Brevard to balance out the negativity. It is true that we (individually) are a large part of what we make “home”. As much as looking for employment, if not more, we will be looking for a Christian church that welcomes all, where God is glorified, and we serve others. Any recommendations of such a Brevard area church?

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  • March 25, 2018 at 12:00 pm
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    Wow! All that melodrama. Does somebody need a nap?

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  • March 26, 2018 at 3:46 pm
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    I’m 25 years old, and I grew up in this town too. Yeah the government is corrupt and yeah we have a really bad drug problem, but to say that all of us “good ole boys” are on drugs is ignorant. You don’t even know any of us, and you definitely don’t know me. Anyone who does know me will tell you that I don’t do drugs, yeah I may fly a Confederate flag but that doesn’t mean I’m a pill popping racist, it just means I’m proud of my heritage. You definitely don’t have any right judging anyone just because of where they live. Please do us all a huge favor and don’t come back to this town, because I’m sure if you do you’ll wind up meeting good people who aren’t like you.

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  • April 11, 2018 at 9:13 pm
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    Re: Tom: “Wow! All that melodrama. Does somebody need a nap?” I think most everybody on this thread needs a nap.
    I agree with the other soon-to-be retirees, Mike, King Tut. We, too, are from a large city and saw Brevard in the past year when we were staying in Ashville, babysitting while our daughter and son-in-law went to a wedding there. There is so much that is aesthetically lovely in that area and in Brevard, but the movie “Pleasantville” kind of fits the author’s description of life there in Brevard. And the kind of ‘seedy underbelly’ does exist lots of places. (The one poster seemed not to understand that ‘seedy underbelly’ and the seedy part of town are not the same thing.) We older folks have all most all likely seen machine politics in big and small towns, but add racism, violence, drugs….those things also exist in most urban settings, a tragic and pretty universal problem these days around the world.
    I like what Jennifer said “there are far more issues to consider than the beautiful bounty of nature that God provides in Brevard, NC”. The thing is that when you have lived in a community, whether it is humble or privileged, where there is a true sense of community involving people who care about each other and there is a culture of tolerance, religious freedom, decency, …other places lacking in those qualities become soooo objectionable and tiresome, and you can feel incredible intolerance for intolerance. Racism, gender difference hate or phobia, drug pushers, righteous fundamentalism who think their approach to God is the only way as if no one else has a brain cell working, it all becomes so tiresome and going nowhere, like being around people with habitual bad manners picking their noses all the time.
    As for judgemental, here’s a judgement…. The people lacking in tolerance seem ignorant and not highly enough evolved, no actually intelligent person would want to live near them. If that’s the prevailing mindset, the waterfalls begin to take on a toxic look though that lens. If the prevailing mindset is narrowness, constant judgement and need for everyone to conform, it feels like The Twilight Zone to a visiting person. A decent person might try to be patient and tolerant but a lack of the qualities of decency make it impossible to thrive in such a suffocating environment for someone with a sense of decency.
    To blame it on one political party or another, you might as well blame it on left-brained people or right-brained people, blue-eyed people or brown-eyed people, that’s ridiculous. We haven’t gotten where most of us would like to be as a Nation under the rule of either political party. The tone of the country right now is one of people who have dug in their heels to be in opposition to one another and not to get along and make life good for everyone. I think this essay is a necessary part of telling a story. We ought to listen to one another’s stories. It should be instructive to all of us if we do our best to tell them and our best to listen to the story of another.

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  • July 5, 2018 at 2:17 pm
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    All of you people with negative comments are just mad because someone is actually speaking the truth and also shedding light on subjects that are absolutely accurate. This article needs to be out here so people can hear all aspects of the town. Not just the good things. I have lived in Brevard for three years and I understand and feel this to an extreme. Everything said here has absolute truth behind it if these blinded people could open their eyes. I do also agree that every town no matter where you go has good and bad aspects. You will never find anywhere that is perfect. But some places can be better then others!!!

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  • July 22, 2018 at 1:56 am
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    Wow, what courage to tell it. True hypocrites and bigots. This town needs an attitude enema. Most folks would not be capable of knowing or facing the truth. Some of the meanest people that I have ever witnessed. From animal cruelty, bigotry, ignorance, vandalism , theft and trespass…this place has it. Run as fast as you can.

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  • July 26, 2018 at 8:04 pm
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    What a crock! Your ,what, 24 years old? You don’t have a friggin clue what life’s about or what other towns are like! Yea, I’ve seen racism in all its ugliness. But it’s not limited to one color,, all races have their share of bigots and racists. Also I’ve been going to church for almost all my life and have NEVER heard the things you were speaking of. Crime is definitely on the rise, I believe you can thank the drugs for that. We now have a local NAACP moved in, to help keep racial problems stirred up. But aside from the high taxes (mostly to help downtown areas) and the locals allowing outsiders to become elected in governing positions. Brevard is still a lovely town that is growing and suffering growing pains. So bottom line,, if you don’t like it here….leave!

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  • August 4, 2018 at 4:10 pm
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    Those “tightly held German Shepherds” are trained to sniff out drugs. They are nothing more than working dogs who sniff out those who are hiding drugs (ILLEGAL substances that are illegal for a reason, they are DANGEROUS to your health) and drugs within a school is ILLEGAL. As far as there being negative elements, they are every where. Get a life, acquire a sense of humor, learn to shrug off any real negatives and get on with your life. Did you ever stop to think that the girl who asked you where the US was on the map really needed you to show HER! Maybe she didn’t know. Regardless, laugh it off and ignore her. Everybody is bullied at some point. (I don’t intend to diminish those who are constantly bullied and harrassed. I realize it happens and it’s indefensible!) But most of us can overcome, focus and achieve. I taught GED Social Studies classes to underprivileged women back in the 1990’s. It amazed me that grown women could not point out the state on a map; didn’t know where Washington, DC was; didn’t even realize there was a Washington state, as well as, Washington, DC. They had no concept of a state government versus a federal government. Had no idea of the wars Americans have fought. They were afraid to go on a trip to the mountains because they “might fall off” and had never been to the beach. They were my age, attended the same public schools I did, had the same access to libraries and TV but they were that far behind educationally. I never got the advantage of a college education. I had to pay to put myself through a technical college for an Associate’s Degree so it’s not like I had the “advantage” of a college education. And, today, low income students get the offers of free college education through grants and offers that I never had. I know because out of 9 college educated nieces and nephews, two of them got a free 4 year college education on the taxpayer’s dime due to low income status of their parents. The other seven had parents working for a living and they had to pay through the nose for their children to get that coveted college education. My point is that Americans have a lot more options today than people in any other place in the world, or in any other time in history. America has options and a more level playing field than any other nation, or civilization in history. There is no guarantee in life that hard times won’t hit or some won’t fall in the cracks. If you think you should get that guarantee of perfection, you are living in a dream world and not the real world. But it does mean we have the best chance of succeeding than human beings have ever had in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. America offers free public school education complete with trained teachers, textbooks, computers, resources, libraries, school lunches, buses to pick up and drop off, heat/ac and indoor plumbing. Every child is required to attend school (or proof of equivalent private or homeschooling). But what they do with it is up to them. If they don’t take advantage of the same things that were offered to everyone, that’s on them, or their parents. It’s not on me. If they are offered chance after chance to get an education and learn, but they refuse to take advantage, that’s no one’s fault but their own. If they make the choice to party, sleep in, run around to skip classes and they fail, it’s their own fault. If they make the choice to take advantage of what’s offered to them and apply themselves and they succeed, it’s to their benefit. But, at least the vast majority of Americans have the advantage offered to them. Get your head in the game, slough off and ignore anyone who tries to stand in your way, take advantage of the free offerings you have (grab what you can with both hands) to succeed. But be grateful, because you have advantages that most people, throughout time, and in this world, don’t have. Just think, because I chose to listen and learn from my free public school education, I can read and comprehend. That means I can almost teach myself by what I choose to watch on TV (history channel, discovery channel, etc)! I can teach myself based on the free use of the library with it’s books! If I have access to the Internet, I can research on any subject I can think of. I have taken full advantage of these resources and have taught myself. So can anyone. But if they choose to spend their time on other things, that’s nobody’s fault but their own.

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  • August 8, 2018 at 1:16 pm
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    Brevard is a truly beautiful and special place that I have had the privilege to visit regularly over the past ten (10) years. Between the mountains, Pisgah Forest, the college and all of its events, and the cool little bars/restaurants, it’s just a special place. I do not know how else to describe it. There is a reason so many retirees and young people want to move there. The article is somewhat surprising too in how it attempts to contrast Brevard with Asheville, as if Brevard is some kind of different political or social animal than Asheville. Both areas are primarily white (Asheville 78%; Brevard 88%) and both areas have a number of liberals that is uncommon to other areas of the South. Talk a walk throughout the downtown strip of Brevard and you will see no shortage of people with piercings, tattoos, scruffy beards, and clothing you will not see in a church. That is the most surprising and, in my opinion, incorrect assumption in this article; that everyone is some kind of church-going conservative. I can assure you the typical person in Brevard is more likely to have long hair and drink lots of local craft beer than to be some stuffy, button-up, church-going conservative. I grew up in a conservative part of the South. I can assure you that Brevard, NC is a long ways from the attitudes of the deep south. Rural Alabama Brevard is not. The exaggeration does not help make the author’s point.

    At the end of the day, I encourage anyone reading this article to come take a look at Brevard yourself. Many people that visit and live there will tell you it is special, and I am one of them. Come look at it yourself. Come rent a hotel and take a hike in Pisagh, then come grab some beers and grub at Oskar Blues or Brevard Brewing Company. Come see why this article irritates so many people. Your eyes and ears will give you a more accurate depiction of this town than this article. One thing the author and I agree on, it is definitely an All-American town.

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  • August 14, 2018 at 9:33 pm
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    I just stumbled upon this blog while Googling housing in Brevard. I have 2 adult children who have moved to Asheville and am looking at areas outside the city to possibly retire in. I am wondering if any of the people above who were looking to retire in Brevard, actually did.

    I grew up outside of Boston but I have lived in Charlottesville, VA for 21 years. Both areas have their share of racism, drugs, and government issues. We had busing in Boston and most recently have become the target of white supremacists in Charlottesville. What came out of both situations, is a commitment from the residents to talk about the shortcomings of the community and work to change for the better. My husband and I love nature and want to be able to volunteer where we live to improve the community. We are visiting this coming weekend but know that what we will see as tourists will be superficial. I am interested in hearing from transplants who have found moving to the area to be a positive experience.

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  • September 17, 2018 at 6:39 am
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    My family moved to Brevard in the sixties and I left for work in the seventies. I visit my family in Brevard two to three times a year and have watched Brevard change in in step with all of the changes our Nation has experienced in the past sixty years. Brevard is not isolated from time’s relentless march. The Town has been good to my family, for which I will always be grateful. But, Brevard is a “Southern Town” with everything that means, both the good and the not good. The “Southern Caste Culture” is firmly in place, as it always was. Some Transplants find delightful comfort is sliding into such a Culture. Some will feel repulsed when confronted with the reality of “Southern Culture” and it’s darker side. I have seen everything stated in the initial posting regarding Brevard. All of the responses simply reflect a typical discussion of the” Southern Caste Culture” and the ongoing “Cultural Wars” we as a Nation are experiencing. And yes, I state my real name when I write a response.

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  • October 16, 2018 at 3:33 am
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    Great post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this
    topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

    Thanks!

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  • October 31, 2018 at 1:51 pm
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    Brevard does have its problems but good people are fixing them every day.

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  • December 8, 2018 at 9:33 am
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    Saw all I needed to see when she mentioned toward the end that she’s 24. Report back when you’ve got some life experience and actually know a couple three things about real life when you’ve grown out of your activist phase.

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