Stumbling upon Roseboro, just over an hour’s drive from Raleigh, I realized an immediate compelling quality of the town. A spirit shines through the boarded up main street. This is the kind of place overlooked in the world, the small, local place, with a golden past, perhaps hidden today.
The beauty of the main street is hard to ignore. There is a kind of compact intensity to the few downtown blocks. Roseboro is something special, and should be highlighted. Driving through, I take a few pics. I find a place for lunch, and move on.
At the airport, I look up the town on wikipedia- Roseboro thrived as a small town, perhaps even with the feeling of a small city (“Rosie City”), when the railway came through from Lafayette on the way to Wilmington, NC.
And Roseboro is the type of town that sits at the heart of the Latitude Movement. Places that get overlooked not just in the US, but around the world.
Yet I am not alone in sensing the magic of Roseboro- it just so happens a documentary made by Duke film students on Roseboro premieres tonight in the town!
34.57N is a line that courses through Roseboro, East through places like Cedar Island, on the coast, and West, almost perfectly hugging the northern border of Georgia, Alabama and Missippi, along the latitudinal boundary with Tennessee. Through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Northern Texas, Just South of Albequerque New Mexico, in the South Valley, just North of Sedona Arizona, and Santa Maria California. How many communities along that line share stories of growth, challenges, and new possibility with Roseboro? Not only in the US, but around the world?
I am personally exploring one latitude line around the world, yet as travel opportunities afford, I will highlight in light ways, places I see, and the latitudes they are on. The idea is to inspire others to initiate latitudinal connections along their latitude line…and I think that what is happening is that as I take note of the smaller communities on my line (43.10N), my eyes are opened to the special qualities of a place like Roseboro, NC. And so I am just going to start posting on these places, as a record and as a way to develop something broader for the future of the Latitude Movement.
My brief exploration of Roseboro’s latitude line makes me interested in the theme of borders- the long stretch of latitude hugging the borders between states, and more abstract borders, such as those of time, between past, present and future, and economic borders, where the affluence and explosion of growth in a place like Raleigh somehow stops and a Roseboro sits in an almost perfect preserved state, awaiting to bloom again in the right season.