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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 28 12:19 AM

June 28th, 2015: Amanda and her Cousin Amy

NAG delivers again with this photograph, "Amanda and her Cousin Amy" from 1990. It surfaced again because the photographer, Mary Ellen Mark, died recently.

In light of Mark's passing, NPR sought to find out more about the two children in the photograph, particularly Amanda: Why was she smoking and wearing makeup and fake nails at age 9? What does she remember of the photo shoot? And what has happened since that sunny afternoon in 1990?
They found her in Lenoir, N.C., and as you may have guessed the story isn't pretty.

The other girl, cousin Amy says...
"I mean, I had a rough childhood," Velasquez says. "But I will say this: that youngin', she was put through things that would probably make the hair stand on your head if you really knew."
By her own admission, Ellison's adulthood is still tumultuous. She has served time in prison and says she is still "surrounded by crazy people and drugs." But she says her life has improved, and she wishes she could talk again with "that photographer lady." "If I had to guess," Ellison says, "I would say she would be, I don't know, overwhelmed with joy that I have made it this far."

Snakeadelic  Sunday Jun 28 08:42 AM

And people call me awful, selfish, and incomplete for not wanting to bring a kid into my own tumultuous past or severely anxious present. (Seriously, people have offered to LEND ME their kids so I can get better at being around them. Am I the only one thinking that's creepy, stupid, AND dangerous?) I'm guessing these gals did not have a lot of parental involvement in their lives...I did, and I know I could not do half the wonders my mother managed! Modern America seems to have a poorly-hidden bias along the lines of "If she ain't a breeder we don't need 'er", but the fate of these girls and thousands of other kids every day makes me glad I never had to screw up the life of a baby by having the poor bugger start out with me as a parent.

Griff  Sunday Jun 28 01:16 PM

I had a long conversation with a parent whose own childhood, young adulthood, and early parenthood were horrifically violent. She somehow learned from all that to become a good parent and protect her child. I found her inspiring.

xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 28 02:26 PM

I agree, her head was twisted every which way but loose. Now with a prison record, she's dragging an anchor in life's marathon. She's done well to stay alive.

Gravdigr  Sunday Jun 28 02:33 PM

That anchor will only drag her if she lets it.

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