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The Twelve-Mile Straight


An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the...
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Discuss The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson:
Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

Created: 07/11/18

Replies: 9

Posted Jul. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?


Posted Jul. 15, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 335

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RE: Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

I think Juke and String had a complicated relationship, in that Juke was always an instigator, the one who thought up ways to push boundaries and as a result got them both into trouble. I think String's father ultimately caused them to part; the friendship was already falling apart before String's deployment.

As to the second part of the question, I know a lot of people in their 50s and 60s who still retain friends from grade school, high school, or college, but I'm not one of those people. The friends I've known the longest, I've only known since about the time I turned 40.


Posted Jul. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 179

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RE: Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

They lived close to one another as children and didn't have a lot of options. As they grew up, they had a bond of friendship. The class status began to integrate their relationship. I think String's dad also had an influence. Although Juke was far from a caring man, I think he had cared about String and had good memories of him.


Posted Jul. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

They lived in a rural area in which there were not that many of the same age, so,it was not surprising. As to my friends I retained two friends from childhood, weddings and annual get togethers. My friendships with college friends was not as strong due distance. Of course my current friends are from my work days and similar interests, like bridge, children and grandchildren. I think i am saying that geography and current interests play a large parz.


Posted Jul. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 120

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RE: Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

I have read many novels where the children from different classes become friends. I agree with Peggy that in a lot of instances it is because of a lack of children the same age. I grew up in a north Seattle neighborhood the youngest of three girls. We each had a neighborhood friend. At age 70 we are still friends living in different towns but always keeping in touch.


Posted Jul. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 59

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RE: Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

Juke and String grew up on the farm together. It made perfect sense that they would become best friends, being the only two children that far out of town. The Wilson family may have always been in a different social class than Juke's, but they were still farmers- -or country people if you will. They may have owned the land, but George worked it the same as his hands. It wasn't until motivated by the success of his brothers that George really thought to improve his station. He built the mill and moved into town. Here the differences became more apparent-as Juke never went up on the porch of the house in town. Kids don't notice differences like race and income level as much as adults. It was important to George to be important. What other people thought mattered to him. String got some of the breaks being the son of the mill owner. Had he not died in the war, the friendship most likely would have petered out over time as the social circles and commitments between the two men would have really changed. George would probably have interfered in the friendship as it wouldn't look good for his son to be running around with Juke. As it was, I think Juke and George put more into the friendship that what was really left mainly as a way to feel closer to String. But George made it clear that the two were not equals.

Facebook, e-mail, texting, etc. has made it easier to stay in touch or renew old friendships. While I am Facebook "friends" with many people from my childhood, I would not consider us friends in the "real world". Distance played a greater role in the loss of those relationships, rather than social class though- -that and as a younger person, I just did not value or make time to keep in touch.


Posted Jul. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 197

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RE: Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

For the most part when children are young, they are not aware of social classes. Social classes make a difference, though, as children grow up and are included in different activities with a different group of friends from different backgrounds.
Yes, I still have friends from my childhood days. It's a wonderful thing to reminisce about the "good old days."


Posted Jul. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 259

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RE: Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

acstrine expressed it well. They grew up together, being thrown together by age and proximity and clearly a relationship dynamic of daredevil leader (Juke) and eager follower (String). The war and String's death happened before they reached the point where their different social status would have seriously tested their friendship. Already it was not a relationship String's family encouraged, and George Wilson was a master manipulator, he would have found a way to drive them apart eventually, if String's death hadn't ended it.

I have in this age of the internet been able to make contact with my closest childhood friend (from the 50s) but with so many years intervening-- and considerable geographic distance-- it is not any longer a close relationship; ditto, for my friends in high school. On the other hand, growing up in the internet age has allowed my daughters to have continuous, close relationships with their childhood and high school friends. From what I have observed, the closest friends have remained close, despite geography. Social status was not an issue in any of these relationships.


Posted Jul. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 125

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RE: Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

I was a military brat so I had numerous close friends for 3-4 years at whichever station. Due to the nature of military life, these friendshipd were very diverse and mostly short term. I kept in touch with 2 or 3 people over the years but I no longer retain those relationships.


Posted Aug. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 97

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RE: Juke and String were from different classes but were still close friends. Why did this change? Are there any childhood friendships you remember, and any you still retain?

Children do not pay attention to class status. In the rural area any child of a comparable age becomes a friend due to the scarcity of play mates. String and Juke would naturally become friends. String moved to town after awhile and as they aged Juke was getting String into too much trouble and George would not have liked that. Then String left for the military, leaving Juke behind, which would put a barrier between them.

I remember many of my childhood friendships, however my father traveled with construction and we moved every few years, so many friendships were left behind.


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