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Old 11-11-2013, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Canada
2,514 posts, read 1,296,188 times
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Washington: A world apart | The Washington Post

A photograph hanging in Cherry Farley’s home office in a neighborhood of big houses and big ambitions reminds her what it means to have no home at all.
The image is an aerial view of Saigon, taken by her father from a helicopter as the family was fleeing Vietnam in 1975, when Farley was 10.
The family wound up in North Carolina, where her parents found blue-collar jobs at a cotton mill. But they went to college at night and became engineers, an achievement that allowed Farley and her two siblings to grow up in a modest three-bedroom house with one bathroom.
Now Farley and her husband, Michael, who was raised on a farm and went to college on a ROTC scholarship, work for defense contractors. Their combined income affords them a spacious five-bedroom house with 3.5 baths. Two of their three daughters have left for college, so it’s just the three of them now.
“I’ve come a long way,” said Farley, 46, pondering her path from a refugee camp to one of the country’s most affluent and educated Zip codes. “This is a wonderful area. I’m not sure all the people who live [here] recognize that. If all you’ve ever known is an upper-middle-class life, it’s hard to see how nice we have it.”
Farley resides in Clarksville, Md., a bedroom community midway between Washington and Baltimore where the median household income tops $181,000, more than triple the national average.
An astonishing 98 percent of River Hill High School’s graduates head to college. Volvos, Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs are scattered throughout the student parking lot. Even pets get in on the refined tastes of their owners; in a small shopping center near the school, a shop specializing in organic dog food is next door to the organic grocery store.



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