While the twins sort out their money with the banks, they're also waging battle in Wyoming, because they claim their father's estate is being raided. Walker left behind not much in the way of liquid assets but a lifetime's worth of possessions, which he willed to his children in trust. At the moment, however, the kids can't set foot on their properties in Wyoming or South Carolina, because Daralee has a legal right to reside in both houses; when they tried to visit their father's grave on Greenfield Plantation, police were summoned. And they've spotted some of their dad's precious collectibles being sold online. In 2011, a Maine auction house unloaded 25 of Walker's fine firearms, many engraved w.p.i., for $300,000. "I don't let anybody take my dad's things. It's our family's history," says Patterson angrily. After a lifetime of powerlessness, being robbed of his father's mementos is one more degradation than he can stand. He and Georgia would like to exact revenge on everyone they consider responsible for their abuse. "I'm taking everybody's asses downtown," says Patterson. "Everybody that fucked with my family, and fucked with me and my sis."
The kids need to figure out what comes next for them – how they can start creating a life for themselves, and connect with others. Daisha has devised what she thinks is a terrific idea for an appropriate new set of playmates: She's working on getting the twins together with Michael Jackson's kids, with whom she thinks they'd have tons in common. "Wouldn't that be historic? The Jacksons and the Dukes, two of the most famous names, together?" Daisha asks.
As for the kids' own plans, Patterson seems to hope for a quiet life. "I hope I don't have to live alone. But I actually don't mind. I'll just sit at Greenfield, fishing by my dad's little tomb, just talking about life," he says. "You can't trust anyone," he adds mournfully, repeating the words he learned from his father, which Walker learned from his aunt Doris, which she learned from her father, Buck Duke.
Georgia is more optimistic. Inspired by self-help books, she wonders if she might turn their experiences into something positive, perhaps by becoming a motivational speaker for abused kids. "There's gonna be some things that are harsh and you can't undo them," she says. "But the choices you make are what make you." The idea appeals to her: That you need not be shaped by your past, but rather that the path ahead can be forged solely by your own actions, starting now. It happens to be the same can-do mentality of Buck Duke's father, Washington Duke, whose sense of possibility more than a century ago transformed the Dukes from North Carolina dirt farmers into tycoons. But for Georgia and Patterson to truly turn their lives around, they'll ultimately need to step outside of the bubble that great wealth affords and learn some of the life skills that eluded so many in their lineage. If only there was someone to teach them.
"Hey, Georgia! Patterson! You ready for your Power Thought reading with me?" Daisha yells across the house, and the twins gather in her spacious bedroom. Daisha dashes around lighting incense and putting on a tootling New Age CD, explaining that they've been drawing healing strength from a melding of Christian forgiveness, crystals, Native American folklore, a Spirituality for Dummies book and a three-foot cherrywood Buddha statue she keeps in her walk-in closet. She picks up a small glossy-paged book of affirmations. "You want to pick the Power Thought, or should I?" Daisha asks brightly. Neither child answers, but slump back against her four-poster bed and stare with blank faces at the carpet, quietly waiting for it to be over. For a long moment there's no sound but soothing spa music while their mother thumbs through the book, searching for the mantra that will get the twins through another day.
This story is from the August 15th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies
Picks From Around the Web
blog comments powered by Disqus