The residents of Washington County, Arkansas, are reeling about the news of the Josh Duggar molestation accusations, much like the rest of the nation, with one exception: the Duggars were their claim to fame. How has life been since their most famous residents have been under a microscope?
Nobody in the country seems short on opinion regarding the Duggars or their lifestyle, and this was before the news broke that when Joshua Duggar was 14-years-old, he molested five young females, four of them being his sisters. He inappropriately touched their "breasts and vaginas" according to a police report, but nothing officially was ever done about the abuse. He was "sent away to rehab" that turned out to be nothing more than working with a family friend on remodeling houses, and the state trooper that investigated the incident only gave Josh "a stern talking to." Incidentally, that state trooper is incarcerated for possession of child pornography now.
How are the people of Washington County reacting? People magazine interviewed several residents in public arenas, and the reactions were varied, but intense. One young woman had several young children with her as she walked into the Walmart that is frequented by the Duggars. When asked her thoughts, she minced no words.
"I think he should rot in Hell!"And to Joshua Duggar, that's likely what life feels like to him these days, at TLC has cancelled the show and his business horizons probably have tanked. However, that doesn't mean his family has become friendless. There's also been a lot of support. Friends of the Duggars remain supportive, as do Josh's parents and wife, Anna, as well as all of his siblings, including those he allegedly molested. Grace Branham, a long-time neighbor and friend, said, "I've known the family for years. They try to do the right thing."
Carolyn Trammell, who lives two doors down from the Duggars, told People,"They're a nice family but kind of different."
A 21-year-old local businessman who grew up a half-mile away from the Duggars has ambivalent feelings about the situation. He seems to think well of the Duggars, but finds Josh's stance on gay rights to be hypocritical.
"...never noticed anything amiss except this big house. They just seemed like a normal family. They'd all pile in a van and go to Braum's [a local ice cream parlor] just like a normal family. [While there], they're not loud, not disrespectful. But I think he (Josh) should be more sympathetic toward other people's rights knowing he had made mistakes in the past."It appears that the Washington County Arkansas community's claim to fame may be tarnished, but it's unlikely that anyone will forget them soon. Apparently, a spinoff show featuring Jill and Jessa Duggar is already being talked about.
[Photo by People]