Giving thanks for the Gate City

I moved frequently during the 1970s. (Astrologer alert — look up restless Mercury in the 4th House.) “Home” went from upstate New York to Long Island to California to Maine to Maryland to Arizona to Brooklyn to lower Manhattan to Massachusetts and back to Maine before migrating to North Carolina in October of 1981. Greensboro has been home since then; I guess I’ve settled down. Now, with Thanksgiving upon us, I’ve been thinking about what’s kept me here – what do I like about living in Greensboro. There are many qualities. But rather than write about my list, I thought it would be more interesting to hear from a bunch of other folks. So, for this month’s column I posed the following question to people from throughout the city: “What about living in Greensboro are you thankful for?” Here are their responses:

“I have lived in Greensboro over 35 years. I am thankful to live in a city where diversity is celebrated and not oppressed, where Sunday worship is a norm, where First Fridays bring residents together for fun and fellowship, and where public officials take time to hear and address citizens’ concerns. Lastly I thank God that I live in the magnificent city of Greensboro that houses the new Renaissance Community Co-operative!!” – Sadie Blue, Associate Pastor at True Salvation Christian Fellowship

“Our family relocated to Greensboro in 1982. Over the decades I marveled at the great airline connections, that general traffic flow is smoother than that of other cities and feel fortunate to be within a day’s drive from the beach, the mountains, Atlanta, DC, and Philly. The presence of so many trees, flowers and parks buoy our spirits. Three family members graduated from UNCG. We have savored the explosion of culinary and spiritual diversity, microbreweries, wine and coffee bars, often sharing the experiences with dear friends. And I have seen two former Beatles perform in Greensboro. I am truly thankful to call Greensboro my home.” – Bruce Weaver II, Accent Imaging

“I love living in Greensboro!!! I came here in 1969 to go to Guilford College. (My father had a manufacturing plant on what was then Red Road). There are wonderful people here! There is a wide based spiritual community, cultural arts, many colleges, beautiful green ways, good medical care and good weather. What’s not to love about Greensboro?” – Marie Andersen-Whitehurst, Owner of Earth Songs Gems and Mineral Store

“Thankful for people who have welcomed me warmly into their hearts, and entertained me
royally with music. It’s the love, love love that freely flows particularly among the talented, gifted artists in this colorful community. By head count, there’s a whole lot for which to be thankful for. As we say in Jamaica, ‘Give thanks , Praise Jah'”. One Love. – Jean Muson

“I have lived in the Triad for 30 years, and most of those years I have lived in Greensboro. One of my favorite things about Greensboro is all of the green space. I love nature and love all of the parks, trails, lakes, creeks and green spaces that are maintained by the city! I love being able to access them easily and being able to walk, skate, or bike on many of the greenways that cross the city.”
Kathryn Setchfield, Supplement Manager at the Natural Vitality Center
“I’m thankful that the City of Greensboro has three local historic districts, the existence of which helps protect the diverse character and sturdy quality of local homes built in the early 1900’s. Foreign countries have tremendous supplies of significantly older buildings, yet most U.S. and N.C. neighborhoods don’t protect these valuable and irreplaceable assets.” – Ann Stringfield, self-employed Information Specialist/Librarian at InfoCrofters, living in Greensboro about 37 years
“I am originally from Rockingham County but have lived in Greensboro since 1995. I am very happy here and glad I relocated. My employer of 29 years – UnitedHealthcare – is actually what brought me to Greensboro. I am thankful to be living in Greensboro because the sky is the limit for what you want to do in life. The opportunity is wide open and there are people in this city willing and able to assist you. Since living in Greensboro I have gone back to school to get my second college degree at NC A&T State University in Political Science. I serve on Greensboro’s Board of Adjustments. I also hold positions in other organizations that have a major affect and influence in this city. These include the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress and the Concerned Citizens of Northeast Greensboro.” – Laura Blackstock

“I’ve lived in Greensboro for 28 years. The last 15 years – walking the trails with my Honey – have been the sweetest and greenest! Who knew so many lovely, well kept, easily accessible, beautifully designed gardens and parks were all around me the entire time? Within 10-20 minutes anywhere in Greensboro, I can be at a park. I am a healthier person to have this quick access to exercise and feel the joy of the aesthetic beauty and safe paths provided by Greensboro. Thank you Greensboro for your dedication to a quality park system!” – Barbara Landau, Training Coordinator/Office Administrator at Joyce Engineering
“I’ve lived in Greensboro for 20 years. I’m thankful that I live in a culturally and spiritually diverse community.” – Bradford Reaves, Musician, guitar & vocal teacher.
“After living in Greensboro for nearly five decades, I enjoy the social, political, spiritual and cultural challenges. My desire is to make a difference in the lives of citizens, particularly the disadvantaged. I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in meaningful projects that enhance the quality of life for all Greensboro neighborhoods. I have always been inspired with research, advising and teaching by student life at the Triad colleges and universities, especially Guilford College and A&T State University.”
– Art Davis, retired City of Greensboro Research and Planning Manager; currently he is an Adjunct Lecturer at A&T State Univ.

“My wife Ruth and I have lived in several cities but have spent the most time in three cities. We have been in Greensboro for eight years. It is by far our favorite. I call it the “little-town-big-city.” It seems that Greensboro has all the conveniences of a large city but still has a friendly, neighborly feel. But what we like most about this city is the PEOPLE. We love the people of this city and we love the fact that so many Greensboro natives are still in the area… people with a sense of history and place. This is special and it is comforting. We are thankful that God led us here to enjoy life with this special city.” – Charlie Jones, President of City 616.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all! And may we always be grateful for the good things in our lives.

Landau’s column appears the fourth Wednesday of each month.