Thursday, March 22, 2018

Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies. | Daryl Davis | TEDxNaperville

Daryl Davis is an example of someone building bridges between races and people and his efforts should be applauded.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

My Franklin, North Carolina Sojourn


I first laid eyes on Franklin, North Carolina during a business trip in July, 2013. I was here about a month but, when my job was done, it was back to New Jersey with me. Yet, it made such an impression that I knew I would return when (or if) I ever retired. 

MAJESTIC: It actually looks like that in Western North Carolina.

I love New Jersey, don't get me wrong. It is where I am from. But, it is a busy place, where life moves very fast, everything is so expensive, taxes (don't get me started about those), and there is this inertia there to cover every square inch of soil, grass or dirt with a road, parking lot, business, house, apartment building or office complex. Though New Jersey is called "The Garden State," that seems to be more nostalgia than fact anymore. Still, there will always be a place in my heart for my home-state.
A small town with a big heart: Franklin, North Carolina.

What drew me to Franklin was that it was everything New Jersey is not. Life moves slower here. People are friendly and helpful. It's not that people in New Jersey aren't; it might just be that they are going as fast as they can just to keep up with the pace of their own lives. Anyway, in Franklin, the sights and scenes of the Great Smoky Mountains are everywhere. Of course, the same could be said everywhere in Western North Carolina. I think it was the hometown feel that Franklin had, though, and its quiet beauty that drew me back. The Little Tennessee River rolls through the town, adding its luster to Fraklin.

The BBQ is awesome!
There are any number of antique stores in town, and discount furniture places, lovely small restaurants and natural wonders. Prices are reasonable, not only for housing and utilities, but just in stores. Though I live on a fixed income, with my wife, we can actually live comfortably. In New Jersey, it's just a lot more expensive to live. And, living on our fixed income would probably result in my wife and I living near the poverty level. 

There are four seasons here, though winter is much more mild than in the North.  There are plenty of doctors offices and medical facilities, and quite a few retirees from around the United States. 

During the spring and summer, Franklin is a popular destination for hikers treking along the Appalachian Trail and I've met quite a few tourists.

I have lived here for six months so far and it is everything I thought and hoped it would be. I have yet to see a nightclub or anything seedy in town. It's a nice little place with a church on almost every corner and nature's beauty just about everywhere you look. I'm glad I came and I'm glad I stayed. 

I think, especially for retirees coming from urban areas, even if it isn't Western North Carolina, it would pay to take a look at the South and consider a slower way of life for their Golden Years.