City#039;s downtown cheerleader

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 28, 2004

You might say Nancy Idland has perfected the art of being a cheerleader. She is one of three generations of Greenville’s Miller family, including mom, Barbara, and daughter, Olivia, who cheered, chanted and somersaulted

for their beloved Greenville High School Tigers.

&uot;And I’m still a cheerleader for Greenville - only this time, I'm cheering for the entire community," Idland, the executive director for the city’s Main Street program says with the smile

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Owner since 1981 of the long-established retail fixture, Elizabeth Wilson Florist, Idland has become an active voice in promoting the beauty, charm and history of her hometown. &uot;Right next to my children, my community IS my heart,&uot; she says.

Solid citizen

Idland’s life is solidly rooted in the Camellia City. Born at Stabler Hospital’s Oak Street location, Idland is the oldest of three children born and raised in Greenville. She attended school at W.O. Parmer, Greenville Junior High and Greenville High School, being among the first in 1972 to graduate from the School Highlands Road campus.

Idland says she has lived in at least three or four different homes on Greenville’s Hickory St. during her lifetime (&uot;And my mom still lives on Hickory Street").

Always involved in high school drama productions for &uot;Miss&uot; Bobbie Gamble, Idland remembers well hitting the streets to sell ads for programs.

Some things just don’t change.

&uot;Years have passed – but here I am, still selling ads for Miss Bobbie – only this time, it’s for the arts council,&uot; Idland explains with a laugh.

While she has been a member of a number of civic groups over the years, Idland says nowadays she is concentrating her time and efforts on Main Street, the Arts Council, her flower shop and &uot;my life.&uot;

She and husband Ronnie have two children, Rhett and Olivia, who both live in Greenville.

Nancy and Ronnie met as students at Troy &uot;and he came to Greenville. Now it’s just as much his home as it is mine – and that’s cool,&uot; she remarks.

A bright future

As director of Greenville Main Street, Idland says she is &uot;very excited&uot; about the changes and opportunities she sees on the horizon for the city.

&uot;I love what Vesta Taylor has done downtown with the new location of Alissa’s Closet – it is just fabulous,&uot; Idland enthuses. &uot;I’m so excited about the new businesses coming in, the new YMCA location – all the good news we are hearing and seeing,&uot; she adds.

Idland sees a bright future for the city she knows and loves so well – as long as its citizens are willing to work with one another.

She uses the following analogy to demonstrate her hopes and dreams for the Camellia City:

&uot;I’ve told other people this: I imagine our city as a huge oak tree with limbs extending up and out, each limb representing a part of our community. All those limbs come together to create this absolutely fabulous tree that’s green, healthy, always growing.

People will come from other places to see it and they’ll want to know what we are doing to grow such a fabulous tree.&uot;

Idland – Greenville native, small business owner and active volunteer – believes the community that is willing to work together, grows together.

&uot;I envision us here in Greenville shopping at home, playing at home, working at home, whenever possible – truly living out the idea of community.&uot;

While she may not wear saddle shoes or carry a megaphone anymore,Nancy Miller Idland is still a civic leader who actively cheers for the home team – her hometown.