Grass is greener in Greenville

Published 11:24 am Friday, April 29, 2011

Pulitzer Prize-winner John Ed Pearce wrote, “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”

I think he may have been on to something.

For me, Greenville is home. It’s that place.

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I definitely couldn’t wait to leave when I was growing up. It’s not that living in Greenville was so bad. It was just home, and I wanted to go somewhere else where the “grass was greener.”

So I set out on a journey that took more than 10 years and led me to Almaty, Kazakhstan, which is just about as far away from here as you can get. Now, I’m older and hopefully a little wiser, and Greenville is the place that I’m excited to be coming back to because it’s home.

It’s a great place to live because of the people that make up our community.

Looking back I guess it’s always been that way.

I remember Vernon Herring, who coached my Parks and Recreation baseball team even though he didn’t have a son on the team. He just enjoyed being out on the field teaching the game of baseball to a bunch of kids. He wasn’t doing it for recognition; he was just giving back.

Things like that are still going on here today.

For example, Caleb Gardner volunteers his time and expertise as an athletic trainer to Fort Dale’s basketball team while also taking an active role with First Baptist’s youth group.

The women at the Greenville Senior Center took their time to knit sweaters for a group of orphans in Kazakhstan and recently made lap robes for patients at the nursing home.

These are just a few examples of things people do to make our community what it is. It would be easy to fill up page after page with similar stories, and I hope that in the days to come stories like these will frequent the pages of the Advocate.

Because you know, now that I have a few years under my belt, I realize the grass is pretty green here in Greenville after all. It just took me going to the other side of the world to realize it.

It’s good to be back home.