My family history is tied to Calhoun. My grandfather bought a new house in Calhoun after World War II, and a little over 25 years later sold it… to my parents. Both of my parents attended Calhoun High School; they met in 1958 at the Martin Theater, when it when downtown at the current Gem location, and were later married in the temporary Gordon County Courthouse location (while the new court house was under construction.) I started kindergarten at Eastside Elementary in 1981 and graduated from CHS in 1994. Johannah started school last year in the same location I did, in the only building that I attended still in use by the school system. When I look through my dad’s yearbooks I see people I know, including a few I’ve only met since he passed.
I have a lot of family still here. I watched the Georgia Bulldogs last night with my brother’s family; it is less than a five minute trip. Mom got to see all of her grandchildren play together and Johannah had other kids to play with. There are things around the house that Mom can no longer do herself. I have an aunt that’s even worse off. It’s good to be available, whether for birthday parties and cookouts or to mow the grass and replace faucets.
There is stuff here. Teresa and I loved the work of ministry we did in Kentucky but the geographic isolation was something we dealt with rather than enjoyed. The nearest Walmart was 30 minutes away and if you wanted a Super Center you had to drive 45. Let’s say we decide to go out and want chicken for dinner. Calhoun now offers KFC, Popeye’s, Chick-fil-A, Zaxby’s, Bojangles and Church’s. I’m now 45 minutes away from the Atlanta Perimeter I-285. Having said that, just a few minutes away are hay fields and cow pastures. I helped round up a few wandering cows and patch barbwire just last week.
It’s true that we are in the process of moving – but we aren’t going far. We will be 10 minutes from Calhoun and a mere 15 from Rome. I had friends growing up that couldn’t wait to get out of here as fast as possible, while I couldn’t wait to stay. And after living in Rome, Lindale and Kentucky for nine years, I am glad to be back here. You can go back home.