Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jax Love Affair from Native to Newcomer

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jax Love Affair from Native to Newcomer

Article excerpt

The Times-Union this year has been celebrating what people love about Jacksonville and Northeast Florida.

For many of us, coming to Jacksonville was almost by accident, transferred here by the military or moved here for business.

Many came here on a visit or dropped in while traveling down the East Coast.

Many lived here for a spell, left and then returned when they realized how much they missed the place.

But in so many cases, people came to love the area.

Here are more examples from members of our Email Interactive Group.

A JOB TRANSFER BECAME PERMANENT

In 1988, I was transferred to Jacksonville to manage a sales group covering Florida, Georgia and South Alabama. Thinking it was a temporary assignment, I assumed we would eventually move back to our native Texas.

After a few years, we fell in love with the area, the people, the weather and the location. I turned down promotion offers for North Carolina, California and even to move back to Texas for a big raise! Now, after 23 years, we continue our love affair with the wonderful beaches, an inviting church, great nearby attractions and the sharing spirit of Jacksonville.

I tell visitors to get used to uncrowded and beautiful beaches, a city where you can always get from point A to point B in 30 minutes or less, and people who are more prone to greet you with a hug than a handshake.

Sure, we have traffic problems, but they are predictable and manageable.

Unlike the Northeast, most drivers will let you merge in traffic or change lanes without trying to block you out like a NASCAR race (as in Atlanta).

Don Spencer, Jacksonville

A RARITY: A FLORIDA NATIVE

My mother's family first came to St. Augustine from Spain in the early 1600s, so this area truly is a part of my blood. I have always felt drawn to Northeast Florida each time I briefly lived somewhere else.

Were I a great Southern writer, I might be able to wax eloquently about some deeply spiritual, uncontrollable, almost supernatural connection to this land my people have called home for almost 400 years. But in reality, it isn't hard to see why I or even the newest resident love Northeast Florida.

You can see it when you see the St. Johns River, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Atlantic Ocean, the Talbot islands, Amelia Island and the beaches from Fort Clinch to Fort Matanzas.

It's the great patriotism you feel as a P3 roars overhead bound for NAS Jax or when Navy ships gleam in the sun and waters at Mayport. …

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