I love the parks and trails in Stark County. There’s one in every community, and each one seems to have its own personality. I used to visit them to run and relax. But now that I’m a mom to a 1-year-old, I’m there for the swings and slides.
Pursuing things I love …
I went to a teeny, tiny college for undergrad. One of the best things about it—besides knowing everybody all the time no matter where I was—was having the opportunity to pursue everything that I loved, instead of just taking journalism classes and living at the campus newspaper. That’s my favorite thing about Stark County, too. I get to be a newspaper reporter, but I also get to participate in leadership programs and be in community theater productions and volunteer at my church. It’s the best. And as an added bonus, I’m only 45 minutes from my hometown, so I still get to see the people I’ve loved the longest regularly, and that’s nice, too.
The people who live here …
During four-and-a-half decades of living and working—is doing what you love, writing, really labor?—in Stark County, my favorite thing always has been not a thing at all. It’s who. You. The people who live here.
Since I came here in the middle of the 1970s, I’ve found the people who were here before me—and those who have come to Stark County since—to be individuals who are open, welcoming, friendly, supportive, encouraging, honest, respectful and caring.
I remember giving a talk to a group of women, long before my stay in Stark County neared its current 45 years. I said I wasn’t a native of the community, but I felt like I was a part of it. An older woman sitting at a table in front just smiled like a member of my family and assured me, as if there never was a question, “Oh, my dear, of course you are.”
Too many things to love …
There are too many reasons to love Stark County for me to pick just one. First of all, you can’t beat the living costs. Home prices and rental rates are very affordable in most parts of the county.
Secondly, Stark County has a little bit of everything you’re looking for. Farms—we’ve got them. City centers—we’ve got them. Local shopping boutiques, amazing restaurants, beautiful parks—we’ve got them.
Thirdly, it has a community feel. Overall, Stark Countians seem to unite when good things happen and even when tragedy strikes. It feels like home, and home really is the best feeling.