Why we love Suffolk

Published 9:06pm Monday, January 30, 2012

Where our hearts are

By Carol and Rebecca Warren

Why do we love Suffolk?

Carol and Rebecca Warren

In Suffolk, we both have the pleasure of working for family-owned businesses, one in agriculture and one in architecture, and we see growth and prosperity that are a big part of Suffolk. We see the land used to help family businesses continually grow and prosper.

We love the wide-open fresh air and to see wildlife before our eyes — to see deer grazing, hear birds singing and watch bald eagles nesting and bears roaming is truly amazing.

We have experienced the pleasure of gaining education that leads to top universities, and of working in and learning the business of architecture and that of agriculture and knowing that this is only a portion of what Suffolk has to offer.

Yes, it is a great pleasure to have grown up in Suffolk and to live here today. We worship, we work, we live and we enjoy leisure time right here in Suffolk.

Within the rural village of Holland, community sports were important starting at a young age, when coaches volunteered their time to make lasting memories and friendships and to help develop us into the people we are today. We have been molded and driven to excel by classmates and school functions and competitive games.

In Suffolk, we have the pleasure of annual parades that bring joy to communities, and we love being involved and participating and seeing everyone come out and be a part of them. We have movies and community dinners, theater events, and doctors and hospitals nearby and a variety of local businesses right here in Suffolk. What better place to raise your children?

It comes from the heart to say we love all that Suffolk has to offer. From civic organizations to parks and recreation, Suffolk offers family entertainment and community support that brings families together with love.

Whether traveling north, south, east or west, Suffolk is the perfect place to come from and return to.

Suffolk public schools have served us well throughout the years. Fully engaged family members working together with the school system have shaped us into adults who care about giving back to our communities.

That commitment to giving back, which is such an integral part of life in a place like Suffolk, manifests itself in many ways. Our small church family helps us in sharing, singing and teaching of God’s love within our quaint village. We have served on committees to support growth and caring for others. We work with our city officials to coordinate functions that bring neighbors outside to fellowship and work together in striving for unity and pride in our communities.

It’s a pleasure to live in Suffolk and to experience the love for this city as it continues to grow in our hearts. Suffolk is our home, the place where we make lifetime memories and the place where our hearts are. We hope that’s true for you, too.

Carol Warren is a traffic clerk at Birdsong Peanuts. Her daughter, Rebecca, is an architectural student at Virginia Tech and has worked internships at McEntire Design.

 

Purpose and meaning

By Evelyn Wall

Suffolk has put purpose and meaning in my life.

Evelyn Wall

My motto has always been one of my favorite Christian hymns, “Make Me a Blessing.” The last part of the chorus is, “Make me a blessing oh Lord I pray, make me a blessing to someone today.” Since I have retired, I want to always remember the impact that I made on other people’s lives and still am making today, with Suffolk being the major source of my goals.

After I completed my education with a major in secretarial science at Norfolk State University in 1964, the Suffolk City School Board gave me my first employment opportunity as a school secretary at Oakland Elementary School in October 1965.

In April 1971, the Suffolk News-Herald gave me my second employment opportunity. After I started from the bottom as a typesetter, they allowed me to write columns under the standing heads “Overcoming Adversities,” “Editorial Assistant” and one in honor of my name, “Off The Wall.” The columns gave me on-the-job training to work my way up to and finally retire as a staff writer. I also helped many people achieve their goals through those columns.

Sometimes, when I visit the fine restaurants and stores in downtown Suffolk or go to the city’s various medical facilities for checkups or medical services, I meet people who thank me for making their news available to the public.

Speaking of restaurants, the continuous growth of this fine city has brought with it many new places to eat with a variety of different cuisines for me to choose from. And the doctors and staff at Lakeview Medical Center on Meade Parkway have provided me with great service. If at any time I might need a specialist, I probably won’t have to go out of town to get one, because so many are located there at that facility.

To help me maintain my looks as a senior, my favorite beauty salon is just around the corner where I grew up on Lee Street. To stay fit, I take an aerobics class at East Suffolk Community Center, which is only a five-minute drive from my house. Therefore, I save gas by not traveling to other places, because the city of Suffolk offers plenty of places for me to shop, eat, and maintain good health within just a few minutes’ driving distance.

Even in retirement, I am still able to contribute to the Suffolk community, since I have been contracted as a line dance instructor at the East Suffolk Community Center.

Why do I love Suffolk? The city has given me many opportunities to be a blessing others. And it has been and continues to be a blessing to me.

Among other pursuits since she entered retirement, Evelyn Wall teaches line-dancing classes at the East Suffolk Community Center.

 

In a nutshell…

By Kenda Goldberg Council

To love the place where you live, work and play is a special thing.

Kenda Council

I am fortunate to have been raised in Suffolk and to now call it home. My husband, Michael, and I met as kindergartners at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. We started dating in high school and dated all through college, while he attended Virginia Tech and I attended James Madison University. While dating, we never really talked about where we’d like to live when we got older; we just both knew that Suffolk would be our home one day. After we married, we moved to Suffolk and have enjoyed raising our two young daughters in the city where we grew up.

Suffolk makes me proud to be a citizen. This close-knit community is charming and special. From an early age, I appreciated the things that make Suffolk unique.

To put it in a nutshell, Suffolk is a place …

  • Where the fall brings the sights and sounds of the Peanut Festival. I remember attending the Suffolk Peanut Festival as a child and having a ball. Now, my children look forward each year to heading to the festival.
  • Where you can head to the northern part of town for new shops or a movie. Where the bell rings at the dry cleaners when you pull up and they come out to your car to greet you and take your laundry. Or, where you hear a local business owner tell you, “I’ll just put that on your account and bill you.”
  • Where being stuck in traffic means you had to sit for more than one cycle at a stoplight.
  • Where you never really “lose” your maiden name — it always seems to matter.
  • Where a handshake is still your word.
  • Where it is customary to deliver a delicious treat to a new neighbor.
  • Where you walk into the Planters Peanut Center and are immediately flooded with memories of your childhood.
  • Where your house isn’t really ever “your house,” because it used to belong to Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So or the land on which your house now stands used to be The Old Such-and-Such.
  • Where community service is an integral part of being a citizen.
  • Where you can take a quick drive and see historic sites and homes, beautiful lakes, the Dismal Swamp or beautiful fields of cotton.
  • Where you don’t have to be from here to become a part of the community. Someone who has moved into the area can quickly become an active member of Suffolk by becoming engaged in this community.
  • Where you celebrate the roots and the history of the city, but look forward to all the future promises.

If you’re lucky, “home” is a word that evokes warmth, comfort and a sense of belonging. Suffolk has been my home in the truest sense — always has been and, I hope, always will be. I am a proud Suffolkian, indeed!

Kenda Council is director of advancement at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy and president of the Suffolk Rotary Club.

 

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