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Old 10-28-2007, 09:48 AM
 
24 posts, read 67,996 times
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Hi. I am planning to relocate my family to a lower-cost area (currently live in FL). This forum has helped me narrow down my choices. I would appreciate anyone who would be willing to rank these places according to my criteria...a true small town (not just a suberb of someplace bigger), low cost-of-living, safe, good schools, close to a large lake that is sailable, decent teacher's salary (I'm a teacher), some shopping and restaurants (though I don't need a mall). Here is what I've narrowed it to so far...

1. Arab, AL
2. Guntersville, AL
3. Hokes Bluff, AL
4. Alexander City, AL

Other locations I'm considering in other states...if you are familiar with them, please weigh in on them as well...

1. Paris, TN
2. Martinez, GA
3. Evans, GA
4. Irmo, SC
5. Seven Oaks, SC

Or, if you have any other towns that you think I should add to my list let me know that as well. Any thoughts you can give me would be GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Historic Bessemer Alabama
629 posts, read 2,510,869 times
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1. Hokes Bluff, AL
2. Guntersville, AL
3. Arab, AL
4. Alexander City, AL

I ranked Hokes Bluff first because it is so close to 4 diff. large lakes/rivers! Guntersville is close to 1 gigantic lake and might be better school wise.........I am partial to the Hokes Bluff area because of the proximity to all those fishing possibilities!
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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If you want to sail, Guntersville or Arab.

Guntersville Lake is part of the Tennessee river. You can sail the 65,000 acres or up/down the river.
Tennessee River - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scottsboro is also on Guntersville Lake. Bigger town, not sure of the school system though. It is in Jackson County.
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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Just go look at Lake Guntersville before making your decision...the most beautiful lake in Alabama.....

If I were you, I'd go and visit these towns before making a choice...
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Huntsville native
807 posts, read 1,423,418 times
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1. Guntersville - beautiful and quaint.
2. Alex City
3. Hokes Bluff
4. Arab - has a lot of fans on the boards for some reason. But I cannot endorse a town that is dry and has about as much diversity as a Soviet ice cream parlor. I had a bad experience when I was a kid and my peewee football team played a game there in mid 1980s. We were a "diverse" team from Huntsville and had rocks and racial slurs hurled at us before and after the game by children and adults alike. It was eye opening and scary. It was my chance to walk a mile in someone else's shoes so to speak. Maybe things have changed somewhat, but it left a bad taste in my mouth for Arab.

I also am somewhat familiar with Evans and Martinez, GA. I was stationed at Fort Gordon when I was in the Army. They are both pretty nice, but very suburban in character, unlike the Alabama towns on your list.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Arab, Alabama
73 posts, read 322,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deesonic View Post
1. Guntersville - beautiful and quaint.
2. Alex City
3. Hokes Bluff
4. Arab - has a lot of fans on the boards for some reason. But I cannot endorse a town that is dry and has about as much diversity as a Soviet ice cream parlor. I had a bad experience when I was a kid and my peewee football team played a game there in mid 1980s. We were a "diverse" team from Huntsville and had rocks and racial slurs hurled at us before and after the game by children and adults alike. It was eye opening and scary. It was my chance to walk a mile in someone else's shoes so to speak. Maybe things have changed somewhat, but it left a bad taste in my mouth for Arab.

I also am somewhat familiar with Evans and Martinez, GA. I was stationed at Fort Gordon when I was in the Army. They are both pretty nice, but very suburban in character, unlike the Alabama towns on your list.

I don't think you would find that problem in Arab now, if you do , I would assure it would be an isolated incident, you'll find some of that anywhere you go , our own Arab High School team is now deversified, and we also host Lee High School and Butler High School every year during Football season and Basketball season. I don't think its fair to compare our city to a "Solviet Ice Cream Parlor"
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:20 AM
 
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I just moved to Arab 2 years ago, so I have no idea of what 20 something years ago, but I can tell you nothing like that has happened since I have been here.
Are there ppl that are still racist here? Of course there are, as there are in many cities throughout the states, and not just southern states btw.
Visit each city and then ask here for opinions. We all have them!!!!
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Alabama
52 posts, read 169,203 times
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I 2nd that on Arab! I grew up in Marshall County and could tell you stories about Arab that border unbelievable in today's terms. I will not mention then on this post and if you'd like to hear about them let me know and I'll email you. I currently live in Calhoun County, not far from Hokes Bluff and I love it - close to lakes, decent size city, National forest, and the interstate.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Huntsville native
807 posts, read 1,423,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick in Dixie View Post
you'll find some of that anywhere you go , our own Arab High School team is now deversified, and we also host Lee High School and Butler High School every year during Football season and Basketball season.
Well, I really wasn't going to say anything, but I felt I couldn't list Arab #4 without justification. And the quick response from a lot people when you mention racism or such is "you'll find some of that anywhere you go." Well of course you will. I lived in LA during the Rodney King riots too. I nearly moved to Grand Junction, Colorado and was warned by a local there that many locals referred to it as "Klan Junction."

So yeah, racism is not exclusive to the South. But in Arab it WAS a point of pride for many in that town that they didn't have a "black problem" there. I have relatives all over Brindlee Mountain as well, so I have been there a time or two and have heard lots of talk about that. I served in the military and have lived all over the country (AL, GA, TX, MD, CA, CO) and have never heard anything like that about any other places I've lived. So, I know there's racism everywhere, but in Arab, where there are almost no blacks, it COULD be vocalized and accepted.

So, maybe I shouldn't have said anything about it. But if someone is making a major decision to move from out of state they probably would like to hear the good, bad, and ugly in order to make an informed decision. Maybe things are better there now. I have family on Brindlee Mountain and Sand Mountain andI pass through fairly regularly and my perception is that Arab is a little more suburban in nature than it was when I was a kid, which I find strange being how far it is from Huntsville.

To be fair, let me say some positive things about Arab that I am aware of. It is a pretty safe town, although meth production is an issue on Brindlee Mountain as it is all over the rural South these days. It's on a mountain (although it feels flat up there). Housing and land is more affordable up there than Guntersville. The lake is probably no more than a 20 minute drive. All that being said, I'd take Guntersville in a heartbeat.

I'm sure someone will come here and say that Arab is different and all is well and welcome outsiders with open arms. And I sincerely hope the majority of Arab citizens (Arabs?) feel that way now. Plenty of people have moved to Arab from other places and seem to love it, so maybe things are truly changing there.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:09 AM
 
24 posts, read 67,996 times
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I appreciate everyone's candid responses. We will take a trip to all of these places this summer. But, sometimes it is hard to get a true feel for a place in only a few days. These first hand accounts are very helpful. I am intrigued by Arab's schools, but I love the idea of living right by the lake in Guntersville. I do NOT want "suburban", so I gues I'll just have to access on my visit whether Arab feels "suburban" to me.

I still don't feel like I know that much about Alexander City and Hokes Bluff. Can anyone give me some details? about the nearby lakes? are they suburban or small town? schools? people?

Thanks again guys. This is a major decision and I don't want to choose wrong.

Trina
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