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Old 04-06-2009, 05:42 AM
 
285 posts, read 712,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodbyePA View Post
Maybe in the bigger cities but in small towns up north, and I suspect in all parts of the country, family is everything. IMO, southern culture reminds me very much of small town culture, it's for sure one of the reasons I feel so comfortable here in Charlotte.

I completely agree, family is everything to lots of people ALL around the country.

this isn't a I love my family more than you do debate , is it? I think those types of discussions are on the big yellow bus.

When my grandfather moved his family to this country in the 50's he left his loving family. There was no work where he was, he was the wrong religion in a war fighting area , and made a better life for his family. I think dealing with the prejudice of not being here for 300 years were better chances than the safety of his family.

and as I've mentioned before , I don't ever recall having this conversation when I lived in the north from one of the biggest melting pots in the world

Its really beyond me
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:00 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,894 posts, read 27,173,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
So many insightful posts - I really appreciate everyone's perspective, not only about Charlotte but about family history and what gives (and can maintain) a region's "identity."

Here is something that hit me this morning and is related to what I am concerned about in re: to Charlotte's identity.

We characterize our city as a great family-oriented city with reasonable taxes and 2 hours from mountains, three hours from beach.

What does that say? Now, I agree - family-oriented, and that is a good thing. But we are essentially saying - come to a spot that is essentially just some place to land until you can reach other spots, LOL. "two hours from mountains and three hours from beach."

Anyone else see that as rather - strange? That the biggest thing we can say about ourselves is - we are a place you can live so you can get to other more interesting places?

See what I mean? What identity does Charlotte have that we can point to and say - COME HERE - and FIND THIS!!!!
Ani, you make good points. (You always do.)

Here's my take on it.

I keep seeing posts stating that Charlotte is family-oriented. Most places are.

I have a young couple redoing my hardwood floors. Yesterday the wife was commenting about my location. It's minutes to Shelby or Gastonia. Hickory isn't far & Charlotte is not a far commute. The neighborhood is a good blend, and quiet, too. Whether you're a family of one or a family of 10, these things are all important.

There are disfunctional families or disfunctional people within families wherever you go.

How about this.

Charlotte has things that are familiar & things that are different, depending on where you come from. The area is quiet enough that if you haven't found yourself, you just might do that. Plus it's convenient to the mountains & the beaches, if that's important to you.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:12 AM
 
Location: The Queen City
1,087 posts, read 2,395,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEmissary View Post
Whytewulf is exactly right! The problem with Charlotte and its embrace of the "New South" is that nobody has defined what the "New South" is supposed to be. Is it an "antibellum redux and update" or a recreation of the myriad newcomers' concept of a Northern "El Dorado"? Change has hit Charlotte hard and I think both natives and newcomers never know what to expect in terms of its future evolution.

I was up very late the other night and caught a history of Charlotte on one of the PBS stations. It was an eye-opener to say the least! Many of the problems that have been magnified by time, were evident even in its early development. Hodge-podge development was well-noted by the architect of Myers Park back in the teens. He even had a master plan that was ignored by city (non)planners during WW 1. Roads were problems throughout Charlotte's history. 74 and Independence Blvd were obsolete even by the time they were finished. Much of historic Charlotte was blown up or bulldozed long ago in the name of progress. It must be distressing for older residents of Charlotte to see how much of it has been "californicated" into its present state. To them, Joni Mitchell's "they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot", must ring all too true!
It is interesting that you bring out that much of historic Charlotte has been blown up to make room for progress. I just got a copy of the new book "Charlotte, Then and Now", and as I was flipping its pages, I noticed how much of the old Charlotte is gone. Most historic buildings have been demolished. Don't get me wrong, I love our skyline, the LYNX, etc, but I am saddened by all the old architecture that has been lost. I was very disappointed with the book and the destruction.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:17 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,052,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodbyePA View Post
Maybe in the bigger cities but in small towns up north, and I suspect in all parts of the country, family is everything. IMO, southern culture reminds me very much of small town culture, it's for sure one of the reasons I feel so comfortable here in Charlotte.
I feel that way, too. That is why I always felt at home in areas of PA and also in areas of NJ where my family had moved to after WWII. They obviously were welcomed and fit right in. You get involved, people get to know you and you are welcomed in small towns. Sure, sometimes there are very clannish situations. I have had people tell me they moved to certain areas of the country where everyone was related and newcomers were rare and it took literally over 10 years b/f they started feeling "at home." But for the most part, most small towns welcome anyone who is coming and adding to the community and wanting to get to know others. If you are a naysayer and disparage the locals - no matter WHERE the town is located - people are gonna shun you.

I know where I grew up - in a town outside Charlotte itself - newcomers were welcomed and people couldn't wait to get to know them, get them involved in community projects - from the school to church (if they were interested) to various clubs (Lions, 4-H, Rotary, etc) and make a new friend. And if they didn't have family - other families would "adopt" them - being surrogate g/parents to kids and including the newcomer at their family gatherings. That is why I am so big on "creating intentional family." Being part of a larger group of caring people is what makes a family. So choosing to include others simply extends the support system and cements life-long relationships. I had many "Aunts and Uncles" who were not related to me at all and I stayed in touch w/ them all their lives.

I think that sometimes, when a person moves away from the central family core, family members feel abandoned and get angry. That is not always the case. But I have seen it happen! In those cases, I think it is very difficult to stay connected with one's roots. Indeed, when that happens, there really is nothing to do but move on w/ one's life in the new location.

What does this have to do w/ Charlotte's identity? Well, people are moving here and perhaps feeling a bit lost at times b/c they HAVE left family behind. Charlotte should be a place where newcomers can still feel they can celebrate their family traditions, while also being accepted by the locals. The thing is - so often - newcomers all end up in new subdivisions and so are left on their own w/ forming relationships - and those relationships are w/ others who have relocated. There is no integration w/ natives much at all.

I have noticed that many newcomers find religious roots help them stay connected w/ their roots.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:40 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,052,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5kidsmama View Post
I completely agree, family is everything to lots of people ALL around the country.

this isn't a I love my family more than you do debate , is it? I think those types of discussions are on the big yellow bus.

When my grandfather moved his family to this country in the 50's he left his loving family. There was no work where he was, he was the wrong religion in a war fighting area , and made a better life for his family. I think dealing with the prejudice of not being here for 300 years were better chances than the safety of his family.

and as I've mentioned before , I don't ever recall having this conversation when I lived in the north from one of the biggest melting pots in the world

Its really beyond me
No, this is NOT a discussion about family, but the discussion about Charlotte's identity rightfully can include a discussion about all of our ROOTS. And your roots are determined by first, your family, and secondly, where that family settled in this country.

As far as one place being a "melting pot" more than another . . . that is a phrase that social scientists would agree is incorrectly used to describe America. Almost without exception, people moved to this country and STAYED WITH THEIR OWN GROUP OF IMMIGRANTS. Meaning - people came here in groups - Swiss, Germans, Italians, Irish, Germans to east coast, especially w/ large migrations during the 19th C - and later, Japanese (mostly west coast) . . . and into the 20th C, many eastern Europeans moved here and later, more Asians and middle eastern immigrants. Regardless of Century, immigrants formed support systems, living in communities together and apart from other groups. So as far as a bazillion people coming here - yes - that is accurate. But as far as them coming and settling in together and mixing up the groups, NO - that just didn't happen. That is a late 20th C phenomenon.

I posted this question/discussion as a way of deciphering what it means to move to the South and in particular, NC, as NC's history is NOT the same as the rest of the South's. NC's history is VERY DIFFERENT than even SC's history. People from other areas come here w/ very mistaken ideas about what it means to move "South" and what Southerners are even all about. That is b/c in school, textbooks make it appear that the South didnt exist until the Civil War, yet many battles of the Rev War were fought right here in NC and SC and our history PRECEDES many cities in the NE. Our development here was going on at the same time as Boston's, for example. Most of us who have families who have been here since the early 1700s get really disgusted that people from the NE seems to think all there is to the South is a bit of antebellum and Reconstruction history. Yet, NC did not even join the Confederacy except RELUCTANTLY as the issues were basically NOT our issues. Slavery was already on the demise here in NC, where less than 12% of the population had even owned slaves.

NC's history goes back to the 1600s and the Lords Proprietors . . . so it parallels development in the NE. But the NE became a manufacturing hub in the 19th C and the South was basically agrarian and an EXPORT state. This was especially true of NC, where goods were exported North as well as to England, to their textile factories. We were developing our own textile mills when the Civil War broke out.

People come here expecting that this is some vast undeveloped area of people who were not well educated. We were sending our kids to college in the early 18th C just like other families did in the NE. But that seems to somehow have been left out of the history textbooks that our kids read.

So Charlotte HAD an identity as a trade center even in the early 18th Century. Perhaps that should still be Charlotte's identity - as banking did emerge here b/c of the financing needs of merchants and manufacturers. We are not on water, so we weren't a port where things were exported. But we were a market place where goods were sold and traded.

We also have a native American tradition here and that is rarely discussed, either!!!
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:48 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,052,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
Ani, you make good points. (You always do.)

Here's my take on it.

I keep seeing posts stating that Charlotte is family-oriented. Most places are.

I have a young couple redoing my hardwood floors. Yesterday the wife was commenting about my location. It's minutes to Shelby or Gastonia. Hickory isn't far & Charlotte is not a far commute. The neighborhood is a good blend, and quiet, too. Whether you're a family of one or a family of 10, these things are all important.

There are disfunctional families or disfunctional people within families wherever you go.

How about this.

Charlotte has things that are familiar & things that are different, depending on where you come from. The area is quiet enough that if you haven't found yourself, you just might do that. Plus it's convenient to the mountains & the beaches, if that's important to you.
You hit on exactly what I have been thinking. Most places are family-oriented cause mostly families live there, LOL. This is no big reason to come to Charlotte as opposed to 99% of other cities throughout the country!

Charlotte - find yourself here.

How 'bout that?
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:07 AM
 
4,222 posts, read 6,714,658 times
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[quote=anifani821;8207646]No, this is NOT a discussion about family, but the discussion about Charlotte's identity rightfully can include a discussion about all of our ROOTS. And your roots are determined by first, your family, and secondly, where that family settled in this country.

Great posting. As a former teacher, I was always amazed that so much of our Carolina history is not included in history books. There isn't much mention of the Battle of Kings Mountain, Cowpens, Mecklenburg Co., or the numerous towns in the area that created the turning point for American victory. Seems like it was all focused around Concord, Lexington, Mass. or Yorktown. It is interesting that Cornelius was previously the town of Liverpool as the cotton trade in the Cornelius area was done excludively with Liverpool, England. Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, and Polk were all from Mecklenburg County. As they say, history is written by the victors of war. Much of our history was eliminated unfortunately. History is important in the south as we were the battlefronts for both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Many southerners had battles and skirmishes in their yards in those days. Some of the stories remain. It is not that anyone is "fighting the Civil War", people repeat stores handed down occasionally.

I agree totally with the clarification of the "melting pot" term. Just because people from all countries settle in a particular state or section doesn't make the place a melting pot. A melting pot means that people live together in the same communities without ethnic areas. London is a prime example of a melting pot society. I also think that southerners can be proud that after the Civil War, there were no public schools or money available from Washington to "reconstruct". We basically were on our own and punished until after WWI. We have put together quite a city since then. And to have seemingly uneducated individuals complain that we don't have the things they have up north drives me nuts and makes me aware of our week education system. Large northern cities have been in existence without interuption for 250 years. We had to start over in 1865. But look where we have come.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Huntersville
1,852 posts, read 4,668,638 times
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Can't we just say Charlotte has multiple identities. Some days we are metro, some days we are old fashioned, other days we just want to get to the beach. No City has it all. Very few cities are beach front (and those that are, usually quite expensive) and very few are in the mts, and really very few people want to LIVE day to Day in the mtns. No jobs there. Geographic landscape can't define a city. The people define a city and right now, you have probably over 50% that aren't retro and have mvoed from elsewhere. What ya gonna do?
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:32 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,052,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whytewulf View Post
Can't we just say Charlotte has multiple identities. Some days we are metro, some days we are old fashioned, other days we just want to get to the beach. No City has it all. Very few cities are beach front (and those that are, usually quite expensive) and very few are in the mts, and really very few people want to LIVE day to Day in the mtns. No jobs there. Geographic landscape can't define a city. The people define a city and right now, you have probably over 50% that aren't retro and have mvoed from elsewhere. What ya gonna do?
We have 2/3 of our population that has moved here from somewhere else.

What I want to do is come up w/ something that makes Charlotte singular and preserves its Southern roots.

I do agree - "Charlotte: Gateway to the New South" is a great definition, but what does that even mean. I came up with that several years back - dubbing Charlotte as the gateway to the New South.

But what does that MEAN and how are we expressing it in life here in Charlotte?

Charlotte: the place everyone moves for low taxes . . . ????
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:57 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,894 posts, read 27,173,603 times
Reputation: 8966
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
You hit on exactly what I have been thinking. Most places are family-oriented cause mostly families live there, LOL. This is no big reason to come to Charlotte as opposed to 99% of other cities throughout the country!

Charlotte - find yourself here.

How 'bout that?
LOL, so many people are so busy being part of a family that they forget about finding themselves (not in a selfish way).

I know how I was brought up in Michigan. It served me well in the MidAtlantic & will serve me well here. My mother always said that there wasn't much of a difference between Midwesterners & Southerners. That worked for me at face value. I understand it better after doing genealogy for 20 years.

Many of my families lived in Kosciusko County Indiana. One of their neighbors became famous. It's easy enough to find Ambrose Bierce's short stories online. I read his accounts (There are non-fictional accounts that you don't find in the text books.) because many from my family were in the same army. He referred to his war-time adversaries with respect.

People don't think about the men from TN, NC, &, yes, Alabama who fought in the Union armies. History is complicated. History books are not.

When Longstreet arrived at Chickamauga, it is documented that he spoke with a picket & did not realize that he was talking to a Union soldier until he asked the man who his commanding officer was.

One of my ancestors filed for a Revolutionaty War pension. He mentioned being at Kings Mountain. He died in Ohio.

Whether you are first generation of 12th generation, our history is intertwined. That includes those of us who have Native American ancestry.
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