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BeachBall, Grandview is known for her very "interesting" posts. Yes, it's a free country and like everyone she's welcome to her opinions, but in my humble opinion you should ignore them.
I agree. Almost all of GrandviewGloria's posts are novels, and she carries herself as if she is the only knowledgeable, free thinker on earth. In my opinion, MOST of what she says on CD is not reality, only what she perceives to be reality.
From her public profile:
* I tend to see things as they ARE, rather than as others have been TAUGHT to see (or not see) them.
* I had the enormous advantage of growing up without anyone to teach me how & what NOT to think.
Maybe it's part of her shtick, who knows, but the nature of her posts indicate she thinks she has it all figured out, and the rest of us are sheep.
Wow, Grandview Gloria - I feel good now (NOT)! I've been extensively researching the Gulf Coast online. I've sat many evening trying to decide where the good schools are, where the Catholic schools are in relation to the good public schools (just in case because you always have to plan both ways). The gilrs have attended Catholic school and I've pondered whether or not they will fit in the Catholic schools on the Gulf as we are decidely hard-working middle class folks and we wouldn't want to place our children in the wrong socioecomic class by sending them to a private school only the elite attend.
Further, I've been trying to narrow down areas north of I10 have safe neighborhoods, low taxes and reasonable insurance rates. All this in the $150K range. We finally decided to rent for one year since the girls won't be in high school category for about two years. That time would give us a chance to be able to really find out some of these things in person and truly get the feel of the area. (Although how can I find out since no one will care to befriend me?)
Here I was looking forward to a few boiled peanuts, maybe a trip to the flea market, a walk on the beach and now you tell me all this. Imagine finding out the only thing I have going for me is that I'm Catholic and I shop Walmart! Oh yeah, I returned to New England about ten years ago so I may qualify as an exotic Yankee - I've never been classified as exotic - but even so you say this won't help me too much. I'll have no friends and say "hi" to those I recognize from church at Walmart! Maybe I can drop a few "we've been so blessed," that was pretty common previously when I lived down South. You know, I did hope to find a friend or maybe barbeque with a neighbor at some point. I'm not sure if I should laugh, cry or have a drink. Geez Gloria, could you have made me feel any better?
You should be feeling really good. Being Catholic is the number one most important thing on the Coast. And don't worry. The scene I described in the Jackson Metro has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Coast, which might as well be another state. Don't worry about your girls being outclassed at any Catholic School there. I'm sure they'll fit in just fine.
As for others who have commented on my post (and myself): they're RIGHT! What I wrote was somewhat divorced from reality. The reality is that Mississippi is ratty and wretched, pretty much from top to bottom. I was making things sound nicer than they are, trying to put a positive spin on things. Truth is, if it's in Mississippi, it's second-rate at best. And saying the Coast is influenced by Vegas or Atlantic City makes it sound waaaaay too nice. I won't use the language I've heard others use to describe the place and its people, but I was being unrealistically diplomatic. Sorry. I do live in an alternate reality. That's the only way, if you wanna move the merch and motivate the team. The fact that everything I say is ultimately verifiable is perhaps less pertinent than that I do select the more exciting things to relay.
If you want a more accurate view of the region, go to Amazon and peruse Mississippi Mud: Southern Justice and the Mississippi Mafia. Basically, the book describes just the amateurs: the White Trash and petty business dealings Cosa Nostra wouldn't touch with a ten-foot-pole. And, on the subject of the polished pros, if you're an Ancient History buff, Google the Jayne Mansfield Murder. Don't believe the sanitized 'just an accident' version. Too, you might want to look at The Fall of the House of Zeus, while you're on Amazon.
Unfortunately,things have not gotten better since Mississippi Mud was written. Mississippi's most prominent crooks (many of whom are now in prison) tend to be from the Coast. I'm hearing that there is ongoing, rampant, corruption down there, at the expense of the poor who were made destitute by Katrina.
But you could have a nice life down there. I get the same gritty, live-and-let-live Buccaneer vibe on the Coast that I do when we're in the Florida Keys or on Galveston Island. There are some genteel locales. I believe those are Ocean Springs and Pass Christian. There is an artsy community down there, of sorts, too. Parts of Pascagoula, BTW, are reputed to be very nice and more American than the rest of the Coast. The primary conduit for all the best the coast has to offer socially is The Catholic Church. So again, you've got the most crucial qualification.
Another plus is the climate. The coast is a degree or two cooler in Summer, and a few degrees warmer in Winter. You'll be able to grow Lemongrass, Virtually all Camellias, Gingers, Agapanthus, the more tender Antique Tea and China Roses (which should bloom well into December for you), Palms, wonderful Bamboos, Monstera Deliciosa... The list is endless. And you can easily have blooms year-round. The gardening possibilities should make up for the general scruffiness of the area.
And as for a certain "Good Girl", whose Narcissistic Self Image includes her ever-so-ladylike self always saying and thinking exactly what she's supposed to....in the most moderate and reasonable and careful way.... well.... I guess I've said it...
Thanks to all of you for the clarifications. Grandview Gloria, you have a way with eloquently saying such condescending things. Were these your people? Let me say that having lived in the south a number of years and then back here in the north, people are not too different anywhere Iíve been. They may speak differently or have different mannerisms (as in the south there was a great deal more hugging and here folks are stand offish), but essentially it comes down to a little education, culture and upbringing. Sadly, these things are lacking everywhere and anywhere you go; is society too busy, watching too much tv, losing sight of family values, well thatís another subject entirely.
I will keep on looking and use Brickpatioís ever welcome guidance and continue to believe there are a few good people sprinkled everywhere. And maybe some those people all try to stay in the same neighborhoods. My picnic table is barely identifiable as it is still covered with snow in March, but Grandview Gloria, you have reminded me that I could once again grow caladiums, see foliage year-round and winter would be three months not six.
Based on your description of looking forward to some boiled peanuts, walks on the beach and trips to Wal-Mart, along with middle class school kids...I think you should seriously consider the area between Long Beach and Pass Christian. Even though it's south of I-10, really once you get away from the beach where homes were washed away in that first block, everything looks totally normal beyond there (except in Pass Christian which has slightly elevation and many of those mansions right on the beach have been completely redone and look more beautiful than ever).
Pass Christian last year had the highest rated schools in the state based on test scores. Long Beach scores are about as good. But mostly this area very much has a small town feel and gets semi-rural as you go more than a couple of miles north of the beach up towards I-10. There is a very nice, fresh new Wal-Mart in Pass Christian right across from the beach on the line between Pass Christian and Long Beach - one of the few commercial establishments in this 15 mile or so stretch beach going west from heavily commercialized Gulfport towards Bay St. Louis.
Living in that area roughly between Long Beach and Pass Christian sounds almost exactly like your description (boiled peanuts, walks along the beach, trips to Wal Mart), i.e. small town living, peaceful and quiet but with the good fortune of living within a mile or two of the Gulf. I don't know about insurance rates, but like I said before, the hurricane risks drop quite a bit in this area once you go north a couple of blocks from the beach.
Ocean Springs is nice also and has some similar qualities (kids can ride their bikes to the beach etc). But it's more developed and the downtown area is increasingly trendy and upscale (and quite beautiful).
One interesting thing about the Coast is that it's a great place to have a boat. The Coast has yacht clubs up and down the Coast (Bay-Waveland, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs). Among those, the ones that appear smaller, affordable and kid-friendly (basically just a small clubhouse, pool, and small marina) would be Bay-Waveland which is known for its amazing sailing programs for youth, Long Beach, and Ocean Springs.
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