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Old 04-15-2020, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Huntsville Area
1,952 posts, read 717,034 times
Reputation: 2998

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Four of the top 10 public schools in the state are in Desoto County, just south of Memphis? White flight from Memphis moved to state line Mississippi because of a lack of nice West Tennessee towns close by. Despite Mississippi's state income tax and expensive auto license tags, it's cheaper to live there than paying for private schools. North Mississippi's on the upswing.

I lived in Memphis and worked in North Mississippi the better part of 12 years. There are many very gentile towns in Mississippi, but not everyone can break into the country club society that abounds.

Give me Middle Tennessee, North Alabama, East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, North Georgia (mountains) or Northwest South Carolina for superior societies better suited for retirees.
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Old 04-16-2020, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Jack-town, Sip by way of TN, AL and FL
1,340 posts, read 978,723 times
Reputation: 2115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman1 View Post
Four of the top 10 public schools in the state are in Desoto County, just south of Memphis? White flight from Memphis moved to state line Mississippi because of a lack of nice West Tennessee towns close by. Despite Mississippi's state income tax and expensive auto license tags, it's cheaper to live there than paying for private schools. North Mississippi's on the upswing.

I lived in Memphis and worked in North Mississippi the better part of 12 years. There are many very gentile towns in Mississippi, but not everyone can break into the country club society that abounds.

Give me Middle Tennessee, North Alabama, East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, North Georgia (mountains) or Northwest South Carolina for superior societies better suited for retirees.
Extreme NE Mississippi also gives you this type of scenery, but yeah I agree.

If you want to be a part of a 'Home Town' type rebuild, you'll need some energy and passion for what you're doing.
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Old 04-17-2020, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
5,285 posts, read 3,009,933 times
Reputation: 3942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnathon Hills View Post
Has anyone ever driven thru Laurel on the interstate? Some of the most depressing, impoverished scenery I've ever seen. Literally, third world level poverty on display for all to see.

Laurel is a hole.
It's been a while since I've been to Laurel, but from what I remember of the town, some of the cities/suburbs of large cities in the Northeast are much, much worse.
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Sanford, NC
1,774 posts, read 2,058,442 times
Reputation: 3156
I hit Laurel this past weekend and visited Hattiesburg briefly.
I came in from Birmingham and it dumped me right into the
hood. I was thinking maybe this (Laurel) is a dumpy little town?
However after riding around for a bit and checking out other areas,
it's just like any other small town I've visited. It has it's good areas
and not so good areas. Someone asked me if I would live there and
I said I would have no problem at all living there. I hope to go back
in the future and explore the area some more. Many thanks to
everyone that helped me, it's greatly appreciated!!
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Pass Christian, MS
5 posts, read 4,833 times
Reputation: 43
The show does give the best possible impression of Laurel. You could say it's misleading - but people watching should know reality shows aren't reality.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:46 PM
 
Location: North Jackson
2,173 posts, read 3,516,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutmeg96 View Post
The show does give the best possible impression of Laurel. You could say it's misleading - but people watching should know reality shows aren't reality.
100% correct.
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Old 05-18-2020, 02:31 AM
 
135 posts, read 78,610 times
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Laurel is actually quite beautiful. I was amazed the first time I drove through there. Not so much the downtown, although it seems to be coming back quite nicely and is charming. But the residential historic district begins immediately across the street from the downtown (around the art museum) and immediately transitions to tree-lined streets, lush green lawns, and sophisticated early 20th century architecture.

In most towns, historic neighborhoods are intersected by ugly sprawl, ugly commercial roads, and run-down apartments, but in Laurel elegant neighborhoods run entirely uninterrupted from downtown all the way north to the edge of town. As homes get newer, the yards tend to get larger and more expansive and rolling. And something about this latitude seems to generate the exquisite, lush landscaping seen in Laurel, Brookhaven and Natchez with massive live oaks, magnolias, and pines intermixed with regular oaks and deep green lawns.

Laurel's other good fortune is that its main commercial street is in fact a street (i.e. 4 lanes with a center turning lane) rather than an unsightly divided highway barreling through the middle of town. The main road also runs north and south along the affluent western side of town, which means that the downtown, upscale residential neighborhoods and main, nicer commercial street are all one contiguous and uninterrupted area.

As a point of comparison, notice that Hattiesburg's Main Street (Hardy St) is not particularly attractive and the neighborhoods along it between downtown Hattiesburg and USM aren't that great either (although I will say Hattiesburg did preserve its impressive collection of 1890s-era homes just south of downtown). And then unsightly Highway 49, followed by I-59 further divide up the town making it feel cluttered. Finally once you get out onto Highway 98 west, Hattiesburg comes into its own with an impressive area of nice modern suburban development and some very nice newer residential areas covered in lush pine forest and surrounding huge lakes (Lake Serene, Canebrake).

But by comparison, Laurel's interstate runs south of downtown and thus doesn't separate downtown from the nice residential areas, and the main commercial street runs along the edge of town rather than through the middle, and because it's on the nice side of town, it looks relatively new and prosperous. Both cities have their advantages. Hattiesburg feels bigger and has everything you need and can be picturesque as you get out from town with the lakes and forests, while Laurel is blessed one contiguous nice, historic area entirely uninterrupted by sprawl, run-down neighborhoods, or unsightly highways.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:40 AM
 
5 posts, read 8,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viverlibre View Post
Holy moly, have you been to Laurel? I have probably 20 times over the last 10 years. Laurel is ok for MS, heck even nice for MS, but there's not a lot going on (although it is improving). I've never seen the show, but it is likely framed to make Laurel seem much nicer than it is.

I drove through Waco recently, and even with that little experience, I can assure you there is a ton more going on in Waco than Laurel. There's very little spillover from USM into Laurel.

Lol, agreed! My husband grew up in Laurel (I grew up in Texas) and I have visited many times. His parents owned a successful business downtown - the sign, even though it has been closed for over 10+ years can still be seen in every episode of Home Town. They still lived there until about 8 years ago but now live near us in Round Rock Texas (between Austin and Waco) He still has aunts, uncles and cousins in the area. Laurel, in places, is a very cute town. It definitely has that "Home Town" feel - in small parts of the very small town. But, people need to take into consideration that Home Town is a TV show and though it is a "reality" show much of it is staged - Just as in Fixer Upper.

The population of Laurel is around 18,0000 people with 62% being African American and 35% White and Hispanic. The median age is 34 and 26% of the population is under the age of 18 meaning there is a whole bunch of kids. And no, that is not an overflow of USM students from the neighboring Hattiesburg 35 miles away. The population per square mile is around 1150 - it is a little town. Only 77% of the residents 25 and older is a high school graduate. 62% of people 16 and older are employed and 52% of that 62% is female. The median annual income is $30K and the per capita income over the last 12 months was less than $22K. The median poverty rate is 32%. The median value of an owner occupied single family home is $79K. All of this info comes straight from the Mississippi census.

There is not much going on in Laurel and the show does frame it to seem nicer than it is. The Downtown area (literally about 4 total blocks) has had major revitalization brought on by the Napiers. Hence they are heavily referenced on everything, including the cities website. But they are not your typical folks from Laurel - They are your typical folks from Laurel that have a major and very popular show on a very popular home improvement network.
Waco, has MUCH more going on! But you must also take into consideration why. Waco is larger - population 140,000 and has a major Texas University right in the center of town, Baylor. It is less than an hours drive to Austin. Plus it is in Texas. Our overall economy is heads and shoulders above that of Mississippi. And just to compare shows, while the Napiers are popular, are not even on the the same level as Chip and JoAnna Gaines and the Magnolia brand.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:21 PM
 
911 posts, read 766,215 times
Reputation: 1110
^^^while I agree with your synopsis of the two shows and their respective towns, I believe the Napiers are well on their way to make more improvement in an area and probably will become as popular, if not more so, than chip and Joanna. (Now, this is just my opinion: I think there is more talent in the Napier duo and even a little more genuine)
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:37 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
20,722 posts, read 25,957,851 times
Reputation: 55796
Quote:
Originally Posted by latunafish View Post
^^^while I agree with your synopsis of the two shows and their respective towns, I believe the Napiers are well on their way to make more improvement in an area and probably will become as popular, if not more so, than chip and Joanna. (Now, this is just my opinion: I think there is more talent in the Napier duo and even a little more genuine)
I agree that the couple is more genuine. They also do not insert their palatial home and their obvious wealth into the show. A little of seeing their home is fine. However, I watch for the decor, not their ranch.

The Napiers are more down to earth and do not brag as much or talk about themselves.

About all I know is that he was a youth pastor. I'm not sure they ever mentioned where they attended college.

Chip and Joanna's kids are walking billboards for Baylor University.

I also like that the Napiers seem to have taken on the cause of an "underdog town". Hey someone's gotta do it.
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