By BRAD KELLAR
Just sitting here, waiting on the Cowboys game this afternoon ...
You know, I’ve been doing this job for a while now. I will have been at the Herald-Banner for 20 years next month. That’s long enough to have noticed a few things, about people and about our city.
People love to want “more” and they want that “more” right now. Our citizens look to the west and northwest and see everything that the people in Rockwall, Plano, Dallas, and McKinney have ... for instance, Target stores and Olive Garden restaurants.
That is understandable. It is a perfectly natural reaction. But in looking too far down the road, people have a tendency to miss what is happening right down the street.
I also started thinking about how, if all goes according to plan, Greenville might have its very own water park next year and that got me to thinking about how much change has occurred in the city just during my tenure at the newspaper. I took out a pencil and paper and wrote down a few things and was surprised at exactly how much has changed during the past two decades.
One of the noticeable examples to me is lodging. Greenville has added a Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Best Western and Comfort Suites, just in the past few years. When I arrived, folks were watching movies in the Rolling Hills theater and bowling at the Hilltop Bowl. The Hilltop was a nice little place, but the palace which is now called Shenaniganz is even nicer. And quite frankly, I don’t miss the Rolling Hills, when we have the Majestic 12 theater.
As far as getting around, two decades ago we didn’t have the four-lane and turning lane version of Jack Finney Boulevard/FM 1570. There was no Monty Stratton Parkway and no Monty Stratton Overpass. The Wesley Street Overpass was still on the drawing boards and Traders Road was still a glorified goat path.
Paris Junior College in Greenville was still on Jack Finney and not nearly the success it is today. Travis Elementary School was still on Division Street, before it merged with the Sixth Grade Center, which itself was the Intermediate School.
Yes, a Target would be nice. But in the past 20 years, Greenville has added a Home Depot, a Lowe’s and a Walmart Super Center, as well as multiple smaller stores. Hopefully the Target will decide to build in the Greenville Towne Center project.
As far as restaurants are concerned, Greenville has seen the arrival of Chili’s, Cracker Barrel, Chick Fil-A, Tuscan Slice, Ta Molly’s and many more during the past 20 years.
And, since I joined the paper, the city has added the Greenville SportsPark, revamped Graham Park and added new playground equipment at Warren Park.
This is just a sample of all of the changes which have taken place in Greenville during the past 20 years. Who knows where we will be in another 20 years?
But, as I said, with people being people, the constant battle cry among the populace during the past two decades has been “We want more! And we want it now!”
Because, the more things change, the more they stay the same ...
Just a thought ...
Kellar is a Herald-Banner staff writer