living below the national average. The median cost of buying a house is $137,842, which I find shockingly low in today’s market. And if you’re into culture, the Abraham Chavez Theater is a favorite spot. It’s shaped like a sombrero. Yep, I had to put that in there.
The next few cities on the list are McAllen, Texas; Daytona Beach, Florida; Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Austin, Texas; and one I find rather surprising, Washington, DC. If you haven’t picked up on it, let me point out that all these places are metropolitan cities. In fact, no place in Mississippi lands on the Top 100 list because the makers of the list don’t even consider cities smaller than 50,000 in population. Hmmm…
According to those at US News & World Reports, then, Mississippi doesn’t exist. So Starkville doesn’t exist. I’m a little bit ok with that; how about you? I like our minimetropolitan feel in Starkville. With the university here, we get so much more diversity than we might otherwise have in a small town. And our Chamber and Partnership have worked diligently over recent years to create a more attractive-to-retirees feel.
We might not have as much to do in Starkville and Oktibbeha county as we would in Sarasota or San Antonio, but I would argue that we DO have much going on here, and the fact that I know when I attend any single event in our community, I’m going to see friends, business acquaintances and even family makes attending all the more meaningful to my quality of life. A retiree who is lonely in Starkville (and who is physically able to get out) need only reach out and try.
One more plug for our community, if you’ll indulge me. Starkville is a place where we help our friends and family. Christy Stevens Savage was raised in Starkville and has made this her home all her adult life. She makes a living as a hairdresser at Park Place Salon. Many, many of you know her and/or her mother, Faye Stevens. Christy’s son, Matt, was critically injured in a motorcycle accident on July 3 and is in intensive care at UAB hospital in Birmingham, with months of care ahead. Matt, a graduate of West Point Military Academy, is a captain in the US Army. His expenses will be great, but he also has good benefits because of his military service. Christy, however, has not left and will not leave his side. All the preparation in the world with disability insurance, health insurance, etc. could not have prepared for this young man’s mother to be out of work for months and caring for him two hours from home.
If you’re a computer user, please consider going to GoFundMe and search for Matt Savage, then make a contribution online, if you’re able. If you prefer, you can call or text me at 662-418-7957 and make a contribution directly. I’ll get it to Christy. Asking for help is next to impossible for most people, but Starkville’s spirit of being there when we’re needed is what makes us special. It’s what makes Starkville an ideal place to live, work… and retire.