Last Monday my email inbox presented me with an interesting message, which said in part...
They'd found me via my Strange Up Salem Facebook page. Or maybe my blogs. Regardless, they offered to buy me a beer or coffee so they could talk to me about Salem -- an offer I couldn't refuse.
So on Tuesday morning, Christmas Eve, I met up with them at the French Press on south Commercial. When I arrived, they were talking with a couple at the next table, who had moved to Salem fairly recently.
We covered quite a bit of ground in the 90 minutes or so I spent with the Silicon Valley couple. Early on they told me how impressed they were with the friendliness of people in Salem.
While waiting in line at the Northern Lights movie theatre, they found it easy to strike up conversations with other people. That doesn't happen in Silicon Valley, they told me, theorizing that because people work such long hours there, when they have free time they aren't much interested in chit-chat.
I enjoyed listening to them talk about what they liked about Salem. Those of us who have lived here for a long time (in my case, 42 years) often take the good things about Salem for granted, while focusing on what we don't like.
Salem really is a friendly town.
Like a fish who fails to notice the water that surrounds them, I'd just become accustomed to the friendliness of the city that I've called home since 1977. The couple noted that people here stop for cars trying to merge into heavy traffic, another sign of friendliness.
Now, I'm not sure whether this couple has made a final decision to move to Salem, though it sounded like they were leaning in that direction. I told them that Pringle Creek Community, the environmentally-friendly development on the old Fairview Training Center property, seemed like it would be a good fit for them.
After all, no matter how friendly a city is, it isn't all that easy for retired people to make new acquaintances. They liked how Pringle Creek Community offered a built-in social network, with various activities offered to both those who live there and the surrounding neighborhood.
Anyway, let's keep Salem friendly. That's good for those of us who already live here, and it's also a good way of attracting people who are thinking of moving here.