Lynchburg Sunset

213: You Should Move Here, Too

A St. Louis counselor posted a blog entry today, listing ten reasons why he disliked living in the Lynchburg area. He criticized our lack of diversity (even though I used to attend a small church whose attendees represented 14 different countries at the time), our lack of bars and clubs, even how smelly our hipsters are. And—I kid you not—according to Ryan Thomas Neace, our city isn’t walkable enough to be a good place to raise children.

Rather than refute his criteria or his general review, I immediately got lost during my lunch break, compiling a list of the attributes that make me love the last stop on my Carmen Sandiego tour. See, I’ve lived in New York (49 months), Tennessee (41 months), Pennsylvania (18 months), Maryland (128 months), Florida (32 months), New Jersey (2 months), Indiana (27 months), and Virginia (136 months).

I chose to move to “the Hill City” and have fallen in love with it enough to call it home. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that my wife and I are factors in my sister and some of our closest friends emigrating to what we lovingly call “LynchVegas.” Here are the selling points with which I would counter the Lynchburg skeptics.

Cost of Living

Due to my line of work, I can set my tent and hang my shingle anywhere. But it’s hard to beat the range of amenities in this area for the cost of access. Real estate taxes are low, especially if you live “in the county.” Even city taxes like those on my rental house are a fraction of what I see in my real estate advertising work in other states. A large percentage of local college students live off campus, thanks to the rent-to-to-value ratio; and the price of quality starter houses makes it easy for recent college graduates to buy their first home. Even owning income properties has a lower barrier to entry compared to other places in the country. In 2012, Money rated Lynchburg one of the top places in the country to retire—a place where your retirement savings go farther. One of our theaters is called the “dollar theater” for a reason—and I’m not talking about the place that plays quirky independent films downtown.

The Beaten Path

Living a 15-minute drive from downtown, I don’t walk down there often; but I’ve put a lot of miles on my sneakers and boots not far from there. In less than a ten-minute drive from my house, I can be on restaurant row or at the dirt trailhead of a mountain trail system that includes over 70 miles of fire roads and single tracks. In less than an hour, I can crunch gravel on the famous Appalachian Trail—on which I’ve covered almost 80 miles of map distance. With more than 20 miles of paved trails & bridges and even a pedestrian tunnel, you can walk or run on paved surfaces far from moving vehicles, too—in city limits, often with little-to-no visible evidence of human development other than the trail system itself. Wide sidewalks and frequent street lamps fill areas like Wyndhurst and Cornerstone with baby strollers, pets on leashes, and runners in reflective apparel.

Running Culture

The Road Runners Club of America, reportedly the oldest and largest distance running organization in the nation, awarded Lynchburg the 2011 Outstanding Runner Friendly Community. It’s easy to see why, as we have two running stores, countless running groups, and seemingly a race every other weekend. The Virginia 10 Miler last year attracted runners from eight countries and more than twenty states. The Beast Series of six off road ultramarathons from 50 kilometers to 101 miles are based here, and people travel from around the country to compete against our locals (including my buddy who set the cumulative series record a couple years ago). Even people who don’t run crowd the finish areas and line the roads with signs and cowbells in support. We even have a shower at my church for distance runners who leg it to campus.

Water Country

If you’re into canoeing and kayaking, you can float probably almost a dozen different rivers within an hour’s drive—everything from inner tube-ready flat water to class V creeking. If you prefer powered or sail boating, you can be on a big lake before breakfast. Private lakes surround the city, including one where crew teams practice and several with racks filled with skiffs, kayaks, and paddle boats. I don’t fish, but fisherman line even the riverbanks across the street from the old mills and warehouses.

Liberty University

It’s the youngest of the “big four” colleges here, but it’s the one with the biggest budgets and most national recognition. I didn’t attend the institution, but I appreciate a lot of what it brings to the city. As a former librarian in a state that, at the time, was ranked as the best state library system, I can tell you that you’ll be hard pressed to find a library as state of the art as the LU one. Thanks to Jerry Falwell’s work, you can ice skate—and even ski & downhill tube, thanks to an artificial ski slope—12 out of 12 months a year. I’ve run on its tracks, played on its sports fields & tennis courts, and written lots of blog posts from their quiet areas—all open to the public and much of it for free. If you want to see national conservative movers and shakers in person—whether you agree with them or not—they all stump here. Same goes for the biggest faith-based music acts and comedians.

History Everywhere

My in-law’s subdivision is literally across the street from one of Thomas Jefferson’s houses. The first home I bought here sat a few hundred yards from where Patrick Henry famously pontificated. General Lee surrendered the Confederate Army a half hour from Lynchburg. The impressive National D-Day Memorial (in the town that lost the most sons on Normandy’s beaches) is even closer. From the 1800’s plantations in the surrounding counties to a downtown that started with a commercial ferry in 1757, unique and impressive evidence of the past is inescapable. The southernmost outpost of the Harlem Renaissance sits not far from a Civil War cemetery so beautiful that people get married or have their portraits taken there. History doesn’t flip my switch, but I never cease to be impressed with Rivermont’s grand architecture. I make a point to take out-of-town guests the long way home through there.

Stable Economy

Few places in America have the engineers per capita of this home to the main campuses for both the country’s largest commercial nuclear engineering firm and the largest government nuclear contractor—and a bevy of smaller, specialty engineering firms. With the second largest online university in the country, three historic college campuses, and several more community & technical colleges, education dollars flow constantly into the city. That influx of non-local money attracts national retailers and restaurant chains, as well as entrepreneurial shops. During the real estate bubble, our area didn’t see the same rates of appreciation as other parts of the country; but we also didn’t see the same rates of depreciation afterwards, either.

Exclusively Local Eats

Downtown, Rivermont, Wyndhurst, and Forest hold a bevy of quiet cafes, greasy spoons, swanky establishments, and hipster hangouts. You can eat pretty well in Lynchburg without patronizing a franchised brand, especially if you like exposed brick walls. We even have one week every year exclusively dedicated to filling the tables of independent restaurateurs. You don’t have to settle for Starbucks and McDonalds brews, either, with award-winning drive-through and walk-in coffee vendors at strategic locations around town. At Home Gourmet will deliver chef-cooked meals daily to your home, following a rotating menu. I heard somewhere that we even have a place where you can prepare dinner with the vendor’s ingredients and appliances and then bring it home—to a kitchen that can stay tidy. Local farmers sell their wares downtown, for those who want to be their own chefs.

Amateur Arts

With so many liberal arts colleges, the lineup of musicals and plays can seem endless. Whether you’re into Shakespeare in the park or a Broadway-type show with lasers, Lynchburg has you covered. Even the high school level is impressive; I went to The Music Man in a downtown school to which an alumnus on Broadway returned to lead the cast. In this college town, it’s not hard to find unsigned musical acts honing their craft in small spaces. Minor league baseball offers an inexpensive night of family entertainment, both on the field and in the firework-filled sky afterwards. The surrounding countryside includes orchards for autumn festivities, wineries for tasting tours, and even a corn maze. Garden and Christmas light walking tours bring out the best of the historic district. July 4th brings very different fireworks displays, including several that are some of the largest private ones I’ve ever seen. And I love watching the Timberlake homeowners’ pyrotechnics from the unique perch of a canoe in the middle of the black water.

Sunday Afternoon Drives

I know most people don’t have a sports car for a daily driver. For those of us who do, it’s hard to beat the asphalt that winds through the foothills and mountains around here. Motorcyclists love the snaking routes, too; and riding groups abound for the sport bike, cruiser, and Harley communities. Even if you don’t revel in performance driving, the vistas from the roads within an hour of downtown—like the Blue Ridge Parkway—can prove breathtaking at any speed.

Disc Golf

Whether you just got a handful of used discs from Play It Again Sports or have a selection of competition-quality discs the width of your car trunk (which I’ve seen), you’ll find a set of tee boxes to suit your skill level. Off the top of my head, I can think of five disc golf courses inside and outside the city. That’s an uncommon concentration for any place in America.

Freedom of the Skies

The Lynchburg airport is big enough for Air Force Two and Coast Guard C130’s to practice touch and go’s but also small enough to welcome the constant circle patterns of a burgeoning school of aeronautics. With skies uncrowded by commuter jets, the wild blue yonder is often dotted by sport aircraft, experimental aircraft, hot air balloons, biplanes, and acrobatic stunt planes. I need more than the fingers on one hand to count the number of pilots or those who’ve taken flying lessons—just in my circle of friends. The Virginia record for foot-launch hang gliding distance started with a jump off a mountain just across the James River (and ended in North Carolina I was told). A relatively-short drive will get you in a tow-up sail plane, something that costs but $30 for passengers to try. The Blue Angels performed in our city; not a lot of cities can say that.

Global Reach & Impact

If you’re a person of faith, you definitely have a gluttonous selection of churches here from which to choose—including those for folks whose primary language is Korean or Spanish. With so many religious organizations comes a large number of para-church organizations and 501C3 non-profits, each with a different goal for aiding the human condition both here and abroad. It’s not difficult to find an adventure with both physical and humanitarian accomplishments. (As I write this, I have friends returning from the Tibetan border area of Nepal with Tibetan refugees; and I’ve sat on the plane next to a local doctor on his way to conquer Everest.) If you want to adopt the children of local unwed mothers, fight the global sex trafficking epidemic, or provide emergency services to those victim to hurricanes or tornadoes, there’s a local organization that will help you help others. Volunteer organizations like Big Brother Big Sister and the YMCA of Central Virginia don’t require any religious affiliation to impact the next generation.

Distinct Seasons

In every place I’ve ever lived, the locals have said, “If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour.” (And every place has thought they were unique that way.) That’s true of Lynchburg, too; but we do enjoy sustained, individual seasons—each with its own ideal activities. Snow skiing is closer than Charlottesville. Spring makes rivers runnable that are too shallow in summer. You can beat summer heat and bugs with a tent pitched at elevation or a jump off one of hundreds of local docks. The mountains make autumn even more gorgeous.

Most of the time, when transplants and bored natives complain about Lynchburg, I ask them if they’ve recently participated in a list of the many activities available here. Regularly, the answer is, “No.” In Lynchburg, as in other cities and towns across the country, your bonding with a place requires interaction with it. The more I find here, the harder it is for me to even think of ever moving somewhere else.

44 comments

  • Robert Domino

    Heh.. love the commenters who see Lynchburg as paradise on earth and see nothing wrong with it. I’ve lived here for 5 years and while it’s a mostly safe area and it’s good if you’re the outdoors type, I find it to be incredibly boring. One of the funniest comment was the one about how Lynchburg is “centrally located”. How ridiculous. You drive an hour from Lynchburg and you get to Roanoke or Charlottesville, two other small cities. I grew up in the suburbs to a 3 million people city and within 30 minutes drive you had access to anything you can imagine in terms of good, services or entertainment.
    Lynchburg is great for retirees. If you’re under 60, not an avid church goer, this place isn’t for you. If you love to stay home and watch TV, do gardening or hunt, then Lynchburg might suit you.

    • ryplane

      It depends on what you count as entertainment. I don’t watch TV—because I’m too busy enjoying what this area has to offer outdoors. Rivers, trails, country roads, etc. I love to watch the sunsets we have here . . . mountain horizons typically not found near a city of 3 million people. It’s not paradise, but it’s got a lot going for it.

  • carsen

    I find both lists to be about the same in accuracy. Both cite factors that apply to most cities and not just Lynchburg. Both cite purely subjective criteria that might make it a great place for one person, but the exact same factor would make it an awful place for another.

    Ultimately, it just matters where YOU fit the best. There’s a variety of reasons I DON’T like Lynchburg (it’s incredibly hostile anyone who is not a conservative baptist, there’s little you can do without in some way financially supporting LU which I find unethical to do, the natural beauty has largely been tarnished by a “snow plex” and a poorly done lopsided LU logo ruining an otherwise beautiful mountain), but the main reason is that my personal energy just doesn’t jive with the energy/vibe of Lynchburg. When I go back there, even for just a few hours, I leave feeling exhausted and run down.

    That said, I’m not everyone else and I fully get that there are people who THRIVE on the type of energy that Lynchburg has to offer (after all, the PEOPLE are the primary way a city picks up a certain energy/vibe). It would be as silly for me to try and say they are objectively wrong as it would be for them to try to say the same of me.

    I’ll give Mr. Neace the edge here based on his headline. He describes why “I” (he) doesn’t want to live in Lynchburg. Your headline implies that “You” (others) should move there. He speaks for himself while you attempt to speak for others.

    • Ryan George

      Carsen, I agree with you that the choice of reasons is subjective, though I tried to stick mostly to objective information. Cost of living, proximity and number of rivers and trails, the running culture, abundant historic sites, quantity of disc golf courses, scenic roads, and quantity of non-chain restaurants is pretty objective. I also tried to form my list from inarguable assets (whether they interest everybody or not) instead of human elements. I did this because the human element is HIGHLY dependent on the circle(s) in which one immerses himself/herself.

  • yyvette hasty

    my son and his wife both atteened LU and we visited often. This town is beautiful,I do say it would take a bit to get your bearings but other than that wonderful. If I were a bit younger I would head that way.

  • Lisa Pacot

    Apparently Mr. Neace has some serious anger issues or else he wouldn’t have held on to such negative feelings for so long and then publish his angst in the blogosphere. Nowhere, USA is perfect, but geeze, settle down Mr. Neace and possibly put forth your energy into something positive instead of grinding your ax towards the ‘Burg. We a’int perfect, but we do have some great stuff going on-Thanks for your post!

  • Laurel

    Well said Ryan! Lynchburg isn’t perfect but it IS a great place to live. Thank you for remind us how much this region has to offer.

  • Wyatt

    thank you for crafting this reply to mr. neace’s commentary on the burg. you make so many good points i haven’t even had time to read them all…yet. apparently ryan thomas neace closed comments on his blog (i guess he got a lot of heat). no matter, i am crafting a response of my own and will be referencing your article as well as mr. neace’s.

  • George

    Lynchburg lovers overcompensate with accolades for this oversized cow pasture laden with poor,welfare addicted minorities, rednecks still fighting the civil war, and sidewalks that roll up by 8pm. If you’re a fat, white “stay at home mom”, who’s into ice cream socials at “church” (IE gossip marathons) while you aforementioned engineer husband works to pay for diapers.. then Lynchburg is probably as close to heaven as any Southern Baptist will get. A great place to raise kids? Seriously?? Why.. so they can grow up to earn $8 an hour working fast food?

    Don’t live here. Please. Don’t live here.

    • Timothy

      I agree with the $8/hour comment. When I attended LU in-person 06 to 08 (roughly when Jerry died), that’s about what I made, and that was with three years of military telecommunications experience. Lynchburg had a dismal night scene back then, consisting of Bentley & Co, Cattle Annie’s and not much else.

      Now I have seven years of computer networking and desktop support experience, a four-year Computer Science degree and two IT certifications; I am working on a third. I’ve been actively looking for employment in and around Lynchburg for almost 2 years, and the best offers I have landed are $15/hour. There is *no* way I can pay my college and other debts on that kind of salary. It’s quite pathetic considering I can easily make double that in any other city or town in America. I have a hard time believing creditors will accept “but I live in Lynchburg, Virginia” as a credible excuse for negotiating lower payments.

      How on earth does Central Virignia expect to attract and retain good talent when the local salaries are so low?

      Admittedly, since Jerry died (God rest his soul), the nightlife, shopping and restaurant scenes have all improved. I can actually get a proper craft beer at places like Mangia’s, Jimmy’s or Apocalypse, and Central Virginia’s Irish heritage is starting to surface once more now that a proper Irish pub (Kilkenny’s) exists downtown. That having been said, it isn’t enough to have all of these things combined with a low cost of living if their isn’t a reasonable income to support one’s enjoyment of them.

      I’m also a bit put off by all of the indignance of those defending Lynchburg. Different places are good for different people for differing reasons. I wouldn’t care to hear someone bash my own hometown, but also I understand that not everyone cares to deal with below-zero wind chill several months out of the year. Why can’t the Lynchburg-defending dissenters understand this principle?

      When the people of Lynchburg are willing to acknowledge and overcome the faults that keep and drive potential transplants away, they will win. Until they do, they are doomed to remain in a perpetual, state of mediocrity while they wonder why.

      P.S. If someone gave me a well-paying job as a result of reading this rant of mine, I’d buy them dinner.

  • leah

    Hey, thanks for writing this post. I’m totally with you, except for the reference to “Amateur Arts”. This is not a town of amateurs. One of the most impressive parts about lynchburg is the presence of legit, working professional artists. I am a painter who just came back from an opening in Key West, and on my return flight sat beside a well known professional choreographer who was also flying back home to lynchburg from working elsewhere. One of my best friends is a photographer who gets paid to shoot all over the world, and we are friends and fans of a mind-blowing rapper who also lives in lynchburg and will most likely be the one of us who gets really really famous because he is just that good. Lynchburg has writers, film makers, jewelry makers, directors, musicians. cinematographers, designers, actors, and poets…… and not an amateur in the bunch. Not only do professional artists live here, but there is also an influx of arts professionals that come in through VCCA, Sweet Briar, Randolph, and (my favorite) Endstation Theater Company. Endstation is bringing in amazing actors to live and work here every summer. The same kids that are doing Endstation one summer are showing up on my Hulu cue the next year. And then there are the musicians and the people who put shows together……. The Hackensaw Boys live here, the Lumineers played a show in a downtown loft a couple of years ago, and i know a slew of musicians who live here and play professionally full time. There is an all-day music festival on Saturday at the Keep Colony of lynchburg based bands who are writing ridiculously good music. There is even another music festival on the same day of cover and party bands at the baseball stadium, if that’s more your speed. (PS – Hillcats baseball would totally make my list of why people should move here).
    http://www.ourlynchburg.com has a slew of professional working artists and other community members and leaders who are working to collaborate to make this city great(er)

    • ryangeorge

      Good point, Leah! I didn’t mean to disparage our local artists—only to point out that even our unprofessionals are worthy of our time. (My wife was once called one of the best portrait painters under 30 by a speaker at the Portrait Society of America and now has shot coast to coast. So, you’d think I would have thought of your point. Ha!)

  • Michael Reffner

    I am a transplant. I moved here from Cleveland, OH over 20 years ago. I was bored to death here for the first few years. But this city has grown significantly in the last ten years. If all you do is complain about what we lack, you’ll never be happy here. Chances are, you won’t be happy anywhere.
    I’m amazed at how far we’ve come. Will we ever have the roadways and transportation systems of a llace like St. Louis? No! That’s nonsense. But we will continue to grow in commerce, entertainment and night life, and recreation. This is a great place to live, and it’s getting better all the time.

  • Jason

    Nice rebuttal to the poorly written and arbitrary list posted by that other guy.

    I am not saying that one can’t find legitimate reasons why Lynchburg isn’t the place for them, but the other list was just plane silly. Does one really complain about the Mexican food in Virginia? Or the cliche bad driver complaint that everybody says about everywhere.

    Thanks for a thoughtful list.

  • Jen

    Thankyou! That article irritated me too! If the worst thing u can complain about is a hipster I think uve got it pretty good!
    I love this town and there really is no place like home! Brought a happy proud tear to my eye! Moving away makes me love it all the more!
    🙂
    For those of u who loved this article you’ll love this song like I did, “Here I’m Home” all about our Lynchburg! Haha.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cwpMJJMzBNU

  • JJ

    Every year I travel to at least one or two big-time cities for work conferences. There is nothing like descending back into our Blue Ridge valley home; especially during springtime with the crepe myrtles and blossoms. I’m a Hill City transplant, and I’ve witnessed a downtown Renaissance that is comparable to any major metropolitan area. I walk to German cuisine, small plates, wood-fire pizza and a local market from a loft that would cost me 3x as much in Charlottesville. Tubing on the James, skiing at Wintergreen, running the 10-miler…the list goes on. I feel sorry for Mr. Neace. I imagine that he will not find happiness anywhere. As for me, I’m proud to call Lynchburg home.

  • Suzanne

    I’ve read both sides to this story, and I have to say, I agree more with this version. I am technically a transplant but have lived here half my life…for the last 18 years. Where I came from in upstate NY is more rural than Lburg. As with anything, this city works for some and not others, and that’s OK. I do feel many people have a skewed view of Lynchburg. I didn’t realize how much actually goes on here until I worked at a hotel. People from EVERYWHERE find their way here. I have worked with many people who chose to live here after living in many parts of the country. But if Lynchburg isnt for you, by all means, explore the great big world to find the place that is. Thank you for your version of the story. Enjoyed reading it.

  • Tanya Dickerson

    I absolutely agree with Mr. Neace. He is right on point, as he addressed issues for all people, not just a select few. Having grown up in Lynchburg and visit minimum 3-4 times a year, my husband and I considered retiring there. Once we focused on the logistics and politics, we reconsidered. It’s a good place to visit but I would not want to live there again.

  • Cara George

    Hi Ryan, I had to reply to your post because 1. We share the same last name and 2. I love Lynchburg! I came here 15 years ago from South FL, to go to LU. I got my BS and MA and then met my hubby, Shawn. We have decided to stay and raise our 3 kiddos here. We love it! We still go down to Miami, FL a few times a year and enjoy the sunshine and big city, but are happy to leave the hustle and bustle and come home to our charming, little home in the “country”. You highlighted most of my fav things in your post: affordable cost of living, great place for running, four seasons, local shopping/dining, great churches, awesome people (transplants from all over the world!), etc. I will also add one of my other favorite things to your post: central location (driving distance to NY, DC, the beach, etc.). Thanks so much for a great post!

  • Tanya

    Can’t wait to move here. We will be moving here as soon as our house sells in Florida. So if you or someone you know wants a house in NE Florida send me an email and let’s talk. tanyer134@yahoo.com

  • Erin

    There are positives and negatives to any location. Most of the earlier criticisms were completely accurate, as are most of your accolades.
    A few thoughts – that low tax rate might be lovely for homeowners, but it also means substandard comity services and education. The counties around Lynchburg have some of the lowest teacher salaries in the entire country. It’s exceptionally difficult to attract and retain talented people when they have to work full time and have a second (or third) job to make ends meet.

    Lynchburg is a lovely, friendly and accepting place for people of one particular faith, but not for people of faith in general. If you are a Baptist conservative, it’s a great place. If you are a Hindu or Muslim, it is pretty hostile. If you are a liberal Christian, there is no place you will be welcomed.

    I have lived in Lynchburg for 20 years and I enjoy it. I have no plans to leave. But it is also a frustrating place to live. It is ridiculously homogeneous and it’s people are highly resistant to change. There is an abundance of racism, xenophobia and homophobia. Unfortunately, until the citizens of Lynchburg can learn to accept criticism with grace, change will be slow and painful, if it happens at all.

  • F Spencer

    I appreciate your list and applaud you for your positive blog. Lynchburg is missing some things other places I’ve lived have. We are missing a high crime rate and we are missing hour long commutes to name just two. I’ve lived in Dallas, Cincinnati, Chattanooga and a very small town in northern Indiana and it like it here best! I love living in the Lynchburg area and have adopted it as my hometown.

  • Rodney Taylor

    Thank you for this thoughtful and well written response to Mr. Neace’s comments. Lynchburg and the surrounding area have so much to offer to those who choose to take advantage of the many resources you mentioned.

  • Dexter33

    I found Lynchburg to be a very pleasant and inviting place, if our 3rd child moves there to live we might have to rethink our retirement plans from the mountain of West Virginia to the hills of Lynchburg.

  • Cathy S.

    I liked the Burg very much while living there from 1996 to 2001. It was a breath of fresh air compared to Cincinnati! It had that small town feel (population was only 170,000) and easily accessible to anything you wanted to do. My kids loved the schools -they had never experienced a carpeted, air-conditioned school before and thought that was so cool! My only complaint was that being a Midwestern Catholic I felt a little ostracized by the locals who were of the Baptist faith. Not to say that every one was like that, but enough to notice it. Overall rating would be a B+ for the Burg!

  • LuAnn Hunt

    Thank you Ryan for this eloquent list of positive points about Lynchburg an d the greater community. You hit the nail on the head and you still only touched the surface of why it’s great to live in Lynchburg, VA.

  • J

    Would have appreciated if you had given credit to ALL the schools instead of just LU. While they may not be as large or has a much money they deserve to be recognized as well. These small private institutions in Lynchburg are the reason that so many us us flock to that city!! I for one LOVED my time and lived there for a few years after before moving back to NOVA. I don’t regret my time there at all. I do, however feel that it is shortsighted not to mention the other schools that contribute to this lovely city.

    • ryangeorge

      Great, point, J! I referenced the schools but didn’t name them.
      I have friends from Randolph, LC, and Sweet Briar (hinted at with the Shakespeare in the park mention). Great institutions who bring good people here.
      This list is by no means exhaustive.

  • Rox

    Ugh thank you Ryan! I love how anyone that disagreed with Mr. Neace’s blog was put down or ignored by him whereas people that agreed with him were praised in the comments.

    Thank you for spending your time being uplifting and encouraging to a community rather than spitting out nothing but bitterness and resentment.

    • Elizabeth

      Rox, that is Mr. Neace’s style. He is provocative and narcissistic, as you saw in his writing.

      • Ryan Thomas Neace

        Wow. I never read any of the comments to your piece, Ryan, but wow. LOL. I got a pingback from this response afresh today. You must’ve reposted or edited or something and it came back up again. At any rate…WOW. I’ll give her provocative.

  • Emily

    WOW. I got teary-eyed reading this! Made me fall in love with LYH all over again! Thanks for creating such a great list! I’ll keep it in mind to refer to said bored Lynchburgers.

    • Betsy

      Emily, I agree!! I got teary-eyed reading this as well. Thank you Ryan for writing this as I was so irritated from the negative read prior to this. I have lived in Lynchburg for 8 year, met my husband here, and hike regularly at the neighboring trails. Lynchburg has a great community spirit and is a beautiful place to live!!

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