July 2011, Forbes magazine published a TOP 10 List of Cities considered to be “economic superstars”. Dallas, Texas was chosen as one of those cities because of its relatively low housing prices and its attractive job market. While Dallas may be a terrific place to work and live, some may prefer to retire to one of the surrounding Texan communities or towns such as Athens (population 10,000+ as of 2010).
Good Luck Peas and Texas Caviar
In 1971, Athens held the first-ever Black-Eyed Pea Jamboree. The history behind this event is as follows.
The late J. B. Henry, an Athens businessman, decided to grow the black-eyed pea and market the legumes on a commercial scale as “Good Luck Peas for New Year’s Day”; and for the wealthy and well-to-do (or those who like to dream they are), pickled black-eye peas were sold as “Texas Caviar”.
Mr. Henry passed away in 1940 but to this day he is still referred to as the “Black-Eyed Pea King of East Texas”. Such loyalty to his kingship is deserved. Giving black-eyed peas the aura of “good fortune” and calling them “caviar” for the rich folks. Who would’ve thunk it? That was genius!!!
Today, all the credit being given to the savvy marketing talents of Mr. Henry, Athens, Texas is referred to as the “Black-Eyed Pea Capital of the World”.
First GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community
In addition to the honor of being designated the “Black-Eyed Pea Capital of the World”, Athens holds the honor of being chosen as one of the first “GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Communities” in the state.
If you visit the site Retire in Texas, and go to the respective page, you will find a list of all the communities that have been approved for this program. The Texas Department of Agriculture, Trade and Business Development state their intentions plainly as follows:
“The GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community Program is a certification and promotion program provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture. … The GO TEXAN stamp of approval ensures each certified community has demonstrated through its application that it can meet the living, employment/volunteer, health, entertainment, education and safety needs of its citizens and visitors – all the things that make Texas a great place to retire.”
Other Texas cities or towns are welcome to apply for this program.
Per USA Today, ziplining is a zany form of adventure for thrill seekers that first became popular in Costa Rica but has now become popular in the USA.
Athens, Texas is the first city that I have ever known that puts New York and Texas together and makes it work. Not New York, New York (which is what I thought of when I first saw one of the advertisements for the New York, Texas ZipLine Adventures; but New York, Texas (about 20 miles east of Athens). It’s easy to get confused, especially when you discover that there is also an Athens, New York!
But an article by freelance writer, Veronica Terres, entitled “Get Up and Get Out” in the May-June 2011 issue of the East Texas Outdoors Magazine made everything plain when she pointed out the location of the NY TX Zip Line Adventures and aptly described this attraction in two words: “Adrenaline Rush”.
But why would this attraction about a ziplining adventure be significant if you’re planning to retire to Athens, Texas, instead of say … assurances about golfing? I don’t know! Why did former President George Bush Sr. decide to go parachuting on his 80th and 85th birthdays and plan to do it again when he turns 90? Ziplining may be a key factor in deciding whether or not you want to retire to Athens, Texas.
- Purposefully Planning Your Retirement – What Is Time To You?
Practical advice and information from Jeff Brown (aka “The Bawld Guy”), who has extensive knowledge and experience in long term retirement planning.
General Information Links:
- Athens Daily Review
- City of Athens, Texas | Official Website
- Welcome to The City of Athens Texas
- Athens, TX Housing and Residents
Kotkin, Joel. “The Next Big Boom Towns In The U.S.” Forbes.com, 6 July 2011. Web. 04 Feb. 2012.
Bly, Laura. “The Zany Joy of Ziplining Catches Hold in the USA – USATODAY.com.” Travel. USATODAY.com, 13 June 2008. Web. 04 Feb. 2012.
Terres, Veronica. “Get Up and Get Out.” East Texas Outdoors Magazine. Youblisher.com, May-June 2011. Web. 04 Feb. 2012.
“Bush Parachutes for 80th Birthday – CNN.” Featured Articles from CNN. 13 June 2004. Web. 04 Feb. 2012.
“George Bush Snr Celebrates 85th Birthday with Skydive over Maine – Telegraph.” Telegraph Online, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph – Telegraph. Telegraph.co.uk, 12 June 2009. Web. 04 Feb. 2012.