By Rich Haag.
This newsletter marks my end of 13 years spent helping University City Partners share our community’s good news and big dreams.
Like many of you, I invested my own heart and treasure in University City.
I leave this post feeling satisfied with my contributions, excited about University City’s future and grateful for the tireless work done on our behalf by University City Partners’ staff and scores of volunteer board members.
Reaping the rewards
I’ve seen many ups and downs here since arriving in northeast Charlotte in 1979, about the time that IBM opened near UNC Charlotte and helped birth our community.
I’ve written thousands of articles about University City and its people over the years since, first for The Charlotte Observer and University City Magazine, which I helped launch; and since 2009 for University City Partners.
I feel honored to have been given that opportunity. I feel lucky to have spent so many years benefiting from my family’s life here.
Then and now
My wife, Karen, and I raised our sons here and still live in the home we built near UNC Charlotte in 1987. Our neighbors these days include two other couples from that “pioneer” time plus more recent additions from across America and around the world.
In those early years, Karen and I often walked the boardwalk at University Place with our little boys. Now we walk with our little grandsons who live in the lakeside condos.
We attend church near University Research Park. We walk daily at Reedy Creek Park.
We waited, seemingly forever, for the coming of the LYNX Blue Line Extension that University City Partners, UNC Charlotte and others pushed so hard to get for our community. The lofty predictions of how much the transit line might transform North Tryon Street and influence UNC Charlotte seem too low, in hindsight.
Now Karen and I wait expectantly for the coming transit-powered renewal of University Place, including, we hope, the much-needed lakeside public library.
As I finish this short piece, I am both wistful and hopeful. Wistful, because I am closing a chapter in my lifetime of professional storytelling that began when daily newspapers still used typewriters, hot lead and linotype machines, and reporters at distant bureaus sent in their news reports and photo film via the afternoon Greyhound bus.
After all those years and revolutionary changes in how we gather and share information, I still love finding the story ideas for my next publication. I’ll miss that, for sure.
I’m hopeful, because the future looks so promising for University City.
Someone else will soon take over my role at University City Partners. I look forward to reading their latest news reports, and continuing to enjoy our good life in University City.
See you around town!
You will be missed.
Congratulations Rich! And Karen too 🙂
Rich, I want to tell you how much your “newspapering work” over the last number of years is appreciated. While I didn’t remain in the neighborhood as long as you have, I still have connections here and your newsletter work for the University City Partners has kept me up to speed on the changes in University City. Like you, I believe the future is bright for this area.
I also wish to congratulate you on your retirement, it that actually occurs. Retirement is the best job I have ever had.
Hi Bill. It’s great to hear from you. I have been easing into retirement for a few years, but leaving UCP and the newsletter is still a big step. Fortunately, Karen and I have two sons, their wives and three grandsons within 10 minutes of our house – one in Lakeshore Village and the other just off The Plaza in NoDa. Every time I cut back on work time I seem to fill up the time with more grandson time. The almost-5-year-old wanted to watch Transformer videos the other day. I thought he meant the toys. No, he said, he wanted to see power-plant transformers. And so we learned about hydroelectric power, solar power and wind power. I think the “retirement” will be even busier with my new “free” time. It sounds like you have found plenty of ways to invest that free time, too.
Congratulations for your long and successful journey of keeping us informed about the University area. I have enjoyed your stories and articles about food, zoning, transportation plans and construction plans, to name a few, for the growth of the area from small crossroads north of Charlotte to the booming development that we see today.
Good luck to you in your retirement from the routine, but not from a wonderful life.
Rich, you will be missed! I’ve looked forward to reading your articles and comments since we moved to University City many years ago. You have always been “right on” with your thoughts.
Wishing you the best luck in all future activities.
Hi Barbara. Thanks for the note and the praise. I hate to leave the newsletter, but I will certainly enjoy watching University City from the retirement sidelines.
Thank you for all of your hard work. I will miss reading your articles. They have kept me in the position of being the most informed person in regards to University City development in my circle of friends for the last several years, and helped build a deeper connection with my no-longer-so-little corner of Charlotte. As far as your grandson’s interest in how power is produced, if you ever find yourself near the BOA Stadium in uptown (I believe that is a step-down sub-station on Graham St to the right of the stadium) don’t forget to check out the little solar tree that Duke Energy built in front of the Mint Street parking garage. The solar panels power the charging station built into it as well as the free wifi.
Thank you, very much for your years/decades of dedication to our community. I will see you around town.