“Live, work, play, and pray, for the length and breadth of one’s life.” That has been the motto of Frank’s term as mayor of Tucker.
Here’s a little about how that has played out in my life both then and now.
I grew up in and around Tucker as my family lived on Henderson Mill Road. My father was a state senator representing Tucker in the 1970s and 80s, and my mom was a professional singer, retired educator, and school and community volunteer. My sister and I attended Henderson Mill Elementary and Henderson High School which was opened to relieve overcrowding at Tucker High School. I danced and twirled baton at Dan and Company studio located on Main Street. I was proud to represent Tucker as Georgia’s Miss National Teenager, sponsored by Tucker Savings and Loan. I also participated in several Tucker Day parades and was even a judge for the Little Miss Tucker competition.
My first and second jobs were at Northlake Mall working at the key shop for Sears and waitressing at Farrell’s during high school and college breaks. Most of my friends had jobs at the Mall and met after work to see a movie or grab a bite to eat.
Henderson High School didn’t have a Young Life group, so I went with friends to Tucker High School’s club. As a family, Frank and I were once part of a church plant that met where Local 7, Trio Nails, and Hot Betty’s are currently.
While Tucker has changed over the years, some things have remained constant: community, proximity, active citizens, and a desire to be here!
Matthews Cafeteria was a favorite as a child and still is today. Cofer Brothers was a place my family shopped then as a department store and now for building supplies. Ice cream was then at Fountain Drugs & Farrell’s and is now at Village Burger on Main Street with grandchildren. Henderson Park was a favorite then for family picnics and now for hikes and playing on the playground. Tucker Rec Center was a location for gymnastics and now not only has gymnastics but also camps, sports and activities for all ages. Young Life is active today not only at the High School but also at Tucker Middle School.
I’ve seen the benefits of cityhood in the parks, walkability, code enforcement, economic development, and careful growth. For example, Northlake Mall opened as a signature Mall in the southeast and a destination for shopping. Through the years, the Mall aged and deteriorated, retail changed and there was a void. I am excited to see Emory Healthcare revitalize the area with 1800 employees. That means a population who need to eat, shop, play, and live nearby. Sidewalks and trails allow safe and fun ways for the community to get outside and connect. Thirty-two miles of trails are planned to span and connect all ends of the City. Lighting going beyond Main Street allows people to safely get to restaurants and festivals but also “stretches” Tucker’s Main Street beyond just one corridor. The two new green spaces adjacent to either side of downtown have cleaned up abandoned properties, making the area safer and one you want to spend time in with family and friends. Traveling through Tucker, one may not notice the cleaner streets and new pavement, but when you travel just outside the City limits it’s easy to see and appreciate the improvements.
Frank and I joke about what we will talk about when his term as mayor ends. We constantly walk and tour all ends of Tucker, dream and plan. It has been rewarding to be involved in so many changes. You see, I don’t think our discussions will change.
Tucker is in my blood. It is a place where one can live, work, play and pray for the length and breadth of one’s life. I am just one example. Tucker is home!