Haywood County is a place that just feels safe

By Vicki Hyatt | Aug 09, 2013

While there is certainly crime in Haywood County, it is a place where I’ve never felt threatened or unsafe, not even once, in the past 18 years I’ve lived here.

We live in the country and I’m often out past dark attending work-related meetings or functions. I’m often alone, too, since public meetings aren’t something anyone in my family wants to attend.

For a while, my son Cole was my main sidekick at meetings, but at age 5, he swore off of them.

“No more public meetings,” he said stamping his little foot forcefully.

Most people in Haywood County are courteous to a fault, even when driving. Just think about it. How often do you ever hear a horn being honked, even when a driver  simply doesn’t move when the traffic light turns green.

I’d say being the home of courteous drivers  is something most areas of the country couldn’t brag about.

Beyond safety, people in Haywood are helpful when others are in distress. I can’t possibly count the number of letters to the editor we’ve received over the years from passersby who felt they needed to share the kindness shown to them when they encountered car problems or other troubles in the county.

I believe them wholeheartedly because I’ve been on the receiving end of those kindnesses myself.

Several weeks ago I left the grocery store and was headed to do other errands when I discovered my wallet wasn’t in the car. When that happens, a sinking feeling washes over you as you contemplate the work ahead in canceling credit cards, calling the bank and applying for the three dozen or so store discount cards most of us now have.

Ironically, I wasn’t really worried as I retraced my steps to Ingles. I had a sense of peace that I would find it. Sure enough, some man had found it in the cart when I had left it and brought it to the manager’s desk. Not a single item or cent appeared to be missing.

Later that day as I paid for some plants and a hose at Kmart, I inadvertently handed the clerk in the garden center an extra $20. The only reason I knew that is because she was nice enough to notice and give it back. I complimented her honesty, and her reply was that she would really miss $20.

I find that all over Haywood County. People really do treat others as they would like to be treated. It is just one of the many things that makes this a special place to live and work.

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