No place like home

Although I’m only 17-years-old and the years ahead of me will no doubt change my perspective on life in unpredictable ways, I firmly believe that there’s no town on earth like Greenwich.

And while new experiences and new environments to live in can indeed change my perspective, I doubt that opinion will change for the rest of my life. More than 60,000 people live in Greenwich. We outsize the average American town by almost 40,000 and yet we’re able to embrace our size in a way that makes our community just as tightly knit as any small town.

In my eyes, a lot of our unity stems from the various “sub-communities” that develop in the various sections of Greenwich. Ironic as it may seem, growing up in these various divisions gives life to a brand of “sibling-like” rivalry that’s truly unique to our town.

The Greenwich Youth Football League, for instance, ends after eighth grade but still becomes a hot topic of discussion every time friends of mine, who are now juniors and seniors in high school, bring it up. Former GYFL rivals who eventually became teammates in high school reminisce often about big plays they had at the others’ expense during those early years. Some may have even first heard about an eventual friend when an adjustment was made in the game plan to specifically keep him at bay.

The dynamic of the GYFL escapes the realm of fall sports too. Rivalry is fed between each of the neighborhoods throughout middle school, bringing those “sub-communities” together through competition. The rivalry eventually fades however, as kids grow older and everyone is dispersed amongst the high schools of GHS, Brunswick/GA, and Sacred Heart. Thus, the barriers are broken down.

While the high school experience in Greenwich breeds a new sense of camaraderie amongst old rivals, some competition still remains. However, the Chicken Joe’s vs. Garden Catering and Brunswick vs. GHS arguments are more points of discussion than they are areas of belligerence, giving the townspeople something to talk about with anybody in all of Greenwich.

It’s the widespread familiarity of these local institutions that makes the label of  “commuter town” that people assume Greenwich is into a rather shortsighted description. This is not just a town where people have houses. It’s where they make their homes. However big a community Greenwich is, we are a united community, forever proud of how small we make our 60,000-person town feel. I know for a fact that I’ll never find another town like this one; that reality not only makes me feel all the more blessed to have been raised here, but makes me hope that my journey will someday lead me back here, so my kids can be just as fortunate as I.

 

Christopher Lucey is a junior at Brunswick School.

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