I have to say that after writing over 40 stories about Brentwood for its 50th Birthday, I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to finish up the year. My initial thought was to do a retrospective of all that I had learned about the city, which was a lot, but in the end, I decided not to. I realized I had not asked the general public what they thought about Brentwood. So, I chose three iconic locations — the businesses now located on Noble’s Corner, the YMCA to represent Maryland Farms, and the Brentwood Library – and started to ask the people I came across what they loved about the city.
What I discovered is that when you go out into the heart of the city and start talking to people, very few are actually from Brentwood. Of the twelve people I talked to, only one was born and raised here. Three were out of town guests here visiting family over the holidays. But most were from other states – California, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C — who had chosen to move to the city because of what they had heard about it. I think what these people shared with me tells the true story of what Brentwood has become over the last 50 years.
“I have always lived here,” said Joy P. “There are very special people in the community. It is a community rich in feeling – I don’t know exactly how else to put it into words, but it is a place that people want to come to and stay.”
David M. chose to come here from Washington D.C. to retire. He moved here twelve years ago for very practical reasons, a good tax climate and accessibility to good medical care in nearby Nashville. He appreciates being near a teaching hospital, Vanderbilt, finding such facilities more compatible with his needs should he require critical care. “I also like the land use planning efforts they made [in the early years of the city]. It makes Brentwood a good place for families to live. It makes for a better community.
“We love the library and come all the time,” said Shelby G. from Los Angeles, California. “We initially moved to Cool Springs, but found we loved this area better.”
While Karen G. came from Springfield, Missouri with her husband to spend time with his family, she has enjoyed her Christmas here, and has found it to be a nice place.
Amanda and Rose Y. are also visitors spending Christmas with family. Mother and daughter shared that they have loved spending much of the holidays out on their relative’s back deck enjoying nature under the trees and with the beautiful landscaping. Also, Amanda notes that her niece has more opportunities for kids here than she had back in Texas.
Stevie H. works in the area, and he enjoys that people are thoughtful. “It feels very safe,” he said, “and family-oriented.”
“For me,” said Alanna C., I love seeing family groups getting out together. You don’t always see that in other areas. And it is diverse to a degree.”
“It is far enough from Nashville that you can go to a concert or dinner [up there] if you want to,” said Elena L., “or you can stay put and enjoy the parks, and the shopping…It is also centrally located. You are only 15 minutes away from just about anything. And it is not choked with apartments and condos. You have space to enjoy the natural beauty.”
Crystal S. loves that it is far enough from Nashville that you are not living in the city, but you are also not living out in the boonies – like Arrington or Spring Hill — to get that country feel.”
Her husband, Will S., loves being able to see the natural beauty because it is so spread out. You can still see the hills.
I think what I learned over the past year is that those who have worked so hard to make Brentwood what it is today have succeeded in their goals. All the people I have written about, from the early settlers to those currently on the City Commission, are appreciated by those born here, and those who have chosen to make Brentwood their place to work, raise a family, or retire.
Haley H., who moved here from Alabama, summed it up for everyone, “The first time I came here, it just felt like home.”