So I wrote a beautiful post about what makes my hometown a great place to live. What has changed, what has remained the same. What I love and what I’ve had to learn to tolerate. Unfortunately when trying to add a couple of pictures to it the entire post decided it no longer wanted to exist. I can only assume that WordPress’s servers are set in a terrible place like Dallas or somewhere out in California, both lands that spew their residents into my city in an attempt to infect us with their particular love of urban sprawl. But I’m not letting the Johnny Dallases or the L.A. Dumb-faces take down my city, and they sure aren’t going to stop my post. Round Rock is better than that.
In what seems to be a story usually reserved for romantic comedies about the southern boy or girl who grew up and never left their hometown, I have spent my entire life with a permanent address here in Round Rock, Texas. Although there was a brief stint I spent residing in Lubbock for college, I can honestly say that I’ve never truly lived somewhere other than here. I was born in Round Rock Hospital long before Dell ever made it necessary for our city to have another. I spent my childhood excited when we finally had a pizza place that would deliver to our home on the outskirts of town. But even with the enormous growth I’ve seen since Dell set up shop in 1999, Round Rock has remained the place I remembered growing up.
More than most other cities I’ve been to, Round Rock has focused on maintaining its historic downtown district. Many of the buildings that line our Main Street are the same ones my dad remembers when he got his first job at the grocer where a local restaurant now does business. The local library has remained where it’s been my entire life, but our city council has grown and expanded it to make it an attractive place for any of the residents of the city. A keystone of the downtown district was our city hall, which before looked rather run down and disappointing, but recently went a massive renovation including a public fountain that doubles as a water park for children. In a vacant lot near city hall they built a parking garage, greatly relieving the parking situation, and allowing local restaurants and even a monthly vendor fair to bring in far more patrons than ever before.
Round Rock is a city that has tempered its growth with a respect for its past. There’s a reason people live in Round Rock rather than Austin or Pflugerville or any of the other cities surrounding our capital. As one of the fastest growing communities in the nation, we still recognize our city as just that, a community. Even with the large swelling of tech minded folks pouring into Dell and Samsung and any number of other technology companies that has set up shop near here, Round Rock still feels like a town you can get to know. It’s not so sprawling or devoid of distinct culture that you feel like the city is sterile or lifeless.
I’ve spent my whole life in Round Rock, and while that may sound dull to some of you, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. As I plan to make a move this fall, I have made sure to continue my time here in the city I love. The city is changing, it’s growing and evolving nearly every day. People from all across the nation flock here for work or a safe community to raise a family in. Round Rock will be many things over the coming years, but the one thing I know it will always be to me, is home.