Jessica Coates: Goodbye, first home

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 15, 2018

SALISBURY — I know what you’re thinking.

Another Salisbury Post reporter, gone as soon as she came. You were just getting to know her.

I want you to know that I’m sad, too. Sad to leave you and this town that, for the year I was here, was a home to me.

Salisbury feels like the first place where I really put down roots.

I lived in Charlotte for the first 18 years of my life, but those roots were put down for me.

I lived in Chapel Hill for four years, but I always knew that would be a temporary landing.

Salisbury is the first place I chose to live. It’s the first place I chose to see as my own.

The Salisbury Post team has become a small family to me.

I know that all you see are the words on the page, but there are a lot of wonderful, weird, passionate people who create this newspaper every day.

We come in, we talk with the community, we write what we see and we leave late in the evening ready to start all over again the next day.

We laugh together about life, cats and the shared feeling of loving a town that gives us so much to write about.

Before I accepted this job last spring, I had never been to Salisbury.

And although I’d like to say I could tell it was special from the first moment I arrived, that wouldn’t be quite true.

In my first few days, I saw the beautiful historic buildings, the homegrown downtown businesses and the glorious homes of South Fulton Street.

But it took months for Salisbury to unfold in front of me. Months of talking with you to realize what the city truly was and is.

You are what makes Salisbury special. The people who choose to live here, who chose to move back here, who chose to settle down and start families here.

For all of its lovely architecture and historical significance and infectious culture, you are what makes Salisbury a place that anyone would be lucky to put down roots in.

In making my decision to leave, I am — with a heavy heart — pulling the roots I’ve grown in Salisbury’s vibrant soil and taking them elsewhere.

But those roots have grown thicker, stronger and more capable here than they’ve ever been.

Salisbury is full of amazing and heartwarming stories, and I cannot thank you enough for letting me tell a few of them.

Jessica Coates was the city and business reporter. She is leaving the Salisbury Post for a reporting and online content management position at Lake Norman Publications in Mooresville.