Murray is the perfect place

Phillip Sheldon
non-student from Lexington, Ky

Working 40 hours a week and maintaining 12 hours of classes leaves little time to take a break. On the occasion I do find myself with a free weekend, a quick call to a good friend provides me with a nice comfortable bed right here in Murray.

Some might find it strange to leave Lexington and drive four hours to a small college community isolated by rolling farmland. Lexington, an oversized small town itself, has a lot to offer someone looking for a little fun.

It has a decent nightlife, respectable restaurants and a burgeoning music scene. Murray though, is separated by something Lexington doesn’t have, the people. Murray epitomizes the old saying “quality over quantity.”

There may be a much smaller pool of people to meet and greet in Murray, but the ones here have a lot more to offer. There is a much higher quality of stories, views and attitudes around the town.

I remember on one of the last warm sunny days of Fall 2011 the contingent of friends I happened to be tagging along with wanted to take advantage of the good weather before winter set in. It was the weekend before finals and everyone wanted to clear their heads before the intense week ahead.

A few new people, a few old friends and I decided the best way to fully appreciate the day was on our bikes. We explored the calm town weaving in and out of neighborhoods and finally ending up at Central Park. It was an incredibly well thought out piece of the town incorporating peaceful scenic trails in the heart of the city.

We wandered through the small wilderness relating ideas on science, politics and worldviews. I couldn’t tell you if it was the warm sun or quaint bridges, but an overwhelmingly positive experience was shared by all.

Every time I come to Murray I meet someone new from another unique little corner of this earth who piques my interest.

I have volumes of conversation with people who want to relate a great bit of the life they experienced.

It’s the type of life-enriching situation you can’t pay for or plan for. Meeting endless amounts of great people in Murray is made all the more easier because everyone is related by only six degrees of separation.

When I come down to Murray to visit, for every new friendship I make it inevitably opens up a huge social network of incredible people to meet. Sometimes it seems people in Lexington sit in small isolated groups that rarely mix or connect. In Murray no micro-faction is isolated from or above another. There is a great sense of equality around the town.

Even when walking across Murray State’s campus to grab a quick coffee I met several friendly people who were in completely diverse stages of life. All of them were eager to stop and chat, sharing what little time they had to be exposed to an exciting new stranger.

Finally, nothing makes meeting new people better than when everyone is honestly open to a good time. Regardless of schedules or deadlines, people in Murray are willing to get together on a whim and have a little fun.

I came down to Murray with no plans or expectations and a few impromptu phone calls later a large backyard grill out ensued. A nice eclectic bunch of people began filing in as I manned a colossal grill brimming with burgers, drumsticks and veggies. Nothing screams quality of life like a Sunday on-the-spot backyard barbecue with the sun on my back, a beer in my hands and a great group of people to share it all with. Lexington may provide me with what I need for work and school but it always seems to leave me lacking when it comes to people.

Both Murray and the state of Hawaii are actually quite similar. They are both little islands of paradise that everyone should visit. While Hawaii is a tropical paradise, Murray is a social paradise. It is a great little community with much to offer.