Reason #24 Allendale Is Better Than Where You Live: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

If yCheers_cast_1982_bw wikipediaou saw the title Where Everybody Knows Your Name and you thought of Cheers, congratulations. You have great taste in TV shows.

The purpose of this post is not to compare Allendale to 80’s shows. But if we wanted to, we could go with…

  • Good Times — sure
  • The Cosby Show — maybe
  • Different Strokes — not so much
  • The A-Team — (un?)fortunately not

But I digress.

No, my point is that in a small community like this, it doesn’t take long for people to find out who you are.

How I’m Known, and Who I Don’t Know

Hundreds of students (and many adults) in Allendale call me either “Mr. Joey” or “Coach Espinosa” — depending on if they got to know me through after school programs and camps, or through football. The funny thing is that I have not worked with all the kids who know me; they pick up my name from their friends.

(For the record, my wife is called “Mrs. Joanna” or “Mr. Joey’s Wife” or — once recently “Mr. Joey’s Son’s Mom.”)

Sure, I love volunteering in the schools, to help kids and to support the teachers. But I also feel like a rockstar when the kids call out my name in the hallways and in the lunch room (I promised I try to get them to be quiet!). It’s nice to be known, and loved.

It takes me a while to learn which adults go with which kids; there are lots of parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, who go with each kid. I confess that when an adult stops me in the school, library, or grocery store, and asks about an upcoming game, I often do not know who they are. I’m a little slow, but I’m trying.

And you have to give me a little bit of a break. I stand out a little more. For example, I’m the smallest and lightest-skinned coach on the football team.

And Who Really Knows Me

But just like during the holiday season last year, I am also looking forward to spending time in Greenville (SC) later this month. Because for all the people that we know and love in Allendale, most of our closest community of friends live in the Upstate. We are looking forward to being with family (in Greenville and Columbia), and with friends from church who know us more than just by name.

Update: Here are some other names I’ve been called.

Related Posts:

**image courtesy of Wikipedia

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