Friday, March 15, 2013

My Neighbors, the Filbruns

     Last week, I found out the news that my wonderful neighbors, the Filbruns, are moving back to Ohio.  Minor concerns about Tarboro (the school system, the rather closed attitude of the people here, and better opportunities all around), clinched their decision.
     Why is it that this town drives away talent?  When Bob Filbrun came to town 4 years ago, he got busy to re-vitalize the Town Market.  He breathed new life into it, attracting new vendors and creating a vital space for the selling of local produce, and homemade food items, and crafts.  However, when Bob approached the "powers that be" about purchasing a vacant food store across the street for a market space, he was quickly shot down.  A great idea brought to a halt.
     He and his wife Jeni quickly became involved in community projects that benefited the entire town.  Bob led the Master Gardners program run through the Cooperative Extension office where he worked, and Jeni took on the task of creating a historic garden at the Blount-Bridgers House, a beautiful old house that also serves as the area's arts council.  Besides that, Bob and Jeni organized wreath making workshops at Christmas, and Bob had a regular column in the local paper.  And he was a bee keeper, leading sessions about this important practice in locations around the town.
     They did all this in addition to renovating and up-dating their home, and turning the grounds into a beautifully landscaped wonder.  They built a greenhouse, got chickens, and helped the community in countless ways.  Jeni even developed a small business last summer selling organic produce.
     Their daughter, Cassian, age 9, carries her parents' enthusiasm for all living things that come out of the good earth.  A solid student, she has much to offer and will go far in life with her in-born empathy skills and intelligence.  She is going to be a stand-out at her next school because of these traits, and her creativity.
     Need I say more?  Yes!  These family members have been great neighbors, always having an open door, and good conversation!  They are among the most helpful and engaging people I've ever met.
     Ohio's gain is our loss.  The next time you see them, thank them for all they have done for Edgecombe County.

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