Weatherford Democrat

Big Story AM

September 23, 2011

Our town is tops

Weatherford one of top 25 best places to retire

WEATHERFORD — Historical homes, horses and the proximity to Fort Worth and Dallas are all listed as reasons why Weatherford made the cut as one of the top 25 places to retire in the United States.

A feature on these top locations will appear in the October issue of Money Magazine, but word of Weatherford’s placement started circulating around town last week, followed by several short articles online.

“As the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area expanded over the past couple of decades, many communities were overtaken by McMansions, shopping centers and congestion,” CNNMoney reports online. “But Weatherford, 33 miles from Fort Worth, has maintained its own identity — which is all wrapped up with horses. Specifically, cutting horses, which herd cattle and perform in exhibitions.”

News of Weatherford’s ranking has thrilled the staff at the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce.

“It will definitely get the attention of those not familiar with Weatherford because Money Magazine is a well known and respected magazine,” Chamber President Tammy Gazzola said. “It puts us above the rest to get mentioned there. People will research and find out what Weatherford has to offer, and that’s to our advantage for sure.”

Visitors to the chamber looking to move to the area often list retirement and proximity to their grandchildren as main reasons for their relocations, Gazzola said.

Family brought Leo Brannan to Weatherford about 50 years ago from Bynam, Texas. At 95, he still participates in team roping. He lives near the Parker County Senior Center, where he is a frequent visitor, and he boards his horse at his daughter’s place. His experience over the past five decades has been positive enough that he would recommend Weatherford to retirees looking for a place to settle.

“It’s been a good place for me,” he said. “I’ve been treated well.”

Genevieve Bush, 83, moved to Weatherford about 30 years ago from upstate New York in the Adirondacks. She is originally from Long Island.

When her son moved to the Metroplex, she headed south, too. After a visit to Florida, she decided the humidity wasn’t for her and decided on the Texas heat.

Of all the places to live in the area, she chose Weatherford because the trees and hills are the closest she can find to the mountains she was accustomed to.

“It’s easy to live here,” she said. “The weather, except for this year. And also the state taxes.”

Lack of a state income tax is also listed in the article as a reason Weatherford made the cut, along with a median home price of $150,000, according to the CNNMoney article.

The friendliness of the people didn’t hurt either, Gazzola said.

“We feel Weatherford still has a friendly, small town feel,” she said, “and a close proximity to the Metroplex.”

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