Recently the Lake Norman and Mooresville Chambers of Commerce launched a branding campaign which has people talking – “Lake Norman – The Great Lake.” I wrote a letter to the editor discussing why many peeople who live and work in the Lake Norman region feel Lake Norman is simply that – The Great Lake…
What constitutes “Greatness”? In a sports team do we measure greatness by how old the team is or by how many games they have played? In a restaurant is it the number of items on the menu or how much is charged for the meal? When it comes to a city or town, is greatness determined by the population or where that municipality is located? Finally is the greatness of a lake measured by how deep, how wide, or how much shoreline it has?
The Mooresville South Iredell and Lake Norman Chambers of Commerce have recently, at the request of the Lake Norman Transportation Commission, examined the branding of the lake region. We first looked to the past, recognizing that long before the creation of the lake itself, the Catawba Indian Nation, who settled this land referred to the Catawba River as “The Great River.” I am sure in the eyes of those from the Mississippi Delta, such a notion might be met with ridicule. However, for the Catawba’s, as is the case today, greatness lies in the land and the people itself, not the water contained by its shore. Some might point out that Lake Norman is a man made creation, not a body of water carved out from the land over time. But aren’t both the handiwork of our creator?
I have visited the northern Great Lake region several times and enjoyed the scenic beauty our Great Lakes offer. I marveled at trucks and cars driving over frozen Lake Michigan. They are indeed majestic “Great Lakes.” Perhaps I am a fair weathered guy but I cannot envision myself drilling into the ice to fish in the bone chilling cold. Those dedicated anglers watching the scenery walk by bundled in their parkas and mitts. I much prefer fishing off the back of a Ranger Bass Boat at Lake Norman. The sun gently kissing the back of my neck, listening to Buffett, Beach, or a colorful country classic as much more alluring scenery passes by – often in the same season of the year!
As a product of the Carolinas, I know it causes some degree of anxiety for those on the west coast that “The USC” is in Columbia, South Carolina. Likewise for people of the south, real barbecue is pork, mustard or vinegar base, not chopped up beef with some tangy ketchup slapped on it. While we can debate which state university should bear the name “Carolina” or whether New Jersey is really “The Hot Dog Capital of the World,” – it is not debatable for me that we live and work in a great community.
Like the Catawba’s who settled this great land, I believe I live in the most dynamic and vibrant region of the nation. It is defined by the people who live here and who accept nothing less but their very best. It is the legacy of a people whose heart is as large as the shoreline itself and whose compassion for projects like Big Day at the Lake are deeper than her deepest point. I am fortunate to live, work, and play in the greatest region of our country – “Lake Norman, The Great Lake”. To some – our lake has become a destination and still others a relocation. However, for the rest of us, it is simply the place we call home.