By: Pat Winter
How did it happen that folks who have a passion for travel, are self-proclaimed foodies, and have lived all over the world decide to retire here with us on Albemarle Plantation?! Meet Shelly and Kevin Jackson.
Kevin, whose parents worked for the United States Foreign Service, was born in Havana, Cuba. As a child he lived all over the world on literally every continent but Antarctica. After college, he joined the Marine Corps and was sent to Monterrey, California, for Naval Post Graduate School.
Shelly, born in Rhode Island, grew up around sailboats. After graduating from Wharton Business School, she was commissioned as a Supply Corps Officer in the Navy. Eventually, she was sent to Monterrey, California, for Naval Post Graduate School for her MBA. You can probably guess what happened next.
Let’s fast forward to 2016. After supporting the Marine Corps for nearly thirty years, Kevin was winding down his work as a government contractor and looking forward to retirement. Shelly, a real estate agent, also agreed that a less hectic work schedule was something to start planning for. Their fourth daughter, finishing up high school, was beginning to make college plans. The Jacksons decided it was time to start looking for a retirement community that would be a good fit for them.
Because a top-notch marina was an important item on their wish list, they began looking along the east coast at communities from Williamsburg, Virginia, to Wilmington, North Carolina. All these areas were too over-developed to suit the Jacksons, so they began to look at communities that were farther away from the big cites, but “close to civilization,” as Shelly describes it.
Kevin admits he had two standards against which he judged every community they visited. He was looking for a “Mayberry” type of neighborhood, where people took time to interact and get to know each other. Secondly, as an officer in the Marine Corps, Kevin was accustomed to having a special bond with his fellow officers. He was looking for a place where that “Marine Corps attitude would be his civilian reality.” The search was on!
Once the Jacksons found our gate, it didn’t take them long to find a home they loved. But, that wasn’t the only thing that appealed to them. “It’s all about the people,” comments Shelly. “All the folks here seem to have something in common and are part of a very active community.” As a real estate agent, Shelly agrees that a huge plus for our community is the fact that the AP Property Owners’ Association owns the amenities. They were also pleased to find two different dining options available, The Clubhouse and Dockside. And when Kevin bellied up to the bar in the Grill Room, he knew he had found himself a new home.
Since purchasing their home with its lovely water view, the Jacksons have been coming home to the Sound about a week or two every month. But now that daughter number four is a freshman in the Honors College of East Carolina University in Greenville, they are here full-time and busy remodeling their kitchen to have enough cabinet and working space to hold all their gourmet cooking appliances and accouterments. As they are getting settled, they are fortunate to have a second daughter close to home, working in the ad-missions office at ECU. An-other daughter is attending graduate school at TX Women’s College in Houston, and their first-born, a graduate of William and Mary, is in the Army Reserves, stationed in Germany.
Shelly has already enjoyed getting involved in many activities in the community. Besides trying her hand at pickleball, she has been helping crew with Fred Levine and Fred Shenker for Tuesday’s OYC sailboat races. Since getting exercise is one of her top priorities, Shelly has been active in attending several different classes at the Community Center, including bar, Pilates and yoga. Both Shelly and Kevin have joined the OYC and Sports Club, and Shelly was instrumental in introducing a good friend from Fredericksburg to the Plantation, an introduction that led to a home sale! Travel is something they are looking forward to as well. Shelly has a trip to Germany to see their daughter coming up soon, and the Jacksons are looking forward to a cruise with several other AP residents to Barcelona, Spain, next spring.
So, be on the lookout for Kevin and Shelly. And be sure to help us welcome them home.