Movin' on up

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By James Roberts

Driving through Taylor County during the summer of 2006, Jerry Pippin had a revelation. Already raising a teenage son in Las Vegas, Pippin and his wife, Julie, were expecting twins. Pippin decided rural Kentucky might provide a better setting for his growing family.

"The community was full of the nicest people," Jerry said. "I thought the place was beautiful."

Jerry was here to help his brother, Dennis, with his family's move to Adair County. Returning home to Las Vegas, Jerry told his wife about the area.

Julie went online to research. She found that Dakota Farms, a gift shop located on KY 210, was for sale.

"We flew out and saw it."

That was all it took. The couple bought the business and the land that accompanied it.

In January 2007, a month after Julie gave birth to twin sons David and Aiden, the Pippins moved to Taylor County. The Pippins also have a 14-year-old son, Tyler.

"Everyone was so welcoming," Julie said.

In the year and a half since, Julie's parents, Ralph and Jackie Johnson, moved to Taylor County, while Jerry's parents, Charles and Carol Pippin, and his brother, Joe, and his family, moved to nearby Casey County.

"My parents moved here and my mother runs the store," Julie said. "Jerry's parents moved here, too. His mother works at the store also."

In all, 19 members of the Pippins family have relocated to Kentucky.

"We had already planned to come out when Dennis moved to Adair County," Carol said. "Coming from the high desert area of California, it's like night and day. We like the change in seasons. In California, you don't have that. We had snow maybe one day a year.

"We wouldn't consider going back. It's awesome."

The appeal of rural Kentucky is in the simple things, Julie said, such as the Farmers' Market, seeing deer in the backyard or having a yard at all.

"Any type of greenery is amazing," she said. "It's just beautiful."

The pace is far more relaxing as well, said Julie, who doesn't miss the hectic pace of Las Vegas.

"It feels like when you move to the country, you just stop."

She said the move was a bit of an adjustment for their oldest son, Tyler. Though he missed his friends, the teen quickly found new ones, as well as a new sense of freedom.

"Tyler likes it about as much as anybody," Jerry said. "Because the crime rate is so low, he has more freedom here."

Jerry and Julie agree that their new hometown is a great place for family. In fact, the move seems to have brought the family closer together.

"We have a family get-together every Sunday - all 19 of us," Jerry said. "We never did that before."

Though Jerry returns about once a month to Las Vegas, where he still owns a couple of car dealerships, the Pippins are happy with their decision to relocate.

"It's a real nice place to live," Jerry said. "I think a lot of people who've always lived here don't really appreciate what they have.

"You can live here as opposed to just existing."

- Staff Writer James Roberts can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 226 or by e-mail at writer@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.