Ratings the Suburbs 2004 Hudson

The Tucker Family

Just because a suburb didn't make our top 10 this year doesn't mean it's not a good place to live. We spoke to families from two such suburbs for an idea of what life is like there.

Great schools, historic homes and a burgeoning downtown: The résumé of Hudson reads like the college application of a high-school genius who did everything right. But for a family of one-time missionaries, there was an X-factor in their move to Hudson a little more than a year ago: values.

"It's a community where people aren't afraid to pledge allegiance to the flag, lift a prayer to the Lord before starting a meeting. It's an all-American city," says Sean Tucker, a senior federal investigator with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In 2001, the Tuckers packed their bags and traveled to a small, struggling township in South Africa to help build a new 3,000-square-foot church. The family of three considered it an edifying way to better the world.

Two years after coming home, the family made another move, this time to Hudson, an affluent suburb with a different, lesser-known tale. "Just look at the role that this city has played, the community of Hudson, even in the abolitionist movement, which a lot of people don't know," says Sean, who is also an assistant to the pastor at Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland. "This has a rich history of people who have certainly given back to the world in a positive way."

Today, the Tuckers live in a pristine ranch home hidden on a quiet street just a short distance from the center of Hudson. In their large back yard, which is thick with trees (14, according to daughter Ashley's count), mom Carolyn says as many as 75 different types of plants sprout in the summer. Ashley now attends her first public school, and she's only a short distance from her equestrian lessons.

On meeting new people: "Ashley and I spend a lot of time at the library after school. We meet people there. I've met people at Acme," Carolyn says with a laugh. <./p>

Frequent hangout: "We go a lot to the ice-cream store," Sean says. The Hershey's Ice Cream parlor, just down the street, swarms with sugar-toothed children and adults.

On Hudson's future: "I think what is really going to propel this city into being just above and beyond is this new [downtown] development," Sean says of the city's plans to add new shopping behind the current downtown. "And I think what's going to be great about it is, even though the new shops will be coming, there is going to be a respect for the traditions of Hudson because that's why most people move to Hudson."

On rumors of Hudson snobbery: "What I have learned is, wherever you travel around the world, there are good people everywhere," says Sean. "And we've been blessed to come into contact with very nice and warm people."

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