THOM 7 | Fall / Winter 2016



There’s one thing that small, rural communities, slowly fading from heydays

long past, seem to understand equally. Brain drain. That discomforting certainty

that their best and brightest are destined to leave and not come back.

It’s an inevitability felt so strongly that according to Patrick Carr and Maria

Kefalas in their book, Hollowing Out the Middle, we actually help it along. We

actively encourage our youth with the greatest potential to seek their fortunes


There is perhaps no better argument for why place matters. And as Christopher

Coes has come to realize, that puts livability — those community attributes

that add up to an envious quality of life — at the center of importance for


Christopher himself was viewed as a foreseeable case of brain drain. Brought

up in a family with more than a century’s worth of history in the area, through

Harper Elementary, MacIntyre Park Middle and Thomasville High. He was a

student of government and international relations, active with Providence


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