Editor’s note: Sanford is unique. At first glance, it’s a place full of contradictions. It’s a city saturated with 140-plus years of history, yet it’s best days are still to come. It’s a city populated by young and old, rich and poor, straight-laced and freaky-weird, native-born and carpetbaggers. It’s a city with a wide palette of skin tones, ethnicities and religious beliefs. It’s this hodgepodge that combines to give Sanford the spice that sets it apart in region of blandness.

“Neighbors” is a regular feature on TheBokey.com that highlights the people who make Sanford special.

I’d be willing to bet just about everybody in Sanford knows Cory Wilson. One reason is Cory has a lot of family in town, but even if you don’t think you know him, you probably do.

Cory is the out-going assistant manager at Winn Dixie who greets you with as smile or a handshake and is quick to ask, “What can I help you find, chief?”

Raised in Midway, friends and family called him “Flash.” Cory is a proud Seminole High School alum, Class of 1994, and for some odd reason he’s also a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan (I guess we all have our flaws). I appreciate Cory taking the time to answer some questions, and I can’t think of a better person to kick-off the “Neighbors”feature.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Celery Key

You got family in the area?
I come from a large family, there’s a bunch of us Robinsons, my mom’s family. My mom is Barbara Robinson, and my dad is Ernest Wilson Jr. My grandparents are Lula Robinson and Pierce Robinson and Themla Patterson and Ernest Wilson Sr. My wife is Wanda, and I have a son and daughter, Cory Jr. and Sha’Corya.

Where did you go to school?
Midway Elementary, Lakeview Middle, Seminole High School, and Arkansas State University.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a football player.

Who was your favorite cartoon character growing up?
Captain America and The Hulk

What songs make up the soundtrack of your life?
“Because He Lives,” “On Top Of The World” and “Only The Strong Survive.”

Who were your favorite teachers/coaches/mentors growing up?
There’s a lot of people who helped me become the man I am. My favorite teachers were Mary Michalak and Bernard Brown. Ken Brauman was my favorite coach. I’d have to say my late grandfather Pierce Robinson was my biggest mentor.

What is your best memory of growing up in Sanford?
As a kid, every Saturday I would go with my grandparents to the Holiday Inn on the lake front for breakfast.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in Sanford over the years?
Sanford has become more diverse than it has ever been during my lifetime. We still have some work to do as a community, but we are heading in the right direction.

What is Sanford’s greatest asset?
The residents are Sanford’s greatest asset, by far. And I gotta say downtown Sanford is the best kept secret in the Orlando area.

What needs to change in Sanford?
We need to show more love and compassion to one another on a daily basis , because after all, God made all of us equal.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen in Sanford?
I once saw an airplane being towed down 17/92, but at this point nothing surprises me anymore.

What is your favorite event in Sanford?
I love the Christmas parade.

Who’s your favorite Sanford person – past or present?
My grandparents – Lula Robinson and Pierce Robinson.

What’s your favorite restaurant/food?
Outback Steak House is my favorite restaurant, and I love any type of seafood. Wait, does beer count as a food?

If the Dallas Cowboys never existed, what NFL team would you root for?
Hahaha! That’s a trick question. What is this, some kind of fake news story? The Cowboys are America’s Team!

What’s the weirdest thing someone has asked you at Winn Dixie?
I had someone ask me, “Can I pay for my groceries by giving you the number from the card that I don’t have with me?” Seriously?!

Who does the grocery shopping, you or your wife?
We both do the shopping, I just have the convenience of being at the store for those last minute items.

So do you make a list for grocery shopping, or do you just wander up and down the aisles picking up everything that looks good?
I see ALL the deals during my store walks, so I kind of wander the aisles.

Paper, plastic or reusable bags?
Plastic, they make great take away bags when you have a gathering.

Anything you want to add?
I have been very honored to serve and manage in the very same city where I grew up. I am extremely proud to say, “I Live, I Work and I Play In Sanford” a.k.a BoKey!

I thank the Lord daily for blessing me with my lovely wife Wanda. With her and the good man upstairs, the sky is the limit!

Also, I want to say a big “Thank You” to all the Winn- Dixie shoppers in Sanford.

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