A SNAPSHOT OF "SMALL TOWN" USA

Some call it "Living at the time of the Walton's". I call it "Living NOW in our small town"; Gowanda is its name. And this is the way it is...

Our local First Responders such as Gowanda Police Officer Randall and the entire Gowanda Police Force are to be highly commended. Point in fact, all of our regional area first responders are absolutely extraordinary in skill, promptness, and attentiveness.

Nothing embodies America more than the sedate settings of small towns across America. Indeed, western New York is fortunate to have a rich variety of small towns, hamlets, and villages across this region of ours. You will find small towns in the bends of flowing creeks, near glistening lake waters, and at the base of green meadows and tree covered hillsides. These small towns blend perfectly into the landscape. They add immeasurably to the character of this beautiful scenic environment. Such is the scene in which my wife and I have lived from the time of each of our childhood days. My wife Elaine, lived her childhood days in Springbrook town of Elma, and graduated from East Aurora High School. I am a native of the Boston/Colden area and attended high school in Springville. My wife and I have lived in East Aurora, then Fredonia, and now reside in Gowanda. Each of these towns is truly endemic of the beauty and charm of Small Town, USA.

A "bird's eye" view of these towns suggest that a ten minute walk in one direction will take lead to downtown Main Street and a twenty minute walk in the other direction, will take you past meadows, woods, and beautiful farm land. Directions given to an occasional visitor will usually give as a reference point the traffic light, a stop sign, or the Village bank. And, when you go for a walk, others will pull over and ask if you want a ride. In fact, living in a small town... is somewhat like living in a large family. Teachers in the local school system will often remember when they taught your parents. And Friday night football games are where people go to visit and socialize as well as to root on the home team. Almost everybody knows everyone. Knowing how to "do things" is like "currency" here. The nice part about living in a small town, when you don't know how to do something, someone you know does know how to do it; and people are eager to help.

Join with me as we catch a glimpse of several recent personal small town experiences: I took my car to the local auto repair center for inspection. The owner of the center noticed that I had mistakenly affixed my registration form from our other vehicle on this vehicle and vice versa. He offered to carefully remove the stickers and affix them properly. He did so without charge. Then, there was the time I was walking to the post office, about a mile from home, and an unexpected downpour of rain occurred. A very gracious resident of the Village came to her front door and offered me the use of some rain gear. Then again, there were times, because of illness or bad weather conditions , our local pharmacist took the time to deliver right to our front door the prescriptions needed for my wife or myself. I am reminded too, of the time when I went to our local hardware to make a purchase left my wallet at home. The owner suggested that I take the item with me and stop in next time I am downtown to pay for the purchase. Recently, I went to our local grocery for a lenten item "fastnachts" in the bakery section. As bad luck would have it, they did not have the item. I mentioned it to a manager and, sure enough, the next morning , the item was on the bakery shelf. Incidentally, our local plumber is no more than a telephone call away and is usually responsive within that same day. I am reminded also, the local police will often patrol down our street at anytime day or night. And, if I happen to be outside, the officer will always give a friendly wave. . Recently, my garage door was half way up; it would not close nor would it open. The very skillful neighbor gentleman saw my plight. Using a screw driver, wrench and hammer, he was able to fix the door perfectly. I now have virtually a new garage door.

And so, that is the way it is... living in a small town USA. The United States is a great country and the folks in its localities... farms, small towns and villages , and wherever people live and work.... they jointly interact as a neighborhood. They are a creative and thoughtful people. Indeed, we are blessed! Truly, it just cannot get any better than that...small town USA!