Everything starts with an idea. It may be a good idea or a bad idea, but we'll never know unless someone has the courage to check it out. What are we afraid of? Are we so proud we can't take criticism? If I felt that way I'd never write this column. I can just hear someone say "I finally agree with her!" Now that's what I call progress. Now I want to make a general statement. Our ultimate goal should be to make things better.
Now you all know I was working with a committee to try to make Northern Chautauqua County enticing for people to check us out for vacations or rentals or part-time living. Why? In what ways? We have so much to offer, but we haven't figured out the right way to go about this. Who are we trying to reach and how do we reach them? I think if each one of us works out the answers for each community, we'll make the whole county better. We will have many things in common. For example: we all have to mow our own lawns, we all have to get rid of our trash, some of our sidewalks need to be replaced, certainly many of our driveways need face-lifts. Those are just a few. Now let's turn that into a plus. If we can't afford to get a lot of this done, why couldn't we get someone who is out of work to give us a deal? We aren't taking anything away from those who are in the business, because they weren't going to get these jobs anyway. And the person who can get a lower rate of payment will be better off than he or she was before, since that person will be gaining some income. An arrangement can be made so that everyone benefits. And eyesores will be taken care of! It's a win-win-win!
Let's motivate people. Could we have a contest open to all ages asking what you would like Fredonia, or Ripley, or Silver Creek, Dunkirk, etc. to look like 12 years from now? In 2015? We'll have categories and winners can get awards. Each age group will have different ideas. Then the group I'm working with can try to get a lot of people to help out! Each group could have an "open house" when their ideas are finished and encourage other people in the county to do likewise. If it's a good idea, it should be copied over and over.
I had an interesting experience one night in the park. I started talking to a stranger and found out she was just passing through. She heard the concert in the park and decided to get something to eat and look around. She saw a spaghetti house (DeJohn's) across the street, and that sounded good. She gave it a try. She said everyone was very friendly, the service was good and the food was delicious! She'd be glad to recommend it. She also said the music being played was from her era and made her feel like dancing! I should have asked her to dance, but I was afraid to take the chance. My dancing days are over!
I went on to tell her about the White Inn, and how I lived right next door in a house that used to be part of the White Inn's estate. I told her the people there were always very gracious to me and how any time I had friends who visited and wanted to see the inside, they would be given a tour of the accessible rooms. She said she wasn't on any kind of schedule and that she'd like that, too.
I had walked down to the park, so I showed her the way to the White Inn in her car. I showed her my house first because if she fell in love with the White Inn she might stay there. She loved the pillars, the old fashioned furniture and the big chandeliers.
She said when she got home she was going to tell everyone about her experiences in Fredonia and she would try to talk her husband into staying at the White Inn. I never saw her again, but we made a memory.
Are you so used to all the beauty around you here that you don't see it anymore?
I think we should go after all the baby boomers who graduated from our university and even older graduates and get them to move back to our area. They can live down south in the winter and stay in Western New York in the summer. They can get the best of both worlds!
What do you say we let the world out?
I'll sign off with "Have a great life!"