A Guest Returns Home

This morning two of our guests who are staying with us for a week came in and decided to stay for an additional week. These two people just may be our longest staying guests so far. They are visiting family up here. Both born and raised right here in town, they moved many years ago to Jacksonville, FL. This very sweet couple arrived Friday night during a cool and breezy rainstorm. Peggie got out of the car to come and check in. Fred wouldn't get out of the car. He said he was cold. He said it was too windy. He said he wanted to go back to Florida where the weather was warm and balmy. George went to the room and turned on their heat, waving to coax him out of the car. After many minutes, Fred finally came in to say hi and that he wasn't happy with this weather. Fred grew up on a farm in this town and both he and Peggie went to the stone schoolhouse that stands across the street from us. Now a private home, this schoolhouse consisted of approximately 10-13 children per grade.

I can tell that they are enjoying themselves on this trip. They are visiting family in all directions, and then coming back here to their own private home away from home, not wanting to be an imposition to any of their relatives. Every morning they enjoy the conversation with the other guests. Having sat for breakfast with the couple who survived 9/11 two of the mornings was something that Fred told me touched them deeply.

I, myself, am enjoying the stories that they tell each morning. The stories about the area as it was in the 40's, 50's and 60's. When life was simple and this town was bustling. Back then there were several gas stations, hotels, restaurants. Although mostly a two lane road, Route 20 was a major roadway used heavily for traveling east and west. After the New York State Thruway was built in 1958 things began to change all along Route 20. It became a quieter country road, with many businesses closing, only to leave standing the remnants of what used to be. A beautiful road consisting of farms and meadows, I like it this way. I am guessing many of the residents here do too. Over the past several years, a few major businesses have wanted to develop right here in town. To take advantage of the beauty of the area, Madison Square Garden Music Festival, Cal Ripkin Baseball Parks and a Motocross Raceway have tried to acquire land, all plans to be eventually knocked down. Maybe someday, someone will succeed in capitalizing on the land, but for now, the pure beauty is the attraction that brings people back. Oh yeah, that, and The Baseball Hall of Fame.
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