Chautauqua County: a summer retreat

Do you remember recently I suggested we all write letters to friends and family urging them to plan summer vacations with us or rent a place? There should be summer rentals in Fredonia when the college students are gone. Let’s get realistic. We can’t control businesses who leave, but we can beef up our numbers by getting people to come back. How many remember what John Malcolm wrote? He said out of all the places where half his family has lived, he chooses Fredonia. Among the places he has been are North Carolina, Ohio, Corning, Syracuse and Columbus. Outside of the states, he had been to New Delhi, Moscow and the U.K.

These are all diversified places and still he chose to live in Fredonia, even after retirement! Now that’s saying a lot. Remember these two words: “vacation” and “retirement.” Whether they come briefly or stay for retirement, they will make a big difference in our economy. People spend money. This will help our businesses, and in turn help the people they employ. How often do you hear people denouncing our officials? They ask, “What have they done?” Now I’m going to ask an important question. “What are YOU going to do?” We need cheerleaders, supporters and people to lead us into action!

Now that I’ve sold my couch, I won’t be sleeping outdoors anymore, I’ll confess. I slept out on that open porch for 25 years. Many times I was the only one in the house and I was never afraid. Oh, I’ll take that back. I was afraid when the skunks visited me. I prayed them away.

How many of you remember when Russ and I were building our house for four years? We made an apartment in the basement. All that time we lived in the basement, we had a blanket at the upstairs door. All you had to do was move the blanket and walk right in. That’s faith in the community!

Why can’t Fredonia be “The Florida of the North” during the summer? I don’t think any of Florida’s cities or towns have a place quite like Chautauqua Institution. Come to think of it, I think there is a double somewhere in Florida. But I wonder if they’re free to the public on Sundays? Ours has a fantastic reputation. Now that Hillary Clinton is retired maybe she can come with her husband this summer. He loves Chautauqua. Maybe I can invite them to my Sunday dinner. Why not? Think big. If they decline, what have I lost? But if they say “yes,” I’ll show them the White Inn. They had the White House, we have the White Inn. It’s wonderful, too.

I want to share with you with a quote from a book. You can get a copy from DFT Communications. I think it’s free.

Here’s what they wrote under “Inspiration” –

“Whether you are interested in sports, music, fishing, photography, bird watching, antiques, reading, history, nature or religion, you can find them all in Chautauqua County.”

And the people are special! Come see us!

Now I have something to tell you. I feel like an author who writes about Chautauqua County. That’s why I started the group on developing and promoting our county. But we have run into a snag. Natalie Luczkowiak, who was writing the minutes, is no longer available. She was a life-saver. Now we need someone to take her place or we are through. We need help. If you can help us, we can survive, but if no one comes to our rescue, we’re done. Please call me if you can help us out. I can be reached at 679-4772.

Margaret Valone is a Fredonia resident. Send comments to