A wonderful experience

I must tell you about the wonderful experience I had Thursday night Feb. 6 because it says a lot of positive things about our area. I was going to a meeting with a friend, but she couldn’t make it so she got a ride for me. Guess who picked me up? No one other than the mayor of Fredonia, Stephen Keefe. How’s that for service?

The meeting was about complete streets, which is an attempt to provide walking and biking as part of an initiative from the health department. Lisa Schmidtfrerick-Miller from the county spoke. I was so impressed with her. She was so well-organized and professional.

The group talked about all the snow we’ve had and the problem we have had removing it. I told them about my experience. I had a knock at my door and a young man stood there asking if he could shovel my walk. I agreed. When he finished I asked him what I owed him and he answered, “Whatever you want to give me.”

You don’t hear that very often. He had a young girl with him collecting the money. He introduced her as his wife. I tell you this story because I didn’t get his name and phone number. If you know who he is, please call both of us. I admired his making a job for himself and I figured he really wasn’t taking anything away from the regular snow remover because there was too much snow to handle. Please, fellas, if you know of anyone who is old and alone, don’t hesitate to ring that door bell. Homeowners are responsible to clear their own paths, especially for the mailmen.

Then there was another heartwarming incident. Ten-year-old Jack Swanson from McAllister Road said he would like to ride his bike to school or even walk, but there is no bike path or crosswalk at the intersection of routes 60 and 20.

Could something be done? His mother said five years ago he wrote to the president about a concern and the president answered him. I was so impressed. I told him I thought he’d make a good politician. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if most people – regardless of age – when they saw a problem would take the initiative to try and solve it?

Now I’m going to talk about another subject. You know me. I always see the glass half full instead of half empty so I want to talk about the racial situation. I see so much progress in the growth and acceptance of diversity in so many walks of life. I notice because I come from an immigrant family and we all go through it – the Irish, the Italians, and the Polish – just to mention a few.

I have noticed in news shows, the guests are often one white and one African-American. There are many minorities in both houses of Congress who are well-spoken and have a lot of intelligent input.

There is also progress in the field of entertainment where entertainers make mega bucks.

Do you notice the intermarriages?

Have you noticed the range of skin colors in the talent shows? Are the whites now the minority?

There has been progress in sports. Have you noticed there are many quarterbacks now of African-American origin? The same is true of basketball. Our Olympic team is more diverse.

These people are making lots of money! Many of them are millionaires!

Have you noticed more diversity in education? I have also noticed this in commercials and in soap operas.

I noticed when we were in Hong Kong all the mannequins in the windows were white. This was about 20 years ago. I assume this will change if it hasn’t already.

I have probably overlooked a lot of other areas, but I covered enough to make you feel proud of what has been done already and hopeful for the future.

When I was in high school I felt the prejudice, but I don’t feel it now and even though I knew the prejudice was there, I never felt it because I knew who I was. My parents had brought us up with respect and caring for anyone who needed our help. We lived right and it paid off.

Even if no one will ever know all the good things you have done, you know. Like yourself for who you are and the good things you have done!

Is your glass half full? If not, hurry up and put as much as you can hold in it!

P.S. For Valentine’s Day I would have been engaged 68 years!