By Jasmine Willis
As we come to the start of a new year it is nice to reflect on what still stands and what has been lost.
When I walked along the small town roads there were businesses scattered along the path … businesses owned and operated by people who dared to dream.
As a child I grew up in small towns and talking with these people in Fredonia Ny on Small Business Saturday in November made me think of my hometown.
Now that we have established a new year I think of those small businesses again, particularly the ones I spent some time in.
Growing up we never had much money so Wellsville NY was a great place to live. It was filled with lovely small businesses, and operated by good family oriented people trying to survive in a small town.
I got all of my toys from these little used toy places, treats from the hometown bakeries, used books from the local book stores, and an ice cream cone at Byrne dairy.
It is sad when most of your childhood disappears and is lost in time. Memories and stories keep them alive long after they are gone. Human beings hope to keep these treasures alive to share with their children someday, but sometimes they are just gone before you get a chance.
I say take photos of things you wish to remember,and that way you can at least show them places that made your childhood home special. If they are already destroyed than try to keep the stories close to your heart.
Next time you walk into a small business try to get the story so you can share it. All good things start with a dream and people’s determination to see those dreams come true.
Some of my childhood is still there like footprints guiding me down familiar paths. The tiny green bridge across the creek I would swim in as a child by my old house stands strong. The pink house that remains a mystery I have yet to explore stands tall. Some family homes remain and family members keep them safe. The deer park I adored as a child stands firm. The arch across the road to the island park stays still. Things remain and things are forever lost, but in my heart it all lives on.
I have collected more of these treasures in my lifetime and am often reminded that it is in these small town gems we find the heartbeat of America.