By Phyllis Galowitz
Community Day in Andes on August 14th was just that, a day to explore the center of Andes, to walk from Garnette Arledge’s Andes Books, down Main Street, passing yard sales lining both sides of the street, stopping to visit with friends, admiring babies and toddlers I hadn’t seen in a while and noticing other people’s gardens.
It was a wonderful feeling to know so many people, to feel their concern for me and mine for them. I love them all! This is my community. These are the people who gathered around me when I needed them and who continue to offer their friendship.
The day before I attended the funeral service of a friend’s husband. He died suddenly, unexpectedly, of a heart attack at 59 years of age, leaving a wife and 2 sons, 10 and 17 years old, in shock. The news spread like wildfire and a huge crowd of people, like myself, who were touched by this terrible and terrifying event, came together to offer our support. People brought food and love. We will continue to because that’s the kind of community we live in.
I continued my walk, visiting the Library’s Book Sale and stopping to say hello to the volunteers, giving up part of their day to help raise money for a worthwhile cause. Of course, I met the people I regularly see there. They love books and DVDs as I do. This is my community.
Further on, I stopped at Merna’s Andes Art and Antiques to say hello. Merna invited me to have a croissant and coffee, for which I took a rain check. I was on my way to visit more of my community.
The Humane Society had adorable kittens and puppies, looking for homes. I was so tempted but stopped myself from making a too hasty decision I might later regret. The animals were tended by volunteers who gave of their time to see that the animals were happy and well cared for. They are my friends and belong to my community.
In front of C.A.S.A. I bought corn, freshly picked that morning, which I had to carry for the rest of my tour. It was heavy.
I took photos of funny clowns, long-haired dachshunds, couples enjoying the day, our town supervisor, Marty Donnelly and his lovely wife, Yvonne, a hayride and other things that caught my interest.
A visit to Paisley’s was next and always good for a friendly chat with Judy and John, even when I’m not buying anything.
Country Express was supplying the music at the schoolyard and couples were folk-dancing. They seem to have their following and I see the same people dancing wherever Country Express is playing. Flea markets selling what flea markets sell were all over the school grounds, lending a carnival air.
Traveling back on the opposite side of the street, I had to stop in back of the Andes Hotel where the music of “Just Throw Money” and the smells of barbequed chicken and other good things lured me. Crowds were enjoying the picnic atmosphere, and drinking and eating at wooden picnic tables. I couldn’t resist buying half a chicken to take home for lunch, as well as some homemade Italian bread.
I passed the Hunting Tavern Museum crowded with people waiting for their barbecue from Dan Flora. I felt sad that Frank Hartung was not there with his big smile, making his marvelous bratwurst, and that Allen and Wilma were not in their colonial costumes.
My bag was getting heavy. It was time to go home with a light heart, happy that this is my community. ~