To the Editor,
My wife, Janet and I came back home to Andes for the recent Community Day festivities. A number of others in the family came with us.
It was a fun day for all and so good to see so many old friends. Sadly, as we all grow older, there are fewer and fewer of those friends still around. Indeed, Thomas Wolfe, a North Carolina author, was right: you can not truly ever go home again; it simply is never the same as you remembered it. There are so many new faces and changes in the area. Of course, a lot of those strange faces we saw had to have been visitors from outside Andes.
This year’s trip was mainly to attend the wedding of our oldest granddaughter, Rebecca, in Utica. The day after we were in Andes we drove around the Utica area to see various sights. We went through one small town that impressed us a great deal. The town was Cold Brook and, before I tell you why we were so impressed, I need to go back a day when we were walking around Andes.
Quite frankly, we were appalled by the condition of the sidewalks in so much of the village. Not only were they broken up but, in some places, were downright dangerous. Several of us tripped more than once, and I saw one person go down and land hard. Fortunately, he got right up again.
Our son, Dave, who works in the Utica area in abstracting, knows a lot about his territory. He purposely took us through Cold Brook so we could see their spanking-new curbs and sidewalks, all built with federal grants. The main street of Cold Brook runs for a greater distance than does the main street through Andes. Try to imagine what Andes would look like if all of her broken sidewalks could be replaced at no cost to local folks and also with new curbs along the roadway. What a difference that would make! What an improvement!
Now, this is no pipe dream; it can be done if enough Andes’ people are interested. I consulted with Dave and he suggested that a committee of local folks could be set up to attack the situation. He said you could approach your local Congress person or the Mayor of Andes to get some basics.
The sidewalks in Andes have been deteriorating for a good many years and only a few have done anything to improve them. Such a village-wide project would, of course, be prohibitively expensive for the local citizenry to undertake. A Federal grant or two could be the answer. If I still lived in Andes, this would be something I’d love to see happen and would be more than willing to help out with. How about it, Andes’ folks? Isn’t this an idea worth exploring? I would most assuredly think so.
David C. Andrews
I don’t know if the fact that the village of Andes will cease to exist at the end of 2003 would matter in such a quest. I hope not. ~