Just a few days ago Hurricane Irene traveled up the east coast leaving destruction in it's wake. One of the areas hit hard was my hometown, Scotia, NY. This is the place I think of when I think of home. I remember being a kid and running down the street. I remember sitting on my Grandma's porch while it thundered and poured. I remember watching her tulips grow in the backyard knowing that soon summer would come.Jumpin' Jacks is on the right. You can see three rooftops and four "dots" closer to the road - those the wooden umbrellas. The park? Gone.
Scotia is a small town. I walked to my elementary school and back - and it was only uphill ONE way :) There was a tiny movie theater and a neighborhood grocery store. And every day at a certain time (which I can't remember now, but let's say 5pm), the fire station would alarm.
There's a park in Scotia called Collins park. It's where I rode my bike, where I played on the playground, where I swam in the lake. And the best burger joint ever is there... Jumpin' Jacks. It consisted of two buildings. The burger part and the ice cream part. They have the best cheeseburgers and fries EVER. I always got 2 cheeseburgers. They are kinda small. But, Mmm, they are SO good. We'd get our food and go sit down at a picnic table under a wooden umbrella. Then we'd go get ice cream and walk down by the river and throw stones in.
When I was a teenager, I remember going there and sitting under the bridge. There were a couple of kids - I was not one of them, I was too scared - that would somehow get across to the middle of the bridge and jump off into the river.
This place is iconic. It's home. Since moving away in 2005 I haven't been there and I really miss it.
This is what it looks like now, after Irene:
I'm heart broken.
I hope they will recover.
What angers me the most is the people who say "Irene wasn't bad" or "All that hype and nothing happened". Maybe they should open their eyes and look around. Just because Irene didn't bring NYC to its knees doesn't mean that damage wasn't done.
I'm hoping to help the town of Scotia with some of the proceeds from my new release coming up. When I get some information, I'll pass it on.