I had read that Owego, NY was voted *the coolest little small town in America* so  Ron and I decided to pack  up the Shasta and make a run for it.

“Coolest small town in America” is a heavyweight title to carry, so when  we got there, and  I didn’t see anything to fuss about , it was with a sudden jolt,  that  I remembered just  how  seriously they got  hammered  by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee last year.   Flooding so devastating that 95% of the village was under water and many roads into and out of were  closed for long periods of time.  I decided not to   critique  Owego this time around.   But I’ll gladly share some photos and talk about the place a bit.

I will say Owego was definitely *not bad* a year later.   I realized that I had come with a tall curiosity that may have even set off  a defensive bias.     I have lived in,  and have been to,  so many  pretty cool small towns right here in NY that I came with a feeling of expectation   since they were claiming to be  *coolest in all of  America*. (say what?!!!)  I wanted to *see* what made Owego #1.

Then I remembered the storms.  Since the award was declared in 2009…it was feasible I was not seeing the Owego of that time period.   So ,  I decided to just  SEE   Owego.

Owego has a charming historic business center with buildings that are quite beautiful.

I’m a beast for old brick storefronts and big windows.

I love creative architecture and the effect it has of making me feel like a time traveler.

I should mention it was over 90 degrees and there was a Strawberry Festival going on. This caused detours and crowded walkways as people were *herded* along specific streets. (At least we got to see this cool car , huh!!!)

It should also be duly noted that  for a  Strawberry Festival we  did  not   see  any strawberries  (whaaaatt!!!!!!!???????).– There was, however a strawberry lemonade stand.

Still, I enjoyed walking and exploring with my husband.  There were some cafe’s and a few thrift stores that I could have explored further. We even stopped off at an old cemetery en route.

I don’t see it as a morbid thing. I have always been fascinated by the stories gravestones can tell. I like to tell the dead they are remembered and ask them “what was it like when you lived here?” — My question for many of  them this time was  “how  the  hell  did  you  handle  these  northeast  winters  back  in  the  1700s???” — I surmised  many of them died before we became dependent on oil.  They obviously burned wood. Gathered around hearths and read, or told stories…waiting for the root children to waken and hail new life. The sun’s return. Glorious seasons of warmth and fertility.

Again, as we drove south back to Endicott where we were camping,  my thoughts go back to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. As a victim, I know I’m still recovering from the damage of stream surge, so  I can’t even  imagine what they had to deal with when the Susquehana River  broke her banks.

I could see a  great potential for Owego  being *among   MANY  cool small towns across America*.  And make no mistake, there are MANY glorious little small towns waiting to make you feel at home.  Each with something very special to offer.  Each of them “the coolest* little small town in America  …to somebody!!!”

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