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 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!!!”