New York Family

Hey, Man. Hey, Dude. Let me tell you this.
Hands down . . . this is my favorite photo from the whole trip.

Shortly after I walked over the Peace Bridge
into Buffalo, New York, USA,
I was moving towards the center of the city
intending to lodge at the Youth Hostel in downtown Buffalo.

I met these young fellows en route.
We struck up a conversation,
them wanting to know where I was coming from.


"Na, man, you got to be kidding."

"Not so. Check out my DL."

Anyway, the bros from Puerto Rico
were into having their photo taken for the web.

And here they are,
Carlos, Jose, John, and Jose.

Gracias, amigos.

Day 2 or 3 into Upstate New York,
I met these great guys -
Chris, Paul and Tom.

They work for Niagara Mohawk Power Company.
Great crew.
They would have taken me on
as their fourth man, if I had asked.

Chris, Tom and Paul
filled my pockets and backpack
with snacks, and water, and electrolytes.

Then, Tom and Paul heading back to their base,
Chris drove me a few miles up the road
to the next cafe.

Chris is a professional accordionist
who decided being at home on weekends is a good thing.
I have to invite to play
at The Rocky Mountain Garage some day.

Right, Chris?

Another late afternoon,
I was walking south on the way out of Savona
when Norm Taft and his grandson stopped their truck in the road
and asked me, "Where are you headed?"

That question eventually led to an invitation to stay for the night
at Norm's house which was just a few blocks back.
I hopped in the bed of the truck for the short haul.

When we entered Norm's house and I met his wife of 60 years,
I felt like I was transported back 40 years ago to an uncle's house in the Midwest.
Iris asked me to sit, take off my boots and ordered her grandson
to fetch me a basin with hot water to ease my weary feet.

Norm offered me to join him for dinner,
but I had just bolted down half of a loaf of banana bread.
So, I declined.

But, I did join him in watching a National League Playoff game
while Iris watched her own shows on another TV in the living room.

I slept on their couch that night.
The next morning, Norm cooked breakfast for me
and called the Corning newspaper suggesting a story about me.

Thanks for making me feel at home, Norm.

I think I was near Owego just after lunchtime.
I had been nibbling on something or
I would have happily indulged in
one of Joe Ferlazzo's grilled delights.

Mr. Ferlazzo owns Frozen Joe's
which is located a few yards from where
he grills steaks, and ribs, and chops and chicken
during warm weather months.

Joe had such a warm manner and friendly face,
I had to take his photo.
He wears good colors, too.

I will look him up next time
and try owned of his specials.

Thanks, Joe.

I was just a few miles short of Endicott,
when Bill Moses and Eric Ferguson motioned toward their property.

I was immediately offered me a beverage of my choice.
Dr. Pepper worked for me.
Then, an invitation to stay for the night's bonfire came.
I couldn't resist. I felt like I was back in Montana at the Rogers' Ranch.

I helped Bill and Eric cut up an already felled tree
and transport it to the old bathtub which was the firepit.
Before long a fire was raging and friends were gathering.
They didn't stay long, though.

When it was just Bill and I left,
Bill proceeded to make Buffalo wings and tater tots for our dinner.
"Quite tasty," said the weary walker.

The couch was a welcome resting spot until 4 am
when Bill arose to get ready for work.
He dropped me off in eastern Binghamton
on the way to his assembly line job making Shop Vacs.

Thanks for the hospitality, Bill.


What can I say?

Here I am with Bill Walsh near Honesdale, PA,
just prior to setting out on the next to last leg
of the cross country journey.

Bill and Barb Consentino had been my hosts for a week
at their rustic retreat north of Hancock.

Gnarly Bill and Big Barb, as I came to call them,
invited me to engage in wood chopping,
greenhouse construction, and general property upgrades.

I stayed in their bathhouse next to a wood stove
and joined them for meals in their house.

We also frequented the Hancock doughnut shop run by Ruby,
visited Judith Present at the newspaper office, went to the movies,
viewed a local theater production, and ate at the Inn at Starlight Lake.

Wow, I needed a vacation after surviving all the action
at Gnarly Bill and Big Barb's.

I also read Bill's favorite book, "Humanure," on the bustrip home.

Yo, thanks, guys.

New Jersey, Here We Come

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