I want you back home. I want you to walk the perimeter of our town’s public park again, Glens Falls New York. Remember how it felt, to get out there in the early morning, when it was just the birds and squirrels at the break of sunlight? You’d walk the park, where all your ideas fell into place, and sit and write them down–every last one as they’d come to you. You kept that notebook filled and would share it with anyone, anyone who had any bit of life in them at all.
I want you back home, but none of my thoughts exceeded your wishes. You wanted to come home, too.
When you come back, you’ll get going on that plan to be married by twenty-three and a homeowner by twenty-eight. Mary’s dad owned a company that insured half the businesses in Warren County, and he really took a shine to you.
Your job wouldn’t be simply selling insurance. Selling insurance would be just a start, a small piece, you told me. Your real task would be linking others’ ideas to get the brightest people mobilized, to improve our city.
After listening to you talk for nary ten seconds, who wouldn’t be onboard? The kindness in the slight arch of your eyebrow, and the honesty built into your tone, showed us what was in your heart. Mary’s dad was an old stodge and if he saw the good in you, many more would as well.
It wasn’t about selling your aims, or convincing others of a plan. You had the ability to encourage others to step forward with their own dreams for the County.
For your homecoming, I wanted to hear you talk again about everyone taking care of their corner of the street, starting with the family and working their way downstairs. You said, if our work inspired others, then we’d get a charge out of it, as well.
With a reputation like that, the legacy of our city’s history would be honored and continued.
I wanted to see you in the early-morning park again, smiling, the cold air invigorating you, the warm air alighting you, nothing bringing you down.
We gather here in the center of Glens Falls every May and October. We, your community family, kneel before a monument and our country’s flag. Then we stand, with pride, many holding hands. We are in tears. We wonder what would have come, had you come home.