June 19, 2017

By: Camille Hord

I’ll let you in on a secret…….I eat very little processed food, especially from fast food establishments, but there are exceptions to every rule.  Once a month I allow myself to have a sausage biscuit from McDonald’s.  So on Monday morning I was running early and I got my biscuit and decided to go to Congress Park to eat it along with my Dunkin Donuts coffee.  The morning was beautiful, the park was serene and I just wanted a little peace and quiet before my hectic day started.

I sat on a bench and was watching the ducks and people meandering by with their dogs.  A very elderly lady walked by and stopped to say “Good morning”, and admired my necklace.  This started us in a conversation that led to all the changes in Saratoga.  I immediately thought she was going to say that she liked the “good old days”, but I was totally surprised by her comments.  She had come here from England, having met her husband while he was serving our country in the military in Europe.  She was brought here, to a strange place, but immediately felt the warmth of the town and the people in it.  She said she had seen a lot of transition and wondered for a while, in the 50’s and 60’s if Saratoga was going to “die”.  She actually made me laugh when she said that everyone is so sad that the old hotels are gone and modern architecture has taken its place.  Her exact words were “Those damned old things were fire traps”.  She appreciates the vibrancy of the city and the serenity of the park.

We sat there together on the bench for a few minutes and we saw a young man sit on another bench, take out his guitar and start to play and sing.  He was actually quite good.  I took a good look around at the Casino, the Spring, The War Memorial, the ponds and the ducks and thought, “what a great way to start the day”.   Twenty minutes of serenity and good conversation made my day.  We are very fortunate in that there are many places to find both, in our great little city.