From Buffalo to Bridgehampton and Back
Or A Thousand Miles for A Thousand Moms
One fall day in October Fred Elia and I set off on a swing around New York State. The leaves were in their full glory and the weather was mild. We met up in Canandaigua where we trained a small but eager group from the Rochester area regarding recruiting gay foster parents. We were in a beautiful resort facing the lake as a heavy storm with high winds beat rain and lake water against the picture window. Having a small group enabled us to listen to many individual concerns and to offer insights and suggestions.
That afternoon we took off for Buffalo and had a dinner of beef on kimmelweck and German potato salad at the world famous Scwabl’s. I had last eaten there about 50 years ago with my parents. It hasn’t changed a bit. The next day we had a very interesting work shop. One person came in addition to Sue Cordoso from GLYS, Gay and Lesbian Youth Services. We had a very interesting conversation about language straight people use and feel comfortable or uncomfortable with when talking to LGBT people. Sue said she prefers to be called queer because it seems less like being put in a pigeon hole by a more specific label. We all then went to visit GYLS and learned about their wonderful program.
After that we headed off to Cuba for training with folks from the southern area of the Buffalo region. We had a great training there with about 25 people from both foster care and other youth services, including Sue who came down from GLYS for the day. It was great to have people with different roles discussing how they could help and supplement each other’s service to families. We tend to get so compartmentalized in our work. We hope their collaboration will continue and expand.
Once again we hopped into our cars and took off east. We stopped for the night at my cottage in PA after grabbing a quart of lo mein. We set off early Saturday for Bridgehampton where we were expected at a fund raising gathering for A Thousand Moms. This was very good gathering and was both successful and a great learning opportunity for us.
Fred and I then went our separate ways, exhausted but exhilarated by what we had seen and heard. By the way, the entire 1,000 miles was driven through the beautiful foliage in pouring rain.