Centennial Essay Contest
1st Place - Emily Gifford

I love curling up and reading a book. It allows me to escape to another world or a different time. But there are times when what I read in a book is a fantasy for others, but for me it's a way of life! I have read stories where neighbors lend each other a cup of sugar or borrow a chair, of towns where you do not need to worry when walking down the streets, and where everyone knows each other and people are glad to greet you when you meet. Then I realize that I live in that story book, the story book of Scotia.

Born and raised in the Village of Scotia, I have gone through the entire school system, walked the streets, met the people, played in the park, ate the Stewart's ice cream, watched the ski shows, and attended the Freedom Park concerts. It was not until last year that I realized how lucky I am to live here. I went to Brazil as an exchange student and lived in a large city. I missed the village life, with its tight connection among the people, and the welcoming feeling the sidewalks radiate (even through the snow!). Since this is my last year of high school, and likely my last year in Scotia for a long time, I am trying to take advantage of everything the Village has to offer. I will miss the cider and donuts at Halloween, playing in the snow at Collin's Park, and Holiday on the Ave. I will miss walking to Scotia Cinema and enjoying inexpensive movies with my friends. I will miss the good weather when I can sit on my porch with my neighbors. I finally realized how much I have learned from my teachers and through extracurricular programs over the years. Most of all, I relish the closeness of everything in the Village: both the people and the places! As a child I took many of these things for granted, but now (with the help of Participation of Government classes) I have attended governing meetings for Scotia and the school board. Through my father's work on the Planning Board and with the Fire Station, I have gained an appreciation of the amount of effort it takes to run a successful community. The diligence of the people behind the scenes of Scotia is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Although Scotia has much to offer, its efforts to help teens is limited. Frequently I hear my classmates complaining that there is "nothing to do" in Scotia. The saddest thing is that many teens are relying on drugs and alcohol for their entertainment. I would not go as far as to say there is nothing to do, but I think a Teen Center would be a nice addition to the community. A facility such as this would have to be run just right to attract interest, and would be most successful if it were designed, organized and run by students under the guidance of adults.

It is hard to imagine 'dear old Scotia' any other way than it is today. Few things have changed in the years since I have been here besides the styles and occasionally the neighbors. I am sure as time marches on, future generations will see some changes in technology (maybe heated sidewalks!) and even some new buildings. There may be some changes of leadership in businesses, but I can not picture the Village of Scotia changing a great deal in the next one hundred years. With the help of zoning codes, I believe the charm of Scotia will be preserved. I envision the Village of Scotia as continuing to be a good place to raise children and enjoy life.
Scotia-Glenville NY

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