Third time now this way, through Liberty, over to Seventeen, up to Binghamton. Instead of staying west on 17, today we continued north to Corning and on to Auburn. Auburn was not exactly on the way. But it was the home of the New York Governor, New York Senator and Secretary of State, the man for whom we can thank for Alaska, Mr. William Seward. My little one is doing a report for history class on the man and though the museum was closed for Covid, I thought we could swing by and take a quick look. This is how Walter Starhr author of “Seward, Lincoln’s Indispensable Man”, describes Auburn New York, at the time Seward moved there in 1840: “. . . the many small businesses in and about Auburn, including saw mills, carpenter shops, cabinet makers, flour mills and cloth factories. Auburn was an eager, expanding entrepreneurial town, just the place for a young lawyer to start life.”
I had scheduled a call and it extended, of course, till the time we drove into Auburn. About thirty-minutes earlier, I’d handed the driving responsibility over to the Mrs. We drove through some remarkable pine barrens completely covered in many feet of snow, testifying to the completely different climate they have here than we do down state. As we hit the Auburn main street, heading into town I told the person I was speaking with that I’d need to call them back. We drove right past the museum the first time and then turned and parked inside. My little one was only now aware of why it is we’d stopped in this small town. She exhaled, loudly and reluctantly agreed to walk around the building with me. There were cars but no signs of life inside and after a few pics we drove on.
Why does it always snow and rain and generally wax overcast when I travel up this way? I have some vaguely sunny memories of our day driving about in Buffalo but all the time en route there and back seems to have been grey. Today is grey. Any memory I have of Auburn will for the foreseeable be monochrome.
By the time we reach the Niagara Falls border crossing, the older one informs us that she’ll be at least another thirty minutes. We’d intended to go and get whatever Buffalo’s best pizza is and chow it on the ride home. In an instant we decide to zip back into Buffalo and get it now. Twenty-minutes in and we’re pulling up into Boccee Club Pizza which was well-reviewed. We loaded up two pies and some mozzarella sticks into the trunk. The lady at Starbucks next door spilled half my doppio on to the counter and smiled and apologized but didn’t think to refill it until I mentioned to her that this would be nice.
Back at the boarder, my daughter is still progressing. “I’ll be there soon”, she texts. Right. “How soon? When, exactly?” Wait. “Twenty-minutes.” She must be having a very long good bye with her boyfriend. When she pops out the border I go out in the rain to meet her and help her with her luggage. It’s wonderful to see her again. She seems, an adult. In the car we dive into the two pies. One is better than the other. I’d give Boccee and A-. Still, I eat many slices happily filling myself. Driving home along 90 it has started to snow, just like last time.