Visions for 2021

Goshen. People talk about wanting a return to the things, events and customs that make Goshen the place it is.

| 11 Jan 2021 | 08:40

It probably goes without saying, that the year 2020 has presented some difficulties for most of us, the hardest part was dealing with a highly infectious virus.

We’re still wearing masks and keeping social distance, but here we are, at the start of a new year.

The Chronicle wants to share what visions our community has for the New Year 2021.

Mary Sumpter

Mary Sumpter, member of the AUMP Church, hopes to experience a year of peace and unity. She explains, “In this new year, let us pray that we will begin to understand that treating others as we want to be treated creates a pattern of love for one another, a pattern of peace as we understand that without wisdom and understanding we will remain separated from each other. In these times, it is my prayer that we will come together and treat each other with love, kindness and peace, creating an atmosphere of peace instead of chaos. Let us open ourselves to God’s grace as we seek to remember that we are all God’s children and may the light of His love be with us all in this new year.”

Mark C. Gargiulo

Mark C. Gargiulo, owner/operator of Allegro Landscaping LLC, has a personal vision.

“My hope for 2021 is that my family and I will have a celebration of life for my mother, Audrey Degan Gargiulo, who passed away on March 22, 2020 - one month shy of her 101st birthday,” he said. “I’m happy to say she did not die of COVID-19; it was just her time. As the youngest of seven children, I was very close to my mom. Since I couldn’t have a church service for her and the wake would be limited to 10 people, I wasn’t able to have a true event for her that I had envisioned.

“Mom was the eldest of seven children and all her siblings have large families, totaling a sizeable group when we assemble. We had eight people at the funeral home for one hour and then took her to St. Columba cemetery in Chester and buried her. I, along with my son, was the only immediate family member attending. It broke my heart! I’d like to have a family and friends gathering for my mom that I envision in my heart.”

Mike Nuzzolese

The Village of Goshen Mayor, Mike Nuzzolese, offers practical and much needed hope for 2021:

“As retired superintendent of the village and now mayor, I am most looking forward to getting the opportunity for village employees to receive the vaccination. As a small village we already have a relatively small but essential support service network; that is, water filtration plant, sewer treatment plant, sanitation and police department services. If village employees are infected with this corona virus and are unable to work this will seriously impact the ability to continue the level of services now received by village residents.”

Doug Bloomfield

Town of Goshen Supervisor Doug Bloomfield relates what he sees as the future of the town.

“I see continued growth for the Town of Goshen. Inherited land is being sold or contracted for long-term leases, so development will continue to happen. People have a right to sell their land.“

He’s aware that there’s a concern with growth, but the supervisor sees growth as inevitable. While he was growing up in Goshen, dairy farming was the dominant business. That changed in the 1970’s and into the late 1980’s when the dairy industry started to falter.

Now in 2021 there are only two dairy farms in the town where once there were 150. Will growth continue? “Yes,” said the supervisor. “Zoning is important, but we can’t zone people out. What we have to be is prudent and do our job of orderly growth and keep up infrastructure and support.”

Ken Newbold

Town of Goshen Councilman Ken Newbold salutes frontline and medical professionals in his vision:

“The New Year brings opportunities, hope and optimism. As we continue to deal with the realities of the global pandemic, I find solace in all of the selfish acts of our front line workers who have kept our community going, the promise of the distribution of the vaccine, and belief in our children safely returning to our schools. My wish for our community is that we come together to work through the challenges at hand and negativity that is pervasive in our national narrative. The Goshen I know and love is open, inclusive and caring. By banding together, we can find the joy and promise the New Year brings!”

Aimee Smith-Bywater

Aimee Smith-Bywater, owner of Elsie’s Luncheonette on West Main Street, addresses a vision for the Goshen business community:

“I would say the idea/wish for my business is that I’m looking forward in 2021 to be able to have a full restaurant. It’s very hard to turn people away when under these virus restrictions, when I have reached capacity limit.

“On a personal note, I wish to see all my family and friends in person, not on Zoom. Having personal connection and hug people, can only deepen connections. Last, I would love people to be kind and humane to each other; regardless of what we believe, we can still be kind towards each other.”

George Hankins

Resident and retired schoolteacher George Hankins looks for reconnecting friendships:

“The hardest thing about 2020 was the inability to commune with friends who we have developed personal relationships with. There were other activities both within the First Presbyterian Church in Goshen and the community that we had become accustomed to over the years, such as The Great American Weekend, Goshen Library Ice Cream Socials, movie nights, concerts in the park, Family Halloween Sunday, and Christmas Caroling that were cancelled. What we hope for this New Year is that when we get the vaccine and continue to follow public health guidelines, we will be able to get back to the way of life that we love about Goshen. We chose not to travel to be with family and friends for the holidays in 2020, but it is our belief that if we all work together, we will have better days ahead.”

My vision for 2021
Geri Corey, reporter for The Chronicle, offered her thoughts on the new year:
“As I was driving down South Church Street, passing the imposing church on my left, I heard church bells and I realized they came from my CD. It was the lead in to Tony Bennett’s “When Will the Bells Ring For Me.” The timing startled me, and the co-incidence brought on a sudden, unexpected feeling of sadness. I had gotten through this unusual holiday season okay—no gatherings, depression or tears. However, now two weeks later, hearing the bells, I broke down. The chiming bells brought on a vivid recollection of past Christmases—almost as clear as watching an episode of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol.’ I recalled the candlelit walkways at church, holding lit candles in the darkened sanctuary while singing ‘Silent Night,’ quietly leaving the church and heading home. Some of my family attends church, others don’t, but all gather at night for a joyous Christmas Eve. The house is decorated, the tree lit, everyone in good spirits, happy to be together. I know now that my vision for 2021 is returning to his happier time, a time when we can each attend a place to worship, gather together as friends and family, hear laughter and celebrate life.”