We’ve reached the dog days


Shawn Magrath

We really are well into the dog days of August. As a reporter, I can say it feels like things are really slowing down, at least for now.

The long-awaited annual Blues Festival is finally here. Kudos to the Chenango Blues Association for keeping this event going for 20 years now. Each year, Norwich hosts some of the best names in the industry; not bad for a place most of New York State can’t point out on a map. I don’t plan to attend this year, but I do live close enough to the fairgrounds to hear the music from my bedroom window (not quite the same, but still fun in that different “I don’t have be around anybody if I don’t want to be” kind of way), so let the good times roll.

On Sunday, the day after Blues Fest, the second annual Chenango Tomato Fight takes to the fairgrounds. It might not be in its twentieth year and can’t quite claim the same success as Blues Fest, but a good tomato fight certainly sounds… interesting. I definately won’t be going, but if throwing squishy fruit is your forte, enjoy. At least it’s for a good cause.

Apparently, there’s still a lot of hope for the railroad that passes through Chenango County, which has been out of commission since 2006. A lot of effort is being made on the part of industrial and economic development agencies to revitalize the railroad and get the local rail system back on track (pun intended). I try to be open minded when it comes to this kind of thing. The railroad revitalization would be a costly venture and I know some groups would much rather see the rails replaced with nature trails instead. Personally, I’m all for restoring the tracks and it’s not so much because I think it would have a positive economic impact on the area. It’s more just because I like trains. And for some reason, I can’t shake the image of Dudley Do-Right from my mind. His job would be a lot less involved if he never had to tour the countryside, worrying about saving defenseless women tied to the railroad tracks. It’s good to know he’s getting plenty of work up in Canada.

The other night, I saw a spotlight circling the sky in Norwich. Out of sheer curiosity and the fear that I might be missing something important, I cruised down main street to find where it was coming from. I wound up in the McDonald’s parking lot. I’m not sure whose idea it was to put a spotlight on the McDonald’s roof and I really don’t care for it, but if the intent was to lead people to the restaurant, I say well played.