The April 20 letter to the editor sent by members of the Village Improvement Committee reminded me of when the Canaan Congregational Church in Canaan, N.Y. joined the New York State Adopt a Highway program in the 1990s. My mother, Maxine Hoppus, was visiting me in Canaan and joined a meeting where members of the church discussed things we could do to support the Chatham community. She mentioned that her Methodist church in Armstrong, Iowa had taken responsibility to maintain part of a local road. We thought that was such a good idea that we adopted over two miles of Route 295 in Canaan.
It had been a long time since I had walked in Iowa and I’d forgotten the difference between topography in upstate New York and topography in the center of Iowa. But we soon found out how different a very flat, lightly traveled rural road in the middle of America is from a heavily traveled state road in upstate New York. We collected many large bags of trash every time we cleaned this stretch of road.
I learned three lessons from this experience. The first is that people often behave inappropriately while driving and think nobody is watching them. The second is that you can enjoy time spent with friends even when you’re tired and dirty. The third is that subtle, quiet acts done by many people can make a difference.
I send thanks and support to the Village Improvement Committee.