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This is a village of good neighbors

SPRINGVILLE — Anyone who knows me knows I’m not the best driver on the planet. When I first learned to drive, I mixed up the brake and the gas pedal when putting the car into the garage and crumpled the hood against the garbage cans that sat in front of the parking spot. My parents were hosting a party at the time, so my mom and I opted not to tell my dad until later. He took it well, all things considered.

Several years later, I misjudged the distance between my front bumper and the side of the garage as I tried to swing wide to avoid a friend’s car parked behind mine in the driveway. I tore the bumper off the car and dislocated the garage door track (are we seeing a theme here?) My brother took photos and laughed as I duct-taped the bumper back on and hammered the door back into place before my parents got home. Little did I know, they were at a car dealership signing the paperwork for a new car for my mom. The one I had just ripped the bumper off was my Christmas present. Oops.

So, even though I now drive a hardy Subaru and haven’t hit any garage doors in a few years, it wasn’t entirely a surprise to me when, driving down Main Street this week, I lost control of my car trying to avoid rear-ending a fellow motorist. My tires began skidding and, in a split-second decision, I opted to swerve into a snowbank instead of cuddling up to my neighbor’s bumper.

My car and I ended up on top of some of that lovely lake effect we’ve had lately, and I was left trying to dig myself out in subzero temperatures.

I’m also not what you’d call athletic, so I’m sure watching me try to dig out my car with a snow brush was an entertaining sight. Needless to say, I was not successful. A few minutes into my adventure, a Village of Springville Department of Public Works employee showed up, since I was blocking the sidewalk he was trying to plow.

“That’s a strange place to park,” he laughed, before trying to help me push it out. He couldn’t get my poor station wagon to budge, so he called two other DPW employees, who showed up minutes later and successfully hoisted me out of the snowbank.

The whole expedition took about 15 minutes.

Some people call Buffalo the “city of good neighbors.” I think Springville was more deserving of that title, this week. Since I began working in Springville a little more than three years ago, people told me that the village has some of the friendliest residents around. This week, three guys in fluorescent green hoodies proved it.

“Yeah, I need to get this girl’s car out of a snowbank,” one of the DPW employees told his colleague, when explaining why he was calling. “She’s in my way. I mean, I could go around her. But you know.”

Thank you, Mr. Springville Street-Plower (whose name I didn’t catch) and you two DPW workers, for helping me out of the snow. I know we all appreciate your hard work keeping the streets and sidewalks clean, keeping our water and electricity on and generally making sure the village runs smoothly, even when the polar vortex hits. But it’s that extra mile, that push on a stranger’s bumper, that really makes Springville one of the friendliest places to be.

While I wouldn’t have chosen to spend that time in the snowbank, I drove away with a smile on my face. Thank you Springville, for reminding me why this village is a wonderful place to live and work. You really are a village of good neighbors.
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