Nostalgia! Déjà vu. Hindsight. Thoughts of the good old days, yearning for yesteryear. Wondering “Where are they now?” as we recall pals from way back when.
In an area daily I read of people’s recollections, as submitted to the editor who presents a front page column every day. They talk about businesses, the old peddler, buildings and events and customs from a generation or two or three ago. They also talk of current happenings, oddities, wildlife sightings.
Recently a Port Allegany area native shared some of his recollections there, and a certain angst. He lamented that Port Allegany has lost many landmarks, and spoke of rumors concerning one of those losses.
I have to disagree with some assertions made by my illustrious relative and distinguished Port Allegany expat in his recent contribution to that column in the area daily.
Yes, some of us regret that we no longer have a primary care hospital in Port Allegany. But the current use of the former hospital building can scarcely be summed up as a treatment center for “druggies.”
That’s not a term I would use to characterize the persons who are at Maple Manor for prescribed periods of residential treatment of their alcohol and drug abuse disorders. It seems to me to be on a par with terms most of us would not apply to persons with learning disabilities, or persons with non-standard sexual preference, or African-Americans or Jews or Italians or Hispanics or…
How did Maple Manor come to be in Port Allegany? CEMP (Cameron-Elk-McKean-Potter) Alcohol and Drug Services offices used to be upstairs in the old theater building, in the early-to-mid 1970s. A few years later the roof leaked and the agency needed more space. The offices were relocated to the former Coudersport Hospital building, where the residential treatment component, Maple Manor, occupied a number of rooms in that facility. I was there every Thursday for months, setting up a filing system. There might have been one computer in there somewhere, but patient files were paper only.
The location was why it was called Maple Manor—Maple Avenue. CEMP became CEM when Potter County dropped out of the joinder. Maple Manor came to Port Allegany and occupied a wing of what had been Port Allegany Community Hospital; the former hospital was converted yet again, this time to an assisted living place.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (ADAS) now operates Maple Manor. ADAS is a nonprofit corporation and contracts with a number of government entities and school systems to provide its services.
Persons with alcohol and other drug dependencies who are receiving treatment at Maple Manor can be said to be “recovering.” The hope is that they can continue in recovery mode, clean and sober, after they have completed their time in the Manor. Some will make it, some will not. I know a good many Maple Manor alums who have, and some who have lost their sobriety. Their chances were much improved by the support they received at the Manor, and by out-patient counseling and continued participation in AA and NA.
Another mention was made of “druggies,” in the reminiscences the aforementioned former Port Alleganian shared in that area daily front page column. He said that rumor had it that druggies burned down the Wrights Round Barn.
The story of that fire is a sad one, and it includes some ironies, but I do not believe there exists a scrap of evidence that “druggies” caused the blaze. I did not hear such a rumor then, nor have I since.
As for the former hospital building, as we know, it houses physicians’ offices, other health services and a fitness center. (If any of the patients are overweight, would the former area resident refer to them as fatties? If any are out of shape, shall we call them flabbies?)
There was a rumor that the owner, Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, was going to expand the former hospital building to provide space for more services. I heard this from a physical therapy patient who heard it from a staffer.
When I asked a public information person at CCMH, she told me that she could provide no news about the expansion. The funding is not yet in hand. When there is news of an expansion she will let me know.
I take that to mean that there has been discussion of an expansion, and some planning has been done, but plans have been suspended until funding has been found or arranged. CCMH has not abandoned the idea.
An old friend from school days e-mailed, reminiscing about musicians he remembers from high school. Sam Mole Jr. was one—a fine trumpet player. “Fuzzy” heard that Sammy played at a reunion of the Class of 1957, and someone may have captured a video of that. I don’t know which reunion that would have been, but if anyone out there knows of such a video, we would like to hear about it.
Fuzzy also mentioned Bob Rialti and Joel Anderson as excellent musicians. Hear, hear! The recent Moments to Remember had some music and some musicians from the 1950s, didn’t it!