On Thursday, a major fire destroyed three businesses and the living quarters of some students. Alfred is a very small town but is home to two colleges, Alfred State College and Alfred University. The fire reminded my family of how significant Alfred is to us.
Alfred is "down the road" from us, seven or eight miles away. My brother lives in Alfred and is retired from the university after spending nearly all of his working career there. At the age of sixty, my mother decided she wanted to work in food service at the state college and she retired from there. One of my sisters graduated from ASC, a niece and nephew graduated from AU and a great niece graduated from the college as well.
In one of life's strange coincidences, my sister and brother-in-law were passing by the buildings that burned just as the sirens went off. They were on their way from Pennsylvania to Hornell to pick me up and transport me to a hospital for eye surgery. When they returned home later, they had to detour around Alfred because of the clean-up from the fire.
There has been an outpouring of concern for the students who lost all their belongings and the owners of the businesses that were destroyed or damaged. This is an area of generous and sharing people, so I know that concern will turn into concrete help.