I would like future generations to know that despite it being cliché, in the Androscoggin Valley, we look out for one another.
I had the good fortune of growing up in Gorham and spending a lot of time working and playing in Berlin. Not everyone is so fortunate to grow up in a close community where people genuinely care about one another. To me, the last year, despite its challenges, recalled days of my youth — when someone had a need, there would be multiple people who would come to their aid. Despite the decades that have past, that great aspect hasn’t changed.
I remember the early days of the pandemic — days when our citizens truly didn’t know what was going to happen, as we’d never (fortunately) had to live through something of this magnitude. Because of the uncertainty and collective concern for one another, there were calls to our healthcare facilities from area residents and civic organizations asking if they could make masks and gowns to help ensure the health and well-being of our community members. Admittedly, it felt a little like what I imagined as a wartime effort. The concern and selflessness that I saw from Androscoggin Valley residents warms my heart to this day.
Sometimes, when I speak with my peers who live in large metropolitan areas outside New Hampshire, they will ask me what it’s like to live in the small town of Gorham and work in the small City of Berlin. I tell them that it, my neighbors, friends, coworkers and associates are some of the greatest gifts that I could ever receive.