Saying Goodbye to My Hometown, For Now

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| by Katy Kachnowski |

In April, I happily decided to attend Ohio State University this coming fall. A university with an undergraduate population double that of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow combined offers me endless opportunities. I could not be more thrilled to call Ohio State my new school. However, while it is exciting to embark on a big adventure at one of the largest schools in the country, as my departure date approaches, I find myself becoming increasingly nostalgic about my small hometown.

This summer, I realized how spoiled I am by the area’s physical beauty. I will miss the Hudson River waterfront, with its stunning views of the Palisades, the far off glimpses of New York City on a clear day, and the breathtaking sunsets. I understand how fortunate I am to be able to escape suburbia at the Rockefeller Preserve just a few minutes from home.

What truly makes Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow special, however, are the people who reside and work here. Our towns are made up of people from diverse cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and values. There are families that have lived here for five months and others who have called this home for five generations. Yet despite our many differences, when it really matters, people here do an unbelievable job of coming together as a community. I have seen this through years of participating in Third Friday’s, park clean-ups, AYSO, TNT and volunteering at local camps. It has been amazing to watch businesses and residents ban together when a neighbor faces a crisis or school team or project needs support. I will miss the generosity and welcoming spirit of our villages.

The school system has been a microcosm of the community. The ideas of keeping an open mind and accepting others were prominent themes in all of the schools. Kindness and compassion were taught alongside typical subjects. It has been wonderful to be part of a community that is so willing and ready to highlight and celebrate each other’s differences. This only makes the goodbye to all of my amazing friends more difficult.

When my classmates and I return to Tarrytown over the years, we will be coming back to a place that, although in many ways will remain the same, will most definitely be marked by time. By the year 2019 when many of my Sleepy Hollow classmates graduate college, the Tappan Zee Bridge that was the backdrop of our childhood will be gone. Something new and different will stand in its place. Just like the altered view, people we remember will have changed. However, we can take comfort and pride in the fact, that like the local bridges of our past and future, our foundations were constructed in this special place on the banks of the beautiful Hudson River.

Editor’s Note: Katy’s contributions to The Hudson Independent over the last four years have been invaluable. She has grown as a journalist and her dedication to reporting the news at Sleepy Hollow High School never wavered. Our loss will be Ohio State University’s gain, and we wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.

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