The second time we met as a class, someone in my group mentioned that they were either from Elmira NY or once lived there. This class I remember we were discussing physical things from the places you were from that you couldn’t find on a map. Incidentally, I had just visited Elmira over break and so I knew Ernie Davis was from there, and that Tommy Hilfiger’s ex-wife now occupies the mansion on the hill she won from the divorce settlement, and that Elmira was home to a large high-security state prison. However, I was even more privy to some information off the map that others were not. The most standout thing in my memory from my visit to Elmira was the beautiful and extremely high cliffs surrounding the valley. The perfect recipe for a hang gliding hotspot, which it is.
After I stopped thinking about what fun it would be to go hang gliding next time I visited, my memory took me back to a small fact my friend had told while I was there on my visit. “When my mom was younger, her house was ruined in the Flood of 72.” Well, here I was in a class discussing hurricanes and flooding, so I thought about it for a moment then moved on.
As I am remembering and now writing this I did some research on what the Flood of 72 was an all too perfectly this flood was caused by none other than a hurricane. Hurricane Agnes to put a name to it. On a separate visit to Elmira, my friend took me to the house where his mom had lived that flooded and had since been restored. I saw the water line of where the flood waters had reached within in the house. It made me feel uneasy.
“In Elmira, porches and garages were ripped loose, the Walnut St. bridge was carried away, Maple Ave. to Notre Dame High School was “underwater”, and on S. Main St., Gerould’s Pharmacy at W. Hudson was engulfed by 10 feet 3 inches (3.12 m) of water.”-Wikipedia
This cycling and interconnection of ideas, concepts, people, and places throughout the semester has really opened my eyes. My perspective on certain ideas, especially those of performance has become a less limited, and my ability to notice has become a little better. I would never have drawn the connection between a random comment my friend made about “the flood of 72” to Hurricane Agnes without this class, and I most likely would have never encouraged myself to do any further unpacking about it.