Growing up in Broome County, NY. I've travelled far and wide, lived all over the world, and have loved every minute of it. I don't have it in me to settle down and stay in one place for very long--it's a great big world out there, why would I want to limit myself? But, what a great place to spend one's childhood - Johnson City, NY! Where else do you have the highest concentration of carousels open to the public all for free? It was a safe area in a safer time, when kids were allowed to roam free all summer long. We walked to school, hung out in the street, and even though we were in a few structured, organized sports and activiites, we also had lots of time to just be kids, to explore, to get into trouble, and to get ourselves out of trouble. We had spiedies, the mall, hide-and-seek through all the backyards (no privacy fences!) in the neighborhood, knew all those neighbors by name, and baseball-kickball-hockey-tag in the middle of the street. We adventured all over the county on our bicycles, and when we were old enough, wandered from one end to the other in our, or our friends' cars: the drive-in, the parks, mountain top, top-of-the-world, the reservoirs, county parks, the Finger Lakes and Quaker Lake. We wandered around at 5 a.m. delivering newspapers-on foot or by bike with no adult supervision. We slept out on porches, in backyard forts, and forts in the woods.
For those of you who can't imagine that childhood, go see the movie Super 8. Aside from the monster (and we imagined those), that was what it was like to grow up in Broome County. I feel a little bit sorry for anyone who didn't have that childhood.