Community news

Sweet, creamy, delicious: Where do you go for ice cream?
By Delaney Van Wey

The temperature is creeping towards 88°. Sweat is slowly trickling down the back of your neck as you stroll through town. There’s one thing on your mind: Ice cream.

A summer staple, ice cream has long been a cherished treat for people of all ages. It comes in a wide variety of wonderful flavors, textures, and styles, making it super versatile and fun.

In Gowanda, you’ll never run out of options to try. Between Red’s, Scoops, and Thirsty’s, there is always a place to get your fix, not to mention other nearby places, like Racer’s, Dairy Queen, Cindy Lou’s, Sunset Grill, and Frosty Treat. Can you say “more, please?”

With so many possibilities, it seems like one summer wouldn’t be enough to try them all. To save you precious time and money on trial-and-error – although it would be the most delicious trial-and-error ever – keep reading to see what the best local ice cream joints have to offer.

Scoops is #1 on this list for its super convenient location and huge variety of flavors, and is undoubtedly a Gowanda favorite. A facet of LaVia’s Pizzeria, Scoops offers more than 80 kinds of hard ice cream, which senior Elizabeth Omicioli especially enjoys. She also said that the employees are “extremely friendly.”

The shop also has Whips, which are imitations of Dairy Queen’s famous Blizzards. They are fantastic, especially because you can make one with any flavor of ice cream and as many wacky add-ins, like homemade cookies and candy, as you want.

Another Gowanda hotspot, Red’s, has plenty to offer ice cream aficionados. Although it is relatively new in town, it’s wildly popular and can often be seen packed with locals on hot summer days. “It’s my favorite ice cream place in town,” shared junior Gabby McCormick, “The soft-serve is amazing and I love the atmosphere.”

It’s not surprising that McCormick likes the soft-serve so much.

According to senior Sydney Gominiak, who is also a Red’s employee, they are the only place in town that uses real, honest-to-goodness custard in their soft-serve. She said that using custard makes the treat creamier than those served at other shops that just use milk and flavoring, and students are definitely noticing the difference.

The fun doesn’t stop here, though, at least if you’re willing to go a little further out. Racer’s, located in South Dayton, is renowned for its giant servings. It also has a wide selection of flavors, although not as vast as Scoops. Make sure you don’t go overboard, though; I once watched someone order five scoops, and it was enough for three people.

For junior Colleen Steward, Racer’s holds a special place in her heart because she goes there every Wednesday with her dad during the warm-weather months. “It’s our summer treat,” she explained.

Going just a little further away, even more possibilities open up, like Dairy Queen in Eden, home of the classic Blizzard, and Cindy Lou’s in Springville, where patrons can customize their own frozen yogurt creations.

It’s always a blast to pick out your favorite toppings (or just pile on all of them) and, since you pay by the ounce, you have more control over how much you spend, although it’s usually easier to overspend.

Also, if you’re in Springville you could swing by Cold Stone Creamery, where you can create your own frozen confection, or choose from their selection of expertly-crafted “Signature Creations” (I recommend Apple Pie a la Cold Stone or All Lovin’ No Oven).

If you’re looking to spend your summer at the beach, there are some great ice cream spots near the sun and sand, at least if you’re going to Sunset Beach in Irving. After soaking up some rays, stop in at Sunset Grill, where they have – wait for it – 101 flavors of soft serve! They range from normal, think vanilla, to off-the-wall, like Mango Papaya.

However, just across the street is another Gowanda favorite, Frosty Treat. The mere mention of the place makes students smile and even cheer, which is not surprising considering it’s a place dedicated to completely one-of-a-kind sundaes! They’re not afraid to go all-out there either; in fact, I’ve seen them put an entire cookie in a sundae!

Just the mention of these places is enough to make anyone scream for ice cream.

ice cream

Big advantages from a tiny town: A love letter to Gowanda
By Hunter Samuelson

“I can’t wait to get out of this little town so I can move on to bigger and better things with my life!”

Sound familiar? It should.

This is not the plea of just any Gowanda citizen, but the delusional Gowanda citizen.

To think that there is a place in this world that does not have rumors, gossip, and drama is a delusional thought indeed, so as unfortunate as it is, the entire world is rather dysfunctional no matter where you go.

“The perfect town” does not exist, which is why the citizens of any town, though it be imperfect and unsettled from time to time, must learn to have an unconditional love for their hometown and accept those imperfections.

What better way to do that than around Valentine’s Day?

We always associate Valentine’s Day with romantic dates, making out, and useless oversized teddy bears.

Valentine’s Day is more than those useless oversized teddy bears; it’s about having an oversized love for the community, and it’s important that we broaden the affectionate message Valentine’s Day sends, so rather than focusing on loving one person, we focus on loving everyone and everything in our lives.

Remember, it’s a holiday not just for kissing and hugging, but appreciating and accepting.

Gowanda seems to be the Justin Bieber of all villages, being the highlight of the local news over the past few weeks, and more and more citizens want to call it quits with Gowanda… they want a break up.

But you cannot just dump your hometown, and because it is Valentine’s Day, it is the perfect day to express love and gratefulness not only for your significant other, but for your community too.

Love is NOT just for couples on Valentine’s day, so those of you who planned on eating a carton of Ben and Jerry’s with your cat on Friday while listening to sad breakup songs by Drake, there is something for you to love too that maybe you’ve been neglecting: your own community.

Although nobody says you have to stay locked in your hometown for the rest of your life, you’re stuck there for a chunk of your life, and not only do you grow in that chunk of your life, that chunk of your life grows on you. Our origin says a lot about who we are, and it even shapes us into who we grow up to be, so how can you be proud of where you’re from and be able to express who you are freely after degrading your own hometown? You’ll never be able to change the fact that you’re from Gowanda, but you will always be able to change your mindset of Gowanda.

So many citizens devalue their own hometown; it’s like pouring toxic waste on tree roots; the tree becomes ruined. You can’t degrade your roots like that, otherwise you’ll grow into a gloomy pessimist…and gloomy pessimists never get oversized teddy bears on Valentine’s Day.

If you put in effort into this citizen-village relationship, I promise that Gowanda will not only win over your heart, but your stomach too; go out to Olympia and indulge in delicious Greek food or their famous peanut butter pie. Oh, and just a warning: you may enter a food coma.

Signs of a true Gowandian

Gowanda rainbow
By Hunter Samuelson
Gowanda (Go•won•duh): A beautiful valley among the hills founded and settled by Gowandians in 1810.
Gowandian (Go•won•dee•in): A citizen of Gowanda who has probably spent 90% of their childhood exploring the woods, hiking in the train tracks, or in some sort of valley with lots of mud. There is a 78% chance their father is a correctional officer, or works at Gernatt Companies, and a 48% chance they had a K&L Bowling Alley Cheeseburger for lunch, and a 100% chance they wanted one. In their natural habitat they are either hunting, fishing, four wheeling, or in a creek.
Senior Matt Shea once said, “You’re not a true Gowandian unless you remember St. John’s park when it was wooden and the hot dog cart when it was downtown.” Perhaps students need a little sweet reminiscing and recollecting of past events from their own childhood.
So how does one know if he or she is a true Gowandian or not?

You are a true Gowandian if the question, “Where should I order pizza” is harder than performing
neurosurgery.

You are a true Gowandian if even though you’ve merged into the Panthers, you still can’t let go of the Jets and Packers rivalry and can hold an intense debate supported by numerous statistics.

You are a true Gowandian if your stomach can’t help but twitch when you see the creek begin to rise.

You are a true Gowandian if you can only have Maple Glenn Sugarhouse pancake syrup. And speaking of syrup, you’re a true Gowandian if you’d risk your life for a fluffy stack of Olympia pancakes.

You are a true Gowandian if you can’t emotionally handle going into Jessie’s Toybox without thinking of buying an Arts slush puppie slushy.

You are a true Gowandian if you grew up summersaulting under the Jubilee basement as a Tiny Tot, bowling at K&L Lanes, being a little leaguer at the VFW, or pewee/midget cheerleader or football player at Hillis Field.

You are a true Gowandian if you just can’t get used to calling Jubilee “Shop n’ Save.”

You a true Gowandian if you walk into Subway and the worker knows what you are going to order.

You are a true Gowandian if you have at least one clothing item from the Attic you’re afraid to admit you have.

You are a true Gowandian if you skip school to go hunting, and don’t mind waking up early.

You are a true Gowandian if you or somebody in your family owns at least one Harley Davidson clothing item.

You are a true Gowandian if you have daydreams about Dragonfly Bakery desserts.

You are a true Gowandian if the Crouse 5k has kicked your butt at some point in your life.

You are a true Gowandian if you have risked your life sledding down Maltbie Hill.

You are a true Gowandian if you laugh when cousins out of town freak out about inmates.

You are a true Gowandian if you’ve waved to an Amish buggie at least five times in your life.

You are a true Gowandian if you or at least one of your friends lives on a farm.

You are a true Gowandian if going out to Buffalo is like a day in NYC.

You are a true Gowandian if your heart sinks a little when you see there is no bank clock downtown anymore to give the time and temperature.

You are a true Gowandian if you’ve eaten enough chicken finger subs to feed a small country.

You are a true Gowandian if you’ve tried fishing in Creekside Park. . . that’s dedication.

You are a true Gowandian if you’ve indulged in a “taco in a bag” from the concession stand under the Friday night lights of a football game.

You are a true Gowandian if you care about keeping your trucks nicer than your house.

You are a true Gowandian if you spend the majority of your summer craving an ice cream cone from Scoops.

You are a true Gowandian if your Christmas gifts either came from the grocery store or the fishing store.

You are a true Gowandian if you didn’t get your turkey from the store, and you cut your own Christmas tree.

You are a true Gowandian if you’ve witnessed fights in the school parking lot about whose truck is bigger.

Most of all, they’re a true Gowandian if they don’t even bother keeping things a secret because everyone knows everybody. . .Yes, it is a small town you’ve either dated your friends sibling or your siblings friend, and you’ve never said anything like “Let’s go to that sushi place,” or “So how about that show at the cinema last night?” or “Let’s go downtown shopping for new clothes.”

As senior Ryan Boutelle said over the summer, “You know you live in the country when you get poison ivy while taking your senior pictures.”

Our version of night life is bonfires, not dancing. Our version of “going out” is hiking, not clubbing. The closest thing we will get to sushi is catching a fish in the Cattaragus creek, our cinema is whatever the school is putting on in the auditorium, there’s not much shopping to do unless you ran out of groceries, and we don’t have a museum of modern art or anything like that, but if you visit the nearest woods during the sunset that will give your eyes something remarkable to behold.

Sushi, starbucks, trendy diets, private clubs, theater shows, and exotic café joints are foreign to us… but we’ve got a red box, so the village is getting there, right?

We’re all probably horrible dancers because we never go out dancing, and our table manners stink because we’re not used to eating at restaurants, but living in a small town teaches it’s citizens to make the most out of what they have.

In the city you miss the train and have to wait another twenty minutes, but in a small town the neighbor can always give you a ride down, and traffic? Oh, you’ll never have to worry about that in Gowanda. In the city after a small storm, it’s probably going to smell like musty homeless people, but after a downpour in Gowanda, it looks as if the entire town has been revived and rejuvenated.

The sound of nothingness soothes Gowanda citizens to sleep, traffic cars, sirens, car alarms, and club fights become the bedtime lullabies for those in the city.

Maybe you do live in the middle of nowhere as a Gowanda citizen, but at least you can’t smell the cigarette smoke of your neighbor in a cramped apartment complex.

In Gowanda, you’re allowed to drive with the radio too loud, there’s no sounds of chainsaws and construction work, only the coos from the birds up in the branches of the trees in your backyard or the rustle of the woods when the wind blows by.

We know you wish you were born in raised in California, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York City, but it’s a beautiful thing to be able to live in a town where you can walk around covered in mud…and you won’t be judged.

(Although, just because we’re a small, rural town does not give you any permission to wear Confederate Flag clothing and accessories.)

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5 thoughts on “Community news

  1. Good article Hunter. I’m a 1987 graduate who departed for the Air Force right after graduation. I’m still active duty and have lived around the world, but Gowanda will always be “home”.

    Good job & Good luck in the future.

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