November 20, 2013

Good family, good health on gratitude list

Residents share what they are thankful for

By CHRIS FASOLINO Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — What are you thankful for?

North Country residents have many different answers to that question.

“For me, it’s been a trying year, both personally and financially,” said T.J. Campbell of Plattsburgh, who works at the Koffee Kat on Margaret Street in Plattsburgh.

“I’m thankful for having a real good support system of family and friends, who are able to help me through a pretty tough time.

“It’s simple. That, for me, is the main thing.”

Elizabeth Cohen, a writer and an assistant professor at SUNY Plattsburgh, spoke of her daughter. 

“I’m very thankful for my daughter, Ava, who is so very talented and who fills my life with joy.” 

Cohen added with a smile: “It sounds corny, but it’s true!”

Heather LaVigne of Malone was also thinking of family as November progressed and Thanksgiving Day drew closer. 

“I’m thankful for their health,” she said, “and their love.”


Josh Fountain of Dannemora, at work putting some stakes in at the Champlain Centre mall parking lot in preparation for snow control, said he was thankful for “our freedom.”

“We get to do quite a few things that, in other countries, they’re not allowed to do,” he said. 

“We can go fishing, we can go hunting, we can work where we want and we get a lot of good places to eat. A lot of people take that for granted.”

Darcy Pray and his daughter, Joanna, at work at Pray’s Farmer’s Market in Plattsburgh, took some time to think about gratitude.

“I’m thankful for a lot of things,” Joanna said. “I’m thankful for my friends who are soldiers and are keeping our country safe and free. 

“I’m thankful for my family and for my family’s health.” 

Joanna mentioned that her grandfathers — Ronald Pray and Patrick Gordon — are in their eighties, and she appreciates being able to spend time with them and hear their stories of the old days.

“Not everybody gets that.”


Darcy believes that knowledge of past hardships has made him thankful. 

“My uncle told stories of what he had to endure during World War II,” when he was in the military.

In fact, three of his uncles served then — Raymond, Bill and Clifford Pray.

And Darcy’s father, Ronald, is also a veteran. 

“If it wasn’t for our forefathers fighting for our freedom, this country would be in worse shape than what it is.”

Darcy also expressed being thankful for advances in medicine. 

“The research in the medical field, the new technology and medicines that they come up with, has prolonged our lives.”

But while he appreciates the benefits of such technology, Darcy tries not to forget the simple things. 

Grinning, he said, “I’m thankful to breathe the fresh air in the morning.”