Perhaps it’s the high valleys of old glacial lakes that stretch out over the land or the tall, rolling hills covered in the hardwoods of oak and maple, that repeat in an undulating pattern like folds of intestines. Or maybe it’s the open fields of corn and potato that have been the lifeblood of families for generations that draws me back to my first community of Wayland, New York.
Located in Western New York state, Wayland is a tiny community of about 2000 people that hosts a very modern K – 12 school district that serves 5 different communities. A central school, Wayland-Chohocton Central School, like many small towns, is the heart beat of the community. It’s where things happen and the incubation of little humans begin. The end result being young adults, truly raised by a community, that are ready to go forth in pursuit of their dreams. But some kids are special and have the taste of their dreams on the tip of their tongue.
Bill T. Jones is one of those special kids. Known as an athletic dancer/choreographer /director of a Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in New York City, Bill T. Jones lived his formative years in Wayland and recalls his life there fondly in the attached, recent article from a local newspaper. When a high school friend sent it to me to read, I felt a sense of kinship about a place, the land and the people that grew us up in the 70’s. The teachers he mentions were committed to their jobs and stayed for years, often teaching generations of families and shaping the futures of many who have accomplished their dreams. Read Bill’s book, “Last Night on Earth.” You’ll gain insight into what experiences can shape a person and make them resilient and successful.
Congratulations Bill T. Jones, on your upcoming arts award at the 33rd annual Kennedy Center Honors!