Seeking to divide and conquer, the team split up again today. John, Rachel, and Christopher left our comfortable Buffalo hotel at a bright-and-early 8 a.m. to trek all the way back to scenic Clayton, N.Y.
In the meantime, Kelly and Josh remained in Buffalo to gather B-Roll and conduct person-on-the-street interviews with local residents. For photos of their time in Buffalo, please visit our Buffalo River gallery page.
The trip back to Clayton came as a result of the team concluding that we wanted to hear more from Jeff Garnsey, a local business owner and seventh-generation resident of that town.
We were glad we made the trip back. During the interview, it was easy to see how much the town – and the St. Lawrence River – means to Garnsey.
“Any positive lesson I learned,” Garnsey told us, “I learned from the river.”
This deep-seeded respect for the St. Lawrence makes Garnsey’s story all the more compelling. Garnsey invited us onto his boat for a second time, where we discussed his family’s roots in the area and how he has interacted with the river during his lifetime.
“We were farmers, turned caretakers, turned boatman, turned fisherman,” Garnsey said of his ancestors.
Today, Garnsey keeps the family traditions alive by fishing from classic boats and taking visitors to the area out on tours with his business, Classic Island Cruises.
One of the best parts of his job, Garnsey says, is getting people out on the river and letting them experience what he gets to see every day.
“The river will speak for itself and capture the attention of the people on the boat,” he says.
The St. Lawrence River is intertwined into the lives of Garnsey and his family.
“At the end of the day it’s about the river,” says Garnsey. “It’s the lifeblood of the community and it’s the lifeblood of my family.”
We had lunch at Bella’s, a local bistro highly recommended by Garnsey, then headed back to Buffalo to rejoin the rest of the gang.
To see more photos of our time with Garnsey, please visit the Clayton photos in the St. Lawrence River gallery.
The forecast is calling for rain. But one way or the other, tomorrow we are determined to go to Niagara Falls.