Monday, May 26, 2008

The Yellow-Hairs of Cattaraugus County, New York

Cattaraugus County is a very special place, at the border with northwestern Pennsylvania in the northeastern United States, where the headwaters of the Allegheny River are formed from many tributary creeks flowing southward from the interior of New York State, to eventually join with the Mississippi River. The Allegheny River is one of the world's few rivers which does not run directly to an ocean.

The County yet supports the Seneca Nation reservation in countryside at a latitude approximate to Greece at the European threshold with Asia. Problems with Greek nations are rare because such tribal reservations as the Seneca accord academic respect to their counterparts elsewhere. In the 1950s, Cattaraugus County numbered among tribal reservation areas where teepees could still be found amidst the longhouses-become-mansions and townhouses of that northern climate.

Some cultural identification with the Greek myth that features chariots as the pre-cursor to the automobile is also perpetuated within the County and other places in New York such as Lackawanna near Buffalo, New York. Older-model ironsides trucks are still cleaned up and operational for taskwork ranging from roadbuilding to community maintenance projects (although the dangers of such near-antiques have been presented in filmed movies such as drive-in fave titled 'The Truck').

The village of Limestone, New York, is the final resting-place of tribal Chief Cornplanter, under layers of environmental drift and paved roadways. Today's Radio Station WESB1490 (Bradford, Pennsylvania) story entries' listing described a petition initiated to dissolve Limestone and merge the village with nearby Carrolton, which might be a historic travesty-in-the-making with respect to the immensely beneficial multi-species reputation of Chief Cornplanter.

Summers in the region are wild and beautiful after months of heavy snowfall, and inhabitants characteristically remain outside as much as possible to soak up the warm summer sun and regain healthful physical functioning -- hence the "yellow-hair" result, some demonstrating a coloration similar to the goldfinch bird. The unique topography of the upper Allegheny watershed has occasioned the establishment of Saint Bonaventure University, as a quasi-Italian educational theme-site that jibes with dietary enthusiasm as pasta-eaters within the challenging physical environment.

Although the County does have serious cultural flaws -- the city of Olean maintains a mountainside cemetery having a substantial sinkhole-become-pond presence very nearby a tributary creek -- there is no reason to doubt the yellow-hair reputation that continues to exert population influence whereever tribal members "put down roots".

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