“There is no life that does not contribute to history.”

— Dorothy West

I recently learned many things about my ancestors stretching back over 200 years. Like all of us, they were faced with many choices and challenges. 

I am beginning to understand how the choices they made informed many things about where I was born and how I was raised. My ancestors from the American Revolutionary War made choices that led to living in Western New York, where the Willett family farm started and still stands today.

Sometimes events were within their control and sometimes they had to do what they could with the history that happened around them. The Erie Canal extension was dug near their land. This damaged farmland that they depended on but also brought opportunities as they ran an inn for the workers digging the canal.

The Erie canal was quickly supplanted by a railroad that ran next to its banks.

Now I run on the canal towpath where the railroad used to be.

May your choices be good.  

May you have a sense of the history you are creating.

May the projects you lead leave a positive trail well into the future.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,


Alan Willett

Photo: My great, great grandparents sitting on the porch of the house I grew up in.

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