For many years, the Cattaraugus Civic League has made it one of their community projects to plant flowers in barrels (and more recently, pots) placed around the village business district.
Deciding that the surviving barrels were looking pretty shabby, Mrs. Patricia Murphy, current Civic League president, took it upon herself to paint them. She managed to get them primed, and had just received the welcome gift of a gallon of finish paint, donated by Wayne and Dorothy Harvey, when along came a knight in shining armor (make that cut-off jeans and a T-shirt). Sixteen-year-old Tom Patterson, son of Gayle and Steve Patterson, told Mrs. Murphy he'd be glad to finish the job.
But no sooner did the young man pick up the paint brush, than a cycle of on-again, off-again rainstorms began pelting the region. Painting opportunities grew few and far between.
While Tom Patterson applies a coat of brown paint to one of the Cattaraugus Civic League’s venerable flower barrels, his battered old Craftsman stands ready to transport him to his next job. “’Til lately, it was just ‘the tractor’,” he remarked of the machine, “but the other day, Pat Mielko, down on Jefferson Street, gave me some serious counsel. She informed me the tractor definitely needed a name — and a girl’s name, at that. She suggested ‘Foxy,’ so ‘Foxy’ she is.”
Although the painting project has moved slowly, it's not like the soon-to-be high school junior, has been frittering away his summer. He runs an active yard work service that occupies most of his good weather days. "I have to take care of my customers first," he explains, with a budding businessman's sense of priorities.
But the barrels got painted, proving to the ladies of the league that the "Age of Chivalry" lives on.