Believe it or not: Central New York is is filled with friendly people. There may be an overabundance of lousy or malicious drivers, but those behind the wheel are kinder and less aggressive when they step away from the petals. However, we may take being cordial and those who are for granted.

I. Greetings

A couple approached me the other day, stating they recognized me, but the how could not be pinpointed. We went though the list of possibilities, and Social Media Breakfast was the bell ringer.

The initiative hello can be the most difficult obstacle to climb over. There is a rush associated with new conversation. After the reluctance and anxiety leading up to the conversation is stifled, squashed or beaten to a pulp the body’s reaction will allow that blood to flow through  your body a little faster, more … fluid?

The hello is the connector of people. It’s the most simple verbal salutation that can build a new world or add more support to the world already constructed. When the most simple nonverbal salutation — the smile — is added to the mix as a two-punch combo: Magic.

The conversation ensued was as pleasant and cordial as expected. Names were attached to the new, familiar faces. May the conversation continue a second time around.

II. Conversation Starters

Photo by some unknown stranger, provided by A. Pierce.
The Improvisers. | Photo by some unknown stranger, provided by A. Pierce.

The three of us improvisers killed practice before it fully developed, before it had two legs to stand on. Instead, we grabbed coffee and ventured around Skaneateles. It was a prime day to take in sun and fresh air before the eventual rain began to pelt down with a vengeance. A few minutes after it began, the rainstorm eased.


Alexis, [Maritime] Matt and I stood at the end of the pier after counting the amount of dead fish — cause of death determined as the noise from the new docks installed — and looking for the sunken ship.

Alexis asked a stranger to take a picture, which caused her to laugh. She was ready to ask one of us to take a picture of her and her boyfriend. Moments later, a couple of friends asked us to take a photo.

Two guys, later revealed to be brothers, made their way to where we stood. After contemplating about asking to take their picture for them, an opportunity presented itself for Alexis to ask. They laughed before politely saying no thank you. However, they changed their mind, and the photo was taken with a feminine touch.

A mother and daughter pair replaced the last duo, but they dryly refused our offer to take their picture.

We wanted to have serious fun, and tried to see if the what if was answered. The random act of kindness was met with positive reactions even though some didn’t want to have their pictures taken. In case, reader, you have not been to Skaneateles: Taking pictures on the pier is what you do. Even when plagued by denial and refusal, you’ll change your tune.

III. Dog Days

Cue a really fluffy golden retriever guided its owners to where we were standing. Like a child, I was excited that the pup was headed over. The paper cup of coffee in my hand, osmotically sent a signal to my body, and it let me know it was fearful of potentially being squeezed to death.

The cute quadruped seemed to almost gallop over to where I stood. If it approached too excitedly and lunged, it could have knocked me into the water.

I bent down to greet the excited dog, who then pulled a quick right turn when it was six inches from my hand.


All it wanted was to check out the water.

OK. So maybe a smile and hello doesn’t work 100 percent of the time.

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