By now, Sept. 1 that is, things should start to feel a bit more routine and normal. Kids are back in school, summer camps have ended, vacations have come and gone, and September always marks a time to get “back to our roots” so to speak. A time to pause, take a deep breath, and return to part of our foundation. Our Delaware County Fair.
I very much admire the hard work that goes into making our fair one of the best in the state. I love seeing our kids work so hard on their 4-H projects and watching them beam with pride when they show their animals. I am so thankful for the positive, realistic education our kids (and entire community) can receive by going to the fair. The agricultural and farming educational aspects are simplistic reminders that our quality of life and the people who should be admired aren’t found in Hollywood. No, our quality of life, our admirable leaders, and people worthy of our respect and adoration are found right here, in our roots, in Delaware County. Our fair has been, and always will be, a reminder to me that all of the bad in the world that our office sees daily is not representative of all of Delaware County.
But, if I’m being honest, this September feels different. It was a heart-wrenching and gut punching summer for the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office. I try to remember that justice is a process, and, no matter the result, we would always feel a bit empty at the end when what brought us to the process is that someone lost their life.
It’s easy to get trapped in those thoughts for sure. No doubt the summer of 2022 will be with us for the rest of our lives, and it certainly has changed us. But, at the same time, the crimes in Delaware County didn’t come to a screeching halt this summer while serious cases went to trial. So we must put one foot in front of the other. As I try to help my team, and help myself reset after this summer, I find that I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of September for all the simplistic reminders of what life really is like in Delaware County.
And just like that, it will be our Delaware County Fair. As in years past, you will see me, with Judge Hejmanowski, judging a rabbit contest on Sunday, Sept. 18. You’ll find me in the audience at the livestock sales again to financially support our 4-H kids, too. The Prosecutor’s Office will also have a booth again where we will have information about all of our services, and of course, you can pick up the coveted horse-head yard stick. I hope you will take a moment to stop by and meet the dedicated public servants of the Prosecutor’s Office.
Melissa A. Schiffel is Delaware County prosecutor.