Niagara Gazette


May 24, 2013

HAMILTON: Mona - that little old woman who could


Niagara Gazette — However unreasonable it might have seemed for anyone actually to have expected her to pass the road test on the first try, especially for a woman of advanced her years, Mona didn’t see it as a particular problem. Instead, she focused on what she wanted for her future and then she passed it on her first try.

Shortly thereafter, whereas Matt would drive that huge, black Buick out of the garage to take his Mona to where she wanted to go, Mona would then tool out of it in her little black Ford Focus, herself. It was a car that seemed small enough to have been put into Matt’s trunk, and she would take herself to where she wanted to be.

Thereafter, I didn’t see much of Mona anymore.

Like our city, Matt’s Tavern changed hands several times after he died and Mona moved away. The building went into decline, again, like our city. In all likelihood, Matt’s Tavern will soon be torn down; but that will be the difference between Matt’s Tavern and our city.

I believe that the magic of Niagara Falls is not in what we build or have built with our hands and minds; I think that it is, as it was with Mona, in what we build with our hearts and with our determination.

At 70, Mona learned to drive and to take control of her individual destiny. For those of you who are far less than 70, it may not be a Ford Focus, as it was with Mona; but you cannot afford to focus upon anything other than your own dreams of owning your own business and your own home, as Matt and Mona did.

Because our own proverbial buildings are burned out and half-torn down, it doesn’t have to mean that our hearts and our souls have to be.

It doesn’t take much to change ourselves and our destinies. Mona changed hers. But more importantly, it won’t take us all to first change, and then change our city and the destiny of our young children — like the ones who possibly burned the bar.

That is, if we do like Mona — that little, old woman who could.

Contact Ken Hamilton at

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