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American flags fly in South Otselic

As you look around South Otselic at this time of year, you will see American flags -- about 30 of them high on poles, proudly flying streetside.  Danny Roodenburg, a 7th grader at Otselic Valley Central School, and Mr. Bill Wentworth, a community leader, did that.

The American flags are a project of the Otselic Valley Improvement and Preservation Association, Mr. Wentworth told us. “Three or four years ago Danny asked me if he could help and I said sure.”

Danny’s Mom, Wendy Derochie-Roodenburg, explains that this is more than a passing interest of Danny’s. “Around January or February every year he starts asking about hanging flags in the spring. He just loves it.”

Mr. Wentworth and Danny handle the job with care and safety in mind. “If Danny doesn’t want to work on a particular pole, I take care of it,” he said. But Danny’s experience has made him increasingly capable and confident. On a recent bright, clear spring day just right for hanging flags, Danny and Mr. Wentworth conferred about which flag would be the right length for a particular pole. They aren’t all the same, apparently, but these two volunteer annually to get things just right.

“He keeps an eye on them too,” Mr. Wentworth explained. “If he sees one wrapped around a pole, he lets me know.” 

The American flags fly in South Otselic a little earlier than they used to, now that Danny and Mr. Wentworth try to get them up in time for Fishing Heritage Day. They are expected to remain in place through the 4th of July.

We recently asked Danny what he likes about flags. He stood a little taller and his eyes got brighter as he explained, smiling: “Everything!”