Ed Schmatz had a pretty good set-up — a good job at a Manhattan-based insurance company, then home to his family in New Jersey. But something was missing. He missed his childhood home, the carefree life where kids played street hockey with friends, hung out together, played ball, went fishing. His missed the life of his youth and he wanted his kids to enjoy the same things he did growing up.
He missed West Seneca.
"Growing up it was a big community," said Schmatz, 50, who now works for the Buffalo-based company Front Row Sports. "I grew up with five brothers and one sister. We all played sports all three seasons. It was just a great place to know you could work and still have time to raise your children."
Ed spent about 15 years at the insurance job, but in 2006 when his kids Colin and Emily were 4 and 2 years old, respectfully, he and his wife, Jennifer, agreed that it was time to seek out a simpler, slower pace of life. They sought a place where memories made with their kids could conjure up the days of their childhood.