Chenango Stories: Rachel Ballin

Although many people might think the exact opposite, moving to upstate New York from sunny California opened up a world of opportunity for one local resident.

Rachel (Mason) Ballin moved to Norwich when she was in third grade. Ballin’s mother had family in the area and decided to bring her two daughters to Norwich to raise them.

“Norwich is so different from where we lived before. We lived near Sacramento, and I could not even ride my bike,” said Ballin. “Here, as kids, our street was a dead end so we could ride right in the road and not have a care in the world.”

Growing up, Ballin explained she was grateful she came to New York, and as time passed, she realized how truly different her new home was from the previous one. She explained she would still travel west to see her father in the summer, and the older she got, the more she knew how lucky she was to live in the safety net that Norwich represented to her.

Growing up on Waite Street, Ballin met the man who recently became her husband. “We grew up together. He lived down the street and was my best friend,” she said. “He was the type of guy you could tell anything to, and he would visit my mom in the summer when I was gone to make sure she was OK.”

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