The Solvay Public Library's flag is at half-staff and the front lawn covered with nearly 75 people, including two cameramen with tripods. The building, older than a century, is celebrating the groundbreaking of a major renovation project. And that's kind of a big deal. A congressman, a senator, a mayor and a few more high rollers mill among the crowd.
But while the event focuses on the library itself, one would think it was the celebration of a single woman instead.
That woman is Cara Burton. She flutters around the front lawn during the ceremony for an hour on the first legitimately hot afternoon Solvay has seen this season. She carries two cameras, often smiles and wears silver earrings in the shape of books.
One VIP after another takes the microphone on the steps of Solvay's own Carnegie Library to sing the praises of the library trustees and the town itself. None fail to mention Burton. They congratulate and thank her for making the library expansion possible. The small but loud audience responds in kind. They clap for her at every proper moment.
The woman herself focuses more on the library. She wordlessly deflects the praise with a wide smile and nods to those she works with. A man with a News10Now camera sitting on his shoulder asks Burton for an interview. She declines. Instead, she goes to take a picture of a hugging couple next to the library's steps.
Burton declined the interview because she's a private person. She answers questions about Solvay or its library. But she skirts questions about how she and her husband met. She'll take the time to tell a stranger all about the new elevator that will make all the floors of the library handicapped-accessible. But during an hour conversation she will not once mention that she has a young child.