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"In delirium I think of you/As a bean sprout ..."

-- Beginning of a poem in the current Artvoice.

Street of dreams

Last weekend about 75 people followed Tim Tielman, Buffalo's pied piper of preservation, as he skipped down Linwood Avenue, lecturing on old mansions, criticizing incompetent home ownership (curse those cheap shingles!) and merrily trespassing (one house was vacant, so he led his gigantic group into the yard to view the carriage house). Humor abounded. One tour member, seeing a mansion obscured by a beautiful tree, said, "This should be a good excuse to knock a tree down." Dumb questions abounded, too, as they always do on such tours. "What was the house built where Canisius High School is now?" someone wondered. You're talking what, 1710? Tielman, understandably, was at a loss. But his interrogators persisted. "Wouldn't it be the Milton house?" "How about the Fargo house?" Finally, Tielman lost patience. He said, "Maybe it was Mr. Canisius'."

Teed off

It's like something out of Dickens, the bitter battle of Rogowski vs. Gabryszak, slugging it out for the post of Cheektowaga supervisor. The latest: a flier from the Rogowski camp titled "The Gabryszak Chronicles," focusing on the still-unfinished golf course on Rehm Road. "DO throw your golf clubs and head to Rehm Road," lectures the flier. "DON'T expect to play golf there -- but admire the pretty sign. Hey, you spent $2 million for all this. ... DO head out to Amherst and Tonawanda; their municipal golf courses are open for business. ... DON'T go to Lancaster Country Club. You need a membership to get in there. Gabryszak and his pals play there." Ow! It concludes nastily: "DO call Gabryszak at Town Hall to express your outrage. ... DON'T expect to find him at the office. Most days you can find him out playing golf." Love that old-time mud-slinging!

Smoke and mirrors

We love that sinful, self-indulgent part of Transit Road, with Premier Liquor, Starbucks and a cigar shop, the Tinder Box. The Tinder Box, especially, is a kick. It smells incredible; light-years away from the stinky stogies you smell, say, at the Lafayette Tap Room. As the clerk said, "It's the natural potpourri." Also, it has candy cigars, which, in a world that all but bans candy cigarettes, have an almost Cuban glamour. In the back, there's a lounge where Amherst guys gather to smoke and be manly. (The day we stopped in, a TV was showing a documentary called "The Big House," on San Quentin.) We think the lounge should be separate from the store, to shield patrons from intrusive visitors, like Buzz. But it's not, so we were able to eavesdrop as one guy took a call on his cell phone. "I'm just sitting at the Tinder Box. Relaxing. Enjoying a cigar," he said. "No. Thanks for the invite, but I think I'm just going to stay here."

Old-time religion

Speaking of cigars, when Buzz was a little girl at Christ the King School, the class had to recite, "Good morning, Mr. Reeb," or "Good morning, Mr. Rebescher," as the janitor entered the room, hidden by acrid cigar smoke. Janitors could smoke back then! And they got respect! Mssrs. Reeb and Rebescher floated back to us in a Proustian puff thanks to "Late Night Catechism," the Catholic education spoof at Shea's. We missed the show, but rumors of it were floating around, like illegal hall passes. Such as how the nun dropped the chalk and just stood there, waiting for someone to pick it up. Ha ha! We'd forgotten that! Also, we heard, she said that not all saints had names. "Take the Thousand Martyrs," she said. "We don't know their names. But we do know their names weren't Tiffany or Kimberly."

The buzz

Last week, we wrote how Goodwill was getting picky with people's clothing donations. Goodwill protested. "We don't want to discourage people from donating," they said. Buzz grabbed our bow blouses from the curb at the 11th hour. We'll be right over. ... Honesty in songwriting: Folk artist Mari Anderson plays Borders on Saturday at 8 p.m. with Marty Peters, Leslie Danielson and John Anderson. The announcement promises, "She will touch on the themes of childhood memories, motherhood, marital fidelity, friendship and death. And if anyone is still around, she will debut her new CD, 'Heaven on Earth.' "

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