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OLAF FUB SEZ: According to French soldier and writer Bussy-Rabutin (1618-1693), "Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the
great." . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1536, the Argentine city of Buenos Aires was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain. . . . In 1653, New Amsterdam -- now New York City -- was incorporated. . . . In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, ending the Mexican War. . . . In 1876, the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs was formed in New York. . . . In 1882, Irish poet and novelist James Joyce was born near Dublin. . . . In 1897, fire destroyed the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. A new statehouse was dedicated on the same site nine years later. . . .

EUREKA -- Freelance photographer and correspondent Harry Rosettani of Fort Erie, Ont., is trying to find the "honest lady" who found his wallet Monday in the parking lot of Premier Group, 3445 Delaware Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

The woman handed the wallet over to an employee of the liquor store and left. The bulging billfold contained 20 credit cards, $1,600 in U.S. currency, $400 in Canadian currency, plus lists of relatives in Italy and elsewhere and personal contacts he had accumulated over 19 years.

"My whole life was in that billfold," explained Rosettani, who said he apparently dropped the wallet while moving some gourmet items from a cart into his car at about 11 a.m. He then drove several miles to a car wash, where he discovered his loss.

"I returned to Premier," Rosettani recounted, "and, to make a long story short, was handed the billfold by the store manager. Although it had passed through numerous hands, nothing was missing."

Though the story had a happy ending, Rosettani said it lacks one more chapter. A former policeman, he remembered that many similar stories don't end happily for the losers.

"I want to find that honest lady and reward her," he said. "The only trouble is that nobody remembers what she looks like or could give me a description." He asked that the "honest lady" call or fax him at (905) 871-4500 or let Olaf know. . . .

COURTSHIP LETTERS -- A series of courtship letters written between 1892 and 1896 will be discussed by Paul Leone at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Historical Museum of D.R. Barker Library, Day and Main streets, Fredonia.

The 162 letters were written by Norman Wilson Ingerson and Stella May Murdock, who met while working a grape harvest in Portland, Chautauqua County. After the five-week harvest, they went separate ways but exchanged the letters during a four-year, long-distance courtship. The letters contain a descriptive account of life in Chautauqua County during the late Victorian era.

A book on the courtship letters, "If Nothing Happens . . .," by Jennifer Riesmeyer Elvgren, Ingerson's great-granddaughter, has been published by Elvgren and Leone.

The program will be held in the Steele Room of the museum and will be free and open to the public. Call 672-2114. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Beth O'Hara, Paul Stewart Shanks, Karen Needham, Margaret Tutko, Helen Houston, Karen St. Marie, Al Levandoski, Diane Graham, Eugenia Krolewicz, Mark Lunday, Alfreda Dawidzik, Jim Fitzgerald Jr., Noel Posson, Colin Mann, Robert Gavin, Wanda Ritchie, Ron Karcher, Barb Hammond, Melissa Kowalczyk, Kathie Sempert, Dave Guarino, Beverly Webber, LuAnn DiCorso, Daniel McCabe, Campbell Vogt, Denise Farrel, Beth Ann Sinagra, Rose Berg, Alice Milsap, Charde Williams, Colleen Sheehan, Dave Krzanak, Joan B. Schurr, Mary Johnson-Stokes, Danny M. Fay.

SATURDAY -- Branden L. Kelley, Blase J. Pasquarella, Nadine Lewis, Tom Thompson, Lisa Beres, Bill Ring Sr., Cleve Hales, Matthew Perison, Bill O'Leary,
Michael Hanzly, Karen St. Marie, Tom Thompson Sr., Tom Zakrzewski, Susan Senker, Edwin Borrero.

AND SUNDAY -- Gene Krzyzynski Sr., Mary Beth Rosiek, Chester Lasota, Tom Kurnik, Dorothy Edinger, the Rev. Dan Callahan, Scott Prell, Gretchen Hewson, Fred Mosca, Carol Britton, Karen Rauls, Kim Hayes, Michael Wutz, Bob Weidmann, Alan Stachowiak, Patti Crehan, Jim Grady.

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