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Off Main Street

Guilt as personal trainer

Guilt runs rampant sometimes, and it seems to take on greater proportions at the holidays.

What else explains the Thanksgiving morning scene at the Buffalo Athletic Club at Eastern Hills?

Those looking to shed calories before a traditional turkey dinner packed the treadmills, bikes and elliptical machines.

But some of those present also were looking to exorcise another form of guilt.

It seems a few in the Northtowns who awoke to rain and mid-30s temperatures decided to get their workout indoors rather than face the foul weather for this year's 8K Turkey Trot.

Charles R. Huyler, the club's general manager, estimated that as many as 20 percent of those in the club were skipping the Turkey Trot.

"If it was snowing, they would have run," Huyler said. "But not when it's raining and sleeting, with lots of puddles."


Wedding goes to dogs

This recent headline over a wedding announcement in the Amherst Bee certainly caught our attention: "Bride's dog serves as bridesmaid."

The listing went on: "Junior bridesmaid was Diva, the bride's Yorkie-poo."

Our curiosity piqued, we had to find out more about this canine.

First of all, the couple -- now officially Jason and Jennifer Fedus -- did ask permission to make the dog a bridesmaid. But the Rev. Dan Palys of St. Gabriel's Church in Elma said that wouldn't be appropriate.

As a compromise, the bride's mother, Eva Subjeck, carried Diva down the aisle and held the dog during the service.

The dog, which wore a bridal gown, was very well-behaved during the ceremony, Eva Subjeck told Off Main Street.

After the ceremony, Diva and four dogs owned by Eva Subjeck posed for pictures with the bridal party.

At home, Diva has a drawer filled with pajamas, bathing suits, fur coats, and costumes, Jennifer Fedus said.

Diva wears those outfits when Jennifer Fedus brings her to work each day at the family-owned Online Auto Connection.


The other Amherst, Part 2

Last month, Off Main Street wrote about a newspaper article announcing that the Town of Amherst was restricting water use because a drought was drying up the Buffalo River.

It turned out the article was from the Amherst New Era-Progress, a newspaper in Amherst, Va., near Lynchburg.

Off Main received an e-mail from former Buffalonian Karen Swallow Prior, who now lives in that other Amherst.

"Buffalonians and Buffalo connections are everywhere," said Prior, a former pro-life activist here who now teaches at Liberty University.

She notes that a company located down the road is called "Buffalo Air Handling," a fellow University at Buffalo alumna lives across the street and a member of her church has a son who plays for the Bills.

Further, Liberty's Facebook network has a 19-member "Buffalonians Unite" group, and Prior said she's seen a few Bills license plates around town.

"And in the heart of NASCAR country, that's really something," she wrote.


Crazy crowds, but no loonies

As if the crowds at the malls in Western New York Friday weren't going to be bad enough, an article in Toronto's National Post encouraged our Canadian friends to come here for some post-Thanksgiving shopping.

It's hard to imagine, with the country's reputation for politeness, any Canadian being able to handle the violence and chaos that can mark Black Friday.

"We Canadians usually laugh in contempt at the news footage of shameless consumers who, every American Thanksgiving, push aside a rival shopper to get their hands of a $20 brand-name DVD player," the Nov. 17 article stated.

However, the article, headlined "Buffalo Flings," notes that the strong Canadian dollar makes entering this maelstrom more than a little tempting.

The story offers strategic advice:

"Remember to keep your elbows up -- you don't want Tina from Tonawanda to beat you to that last $200 HDTV."

Buddy, a troop of Mounties wouldn't keep Tina from that TV.

Written by Stephen T. Watson with a contribution from Scott Scanlon.


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