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By Ron Gawel There is no love quite like the love that exists between that of a man and his cats. They are agreeable friends and perfect comrades---they ask no questions. They pass no criticisms. They love you no matter what. My wife Eileen and I have five cats, each unique, mysterious, humble, exotic and lovable which we thought nothing of initiating into our home at d…

 By Sandy McPherson Carrubba Geary My father was a mere lad when he and my grandmother emigrated to Canada from their native Northern Ireland. My grandmother did not want to see her son become embroiled in “The Troubles,” the conflict raging between Protestants and Catholics. Eventually they crossed the border and settled in Buffalo. Because he was an American citizen, …

By Howard R. Wolf  A friend of mine, an octogenarian, sent an email recently from Maui to inform me that he had remarried after many years of bachelorhood and was on “something like a honey-moon” since he and his bride had been dating for 15 years and had traveled together over the years to many far-flung parts of the globe. He attached a set of sun-filled photos – “…

By Carolyn Kirsch In the '50s and '60s we were a small class in a parochial school in rural Western New York. In that class, we eventually found our own niche of individuality. Michael was the class clown; Diane was the beauty queen; some of the boys shared the strong, silent type. Ralph was quiet and kind, overshadowed, I think, by his more outgoing older brother. T…

By Diane Evans Immigration is a complicated and politically charged issue. Every day we hear stories of people driven from their homes, escaping violence and enduring hardships as they seek a better life. The estimated two million refugees around the world is a staggering number. In our own country we are all descendants of immigrants, unless you are Native American.…

By Carol Preisler I pondered applying mascara to my five eyelashes. Some days I tried  but mostly failed.  Wiped it off and moved on.  The process of losing my hair was a little more daunting.  Last mother’s day my husband shaved my head.  My doctor had previously advised a short haircut prior to chemo.  I found a local beautician who gave me a short fantasy haircut to …

By Sharon F. Cramer L. Frank Baum, author of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," created an extraordinary universe named for the label on his second filing cabinet (the first cabinet was labeled A-N). Heroine Dorothy discovered that, in the land of Oz, most of her life lessons were no longer true. In Kansas, only people talked, but in Oz, scarecrows, trees and monkeys carried…

By D. John Bray American have become carriers. I’m not referring to anything medical; I’m talking about carrying “stuff." The late comedian George Carlin covered “a place for my stuff” in a great routine some years ago but it has now evolved into what I call “carrying my stuff around.” People today are walking around constantly carrying their small stuff: cellphones,…

By Larry Beahan My wife, Lyn, and I don’t fly much anymore. It’s a pain – pouring hand lotion, shampoo and hair oil into test tubes, barefoot, those awful lines, uniformed agents who think they are signing you into the Erie County Holding Center instead of a pricey airborne cattle car. Wow! Didn’t his eyes pop, when X-ray detected my CPAP machine? For a second, I expect…

By Vickie Rubin FaceTime: What a great name – and all we needed to be able to communicate with our daughter when we are not face to face. I was born in 1957, my husband 1956 and the idea of computers, cell phones, FaceTime and other inventions were from "The Jetsons," a 1960s cartoon about the future. This wasn’t real life and was unimaginable. Many people say that i…

By Al Greene There are certain questions that should never be asked. These are questions that may or may not have an answer but in the scheme of things, have no business being thrown out there in the first place. There was the time, for example, when we were going out and she was standing by the door, coat on, hat on, hand on the door handle. I asked, “Are you rea…

By Paul Chimera  Buffalo’s wintry grip makes it more difficult than usual to get the exercise my 60-something body warms up to – outdoor walks along Niawanda Park, among other Western New York venues. But thanks to Elsa, I’ve been getting the heart pumping, the ligaments stretched, and the mental cob webs cleared through a special in-home workout routine: exercise by…

By Sandy Barton You can’t go home again, or at least that’s what I’ve heard. Throughout my life I’ve had many opportunities to “go home” again, and I can honestly say, for the most part I’m glad I went. Oh, there were the times that broke my heart, but not because things had changed. I had changed; I was looking at “home” with new eyes. And this home place wasn’t actual…

By James Morabito As I write this, I am wearing my red sweater.  My red sweater?  So what?  Who cares?  Well, it is the bright red, V-neck one, the one that I like so much, the one that looks so good, the one that I never wear. That doesn’t make sense, does it?  A nice sweater, my favorite bright red color, a very comfortable sweater that I really like, that I hardly…

By Peter C. Bonsey On Jan. 29. 2018, my older brother was buried. In the last year I have lost both brothers to cancer. This is significant because it has caused me to reflect on our sibling rivalry. I’m not sure that existed between us but something did. At a very young age I became aware, falsely or not, that I was different to them both. So strong was this belief tha…