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My View


By Karen G. Hamm On Sept. 23, I had the honor to fly to Washington, D.C., with the Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight as a volunteer. We arrived at the Leonard Post VFW Post on Walden Avenue at 5:30 a.m. for a quick greeting and organization. All 50-plus veterans and their guardians boarded buses for the Buffalo Niagara Airport. Tears sprung in my eyes as many patriot riders,…

By Richard D’Angelo On Oct. 4, my sports season began once again. That date marked the beginning of the 101st season for the National Hockey League. But it wasn’t always that way. Back in 1954, I was 9 years old and 1 p.m. on Sundays was a very important time of the week. That was when Dad and I would sit in front of the TV to watch the Cleveland Browns. Back the…

By Carol Ann Gleason Two of my grandsons, ages 10 and 12, were at my house last month. The Buffalo News was on the kitchen table. While going through the paper in search of the most important pages – the comics – they came across a headline: “Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart has closed.” We read the news of the hobby shop closing with surprise and sadness. The …

By Nick Crocco We appear to care more about feral cats and dogs, who get a warm room, food and water when picked up by animal control officers, than we do about our citizens in crisis. We know our government is broken on many fronts. I write today to highlight a matter that will become all the more common as we get closer to winter. For the past month, along with …

By Phyllis F. Schaefer My maternal grandmother was left a widow in her family home on Buffalo’s West Side. She was quite crippled as a result of a fractured hip and used a cane, which I still own. She was incapacitated enough to need domestic help. So it was that Frances came into our family in the early 1930s. Over time, she became a true friend and helper to our fam…

By Kristen Skeet I have never been small, but I have always been fit, for the most part. I’ve carried a few extra pounds, but they were in all the right spots, and I carried them well. I’ve generally weighed more than my female peers, too. I have what my family calls “soccer legs.” We all do. It’s a genetic gift from our ancestors: thick, strong legs. As a …

By Gunilla Theander Kester Buffalo is a place of gratitude and stories. A splendid example took place at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on Sept. 16 as we welcomed German virtuoso violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter at the gala opening. Her performance was lush, fun and ever so enjoyable. She closed it with a somber J.S. Bach Sarabande from the Second Partita, dedicating…

By Sue Giovino There is a distinct difference between the smell of life and death, particularly with a dog’s acute sense. We came to this realization as we watched our Jack Russell and beagle mix, Gracie, circle our beloved Lab mix, Molly, who lay too still one cool morning several years ago. Life had to move on as we contemplated Gracie’s life without her belove…

By Susan Clements She peered out from the tintype, swathed in a voluminous robe, hair piled high, topped by a feather plume. At first I thought she must be an opera singer playing the role of Madame Butterfly. She was a petite woman, staring arrogantly at the camera, the hint of a smirk on her lips. I found the photograph sticking to the bottom of a box of family mem…

By Jennifer Angrisano-Gall I am the mother of a 10-year-old. It seems unreal, impossible. Just yesterday, he was a bundle in my arms. I adored his chubby face, kewpie doll mouth, long dark lashes and light brown eyes. But now he is a long-limbed boy, with opinions on everything. Directives that I once gave without objection are now met with questions and debates, suc…

By Ramona Pando Whitaker Are people really “unprepared to encounter beauty,” as a syndicated op-ed columnist once contended in these pages? He was describing the “indifference” of early morning commuters to a performance by the well-known violin virtuoso Joshua Bell in the bowels of the D.C. subway. The young Bell, dressed casually and wearing a baseball cap, wa…

By Sharon F. Cramer Working together or working alone – at first, these appear easy opposites, a light switch. Off, then on; dark, then light. But over the years, I’ve come to realize that characteristics of working side by side have many subtle gradations, and achieving “togetherness” is much more like a dimmer. Easy distinctions vanish as I reflect on the subt…

By Tom O’Malley In his essay, “Of  Studies,” Francis Bacon points out that studies serve for “delight, ornament and ability.” Bacon was writing at the end in the 16th century, but this piece seems surprisingly up to date and should be read by students and teachers alike. Back in Bacon’s day, most people had very little formal education. In fact, very fe…

By Karen Adragna Walsh My mother is 95½ years old. She lives alone and “deaf-initely” needs new hearing aids. Telltale signs are: the volume on her TV is at its max, and she assumes that everyone else has Superman hearing powers. For example, I will be in another room, the bathroom or even outside, and she will continue to carry on a conversation as if I’m still …

By Adele R. Haas An essay titled, “The Conscience of a Valet,” by Mike Kerrigan was published in the Wall Street Journal recently. It told of a time when the author and a friend were working as valets at a Washington, D.C., restaurant in the 1990s. They were young college students and cash poor. At the end of their working day, they would share their tips and the…