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CELEBRATING THE BREAKING OF THE SOUND BARRIER

Mail call time. Share the fun, fury and information . . .

Recently a man collared me and said, "Just because you were a ground pounder in the war, you should mention that there will be a party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the breaking of the sound barrier, at Samuel's Grande Manor on Oct. 17."

He was surprised to find that I hadn't heard of the event until a pilot named Stan Nowak told me about the dinner two weeks ago. Anyway, I contacted my favorite flier, Jack Prior, president of Prior Aviation and no stranger to this column.

Prior gave me all the details and stunned me with the news that a plane named for Lawrence Bell, the Bell X-1, had broken the sound barrier.

A few of those at the dinner might not realize what a big deal breaking the sound barrier was when it happened. I can still see pilot Chuck Yeager's picture on the cover of Time magazine with the tag line "Beyond the Sound Barrier -- a Heat Thicket."

As a ground pounder (a k a Knight of the Queen of Battle) I might mention a British movie called "Breaking the Sound Barrier."

Those seeking details on the dinner should write Darla Richter, Aero Club, P.O. Box 817, Buffalo, N.Y. 14224.

Dick Friedman of Depew said that the day after reading my Sept. 26 column, he received a calendar from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. "Guess what? Pearl Harbor Day is not recognized. Needless to say, I am not contributing to their cause."

The big thing for us, Dick, is that we inform the calendar senders why we are not "contributing to their cause." We could make a difference, and we're going to try. As noted in other columns, that date is important to us.

Felix Wasiak of Niagara Falls wrote, "Our American Legion Post, the Portage Post No. 1465, is very active, but we're noticing a decline in membership and in participation. You know the part about getting older.

"We want you to know that very consistently and with great devotion a group visits the Veterans Hospital. Every third Sunday we organize the ward bingo party there.

"Please note the paragraphs relating to our goal of erecting a veterans monument at Holy Cross Cemetery in Lewiston. Bishop Edward Grosz has set aside a parcel of land for us."

As I tell a friend, "If you know anyone who's getting younger, tell me and we'll have a whale of a scoop." But people like Bishop Grosz make things easier. What the veterans organizations have to do is change the requirements. In five years or so, we will be extinct.

And thanks for knowing that I care about veterans. You'd be surprised by those who don't know and pose as publicity representatives.

Elizabeth Fleshler of the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts recalled that I once lived in New York City, home base of Kitty Carlisle Hart, who will be at the center for a show Saturday.

The show will feature Ms. Hart doing selections from the music of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Richard Rodgers. We first met in Manhattan on the "To Tell the Truth" television show. Later we met in Buffalo when she was chairwoman of the New York State Council of Arts. She comes to mind every time I hear the word "lady."

Rose LaJudice of Buffalo said in poetic fashion, "I admit they entertain us folks/But where does Ken Rummenie/find so many backward jokes?"

Well, Rose, I never asked. But I sure hope his well doesn't run dry.

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