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"She said she didn't need a stinking opening act."

- Comic "Airborne" Eddy Dobosiewicz, explaining why Tom Walsh's 91-year-old mother, and not Walsh himself, was at the Tralf to accept his induction into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame

The kids in the hall

Last week, the Tralf was abuzz as a fresh crop o' music types were indicted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame ... did we say indicted? We meant inducted. (Don't laugh. Someone else said "induced.") Long acceptance speeches abounded. But wit did, too. "There are more Italians here tonight than at the St. Valentine's Day massacre," laughed Buffalo News reporter and former pop music critic Anthony Violanti, citing such fellow inductees as Louis Marino, Joel DiBartolo, Joe Guercio and Sam Scamacca. Bassist Jim Kurzdorfer, shockingly limiting his speech to two sentences, told Buzz afterward: "Sometimes it's better that way." Alas, emcee "Airborne" Eddy hit a little close to many musicians' reality with the crack he made to honoree Tom Hambridge. "Tom, if you're really serious about wanting more work here in Buffalo," he jibed, "my house needs painting."

The crying game

Last weekend during Curtain Up!, it was tough to keep from crying. And "Our Town" wasn't even playing. What kept us and a lot of other people in tears was the shadow of the World Trade Center tragedy. Friday after the play at the Irish Classical Theatre, Vincent O'Neill gave an incredibly understated but wrenching few words, quoting John Donne and Dylan Thomas on the role of arts and culture in a time of crisis, and if you think Donne and Thomas pack a wallop on the page, imagine them in O'Neill's voice. Saturday, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra prefaced Beethoven's moving Ninth Symphony with the ethereal, moving "Nimrod" (OK, so the title is a little unfortunate) from Elgar's "Enigma Variations." As one listener put it: "Really hard to keep mascara stains off glittery duds."

Take this flag and...

Poor Old Glory. Used to be, the flag never touched the ground and was religiously brought in during bad weather and taken in at night unless it was lighted. But hey, that was then. Now, flags (all-weather and not) flap, sopping, in the rain. Stuck in front yards, the Stars and Stripes are falling down all over the place. The other day, Buzz had to swerve to avoid a mammoth SUV bearing down on us with, yes, flag fluttering. And last week, the candlelight vigil in Niagara Square was marred by three teenage girls who were holding flags and sparring with them continuously. When a grandmother gently tried to point out their error, the slugs snapped: "Mind your own business. We're just being playful. Look, we're here, we're being patriotic." Sure makes us proud to be an American.<

Courtroom drama

The good news: You're flanked by handsome men. The bad news: One is the judge, and the other is the cop. You're in City of Buffalo traffic violations bureau! Buzz went this week, fighting a ticket. We came off like a complete ditz. Especially when the officer reported, truthfully, "When I returned to her car to give her the ticket, she was crying." What an idiot we are! And in front of these good-looking men! Well, happily, we won our case. But the words "not guilty," welcome as they were, weren't the highlight of our morning. In traffic court, we discovered, you get to sit in on other people's cases. And we got to overhear a guy tell the judge he was going 84 mph "because my wife called and said the toilet was busted." How does that judge keep a straight face through this stuff? How does he keep from saying: "Hey, who's busted now?"

The buzz

... Hand us that Nostradamus book! We want to see if he predicted our traffic ticket victory! In Borders Books and Music, the hysteria continues. One person even asked for "Northadontist." ... Those Pan-Am observances are flying! This weekend is your last chance to catch the grain elevators lighted up for two hours like the Las Vegas strip. It happens at dusk Friday and Saturday, 32 Fuhrmann Blvd.

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