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REPORTERS' NOTEBOOK

OLAF FUB SEZ: Long before there was such a thing as television, French theologian Francois Fenelon (1651-1715) observed: "Nothing is more despicable than a professional talker who uses his words as a quack uses his remedies." . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1910, New York's Pennsylvania Station opened. . . . In 1942, during World War II, the French navy at Toulon scuttled its ships and submarines to keep them out of the hands of the Nazis. . . . In 1953, playwright Eugene O'Neill died in Boston at the age of 65. . . . In 1970, Pope Paul VI on a visit to the Philippines was slightly wounded at the Manila airport by a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as a priest. . . . In 1973, the Senate voted 92-3 to confirm Gerald R. Ford as vice president. He succeeded Spiro T. Agnew, who had resigned. . . .

BIG DOINGS are in store for organ music lovers next month at the historic Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda.

Cole Holland, who began playing the organ at age 9, will perform on the Riviera's Mighty Wurlitzer at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11. The past president of the Toronto Theatre Organ Society will perform the many great sounds of the season. The monthly concert comes with a sing-a-long and silent movie. Tickets and information are available at the Riviera Box Office between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling 692-2413 or on the web site at Rivieratheatre.org.

An "Old Fashioned" Irish Christmas will be presented the following night at 7 p.m. Thursday. The program will include "The Dady Brothers" and the "Woodgate Dancers." Pre-sale tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. Otherwise the tab will be $12 at the door.

A free "Holiday" organ concert featuring organist Graham Mitchell playing Christmas songs, will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18. Guest artist contralto Tina Jonker will sing Schubert's "Ave Maria," "Christmas Wishes," "Silver Bells" and "O Holy Night" - a cappella. . . .

NORTH POLE LIMITED -- Monday, Dec. 2, is the deadline to get tickets to ride the Western New York Railway Historical Society and Amtrak North Pole Limited with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 8. Here's the scenario: Board buses at 2 p.m. at the Depew Amtrak Station to go to the Niagara Falls Amtrak Station, where children and adults will board the train to ride back along the shores of the Niagara River to Depew. Santa will ride and visit with the children (who must be accompanied by an adult).

Tickets include bus, train and an opportunity to have a private word with Santa. The tab will be $17.50 for adults and $12.50 for children 2 to 15 years old. Mail payment and names of all people attending (security requirement) to thew WNY Railway Historical Society, Box 923, Orchard Park, N.Y. 14127 or call (716) 662-7002. Tickets will be issued at the Amtrak Depew Station prior to boarding the bus.

Proceeds will benefit the Orchard Park and Williamsville depot restorations. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Martha Concannon, Jim Kelley Sr., Gwendolyn Crews, Michael Petrie, Daryl Oliver, Kevin Powell, Betty Stack, Adam Haas, Alan Hoerl, Paul Fino Sr., Margie Rindos, Kristen Barczykowski, Bill Roloff, Rachel Diaz, Shane Naab, Jimmy Gruber, Gino Kurdziel.

AND THURSDAY -- Joe Panek, Michael Washington, Jon McFall Jr.,Gary Ward, Helen M. Ring, Sam Tiranno, Jenna Ganci, James Piniewski, Donna Singer, Joe Mandeville, Gina Marie Brogzinski, Barbara Barczykowski, Matthew Loftus, Jill Fitscher, Amy Schumacher, Arieah Jones, Suzanne LiBassi, Raechal Mack, Marge Davies.

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