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REPORTERS' NOTEBOOK
BITS AND PIECES OF NEWS...

OLAF FUB SEZ: It was New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (1882-1947) who mused: "It makes no difference if I burn my bridges behind me -- I never retreat."

ON THIS DAY -- In 1777, the Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation, a precursor to the Constitution of the United States. . . . In 1940, the first 75,000 men were called to armed forces duty under peacetime conscription. . . . In 1948, William Lyon Mackenzie King retired as prime minister of Canada after 21 years; he was succeeded by Louis St. Laurent. . . .

What Mamas Want
Mama was always mad.

When people asked me what

She was mad about

I'd just tell them, "Me."

Mama wanted Shirley Temple

And got Huck Finn.

Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Clemens,

I can tell by the expression

On your face you don't have

A clue who Shirley Temple is.

She was a prissy little actress

With golden curls and lace bloomers.

Mama hoped I'd be just like her.

It would be like your mother

Wanting Shakespeare and getting Mark Twain.

-- Margaret Britton Vaughn
SOME LUCKY PEOPLE got to hear Margaret "Maggi" Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee, read poems from her delightful book "Forecasting Heaven: Talking to Twain at Quarry Farm" Saturday night at the 10th annual Mark Twain Birthday Party & Symposium at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society.

A major Twainiac, Vaughn was introduced by Carole Knuth, Ph.D., her editor, friend, sometime collaborator and English professor at Buffalo State College. She explained that Vaughn was the first poet to receive a two-week fellowship from the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies to stay at Quarry Farm to work on her book of poems.

Vaughn, a storyteller "extraordinaire," according to Errol Craig Sull, the man behind the annual celebration, didn't disappoint her audience. She left them laughing and thinking.

The party, which cost $20 to attend, included champagne as well as a huge birthday cake. The event also was "a tribute to Dr. Leslie Fiedler," late professor emeritus at the University at Buffalo who was regarded by many as America's "finest literary critic." His wife, Sally, was on hand to read his most controversial essay, "Come Back to the Raft Ag'in, Huck Honey!" It was first published in 1948.

Channel 7 meteorologist Mike Randall, considered by many to be the greatest Mark Twain impersonator, was the featured attraction. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Katie Roncone, Camille J. Catalano, Ina R. Chapman, Joe Anzalone, Julia McManus, Peter Perison, Larry Bojanowski, Tabatha Wittmeyer, Christopher Louth, Carol Hagmire, Fred Palaszewski, Matt Connors, Virginia Eigenbrod, Rick Bower, Ralph Streebel, Nadine Kawalec, Cheryl Hill, Pat Quinlivan, Nancy Ann Kolodziejski.

e-mail: olaffub@buffnews.com

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