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Reporters' Notebook / Bits and pieces of news ...

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to American author and critic Susan Sontag (1933-2004), "The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions." . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the American warship Bon Homme Richard defeated HMS Serapis after the American commander, John Paul Jones, reportedly declared "I have not yet begun to fight!" . . . In 1780, British spy John Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold's plot to surrender West Point to the British. . . . In 1846, the planet Neptune was discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle. . . .

DESCENDANTS of immigrants from the small Sicilian town of Mussomeli who live in Western New York are keeping the spirit of their heritage alive and well. They have gathered annually for 75 years to celebrate their ancestry. Their most recent gathering came Sept. 11 when they filled St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church for the Feast of Our Lady of Miracles.

The feast allows the Mussomelesi to honor their spiritual patroness, Our Lady of Miracles or the Virgin Mary, who they believe healed a poor paralytic in the town on Sept. 8, 1530.

"This beautiful occasion provides all of us an excellent opportunity to venerate our spiritual patroness while at the same time honoring the beloved memory of our grandparents for whom this feast means so much," said Monsignor Richard S. Amico, retired pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Niagara Falls. He led a pilgrimage to Mussomeli in 1982.

Descendants include eight priests who served the Buffalo Diocese, Michael A. Amico, the first Italian-American Erie County sheriff, and numerous businessmen and professionals. . .

HEALTHY COOKING demonstrations as well as hearing and blood pressure screenings will be provided for veterans at a Healthy Living Expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Veterans Affairs Clinic at Our Lady of Victory Family Care Center, 227 Ridge Road, Lackawanna.

Representatives from the VA Western New York Healthcare System and other counselors will be available to answer benefit questions. Veterans returning from combat can learn what VA has to offer. Veterans often are entitled to benefits that go unused. Vietnam veterans with Type II diabetes may be entitled to disability payments. . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Maureen O'Hara, Kenneth J. Turner, Debbie Merrifield, Tabatha McCabe, Tom Skillicorn, Eileen Gormley, Darilyn Addesa, Larry Schiltz, Josh Benkelman, Lee Vallett, Sean Stablewski, Coleen Marshall, Robert Mahlmeister, Andrew Kuczmarski, Patricia A. Rosolowski, Mary Pat Ramsey, Emmett Gallagher O'Neill, Linda Maury, Ani DiFranco.

SATURDAY -- Barbara Bartle, Dusty Franczyk, Amy Insalaco, Stacey Pastore, Robbie Moll, Mike Safe, Jake Pokorny, Pat Krajewski, Patricia Hempling, Marion Darr, Roseann Scotland, Teresa Golebiewski, Alexia Magliato, Richard Dynarski, Darlene Kruk, Timothy O'Shei, Laura Kowalski, Angelina Capozzolo, Geno Bartels, Jim Grabowski, Bob Bartels, Noah Weidmann, Matthew Weidmann.

AND SUNDAY -- Ryan Sherk, Tom Franczyk, Eric Ekstrom, Eliza C. Valentino, Lynn Keppel, Tony Smaszcz, Rose Hangen, Joe Cole, Michele Alagna, Sally Wroblewski, Herman Trotter.

e-mail: olaffub@buffnews.com

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