North Tonawanda Mayor Larry Soos said goodbye last week to his cousin, Richard Soos, a longtime Buffalo Pumps employee who died 10 days ago in Buffalo General Hospital at age 75.
The mayor reminisced about his cousin, a Harley-Davidson rider from way back.
"He loved that Harley," said Soos, a Harley rider himself back in the good old days. "Everywhere he went, you'd see that Harley."
But even the mayor was a tad surprised when he walked into the Wattengel Funeral Home on Oliver Street in North Tonawanda and saw what was standing next to the casket -- his cousin's Harley.
"I guess he couldn't take it with him," Soos noted, "but he took it as far as he could."
Niagara Spook Trail
The spirits will include more than wine at three Niagara County wineries Wednesday night. The Winery at Marjim Manor at 7171 East Lake Road in Appleton will host a viewing party for nearly 200 people to watch a TV episode on the SciFi Network's "Ghost Hunters" show.
Marjim Manor is being featured because ghostly tales lurk throughout the 1830 building in which the winery is housed, said Janet Bittner, the assistant manager.
The event proved so popular that Marjim Manor sold all the tickets and has arranged to send the overflow crowd of 200 or 300 people to the nearby Spring Lake Winery, 7373 Rochester Road, Lockport, and Freedom Run Winery, 5138 Lower Mountain Road, Lockport.
"Marjim Manor is known for its legendary hauntings," Bittner said. "People will be sitting on the edge of their seats."
Don't spill the wine, folks.
Ceres Crystal Industries, a cubic zirconia maker in Wheatfield, applied to the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency last week for a property tax break for a $5.4 million plant expansion.
Looking over the documents, IDA board member Angelo Massaro noted that Ceres is owned by two holding companies whose names meant nothing to him.
"Do we know anything about these companies?" he asked.
IDA Assistant Director Lawrence D. Witul replied that the companies in question are based in France and Switzerland.
"I was going to ask the board if I could go to Paris and Switzerland to look into it," Witul said. "We could close [the deal] there, too."
"No motion, Larry," said Lockport Mayor and IDA vice chairman Michael W. Tucker.
Lighter side of Jagow
Sanborn resident Rosemary Warren, a frequent speaker at Niagara County Legislature meetings, brought a newspaper clipping to last week's session -- a photo of the 1957 Niagara Wheatfield High School football team, coached by none other than Legislature Chairman William L. Ross.
Also in the photo, wearing No. 16 in the N-W Falcons lineup, was County Clerk Wayne F. Jagow.
Ross recalled that Jagow weighed 137 pounds. Today he weighs, uh, somewhat more than that.
"I said to him, 'Eat, eat,' " Ross said. "Only player who ever took my advice."
The Lockport Town Board last week appointed Joe Kaltenbacher to a vacant spot on the town Recreation Commission. Councilwoman Chreryl A. Antkowiak, a former chairwoman of the commission, said it was good news.
"We need a man to lift all this stuff," Antkowiak said. "Some of the stuff we move around is very heavy."
Supervisor Marc R. Smith looked at Councilman Paul H. Pettit, an occasional sparring partner of Antkowiak.
"Don't go there, Paul," Smith urged.
"Why are you picking on me?" Pettit protested. "I was just sitting here with a smirk on my face."
With contributions from Bill Michelmore and Thomas J. Prohaska of the News Niagara Bureau.