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

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to one of the greatest golfers of all time, Walter Hagen, born in Rochester on this date in 1892, "I never wanted to be a millionaire, I just wanted to live like one."

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Christmas Eve

Ribbons of pale pink wrapped the night sky

As another glorious day commenced to slowly die.

The silently falling snow dressed the trees in white

As we once again prepared for Christmas Eve night.

The flickering lights on the tree cast shadows on the wall

As last-minute shoppers returned from the mall

Laden with gifts that had to be wrapped

Even though their strength was totally zapped.

The smells from the kitchen kept us awake,

Happy in the knowledge we had nothing more to bake.

We finally trudged wearily to bed to dream

Of Christmas morn, when little people would smile and gleam.

-- Honey Snitzer

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WRIGHT STUFF -- Looking for a short holiday getaway? Look no farther than Graycliff, the lakeside home at 6472 Old Lake Shore Road in Derby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a place for his patrons, Isabelle and Darwin Martin, to relax.

Weather permitting, knowledgeable docents will lead walks through Graycliff Sunday through Dec. 30. The historic house is decorated for the holidays, and free hot mulled cider is served at the conclusion of the tours.

Admission is $15 adults, $10 students. Reservations are required. Call 947-9217 or visit http://graycliffestate.org for information.

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STEP LIVELY -- You can start the new year off on a fresh foot by getting to know Scottish country dancing. The Buffalo Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society is holding a series of free open houses for beginners from 7:15 to 9 p.m. Jan. 6, 13 and 10 in Amherst Community Church, 77 Washington Highway, Snyder.

No partner or experience is necessary, just a pair of soft shoes. Scottish country dancing is a predecessor to square dancing and is accompanied by lilting Celtic music. There's no caller, and there are many more steps and patterns. For info, call Buffalo branch President Suzanne Batt at 695-6296.

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MILITARY NOTES -- Five Western New Yorkers have completed Army basic training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga. They are:

*Pfc. Ryan T. Clark, son of Tracey Simpson of the Town of Tonawanda. A June graduate of Sweet Home Central High School, he also completed advanced individual training.

*Pvt. Alonzo J. Fiscus, son of Kimberly Hill of Batavia. A June graduate of Batavia High School, he also completed advanced individual training.

*Pvt. Jack H. Flaherty, son of Cheryl Mannella of Fredonia. He is a 2005 graduate of Storm King High School in Cornwall-on-Hudson.

*National Guard Spc. Michael B. Lilley, son of Linda Betts of Lockport. A 1989 graduate of Lockport High School, he earned a master's degree in 1996 from the University at Buffalo.

*Pvt. Christian R. Snowman, son of Edward Snowman of the City of Tonawanda and Allison Snowman of Depew. A June graduate of Depew High School, he also completed advanced individual training.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Paul Kurtz, Steve Montador, Thomas Burton, Joe Graham, Bill Veronica, Dennis Kless, Doug Mueller, Dannette Moody, Georganne Alexander, Nicole Safe, Christine Lewandowski, Emily Hocutt, Lauren Rzeszutek, Zachary Ziskowski, Vince "Jimmy" Nola, Brian Nagy and Jenn Nostrant.

e-mail: olaffub@buffnews.com

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