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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

Goodbye Tonawanda

After Ron Moline retired as Town of Tonawanda supervisor in 2007, we figured he'd spend his days playing golf at Sheridan Park, working out at the Aquatic and Fitness Center and dining at River Grill.

So we were surprised to find out at Monday's Lancaster Town Board meeting that Moline is spending his post-political years in the eastern suburbs.

Lancaster Supervisor Bob Giza said Moline bought his new house because he likes the way things run out in his town.

But Moline told us he didn't move because he was concerned about town services slipping in Tonawanda.

"My wife and I decided to downsize, and we found the patio home concept quite appealing and attractive," he said.

Their St. David's Road home is on the site of the proposed domed football stadium that died amid controversy 40 years ago, he noted.

Moline doesn't spend all of his time in Lancaster. He winters in Florida, where he works for the Philadelphia Phillies at their spring training facility in Clearwater. He ushers, serves concessions and assists the players.

"Just one of those gopher-type jobs," Moline said.


That bishop is a doll

We hope he doesn't get a big head over it.

Bishop Donald W. Trautman of the Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pa., the former auxiliary bishop of Buffalo, recently received a bobblehead made in his likeness. A group of priests gave Trautman the bobblehead at a June gathering held to mark the bishop's 75th birthday. Copies went to every priest in the 13-county diocese.

As required because of his age, Trautman this year submitted a resignation letter to Pope Benedict XVI, the Erie Times-News reported, so the doll is a retirement gift as well.

Trautman was born in Buffalo, studied for the priesthood here and served for years in pastoral and administrative roles with the Buffalo diocese before leaving for Erie in 1990.

Trautman told the paper the bobblehead came "pretty close" to capturing his features, and he is keeping it on a bookcase in his residence.


Life is good

William "Willie" Schoellkopf, a federal court law clerk who also happens to be one of the region's top blues-rock musicians, has truly been on a roll lately.

On July 1, the talented singer and guitarist learned that he has been selected to the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.

On July 22, he celebrated his 61st birthday by playing golf with 21 friends and family members at Rose Brook Golf Course in Silver Creek.

Schoellkopf, who loves the game, stepped up to the tee at the 130-yard 12th hole with an eight-iron and fired the ball onto the green.

It dropped into the cup for a hole-in-one.


Fashion icon

The good news: Buddies Paul Riker and Scott Piotrowski were pictured on the website of GQ, the Bible of men's style.

The bad news: Their picture accompanied the essay explaining why Buffalo was the No. 25 worst-dressed city in America.

Piotrowski first noticed the photo of the pair on GQ's list.

"He texted me and said, 'You're not going to believe this, but we're in GQ,' " said Riker, who called Off Main Street after we ran an item on Buffalo's ranking last month.

The photo showed Riker and Piotrowski in the parking lot of Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Jan. 1, 2008, NHL Winter Classic tilt between the Sabres and the Penguins.

Riker said he doesn't know who took the picture, which is credited to Flickr and shows the men wearing matching "Buffaslug" Tim Connolly jerseys.

The Blasdell resident, who works in shipping and receiving, said he doesn't mind being held up as an example of Buffalo's poor fashion sense.

"It was a Sabres game. It was tailgating. How else are you supposed to dress?" he said.

And now, friends at work call him "GQ."

Written by Stephen T. Watson with a contribution from Dan Herbeck.


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