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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

A hole in two

Thirty-five years ago, Dave Grupp, then a high school student who had picked up the game two years earlier, was playing at Sheridan Park Golf Course when he came to No. 16.

Grupp teed off with an 8-iron. When he walked up to the green a few minutes later, he saw his ball stuck between the pin, which was leaning at an angle, and the side of the cup.

Grupp was too green to realize he had hit a hole-in-one and dismissed the feat even after his uncle, a Cherry Hill Club champ, told him it counted.

Fast-forward to Monday, when Grupp, now 51, and his two playing partners -- including Off Main Street's dad -- walked up to No. 16 at Sheridan Park.

Grupp once again let fly with an 8-iron before losing his ball in the haze.

Moments later, the course ranger zipped up to the tee box.

"Who hit that last ball?" he asked.

That's right. Thirty-five years later, on the same hole, an incredulous Grupp had the second hole-in-one of his life.

How did he react? "You can't print it," he said with a laugh.

The Amherst resident, general manager of the area's Salsarita's restaurants, thinks this ace was payback for the one he marks with a mental asterisk.

"I guess God came back and said, 'I'm going to pop one in for you,' " he told us.


Road trip

Courtroom combatants one hour. Car-pool pals the next.

The attorneys who were waging battle in a Democratic Primary contest trekked to Albany Wednesday to see if the state's highest court would hear an appeal.

A week earlier, a lower court ruled Larry Adamczyk did not meet residency requirements to run against Fillmore Council Member Dave Franczyk.

The attorneys for Franczyk and Adamczyk decided that it made no sense for both of them to drive nearly 300 miles in two vehicles. So Michael Kuzma and Tim Lovallo drove together.

"We're both trying to reduce our carbon footprint," said Lovallo, who was unsuccessful in efforts to get the Court of Appeals to consider overturning the ruling against Adamczyk.

Conflict should be kept in the courtroom, Kuzma said. He then evoked a quote made famous by Rodney King.

"Why can't we all just get along?"


Nope, we're good

The same day that Amherst Republican Jim Hayes announced his resignation from the State Assembly on Monday, the Amherst Town Board was meeting for a routine work session.

At the end of the meeting, Town Supervisor Barry Weinstein, a Republican, informed the sparse audience that Hayes was resigning and that he was asked to consider running for the state seat.

"I said no," Weinstein said, looking at his board colleagues to the left and the right. "Anyone else get asked?"

"Yes," answered Republican council member and deputy supervisor Guy Marlette.

"Yes," answered lone Democratic member Mark Manna.

"I said no," Marlette added.

"I said no," Manna followed. "I don't want to go anywhere where I'm in the majority."

Both men are running for re-election to their Town Board seats.


Optimism run amok

The Optimist Club of Buffalo may be gone, but Lockport has more than enough optimism for the rest of Western New York.

Two weeks ago we wrote about how Buffalo was the birthplace of the Optimist Club movement.

We wrote that we haven't heard much from the Buffalo Optimist Club recently, and that may be because the two Buffalo clubs closed a few years ago.

But Optimist Clubs are alive and well in Lockport, which boasts four of the area's six remaining clubs. (Barker and Jamestown have the others.)

The original, coed Lockport Optimist Club begat the all-male Sunrise Optimist Club, which begat the all-female Barge Canal Optimist Club of Lockport, which begat the car-enthusiasts' Monday Night Cruise Optimist Club. "We're kind of infectious," Barge Canal President Peggy Allen said.

Written by Stephen T. Watson with contributions from Brian Meyer and Sandra Tan.


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