A friend invited Buzz to Silo City for the first time, to see Ibsen's “The Master Builder.” Excited, we dressed artistically in a maxi dress. Just finding the place was an adventure, what with the tons of detours and twisting roads. We were late because we got lost, which led to more drama: A gentleman showed us into the belly of a grain elevator, where the casually clad audience turned to gaze at us, probably figuring that Buzz, in our gown, was part of the play. The night just got better from there. You got to the second act by following a trail of lighted candles. The final act was outside, on the river, with more candles. How enchanting! But here is the best thing. The friend who had invited us, a World War II vet, had worked at the grain elevators and identified the elevator where the action took place as the Lake and Rail. The last time he had seen it, he told us, it had been full of corn! And might be again, Buzz mused dreamily, if we ever get an acting gig there.
Blasts from the past
Seen at the Clinton/Bailey entrance to the 190, an actual hitchhiker. And he looked like a mountain man, with a beard, just like a hitchhiker from the 1960s. ... Admired on the waterfront, a bride sporting a knee length white dress – flared, like in the 1950s – and bright red pumps. Right out of a vintage Vogue magazine. ... Heard near Elmwood and Hertel in North Buffalo, a strange wheezy drawn-out sound. Buzz, thrilled, took it for a factory whistle. It was noon on the dot. .. Finally, how about an old-fashioned picnic? At the Pine Grill Reunion jazz concert Sunday in Martin Luther King Park, a huckster was making the rounds calling out: “Slices of cake!”
Pity the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, performing last week under a cloud. The BPO was playing a noontime gig at M&T Plaza downtown, as part of the week sponsored by Jack FM. (Who knew they were such culture vultures at Jack FM? They should broadcast Brahms symphonies.) As the skies darkened, tensions mounted. Conductor Paul Ferington glanced nervously heavenward during the appropriately watery “Victory at Sea.” Violinist Ansgarius Aylward also looked broodingly up as he played the famous opening fiddle solo from “Fiddler on the Roof.” You could tell he wished it were “Fiddler Under the Roof.” As a few fat raindrops fell, Ferington finally cut the concert short. “These instruments are beyond valuable,” he announced in a professorial tone. With which the emcee, Freeloader Joe of Jack FM, stepped in immediately and did what needed to be done. He said: “Play it away, guys.”
Our Black Rock friend Ryan Lysarz loved that visitors to the Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens asked patrons not to bring pet snakes on the tour. We commend Black Rock and Riverside on their prudence. Look what a snake did to the Garden of Eden.... God love Sheila E. at Canalside, saying that if fans bought her CDs, she'd go out into the crowd and sign them for you. She delivered! And God also love former Madonna backup singer Niki Haris at the Pine Grill Reunion, wading in among the fans, even the ones waving bottles. Such down-to-earth divas. .. Congrats to Nelson R. Locher, whose lengthy ode to Crystal Beach ran in Monday's Olaf Fub column in The Buffalo News. Extra congrats because he used the classic rhyme “Comet” and “vomit.” ... A chill wind blows: Notices are going out telling you to register now for the Turkey Trot. A turkey of a notice! Why gobble up the rest of our summer?
“Would it be the wooden coaster/Or the super-fast Comet?/Either one was great./We just hoped we wouldn't vomit.”
– Nelson R. Locher, in Olaf Fub