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Reporters’ Notebook

OLAF FUB SEZ: An observation from scientist and mathematician Isaac Newton, born on this date in 1642, “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”


From the Manger

A spider weaves a silver thread

within a home so cold.

A donkey’s breath provides a cloak

so this impoverished tale is told.

An ox, some sheep and shepherds chant,

legends of peace foretold,

from a rug of hay, stone and clay

a carol of hope unfolds.

As the hem of a star’s evening garb

unfurls an aura of gold,

a rough but solid feeding trough

embraces a newborn lulled.

A gentle boy, arms outstretched,

consoles an unsteady world.

The spider lowers over the child

to observe this shivering soul.

A lowly spider shares timely news,

a mystery of love enclosed.

A silent gift, but poignant gift,

unimagined joy to hold.

– Janice Schlau


ANSWERING THE CALL – Buffalo’s Best Batman, also known as Will Lorenz, has retired, but he couldn’t resist a Batsignal from Chris Dearing, social media director at the North Park Theatre, 1428 Hertel Ave. Would he help promote a screening of the 1992 film, “Batman Returns,” at 11:30 a.m. Sunday? And could they both help Toys for Tots by encouraging people to bring donations of new and gently used toys to the show?

The answers were affirmative. Lorenz will be there to meet with fans, introduce the film, which inspired his Batman portrayal, and lead a discussion when it’s over. Several of the volunteer characters from his charity group, the Superhero Alliance of Western New York, also will be on hand.

One thing Lorenz doesn’t do in retirement is wear the costume, but he’ll bring along his Batman mask and autograph free Buffalo’s Best Batman mini-posters. Tickets for the movie are $5.


SANTA SURROGATE – The spirit of Christmas stretched all the way from the North Pole, to 1 W. Main St., Lancaster, last weekend.

A letter intended for Santa Claus at 1 W. Main St., North Pole, found its way on Saturday to the Lancaster address instead, which is the home of the Bloomsbury Lane Toy Store. The owner, Tracy Diegelman, opened the envelope and read a gift request from a little girl in Vermont who wanted a Curious George stuffed animal.

Diegelman didn’t have one in the store, but found another item featuring the mischievous monkey in her inventory – a colorful metal Curious George piggy bank. She immediately wrapped it up, included a letter to the girl, and went straight to the post office to make sure that it would arrive in Vermont in time for the holiday.


SNUG AND WARM – Newborns in Buffalo and Syracuse hospitals are nestling in new blankets this weekend, nearly 80 of them, handmade by more than 30 students from the Daemen College Student Physical Therapy Association and the college’s Young Adult Transitions program.

Fleece crib blankets have been given to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse and Sisters Hospital in Buffalo, which also received isolette blankets for its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


ABOVE AND BEYOND – The owner of D’Avolio Olive Oils, Vinegars and More, Danny Gagliardo, and his family expected to attract $1,000 in donations when they hosted their first “Olive Thy Neighbor” fundraiser in August to help Harbor House Homeless Resource Center in downtown Buffalo feed the more than 60 homeless people that visit it each night.

Instead, the event raised more than $11,000, which Gagliardo presented to Harbor House earlier this week, enough to help the agency purchase a building to provide lodging for the homeless.

“This is beyond our wildest dreams,” says agency director Nancy Singh. “We are actually able to help homelessness in a far more impactful way. We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the local business community.”


HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Harry “Bud” Lauber, Waltraud Beil, Joe Roland, Marie Stewart, Chris Simmons, Patrick Kennelly, Karen Keefe, Alex Glor, Kim Lewandowski, Sister Mary Rosalind Rosolowski, Mary Bednare, Merry Jo Cipolla, Holly McNamara, Kristy Mastalinski Holton, Carole Coniglio, Paul Fazekas, Mary Shimskey, Benny Higgins, Mark Decker and Rich Mansel.

AND SATURDAY – Kristina Rae Nelson Smith, Helen Kuszniaj, Marilyn Swedene, Mike Healy, Isabella Blesy, Tammy Roberts, Dave Crawford, Russell Carlson, Jessica Wheaton, Alet Brooklyn Stelmach, Janice A. Morrow-Hall, Jody Bennard Carter III, Carol A. Falzone, Ziggy Kucewicz Sr., Jo Jo Ledwin, Pete Stokes, Mike Naab Jr. and John Katalinas.

AND SUNDAY – Dennis Galucki, Lou Ann Delaney, Larry Bayerl, Joe Long, Julia Pugh, Jessica Halt, Caleb Darnley, Cora Carver, Sherri Oliver, Wendy Kelley, Carol Purdy, Johnny Kiener, Reese Michaels, Alyssa Kelley, Jean Foley, Mikey Buchert, Charlene Ihrig Rush and Helen Kolodziejski.