I wrote a column for Sunday's News that was essentially built around the reunion of my parents, just after the end of World War II. They were both West Siders, from Buffalo. My father had been in the Pacific. They suffered an unbearable family tragedy during the war. The moment my dad saw my mother at the station was the moment that they began to heal.
A flood of readers responded to the piece. One point came up again and again, a truth clearly shared by many Western New York families: The once-thriving Central Terminal has a treasury of life-changing memories embedded in its walls. It is where countless young soldiers, sailors and Marines said goodbye to their families. It is where thousands upon thousands of immigrants from abroad, or families moving here from points across the nation, arrived after deciding to stake their hopes on Buffalo. Generations later, the instant they stepped off those trains at the station serves as the bedrock for family histories that continue today.
I'd love to hear some of those stories – whether they involve something profound, something romantic, or even some light or funny memory. For that matter, I'm open to hearing great stories from any Upstate train station. You can send them to me here, as a comment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me in care of The News, One News Plaza, Buffalo NY 14203. If I get enough of a response, I'll build a column from those stories.
A reader, Karen Rogers, put it beautifully in this note:
I can't tell you how much your article impacted me when I read it last night. It brought a tear to my eye.
It was a very poignant article filled with how much love, hope and courage there was between your parents; what a gift for you and your siblings.
How many stories are in the grand Central Terminal's heart and I am so grateful to you for sharing yours.
Best of luck in returning to Buffalo as a columnist. The people here are like no other; there is a friendliness that cannot be found anywhere else. I will be reading your columns.
Sean Kirst is a columnist with The Buffalo News. You can read more of his work in this archive.