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By Peter Simon It was a perfect gig for a young basketball junkie like me. And a headache as well. From 1970 to 1978 –the life span of the Buffalo Braves –I had the extremely good fortune of being a member of the statistical crew for home games. My job as play-by-play man was to record with a manual typewriter every foul, turnover, basket, free throw, assist, substit…

By Jeffrey M. Bowen Among classic songs about cars is one by Chuck Berry about a seat belt that refused to unfasten at a romantic moment. “All the way home,” the rock and roll legend croons, “I held a grudge for the safety belt that wouldn’t budge.” I predated seat belts, so this never happened to me, but I must confess to enjoying an electrifying moment when the girl b…

By Lois Vidaver I’m a “declutterer” and that means I am driven to toss out unused waffle irons and undated pictures of unknown persons. On the other hand, as a writer, the things I produce the most — words — I hoard. They are like newborns, bursting forth with Lamaze-like heavy breathing and great spasms of pushing. And in my world, great rejoicing occurs. Unless, of…

By Alex Lazarus-Klein Standing with her walker, bundled up in her fleece jacket and gloves to protect against the frigid mid-April cold spell, 90-plus-year-old Ruth Merlin was the picture of bravery. We were a collection of Jewish communal members and politicians, gathered on Niagara Square to mark the State of Israel’s 70th birthday. Behind us an Israeli flag hung on a…

By Doug Routt  I have an affliction with a neat name called Viking disease. It is a northern European male disease so I won’t need Ancestry.com to figure out my lineage. It’s also thought that the early popes may have had this disease; hence, they bless with only three fingers. Its real medical name is dupuytren’s contracture. The problem is that cords start growing …

By Margaret Milanovich George I have written this because of a life-changing experience as a teenager growing up in Kenmore. Perhaps this missive will influence others to be more vigilant, preventing this from recurring, and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. Beginning at age 14 (1971), I was the victim of an adult sexual predator who “groomed” me fo…

By Karen Moon When my mother, Edith Lampman Moon, a Western New York native, passed away in 1978, family eulogies weren’t often done. It was usually the clergy or a family friend who said something about the family member. I was 31 years old when she passed. She was 61 years old. I realized recently she had passed away 40 years ago this year. My eyes started to tear …

By Adele R. Haas Remember when Kermit the Frog used to say it is not easy being green?  Well it is not easy being old either, Kermie. For instance, take making executive decisions. When you are 50 you are likely to be the "captain of the ship" at your workplace and home. When you are in your 80s, the workplace is no more and the household is usually downsized. The bi…

By Ben Perrone A few days ago my partner, Gerry, complained or suggested that I always forget to put the toilet seat down. “No,” I said assuredly, “I put it down 95 percent of the time.” But she was sure and I soon found a sticky note posted over the toilet with the first of many postings, the time and date that I forgot to drop the seat. Needless to say, and not wan…

By Siobhan M. O’Connor “Bishop Malone’s Office, Siobhan speaking – how may I help you?” Over the last two months, a multitude of callers have been on the receiving end of my phone greeting. I’ve talked to distressed citizens who express anger over church cover-ups and silence, to concerned Catholics whose faith has been shaken by the priest abuse scandal, and to the vic…

By David Myrow For better or worse, I am an adult band geek. Two nights each week, I attend rehearsals. One night with the Buffalo Silver Band, in its 104th season, and the other with the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band (BNCB). Most folks my age are retired, but I still work full time. And two special nights each week I join with folks my age and younger to assemble music …

By Jacqueline Galdenzi My earliest memory of my mother’s hands were of hers covering mine as I splayed my five-year-old fingers over her swollen pregnant belly. This is your little brother or sister just waiting to meet you, she told me. I remember the feel of the cool, blue satin maternity smock she wore. I was cursed with very thin, straight hair. That did not stop…

By Brent Rollins Volunteering is a great way to serve your community while you are doing something that you are passionate about. I’ve been a longtime community volunteer, but a recent opportunity further opened my eyes to the importance of community service. I discovered Read to Succeed Buffalo’s (RTSB) Experience Corps tutoring program through an advertisement. The…

By Anthony Muscarella On a hot summer day after working in the yard, I decided to take a little rest and read in my outdoor lakeside hammock. After 10 minutes of reading and eyes closing, I felt a pain and saw stars when the eight-by-eight-inch wood post fell on to my head. Falling to the ground bleeding and feeling sore, I walked to the porch to call my wife. She came …

By Jessica Cronenberger Summer's around the corner. I know this because the Easter feast is over and things slowly begin to blossom, green up and there's no longer any remnants of the plastic colored eggs in the yard. Easter was a busy, bustling time in our family, and the grand brunch, with all the traditional Polish and family favorites, has kept us focused on the p…