I just found out via WGR that Tim Russert died today. I don’t watch a lot of Meet the Press, and I haven’t read his books, but like all Buffalonians I have a soft spot for Tim Russert. He was possibly Buffalo’s greatest ambassador.
After the October Storm in 2006, when so many of our trees were damaged, a local artist started an organization called “Carvings For a Cause” which turned the trunks of fallen trees into mammoth wooden sculptures. The sculptures started popping up all over the Elmwood strip last summer. The damage that our trees sustained during the storm effected me deeply, and this project really helped me feel better.
The Tim Russert sculpture lived outside of Globe Market on Elmwood for many months. I have to admit that at first, the fact that there even was a Tim Russert sculpture kind of made me giggle. Most of the other sculptures are of statelier, more historic figures. I certainly never disliked the Tim Russert statue, but it really grew on me over time. There is something incredibly friendly about his statue, and over the many months that I walked past it every day, I just…. started to notice the sculpture every time. It became a focal part of my walks, and after awhile, the Tim Russert statue came to represent, for me, the sense of regeneration I was feeling in my own life. It made me genuinely happy.
And that’s my Tim Russert story. I hope it doesn’t seem disrespectful to tell a story about a statue on the day a real man died. I certainly tell this story from a place of respect. Tim Russert, his success, and his obvious Buffalo pride, positively effected many lives in this area. I’m sure many Buffalonians will be telling Tim Russert stories tonight.
He will be missed.