One of the strange aspects of embracing a city and a sports team by choice rather than by birthright is trying to figure out where Buffalo’s history becomes my history. Because I’m not a native WNYer, it can be a odd feeling to realize I’m attached to, or saddened by, things that happened in Buffalo before I got here. The longer I’ve been here, and the more I’ve come to love Buffalonians, the more I’ve wanted to learn about this wonderful place and it’s history. Lately I’ve realized that through my attachment to specific Buffalonians, my attachment to Buffalo has somehow begun to stretch back to a time before I lived here.
In light of the death of Rick Martin, I’m moved, as always, by the depth of emotion of my fellow Buffalonians. I’m so sorry for your loss, longtime Sabres fans. I look forward to learning more about Rick Martin in the coming days.
One thing I already know about him is that he helped build the Sabres community that I love so much today. For that, I feel joyously indebted to Rick Martin.
Thank you for being such a great Sabre.
Published February 13, 2009
Things of Actual Importance
What a terrible day.
So many people in our relatively small community have been effected by this tragedy, but on behalf of the musicians of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of Coleman Mellett and Gerry Niewood. Mr Mellet, and Mr. Niewood were musicians and members of the Chuck Mangione Band. They were traveling to Buffalo to perform with the BPO.
I think it goes without saying that Buffalo will watch the hockey game tonight from a very different perspective. It’s just a meaningless distraction, but I’ll admit, it’s a welcome distraction after a long day of incredibly sad news.
Here’s something I wrote a few months ago about my father.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, and the future dads, young and old!
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.
I’m going to take a minute to depart from TWC’s usual frivolity to tell you about a candlelight vigil on March 8th in honor of Karen Kwaitkowski who was killed ten years ago by a drunk driver. Information about the vigil can be found on the Karen’s Crusade tab at the top of this page, or by visiting karenscrusade.org. Please have a look, and give some thought to this important issue. Thanks guys!
Richard Zednik was released from the hospital! Of all the horrible things about that horrible accident, the thing that will probably stick in my mind the longest was the terrible look on Zednik’s face as he skated off the ice. I think the news agencies thought that by panning away from the blood they were sparing us the worst of the scene, but I was really spooked by Zednik’s expression. It’s great to see a picture of him looking robust and smiley, posing confidently with his foxy wife and his foxy surgeon.
He actually looks amazingly robust. He looks like nothing even happened. Shouldn’t he have a crazy scar, or at least a band-aid on his neck?
Published February 11, 2008
Things of Actual Importance
I only saw two periods of the game tonight before I left my house to go to a party. I’m not sorry I missed those terrifying fifteen minutes after the accident, but before anyone knew he would survive. Get well, Richard Zednik.