Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Of cabbages and kings

Happy Birthday Leonard Pennario from Cole, Howard, and Mary.
July 9th, 1954 Western Union telegram from Cole Porter discovered this week among Mr. Pennario's letters.

I have decided, like Bill Clinton, that it is time to move on with my life. So I have started again to follow the news. I realized I had slipped when I talked to my brother George yesterday -- he is visiting his in-laws in California -- and he asked me what was going on in Buffalo and I said, "Uh...."

Usually I have something ready to tell George, something entertaining about the Buffalo Public Schools or the Water Authority or City Hall. Buffalo is never boring. We are full of amusing organisms. Did everyone see that letter in The Buffalo News today defending the Water Authority? The county wants to take it over and the Water Authority is fighting for its life. Hahahahahahaha! Something tells me it will win.

It was too hot to sleep lastnight and I had to work to keep my mind from going Leonard Pennario, Leonard Pennario, Leonard Pennario. Especially since today is his birthday. It is also O.J. Simpson's birthday. Pennario told me that. He was laughing and laughing about it. He said he would kill me if I put that in the book but he did not say I could not put it in the blog.

See what I mean? I have to take my mind off this stuff. So here are things in the news that I have been thinking about instead:

1.) Barack HUSSEIN Obama's teeth. With my new braces, I have been noticing people's teeth a lot. I ask strangers about their teeth. I am not kidding. BHO's teeth are perfect.

2.) The knocking down of houses on Buffalo's East Side. I do not like this demolition being hailed as progress. It just depresses me.

Once last year I went looking for my family's houses. I had this long list of addresses I got out of the City Directory in the downtown library. And I used to go to Mass at St. Gerard's, the beautiful church on Bailey, before the diocese closed it last winter -- thanks, Bishop Kmiec -- so after Mass one day I thought, I will go and find my ancestors' houses and take pictures. I also had looked up the address of the shop on Jefferson Avenue where Howard's grandfather, Samuel Rosenblum, sold cigars and umbrellas, circa 1912. La la la la la.

Everything on my list was gone, except, oddly enough, for the oldest address on my list, the house that belonged to my great-grandfather, August Ernst, who was a blacksmith. Old August's house was still there, barely standing. The rest of them were gone. My mom couldn't believe it.

"What about the house where my mother grew up?" she said.

"Mom, gone," I said.

"Oh, no!" she wailed. "Oh, no."

"Mom," I said, "you can't imagine it. Everything's gone. It's as if World War II was fought there."

To me this is no reason for celebrating.

3.) The judge's "No" to the Seneca Casino. Yay! George, who is more of a traveler than I, has told me it wouldn't be a big deal, that the Indians have casinos in other towns and they haven't hurt anything, but I still do not like it, I do not know why but I have decided not to argue with myself about it. I argue with myself about enough already.

Of course heaven knows how all this will end. There are going to be appeals and appeals and all I can imagine is it will be like something out of Dickens, like "Bleak House," where there is this lawsuit that goes on forever. The lawsuit is Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce. I remember the name even if I am not sure I remember the spelling.

Speaking of lawsuits, there is a lawyer reading this blog! He has a very beautiful and formal name and is an, ahem, partner at a law firm in downtown Buffalo. I found out about him because yesterday he wrote to me that he, and not the reader from the Cote d'Ivoire, was the one who sent in the Edith Piaf lyrics. Merci beaucoup, lawyer friend and fellow Leonard Pennario fan!

Speaking of merci beaucoup, what in the world, about Barak Hussein running on accusingly about how Americans can't speak French or German? Amazing, the stuff that comes out of his mouth.

Though what's in his mouth, you can't argue with that.

Those teeth!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, I know what you mean about the demolition of houses on the east side, but really, it IS progress of a sort. Most of these houses weren't intended to last 100 years and are simply falling apart. It's better, and safer, for the remaining neighbors to live next to a vacant lot rather than a trashed house.

It's sad that Buffalo has come to this, but when 300,000 or more people move away, the city has to downsize to survive.