This week is all about bricks and mortar! First the good news about St. Gerard's, now the sorrow of losing the Aud. By the way, I loved Paul from The Tao of Paul chiming in with me about Gerard's. Paul, we will get the gang together and make a road trip down to Georgia to visit our old friend!
About the Aud: I am not much for Aud memories although I did see the Sabres there several times, and also there was this great concert by Rod Stewart where Rod Stewart just would not stop singing. He did not step off that stage for something like three hours. People were leaving and he was still singing. I wonder if after Rod Stewart is gone his spirit will return and haunt the parking lot that, Buffalo being what it is, will probably be sitting where the Aud now stands. I would not doubt it.
I have this thing about having to go into doomed buildings because when I was an infant, my dad carried me inside the old Buffalo Central Library downtown. He wanted me to be able to say I had been there. He also carried me onto the Canadiana, the Crystal Beach boat. So yes, I was on the Canadiana! Even if I do not remember it.
Let us speak of the supernatural, as we have been doing every day during the month of October. Dad wrote a few remembrances of Crystal Beach that ran in The Buffalo News and later in the book we put together, "Buffalo Memories." I gave "Buffalo Memories" to Leonard Pennario as a present last fall. He used to keep it on his nightstand. I loved that.
One thing my dad wrote about Crystal Beach stuck in my head because I never heard it anywhere else. He wrote that when darkness fell, and they got on the boat to go back to Buffalo, the park took on a different cast. He would see gypsies pitching their tents, lighting torches, setting up their signs.
There were gypsies at Crystal Beach who told fortunes! Imagine that.
We were not allowed in our family to get our fortunes told. That was an injunction handed down from when we were little. I have written about that before, I think, but I have never explained why getting our fortunes told was forbidden.
That was because my dad's mother, whom we referred to as Grandma Kunz, ran into a gypsy fortune teller when she was a young woman. Well, she was always a young woman. When she died, in 1936, she was not as old as I am now.
Anyway, Grandma Kunz got her fortune told and what happened was, every bit of it came true. The gypsy predicted how many children she would have, one girl and three boys, how she would almost die during the birth of one of them (that would have been my Auntie Rose, if I remember correctly), and various other things to which we as kids were not privy. And it all happened! This gave my whole family a case of the spooks and subsequently everyone decided that the Catholic Church was right and we should leave this stuff alone.
Which I have pretty much done, although there was that trip to Lily Dale -- wait, two trips to Lily Dale -- before I learned better. I still am not done discussing my Lily Dale experiences. There is more to that.
Once I had my fortune told in Tarot cards, too. Well, I almost did. Tarot cards have always given me the serious creeps. The Hanged Man. They tell you that is not a bad card but you just know in your heart that it is.
The story of my stupidly attempted Tarot reading is a good one.
It could be in the cards for tomorrow.