I led the cheerleaders in a "Hail Mary" before we ran through LaFortune Student Center, much to the surprise of the hungry fans waiting patiently in the serpentine Subway line coiled around the concourse. More fans mobbed us for the remainder of the fifteen minutes we had left until the Band of the Fighting Irish signaled the start of its Step-Off Parade from the Golden Dome to Notre Dame Stadium. Our venerated drum major blew his whistle, raised his ornate scepter, and away we went.
This is the time of year when the Buzz desk awaits the first Christmas CD. What will it be? Will it arrive in July? The bad news is, the CD is not here yet. It looks as if July will come and go without that first Christmas CD.
However all is not lost. The first Christmas book has come in!
OK, it seems kind of windy, devoting something like 10 pages to analyzing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer." "The very end of the lyric returns to the circumstances of Grandma's death. After noting that he has warned his neighbors of Santa and the reindeer (though presumably they would be out of danger until the following Christmas), the grandson delivers the oddest two lines of the song: no one should issue a driver's license to Santa Claus, a man who lives (plays) with elves.."
Oh, for Pete's sake. Someone was into the eggnog, is what that song is about.
Academics kill us sometimes!
But still. Good on this book, for making it in under the wire.
The wave of library closings a few years ago was like a bad novel. North Buffalo was hit the hardest. We lost that cute 1800s Fairfield Branch (a historic Unitarian church charmingly converted to public use) and then the 1920s North Park Branch. The North Buffalo branch library is now -- O shameful day! -- a storefront in a strip plaza.
Now there is the new Little Library at 120 Greenfield Street!
Organizer Rachael Vella is sending around a notice:
"Our Parkside heroes stocked it with some starter books. Feel free to take a book, take one and drop one off, or just look. You can keep it as long as you want and we'll never come after you for a late fee. I will be keeping an eye on things and stocking it up with some faster moving materials as often as possible. We're hoping to eventually appeal to all ages and I added some young adult books this afternoon. For those of you house bound, send me a note and I'll deliver something."
Today Buzz got an anonymous package. A letter fell out. "Congratulations!" it said.
Beautifully typed and faultlessly spelled, the letter continued:
"You have been chosen to receive the 'Mary's A Grand Old Name' Award.
It is presented, occasionally, only to women of outstanding merit whose
name happens to be Mary. Since your name is Mary, and your
accomplishments have come gently to our attention, you qualify on all
counts to join the very short list of awardees. The Academy (that's me)
is pleased to express its gratitude for your important contribution to
our fair community through your excellence in print journalism, humor
and music criticism."
A CD was enclosed with 25 Mary songs, starting
with Jimmy Cagney singing "Mary's A Grand Old Name" and Bing Crosby's
"The Rose of Tralee," on through Jimi Hendrix' "The Wind Cries Mary" and
on and on, ending with "Mary, Mary" by the Butterfield Blues Band.
Special thanks was given to the Buffalo & Erie County Public
Library and there was also a notice reading: "Dedicated to the memories
of Mary Lyon -- Mary Smith -- Mary Wollstonecroft."
Wollstonecroft, a colleague points out, was married to the poet Percy
Bysshe Shelley and wrote "Frankenstein." That is she at the top of this
post! Mary Lyon (1797-1849) was a pioneer in women's education. She founded Mount Holyoke College and Wheaton College.
Were they, and this Mary Smith, previous recipients of this award? If so we are in good company.
It makes us think of this old Scottish ballad known as "The Four Marys."
That song was not on the CD, and we can see why. It's a lovely song but the Mary it is about comes to a bad end.
Not like us!
We will go on in glory! In this wonderful town of Buffalo, home to magical things, like anonymous awards.
How do shoppers top the excitement of Black Friday? With the History Museum's annual book signing! Local authors turn out to sell and sign their books. It is turning into a big shopping event.
Above, celebrity vocal coach Andy Anselmo, who taught Liza Minnelli, Mandy Patinkin, Tony Bennett and so many other stars. He is promoting his entertaining memoir, "A Star-Crossed Life." That is his nephew with him.
But where was Kilgore's turtleneck? The Buzz column has praised Ed Kilgore's fashion sense for years, in particular his taste in turtlenecks. Steve had on his trademark bow-tie. Where was Kilgore's trademark turtleneck?
Kilgore laughed at us as, God love him, he always does.
"If I'd known you were coming," he said, "I'd have worn a turtleneck."