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Confessions of the Notre Dame Leprechaun


Sure, and Hamburg native Daniel Colt Collins' "Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun," gossiped about in today's Buzz column, will be flying off the shelves, if all if it is as good as the excerpts we read.

Here is one:

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.

And another:

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Once Again, Mark Twain's House Disappears

Twain houseThomas Reigstad, Buff State professor and author of "Scribblin' For a Livin': Mark Twain's Pivotal Period in Buffalo," gave a talk about Twain in Elmira on Nov. 30, Mark Twain's birthday. It was sponsored by the, ahem, Elmira College Center For Mark Twain Studies.

Present were two huge sheet cakes from Wegmans, which Reigstad reports were decorated with the gold and purple colors of Elmira College. 

One cake was frosted with the words "Happy 168th Birthday Olivia." Twain's wife was born November 27, 1845.

The other said "Happy 178th Birthday Mark Twain." It also had a huge picture of the house, pictured at left, that the Twains received as a wedding gift, at 472 Delaware Ave. in Buffalo.

Olivia's cake was cut up and went fast. However, Reigstad observed ...

Continue reading "Once Again, Mark Twain's House Disappears" »

Christmas Time Is Here


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!

It is "Sleigh Rides, Jingle Bells, Silent Nights: A Cultural History of American Christmas Songs."

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.

Christmas in July!

How The Mighty Vampires Have Fallen

First "Twilight," then "Breaking Dawn," then "Eclipse," and now we rejoice in the final saga.

The Twilight of "Twilight."


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North Buffalo turns over new leaf

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!

Little library

Buzz is guessing this is in line with a movement called Little Free Library.

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."

Power to the people!

Who needs the county?

Buzz Receives Rare and Anonymous Award


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."

Mary 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.

Thank you, Anonymous Awarder!

That old college try

Here are Buff State students dancing and doing back flips for Bucks4Books. Bucks4Books must be having a contest because these videos are all over the Internet.

It is too funny how the gals in the Buff State video throw themselves over backwards one by one! Then you have that last girl left just shaking her rear. Haha! Well, it is for an intellectual cause.

Here are their rivals at UB.

Buzz can't help noticing that melody is a lost art. How about Bucks4Music Lessons?

One final video because Buzz just loves the name "The Buffalo 716ers."

Hahahaa! Love that old cartoon music. Such talent in our schools!

It makes us want to sell our textbooks at Bucks4Books.

We must have some kicking around somewhere!

Exclusive photos of Buffalo's Black Saturday


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.

Mike Rizzo was there with his latest book, about the Mafia in Buffalo. It was arguably the hottest sell in the room. People want to read about the mob! They cannot get enough of it.


Rizzo is a common name in Buffalo and so Mike Rizzo was constantly being asked if he was related to other Rizzos. Hahahaa!

Here we give you Buffalo News food critic emerita Janice Okun, right -- with her book, "Buffalo Cooks With Janice Okun" -- and celebrity historian Cynthia Van Ness, author of "Victorian Buffalo."


Front and center were Steve Cichon of WBEN-AM, left, and Ed Kilgore of Channel 2, with his book "As I've Seen It: Wide Right, No Goal and Other Buffalo Sports Sagas." When you walked in they were the first people you saw, framed in the doorway.


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."

Next year we'll make sure he does!

Strange gathering at the Central Library

Who came up with this seating arrangement?

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Twilight of the magazine industry

Buzz was at Budwey's last night and we see this whole magazine devoted to Twilight.

Hilarious, you know? These people look like the Addams Family.

We joined the young woman behind the cash register in laughing at the magazine and marveling at the number of people she said bought it. Then we went on our merry way. And we forgot all about it.

Until today, when we learned about another magazine hitting the streets later this month.


Ha, ha! Sometimes we think we should read Mad more often.

Every once in a while, it comes through for you, you know?

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