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."
All about how we are a vernacular, indigenous kind of place? That is a combination of adjectives we love, vernacular and indigenous.
We have just been laughing watching this video's country cousin.
There is so many things funny about this "other" Buffalo video!
The warmongering voice. The accusing beginning: "People see Buffalo as the end of the line." Etc. Then the shot of wildfires. "We don't have wildfires." And "We have neighborhoods. Try to find that in Phoenix."
Some Buffalonians got a lot out of their systems putting this together.
... such were the experiences of a friend of Buzz's as she drove into work today.
"I tore up a lower side panel in the front of my car when I got stuck in my driveway last week," our friend confides. "I was waiting for the January thaw next week to use my new roll of Buffalo Bills logo duct tape to do a fix until summer."
Ha, ha! We, the proud drivers of Buffalo cars, all know what happens next!
"Today .... thunk!! And past my window sails my beleaguered quarter panel!
"The alert driver behind me astutely dodged the flying object. When last seen, my quarter panel was heading for Canada.
New Year's Eve is fun because it is is so surreal. Buzz loved seeing the groups of strangers walking down Delaware Avenue downtown, sporting hats with blinking lights. "Happy New Year!" they called to us. How can you hear and see that and not smile?
Then there were people in skimpy outfits, out frolicking in the snow with no coats or anything. That is fun too. And so Buffalo!
Only one thing could improve this scene: We had to tune in to George Noory, pictured at left, on the surreal show "Coast to Coast AM" on WBEN-AM.
Noory was letting callers predict things that would happen in the coming year.
One woman said confidently: "The earth will grow rings in 2013."
"Ah," said Noory. Well, he said something like that. We were not writing it down. "Are you into meditation?" he asked.
"Yes," she said. "And higher consciousness."
"Thank you for the prediction," he said. "We haven't had anything like it."
Hey, why not, you know? Buzz will be on Ring Alert. We will be watching for those rings.
Buzz did not quite get this whole Mayan thing. We don't worship the Mayan gods, pictured above. We don't buy into these people's religion, so why would we think they had anything on the ball as far as knowing when the world would end?
But we have to say, this whole Mayan calendar business was worth it for all the jokes and cartoons going around. They have kept us laughing in a week that was otherwise kind of bleak news-wise, you know?
And it is the gift that keeps on giving.
Today, a witty and learned friend writes on Facebook:
"Somebody got it wrong. Apparently the world ends at the end of the NEXT Mayan cycle. So beware of Dec. 21 in the year 7138! Start the countdown: Only 1,872,272 days to the Apocalypse."
Hahahahahaa! Knowing this guy, he probably did the math.
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.