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Ghost of Grover Cleveland Appears on Transit Road


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buzz had fun putting together the story in today's paper about the former stomping grounds of Buffalo's illustrious presidents, Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland.

But it could be that we omitted something! We hear that Grover Cleveland's hunting lodge is right there on Transit Road. At 9160 Transit Road to be exact.

It is called Grover's. The News praised it in Cheap Eats a year ago. Buzz has been there! We have even partaken of the Groverburger, a patty that would do the president proud. And yet when we were on deadline the memory somehow escaped us.

We called Grover's and spoke with the owner, Georgina Hartman, and she said yes, the building was the actual building that was Cleveland's hunting lodge. "People had it as a gin mill for years and years," Georgina told us. The booming business on Transit Road helped keep the place from being torn down, she said. "Location, location."

Buzz, thinking of how Cleveland loved hunting and fishing, had to ask: Did she ever sense Cleveland's spirit around the place?

"I've had some odd incidents here, over 24 years," Georgina laughed.

Above is a photo from a year ago, taken by The News, of patrons soaking up the spirit of Grover Cleveland at his old hunting lodge. 

And here is a patron enjoying the Groverburger.


True Valentine's Day Love ... In the Checkout Line

AldiadBy Mary Kunz Goldman

Buzz loves today's My View story about the gentleman who went to India on the fellowship, only to discover his true love was waiting back home.

It made us want to tell a story of our own that was also sweet.

The scene: Aldi, yesterday, in North Buffalo. Buzz was in the checkout line. We were scrambling to bag our stuff and heard the customer behind us talking to the cashier.

The customer was a guy wearing frayed jeans. He looked like a construction worker. He was buying a little stuffed bear and some of those yummy German chocolates you can get at Aldi on the cheap.

"We're dead broke," we heard him say. "But my wife was in here the other day and she loved this bear." He was beaming as he showed it off.

Then he held forth to an appreciative audience, Buzz included, about how beautiful Valentine's Day cards are to be had at Dollar Tree, and about the card he had scored there for his wife, for a buck.

This guy kept glowing as he talked about how his wife would love the card and the bear. And Buzz thought: What love!

His wife is a lucky gal!

It really is the thought that counts.

BPO Pianist's Rachmaninoff Above Par At Golf Resort

Bianconi2By Mary Kunz Goldman

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is returning from its Florida tour with lots of dramatic stories to tell. The stories are extra epic considering that the orchestra and JoAnn Falletta have been touring with French virtuoso Philippe Bianconi, who has been playing the tumultuous Rachmaninoff Third. 

Bianconi rocked Kleinhans Music Hall with the Rachmaninoff almost a fortnight ago and Florida audiences, too, have been thrilled by him.

Perhaps most thrilling of all was his solo piano performance at a PGA golf resort 20 minutes outside St. Augustine. We would assume that to be the World Golf Village.

As Buzz understands it, the resort was the only place that could accommodate the orchestra for its Daytona and St. Augustine concerts. Plus, they had a piano where Bianconi could keep his chops up. As board member Cindy Letro reports, the hotel's rooms tower over a central atrium with a piano bar in the center. The focal point of the cocktail bar is a baby grand piano with a flat lucite cover and a tip jar in the corner. The sound of the piano wafts up to rooms high above it.

It was at this piano that Bianconi seated himself to run through his Rachmaninoff.

"Imagine this elegant, self-effacing world-renowned pianist pounding out the Rach 3 for hours on end with the chords resonating to the floors above," Letro marvels. "One couple seated at the bar stayed for the entire session."

Later, the couple commented to a BPO musicians that they had thought Philippe was the hotel's scheduled entertainment. Ha, ha!

Letro recognized the glory of the occasion.

"A great moment!" she marveled.

Lexington Co-op Shopper Gets Really Picky

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Buzz loves the suggestions posted at the Lexington Food Co-op. There was the one pictured above (click to blow up) about why were all the eggs in Styrofoam cartons.

The answer: "There was a major fire at a packaging plant in the South, so many producers had to go to Styrofoam until they could get the paper cartons again."

A likely story, Buzz thought. But lo! It is true. Luckily no one got hurt. But here it is eight months later and still there are no paper cartons. You have to figure there are people with egg on their faces. 

This complaint was even better:

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Tea tree toothpicks are by the register! We love the big, panicked writing of the tooth picker in need. And the small, tense writing of the reply.

Picky, picky, picky!


A Dash to Dashwey's

Classic Buffalo look, as described in today's Buzz. Get a good look because in the spring, we hear, the sign is going to be completely overhauled as part of of a $2,500,000 remodel. 

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And an exclusive photo of the parking lot of a weekend afternoon.

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It is definitely a funny sight to savor as we move through the great supermarket we call Buffalo history. Bargain Budwey's and upscale Dash's, coinciding for this moment in time.

Enjoy it while you can!



Buffalo Musician Had Unique View of the Ed Sullivan Show Magic


Everyone is talking today about the magic that happened on the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago last night. And with good reason.

There is simply no topping the greatness of magician Fred Kaps, who demonstrated his craft on that unforgettable night. Kaps, who shared the bill with actor (and friend of Buffalo) Frank Gorshin and -- who else? oh, right, British rockers the Beatles -- is a particular figure of fascination to Buffalo musician Bob Davis, pictured above, who does magic on the side. He told Buzz how, when he was able to nail a video of the episode, he didn't bother with the Beatles. "I haven't gotten around to watching them," he confessed. "I've only seen Fred Kaps. He was great."

On Facebook yesterday, Bob Davis joined in the wave of awe regarding the show 50 years ago.

"Fred Kaps," he wrote, simply.

Further words are unnecessary.


Rare Vintage Car Is Prize At Auto Show


Who knew the Buffalo Auto Show was going on 100 years ago this week?

The Auto Show has been rolling for a century! We found that out looking at The Buffalo News from 100 years ago today.

A century ago they were doing a drawing for an Overland Flyer car, pictured above.

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They were going to get "some young girl" to draw the winning ticket. You have to read down the story a little to get to this detail which, Buzz did.

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Buzz has half a mind to go to the Auto Show with this clipping and demand a chance to win that Overland Flyer.

"Well, it says right here in the paper..."


As Snowstorm Peaks, the Beer Poet Speaks


Allow us to introduce Gene McCarthy's Tavern, postponing tonight's meeting of the Better Beverage Society because of the iffy weather.


The weather outside is frightful, even if beer makes us delightful!
But since it's so hard to go, we've postponed cuz of the snow, cuz of the snow!
Better Beverage with Hamburg will happen, on Wed, Feb 19 we'll be rappin!
So please stay home tonight, and drink some craft beer by fire light!

Any person who needs a refund, simply call us and we'll give you one!
Cuz there's always someone else waitin', tho' we'd all love you to make it!
By the time of our next Better Beverage, we may even have our own beer as leverage!And now it's time for me to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
It was signed "The Beer Poet." 
Beer Poet, you are mighty fine.
Now pass, us, please, that frosty stein!

Fire Engine's Horn Screams 'That Is So Buffalo'

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buzz was lying in bed this morning, slow to get up, it being Saturday and us being lazy. And this fire truck comes careening down the street.

The siren is blaring, just like in "Emergency!"

And over the siren the horn blasts the pattern of "shave and a haircut, two bits."

Hey, it's Saturday, you know?

We can have a little fun!


Renee Fleming Thanks WNY For Preparing Her For Super Bowl Gig


Buzz gets this from the New Jersey Star-Ledger: At a press conference, opera diva Renee Fleming, pictured above, thanked Western New York for readying her for her Super Bowl gig, where she might face dicey weather.

“I want to thank Rochester for preparing me for singing in the cold,” she said. Fleming is from Rochester, where her mother still teaches at the Eastman School of Music.

She added: “As we’re fond of saying, we Upstaters … ‘Oh, this is nothing.’”

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