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Renee Fleming Thanks WNY For Preparing Her For Super Bowl Gig

Reneeflem

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.’”

Gift Shop Makes Kleinhans Audience Groan

Spring 007

Two in one shot! Too Hot to Handel and the Chopin Bag.

These people are the Mozarts of bad puns! Wonder what they'll have next time we stop in.

We'll be Bach!

Bob Seger Is Still Alive, Detroit Man Announces

Bobseger

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buzz sympathizes with the Detroit writer who felt it necessary to publish this clarification. Pete Seeger is the musician who died. Bob Seger is still among us.

It is like the time Buzz met Margot Kidder and everyone kept thinking we meant Nicole Kidman. 

Buzz saw Pete Seeger once at, we believe it was the Unitarian Universalist Church here in Buffalo. It was some church. We remember he sang a lot of kids' songs including one that went "Mousie, mousie, in the housie." Alas, we have no record of that performance. How could we not? We thought we had a written chronicle of everything we have done in life.

We do have a chronicle of Bob Seger at Buffalo's old Memorial Auditorium.

The Snow Princess

Bundled

Buttoning up our coat this morning, Buzz despaired. We felt like the girl in the picture up above. Or, as we told Howard, the guy we married, we felt like something out of the Brothers Grimm.

Howard did not contradict us as we had hoped he would. But he said: "Look at it this way, everyone else is in the same boat."

That is for sure!

And furthermore the boat is surrounded by ice. The boat is not going anywhere!

It actually cracks us up. We have to love the wit of the other people in the same boat.

Like Jeff Paterson, the head of the Community Music School. Jeff wrote on Facebook: "Pretty sure my car just swore at me when I started it."

And another friend who does not like his name mentioned wrote:

"Love the four seasons here, this current one is just being a bit of jerk."

Buffalo Stoplight Fanatic Gets Green Light, Begins Blog

Crouse

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Encouraged by Buzz, traffic signal expert Ryan Lysarz has begun his blog about traffic lights.

This isn't any blink-and-you'll-miss-it thing. He plans on writing regularly about the changing Buffalo signal scene, and apparently he has enough scholarship to carry him for years.

The first couple of posts show Ryan seeing red over the missing signal that used to be in front of Holy Name of Jesus Church on Bailey Avenue, and discussing what he calls the single most significant traffic signal intersection in Buffalo.

Definitely a blog that can be talked about on the street corner! As well as when you are stuck in traffic with nothing to do. Ryan has been studying traffic signals since he was 4. For the uninitiated he offers a primer on how to identify various models of traffic lights. That is a Crouse-Hinds Art Deco classic in the photograph up above, a photo he took on Grant Street.

OK, enough introductions. Ryan, you have the green light.

Go!

Southern Cheerleading VIPs Freeze But Say 'Rah, Rah' To Buffalo

Cheer

Deep South, meet Deep Freeze!

Last night at E.B. Green's in the Hyatt, Buzz met a lady and gentleman from Mississippi who are here to judge Cheersport, the giant cheerleading competition taking place Saturday at the Buffalo Convention Center.

They are Niel Parker and Cheryl Farris and while they are used to judging summery competitions like the one pictured above, now they are up here in the Arctic. They confessed that just the thought of flying to Buffalo had made them shiver.

"We were afraid our plane would land on ice," Cheryl said.

Niel added candidly: "We were hoping our flight would be canceled."

But they fell in love with Buffalo! "The people are so friendly," they said, and proceeded to list all the friends they had made, from the pilot of the plane up through the staffers at the Hyatt, whom they reeled off by name. They had tickets to "Wicked" tonight at Shea's.

Niel and Cheryl are encouraging Buffalonians to come out and watch the cheerleading competition. The Convention Center site says admission is $10 with kids under 10 admitted free. It sounds like quite a show. There are about a zillion cheerleaders from all over the state and beyond. And the judges say come late, because the competition gets more advanced as the day wears on.

Cheerleaders converging on the Convention Center, what fun.

Let's go, Buffalo!

 

How Cold Is It? So Cold That ...

... There were only three hardy people skating last night on the Fountain Plaza ice rink.

Iceskating

... A skunk turns up on your doorstep.

Skunk

(True! A friend with a beautiful home in University Heights came home to find a skunk on his doorstep, apparently hoping to come in and get warm.)

And....

... on the electronic marquee of the Buffalo Christian Center downtown, the words "Jesus Loves You" were shivering. 

It was too cold to get our camera out so we do not have a picture of that.

But it was true!

Captain and Tennille's Family Reached Out to The Buffalo News

Captain

By Mary Kunz Goldman

In the flurry of publicity surrounding the imminent divorce of the Captain and Tennille, journalists are widely overlooking the fact that the Captain, Daryl Dragon, is the son of Carmen Dragon, the great Hollywood Bowl and Capitol Records music man. 

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra likes to play Carmen Dragon's sparkling arrangements. On more than one occasion The Buffalo News has praised these performances, admiring the Carmen Dragon's creativity.

And the Dragon family got in touch with The News, thanking us for appreciating and remembering Carmen Dragon. Buzz is searching for the correspondence. We seem to remember that the family representative was one of Dragon's daughters -- which would make her the Captain's sister -- and that she was a Catholic church musician in California. In any event the Dragon family impressed us a wonderful family and we cannot imagine, based on this inside knowledge, why Tennille would want to leave it.

We are going to be looking for the email. More to come if we find the thing.

Meanwhile here is a picture of the great Carmen Dragon. He was better looking than his celebrity son.

Carmen_Dragon_1953

And here is an elegant Carmen Dragon arrangement of Beethoven, featuring the best-selling pianist (and Buffalo native) Leonard Pennario.

 

Historian Zeroes in on Unnoticed Feature of Buffalo

Signal

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buzz's friend Ryan Lysarz is obsessed with city streets, particularly on the East Side. Lysarz, 30, has admitted to driving for hours of a Sunday afternoon, just pointing out things of interest and keeping watch on what has changed. Nothing escapes him. (By the way that was Ryan who passed on that classic Pepsi quote from the frosty Noco station in this week's Buzz column.)

Recently Lysarz made public the above photograph of Bailey Avenue. The signal, he notes, recently disappeared.

He wrote:

Most people don't notice them, but to me, vintage traffic signals are like old friends that I can wave at whenever I drive by," he writes. "Time to say goodbye to these guys, who resided in front of the former Holy Name of Jesus Church on Bailey Avenue for many years. Their only purpose was to help children from the church's long-shuttered school to cross the street. Now, the school building is vacant and rapidly deteriorating, the church (minus its steeple, which was removed a couple of years ago) is home to a different congregation, and the traffic signals are gone. At least the Bingo sign still remains, and probably will until the building is torn down.

Lysarz's picture drew comments from such luminaries as Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame stalwart Doris Jones, and Channel 4's Jacquie Walker, who wrote: "Keep letting us know about things like this, Ryan. Most of us can see these things, but have no idea WHAT we're seeing! History, perspective, and context are your gifts to us."

Ryan responded:  "I'm glad to see that other people can appreciate these things. I'm thinking about starting a blog to keep track of the remaining old signals of interest."

That would be an illuminating project, Ryan! Buzz will help get the word out when the blog begins.

Let us know when you can give us the green light!

Where the Buffalo Bills Reign Supreme

Buffalo-bills2

By Mary Kunz Goldman

There is one place in the world where the Buffalo Bills are the Super Bowl champs! Unfortunately it is in the Third World which is kind of far from here. But still, better than nowhere.

A friend hips us to this story about what happens to the merchandise made in case a certain team wins. It turns up in developing countries! You cannot legally resell it here, and so it goes there.

Quoth our friend: "I see this stuff all the time when I am in Africa or parts of Asia. It is no blunder, it is all planned and factored into championship clothing costs.  There are places in Africa that I have been where they still swear that the Bills are FOUR TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!!"

Hmmm, maybe we should take a trip there.

Just for that feeling!

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