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Memories of Jimmy

   There's something special about an Irish wake in the way they bring out all the old stories.

   There's something even more special abut the wake for James D. Griffin, the 56th mayor of Buffalo who died Sunday on an undisclosed cause.

   It's possible that no other citizen of the Queen City has ever generated so many yarns, the ones that friend and foe alike today are calling "Jimmy stories."

   They told them in the line outside Reddington's Funeral Home in South Buffalo on Tuesday, where the former mayor's calling hours resume from 2-8 p.m. today before his 1:30 p.m. funeral Mass in Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna on Thursday.

   They also told them all around Western New York on Tuesday - at lunch tables and in bars and bowling alleys - the kind of places where the mayor always conducted his most important business.

   Griffin's friends recounted countless stories about the man who served 16 years in the big office in City Hall … longer than any other. And since Griffin was a man who gathered his share of enemies along the way, those stories found their way into local conversations as well.

   All agreed that Griffin was a force, and a significant figure in the history of our city.

   If you have a favorite "Jimmy story," you are invited to share it here via The Buffalo News blog.

   --- Robert J. McCarthy

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