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Taking leaves of our senses.

   Two editorials today that each have something to do with leaves:

- Display the treasures
   With treasures like Mark Twain’s original handwritten manuscript for “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and first editions by astronomers Galileo Galilei, Tycho Brahe and William Herschel, the city’s inability to display these priceless works in a single, appropriate setting verges on the sinful. Certainly, it is wasteful. And self-defeating. And foolhardy. And shortsighted. And . . . well, you get the idea. The Crown Jewels  have the Tower of London. Our gems need their own special home. [Buffalo News article.]Huck
   Erie County Executive Chris Collins aims to provide that. He announced last week the formation of a commission to study how best to offer these treasures to the public. He wants the county to have a “signature place” to display works now held in multiple locations, including the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, the University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society and private collectors.

   Related from elsewhere:
- Rare books from China to be digitized - The Boston Globe
- Shakespeare collection donated to UCLA's Clark Library - The Los Angeles Times
- Merkel Speaks Out on Google Books - BusinessWeek
- Thief lives in thrall to books - National Post
   And, looping back to Buffalo:
- Oregon State receives rare books by Malamud - The Oregonian
   Howard Mills, who once owned a bookstore in Corvallis, has donated three rare books by Bernard Malamud — including an inscribed first edition of “The Natural” — to Oregon State University. Malamud taught at OSU from 1949-61 and wrote “The Natural” and most of the stories in “The Magic Barrel” while in Corvallis.

- Help tree-planting
   Three years ago, after the October Surprise snowstorm, both the trees and the power lines collapsed.
   The power companies scrambled the troops and, while it seemed interminable at the time, soon put the electric lines back. That part of life went back to normal.
   But there was no arboreal armada -- paid by your monthly utility bills -- on standby to restore the status quo of the urban forests. An organization had to be created from scratch to make that effort.
   Thus arose
Re-Tree WNY, a volunteer organization that set a goal of planting 30,000 trees in five years. Now, more than half way through that self-imposed time horizon, the organization and the individuals, groups and local governments that have supported it have planted 11,200... [Buffalo News article.]
   Support for Re-Tree WNY is still needed, and still deserved. Money doesn't grow on trees. But these trees won't grow without money.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News


William Safire, 1929-2009

   By the time we met him, William Safire had already won a Pulitzer Prize, owned two of the best corners of real estate an opinion writer can aspire to, joined the panel of Meet the Press, published several books [including one that, I was happy to have the chance to tell him, didn't get nearly the attention it deserved], wrote speeches in the White House and coined a phrase or two that will be remembered as long as there are politicians and pundits. [He'd also kept me company over many a bagel and cup of coffee. He never paid, but he didn't eat much, either.]

   And still, he told my wife and me that he envied us.


   Rebecca, being the more intelligent of the pair, didn't want to talk politics at the pre-speech reception, about five years ago at the Salt Lake City Public Library. She wanted to talk literature. What books did he like? What would he recommend?

   He went for the classic. Moby Dick, he said. We had to admit, Zelig-like, that neither of us had read it.

   Well, then, he said, then you still have that to look forward to. I envy you.

   Well, Bill, we still haven't read it.  But I read a great deal of what you wrote over the years, and you will be missed.

   More from Bill Lucey, Dennis B. Roddy, The Daily Beast, Janet Daley, The Christian Science Monitor, The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News