Category Uncategorized

From the Beer Book

Mr. Clete and a cold one, art by Jo Buffalo In the 1960s and ’70s, I kept a notebook of beer articles, clippings, ephemera, but I hadn’t opened it in 30 or 40 years, until this week. I found things I had long forgotten. A keg label from Utica Club’s dark ale, a staple at […]

The Spanish Influenza, 1918

Two stories about the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic from my family: My mother’s mother, Cora Braun, was 30 years old in September of 1918 when the Spanish Flu appeared in Buffalo, New York. Her most vivid memory was of a day when she watched from her front window as the funeral processions began at dawn […]

Fish, Rooster, First Car

My father, probably at Chautauqua Lake. Al Kranz, with pipe and fish. My best guess: a bagpiper at the Canadian National Exposition, Toronto, Ontario.

Three Photos

After my parents died, these photos were among the things passed down. They show my father as an infant, his mother’s family, my Winship grandparents, who I knew, and my Slocum great-grandparents, who died before I was born. And my Aunt Mame, who also went by Mazie. Bucktooth Run (circa 1905). L. to r., Hollis […]

A Father’s Day Story

My father was a fisherman. He loved to go fishing. And then he would bring his catch home and we would have fish for dinner. Dinnertime with my father, at a very small kitchen table, was never fun, but the fish added a new element of pain. Every mouthful could contain a fish bone, an […]

Our Florida Vacation

Before our trip to Florida, our daughter Abbie was discussing our itinerary with Ruben, her significant other, and he said, “So, essentially, all we’re going to do is eat.” Well, yes, restaurants comprise a large part of every Florida visit. At One Ocean, where we stay in Atlantic Beach, and the young men who open […]

The Stow Ferry

When I was a boy, in the 1950s, my father’s parents had a summer cottage on Hadley Bay of Chautauqua Lake. As everyone knows, the word “chautauqua” is Seneca for “bag tied in the middle,” a reference to the narrow point in the middle of the lake, and it was there that the Bemis Point-Stow […]

Meet the Delts, 1967

“Meet the Delts,” the Rush Book of Delta Tau Delta, Gamma Omicron chapter, Syracuse University, 1967, with cover art by Philip Grady Kennedy. I didn’t write it, but I lived it.

Huxinting Tea House, Shanghai

Originally posted on Read, Seen, Heard:
In the Old City of Shanghai, just outside the Yu Yuan Garden, sits the Huxinting tea house, said to have been built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as a private retreat, and restored in 1855, when it became a public tea house. The tea house is reached via the…

Pneumatic Mail

Originally posted on Post Office Postcards:
It’s not a postcard, but it is a favorite image, showing the pneumatic mail department in the basement of an American post office. The practice of loading mail into canisters and shooting them through tubes with compressed air dates back to the nineteenth century. A pneumatic line linked the…