Tonawanda News

Columns

October 12, 2012

ADAMCZYK: The little treasures

(Continued)

It’s now a war zone, and its history is being wrecked along with its infrastructure, its buildings and its reasons to be there.

All that exotica one associates with the area, the bathhouses, the architecture, the shops selling thick coffee, the warmth of the sun as you walk down the street, the mixing of races and faiths, the music and the minarets, are all being blown to pieces. Whether one gets a mental picture of a place like Aleppo from books, from visits or from Abbott and Costello movies, he or she gets the idea.

It must have been a lovely and exciting place, with back rooms full of souvenirs of the history of the oldest place on earth. These days, the heavily armed government and the increasingly armed opposition are slowly dismantling it, and with every indiscriminate blast goes another chunk of some incredible history.

Aleppo has bigger issues than preserving its history and watching looters run through the holes in the walls of its museums. The human-scale tragedy is worse. People are fleeing for the border; others are dying. Hospitals are understaffed, overworked and unattended (the doctors are leaving as well). Food and electricity are scarce. Still, another crime going on there is the dissolution of its heritage. 

Whatever is left will eventually turn up in other venues, auction houses, museums, private collections and the like. What bothers me is the material that is turning into gravel, the smashed, burned, carefully cultivated until recently legacy of what went on in that place. Plenty more will be bulldozed, eventually, and end up under the next wave of Aleppo’s pavement.

I approve of the idea that people are around to, at the least, care about the stuff that went before, the mementos of other eras. Not everyone should. Not every landfill needs to be a museum, but there are individuals who take it upon themselves to make certain handfuls of the past remain for those of the future to appreciate. Granted, I’m one of them, but it’s when I learn of a place like Aleppo, its history slowly lost in demolition disguised as revolution, that those people looking out at me from photographs of Kenmore schools and Tonawanda picnics seem actually to be demanding something of me, simply that they be remembered. 

Perhaps remembered only for being there, the moment the camera shutter clicked, but remembered.

Ed Adamczyk is a Kenmore resident whose column appears Fridays in the Tonawanda News. Contact him at EdinKenmore@gmail.com.

Text Only
Columns
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Employers don't need 24/7 access to workers

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Taste of Buffalo sneaks up again This time next week you can find me tromping somewhere up and down Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo