Tonawanda News


August 16, 2013

His widow called to tell me the news

Tonawanda News — Starting in kindergarten or even before, you meet people eager to tell you you’re wrong, about everything. I refer to the ones who doubt your opinions and ideas and goals at every turn, tell you why things will not turn out the way you hope. The ones eager to dampen whatever enthusiasm is available.

You’d think you would outgrow exposure to them, but as you get older you find more, everywhere. High school, college, work life. The ones to whom you could apply a little amateur psychotherapy and conclude they’re jealous, they’re misanthropic, they’re self-loathing failures, they seek an advantage by planting some self-doubt in you, they somehow have a vested interest in seeing you screw up and seeing themselves slow you down.

There will always be some schoolyard whiner unhappy not with results but with conditions. And they themselves do not outgrow it: walk into a fast-food or casual restaurant and find the loudmouthed older guys who congregate there in the morning the way they once did at night in saloons. There is typically one person in those circles of friends providing freelance grousing about whatever the topic of conversation.

Get outta here, it won’t happen. You can’t do that. Goddamn (insert name of powers that be here) won’t let you get away with that. No way. You’re not smart enough, rich enough to pull that off. Forget it.

To them you are not the idea machine you think you are. You’re more like a mirror, the person ready to attempt what that bitter negative influence will not or cannot.

You meet people like this in life. You do not cultivate them or strive to find them, but you meet them anyway. (All right, some people cultivate them: it seems to be a codicil to life’s grand contract that there are people who are users, and people seeking to be used, in equal numbers.) Some people get their kicks stomping on a dream, a great man sang, and learning to ignore their poisonous, ruinous comments can be regarded as a sign of maturity.

Text Only

    April 23, 2014

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core

    They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leffler Mug 041114 [Duplicate] LEFFLER: 'Need to know' a double-edged sword Inquisitive doesn't begin to describe me. I must know everything. About everything. I hate being in the dark. I guess that's what makes my career choice so very obvious. I think "must know everything" is at the top of most journalists' trait lists.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo