Tonawanda News

August 3, 2013

Farmers' Market: Love it or leave it

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Mighty Market

Margery Mesler is not pleased with the North Tonawanda Farmers’ Market.

Margery emails: “I am not sure if you have been to the farmer’s market on a Saturday, but it is becoming a flea market. All the sunglasses, dresses,Tupperware and now the food truck with the loud music. I would like to know why. I always thought it was for farmers.”

A call to city clerk Scott Kiedrowski shed some light on this complaint, not the first we’ve heard.

He said the market manager assigns spots to those who want to be at the market. However, the vendors have to follow the policy of registering, paying rent and be approved. It seems that having flea market vendors brings more folks to the market, thus helping the farmers who are there. Thanks, Scott for the info.

And certainly we all can pick out hucksters from farmers (if you’re not sure, just ask where their farms are.) My mom complained about hucksters years ago so that’s not a new complaint.

Blocking off Bryant Street to allow for more vendors on Saturday is a great idea. How about putting all the flea market vendors on Bryant Street? One of the best ideas is having the auxiliary police there on Saturday so market-goers can safely cross Robinson Street. Can’t tell you how often it seems like taking your life in your hands to cross the street from the parking lot.

The city is fortunate to have one of the best, if not the best, farmers’ market around. If you have an idea to make it better, share it with city hall rather than complain.

Well deserved

At last Saturday’s retirement celebration for Peggy Waite, long-time director of the North Tonawanda Public Library, nearly 200 friends, colleagues, city and county officials enjoyed the tributes from her staff members and others.

The highlight of the evening was the board’s surprise dedication and renaming of the Children’s Room at the library as the “Peggy A. Waite Children’s Room” in honor of her service and love of children. Paul Sikora, board chairman, did a fine job as emcee and presenter. Hardly a dry eye in the house — including Peggy.

Kick the Can

No one except Allene Hurst Teague, who is visiting from Florida, and Judith in North Tonawanda gave any indication that they every played Kick the Can as a youngster. 

“That was a fun game,” Allene recalled. “Someone kicked the can and while the person who was ‘it’ was retrieving it, everyone else ran and hid. If not all the kids were found and it was time for another game, someone would shout ‘olly olly home free’ and those still hiding would come back.”

Judith and her friends played on Keil Street in a slightly different version.

She explained that “We’d get a can, not Campbell Soup can because it was too small, but a large vegetable can (we looked for a can that had peas), kick it and then play like baseball. The kicker would run to a base before the person with the can tagged them. We had to be careful with the can because it had jagged edges — no electric can openers. The game was the highlight of the day.”

Red Light Green Light was a simple fun game with one person being “it.” When we played, that person faced all the kids lined up a little way off. When green light was called, everyone would run to be the first to tag “it” but everyone had to stop when he or she called red light. Anyone who didn’t stop would be out. The person tagging “it” first was in charge for the next game.

Know someone?

Put on your thinking caps — it’s Women of Distinction time. These are women who are often not recognized for the good they do, but really should be honored, which is where the News’ program comes in. She can be a teacher, coach, business owner, volunteer at a church or another organization or perhaps heads up a project or program that benefits our communities. If you have someone in mind, look on page 8A of today’s edition of the News, fill out the form and send it in. Thanks for helping!

Photo Anyone?

A reader asked if anyone has a photo from the late 1960s of the old train tower at the Wheatfield Street crossing before River Road.

“The tower would pump the gates up and down. And when we were kids, they’d let us help,” he said.

If you have any photos or information, email me at the News and we’ll pass the information along.

She mentioned fundraisers coming up in November — more on that later.

Sad Day

“Bud” Hopkins, our former neighbor and every bit a fun guy, died this past week. His wife, Dona, died in April, also a sad day. These two livened up our end of Ilion Street. They raised three terrific daughters, all with as much light-heartedness as their parents. A deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church, Bud was also active at the Masonic Lodge and Carpenter’s Union and it seemed, could build anything. Although this is a sad time for the whole family, I couldn’t help but think that Bud and Dona are making heaven a lively place and once again, taking care of each other. Condolences to the family.

Contact community editor Barbara Tucker at 693-1000, ext. 4110 or email