Tonawanda News

June 8, 2013

TUCKER: A lunch not easily forgotten

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Yesterday, two friends and I had lunch at a recently-opened restaurant, the name of which will not be revealed. When my friend ordered a club sandwich, she asked for the choice of bread.

“We only have white,” came the reply — so white it was.

I ordered hot tea and the waitress said it would be a few minutes as she had to put the pot on to boil. A bit later she came an apologized because they didn’t have tea bags.

At the end of lunch, as always, I asked what kind of desserts were available.

“We don’t have dessert,” the waitress smiled. “But I’ll get your check.”

Actually, the responses sent us into fits of laughter.


“It’s back where it belongs,” a joyful Barbara Jacobi called to say.

The “it” she was referring to is the beautiful carrousel now up on the pole on Oliver Street not too far from Ward Road. Barbara and a number of her friends spearheaded the drive to find the horse, missing for five or so years, and have it placed on the pole.

“There are so many people to thank for getting the horse back,” she said. “This is a community where everyone helps everyone. This was a journey that took a friend of a friend of a friend to complete.”


Next Saturday, the T-NT firefighters will show off at the annual Firemen’s Parade. They’ll line up at North Tonawanda City Hall, then take Payne Avenue to Goundry to Webster then over the bridge to Tonawanda where it will end. Tom Pandleton, who, sadly, hasn’t been around as often as he used to be, brought over the information, adding that there will be a post-parade party for the firefighters, the bands and their families at Gratwick Hose. Tom said tickets are available at all fire companies. Many of my uncles were volunteers and they’d say the best part of marching was, in those years, going down Oliver Street and enjoying a brew from the bars along the street — with the bartender bringing them beer. I often wondered how they made it back to the firehalls.


Eileen from North Tonawanda sent an email telling of her aggravation after having visited the North Tonawanda City Market.

Eileen wrote: “I went to the Farmers Market on Saturday. I parked on Payne Avenue. When I was done I walked back to my vehicle. As I went to cross Payne at Robinson, a car that was on Robinson (wanting to turn left) beeped his horn at me and told me I better learn how to cross the street. I had the right of way in the cross walking with the red light for cars on Payne to stop. Have they changed the rules of crossing the street and never put it in the paper? Maybe that is something that should be taught again and again.”

Actually, more annoying are the people (all ages) who cross the street wherever they darn well please. Forget crossing at at corner or with the light, they just cross - many on cell phones or texting.


Friday morning an email from Scotland said that John Dixon died this past week. John had become a long distance friend while searching a couple of years ago for a woman who once lived in his town and moved to North Tonawanda. He sent me a beautiful calendar with photos of Scotland as well as a CD of pictures of Scotland accompanied by music. When he called me at the News, it was fun to hear his brogue, as thick as could be. He’ll be missed. I’m just sorry we never met in person.


Ben Wiech died this past week. In case you didn’t know him, he was a kind, intelligent and compassionate attorney. A graduate of Bishop Gibbons High School, he went on to receive his law degree then set up his law practice in North Tonawanda where he served clients as he himself would like to be served. Well known for his expertise on the Shroud of Turin, he received awards for his excellent photography. Condolences to the family.


Lt. Fredric Foels of the Tonawanda Police Department, emailed a wonderful tribute to Jim “Beaver” Carney who died recently.

Lt. Foels emailed: “Just wanted to let you know a good ‘Tonawanda guy’ passed away last week. His name was Jim “Beaver” Carney and was sanitation foreman for the City of Tonawanda Public Works for the last 28 years. He was a very liked and popular city employee, respected by his fellow city workers, for his friendship and humor and getting the job done. He and I had coffee every Tuesday and Friday at 6 a.m. behind City Hall and was the type of person that you enjoyed conversing with! We laughed, by the end of our coffee break; both of us knew everything that was going on with the city. He was so looking forward toward retirement in June and couldn’t wait, A few times I tried to tell him to stay on until the end of the year, but he said that June was his month. Dam shame how life treats us.”

How wonderful that Jim had such a good friend. Thanks lieutenant for the thoughtful comments.

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