Tonawanda News

Columns

January 5, 2013

Catching up with old friends

Tonawanda News — Don James, who with his vivacious wife, Liz, and their children were our neighbors on Ilion Street in Tonawanda, are the most fun a family could be. Every summer, when they visited Liz’s mom in North Carolina, they would bring back fresh shrimp and then treat the neighbors to a great “Southern Cookout.” Don and Liz owned and operated Sentry South Appliance Service Co. in West Seneca for 32 years before retiring. Don would help customers (and neighbors) “do it yourself” fixing their home appliances. He was an avid traveler and especially enjoyed America’s train systems as well as being an amateur photographer, recording and sharing music and videos. Great neighbors and good friends.

Their son, Jim, emailed that his dad died on Dec. 16 and Jim had seen this column online and sent a great update on the family.

“Time just seems to go by so fast it’s hard to figure. I’m married, it will be 32 years in March. We have two children, our son Thomas (31) is a New York State Trooper stationed outside of Rochester, is married and has a 2-year-old daughter. Our daughter Casey is 20 and she is moving to California (against my better judgment).

“My wife and I moved back from Raleigh N.C. and took over Sentry from my mom and dad so they could retire. We have added eight technicians in the last couple of years and have been fortunate enough to continue growing in a tough economy. If you know of anyone looking for work in this line of business, we are desperate for a good help.”

•••

Kevin O’Connor can bring out a good challenge and memories any day of the week. (His email has been edited for space.)

“There is such a variety of great pizza to be had in our area that I’m rarely left wanting what I can’t have. One outstanding ‘pizza purveyor’ that I do recall from my childhood was La Nova on the S. Niagara St. in Tonawanda. ... My brothers and I would walk take-out home through a spooky-at-the-time, steeply pitched alley that lead to Adam Street. Dining there was untenable as there were eight mouths to feed at home, drinks would have been pricey. The pizza was really good, including that terrific spicy pepperoni that curled into tiny cups of grease. I’m sure that it inspired my road trip towards the statin drugs that I’m on now!

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