Tonawanda News

August 18, 2013

GLYNN: Bolivian, age 123, tops Grand Island resident

By DON GLYNN don.glynn@tonawanda-news.com
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Frank Scheria of Youngstown (aka ‘The Mayor of Ashland Avenue’  in Niagara Falls) was livid when he read an newspaper article last month about the world’s oldest man.

“He’s not from Grand Island! “ Scheria snapped, “He’s from Ashland Avenue! He just happens to live now in a nursing home on the island. Scheria was talking about Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez, 112 years old, according to the Guinness World Records Ltd. 

Scheria undoubtedly knows more about the Ashland Avenue area than any man alive, or so it seems. In fact, he supposedly told the feds years ago not to bother digging in that neighborhood because Jimmy Hoffa isn’t there.

But, you might say, the world’s-oldest-man issue became moot Friday when it was reported on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” (Ch. 7) that Carmelo Flores Laura, a Bolivia cattle and sheep herder, was born in 1890. That makes him 123, two years before the first Ferris wheel was introduced at the Chicago World’s Fair and decades before Scheria helped organize the annual Ashland Avenue reunion. 

Maybe at next year’s reunion, they can present Sanchez-Blazquez with the runner-up trophy.

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A NEW JOB: Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, a Republican, has been named CEO of the Gebbie Foundation in Jamestown. Edwards launched his political career in 2005 when he was elected as the county executive, defeating Democrat Mark Thomas, now the western district director for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, based at Prospect Park in Niagara Falls. 

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STAYING IN TOUCH: A number of Niagara County residents note they have little opportunity to meet with their new member of Congress. Rep. Chris Collins ( R-Buffalo). Collins’ 27th district offices are in Williamsville and Geneseo.

Mindful of that shortcoming, Collins is attempting to reach out more to his Western New York constituents including having staffer members available Wednesday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Youngstown Free Library, 240 Lockport St. (The Red Brick School). Collins said the staffers can help people with matters relating to Social Security benefits and Medicare coverage, veterans’ affairs, and information about the functions of the Small Business Administration.

For the record, Collins’ district includes the 12 towns and five villages in Niagara County and the City of Lockport.

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DOUBLE STANDARD?: A local senior citizen recently flying from Buffalo to Seattle discovered the rules are different, whether you’re in New York or Washington state. Signs at the Buffalo-Niagara Airport stated that passengers 75 years and up did not have to remove shoes for the security check. Despite the offer to prove his age, he was instructed by an abrasive Transportation Safety Administration agent to take off the shoes. On the return trip from the Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, the same passenger was politely reminded by the TSA officer not to bother taking off the shoes. 

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SOUND ADVICE: Overheard: “The best thing to do when you wake up in the morning is just don’t get out of bed” — a customer at Donatello’s Restaurant, Third Street, after listening to a report that drinking upwards of four cups of coffee per day could shorten your life. 

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TRIVIA: Answer to Thursday’s question: the New York World’s Fair was held in 1964 and 1965.

Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.

Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.