Tonawanda News

February 1, 2014

TUCKER: Time to start thinking spring

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Mary Lou Schlegenhouf, who, as I recall was the “mother of Ilion Street” sent a note that might jog your memory.

“Those were the days” Mary Lou wrote, “Jewel Tea Company, Hall’s Bakery and Welcome Wagon which helped new mothers with advice after the birth of their children. If you called them, they would come over and do anything for you.”

No doubt many can relate to Mary Lou’s remembrances. Guess we could add Herman Miller violin maker, Loblaw Grocery, NuWay Market, Clay Pipe Room, Dickinson Fish Market, Twin City Style Shop — too many to even think about.

Cold enough

On a slightly different tact, do you remember how we found out if there was a snow day when we were kids? How about Clint Buehlman on WBEN? Even if school was canceled, we were dressed warmly, including snow pants, hats, scarves and mittens and sent to play outside. Remember building forts, having a snowball war with your friends, maybe sledding on the High Speed Line embankment or building snowmen?

On Monday’s snow day, two youngsters were playing outside their home on Delaware at Eugene streets. Bundled from head to toe they laughed as they jumped on their sleds and enjoyed the slope on their property. Difference between these kids playing and the kids who would have waited at a freezing windy corner for a school bus, is that the two youngsters could go inside and have hot chocolate to warm up. Good call for the school districts to close and putting the announcement out early enough for parents to prepare.

Ball State’s David Call, a severe weather expert, emailed that many Americans are suffering through the coldest January since the 1970s.

“None of those coldest Januaries have occurred in the last 25 years, so this month is considerably colder than what we have experienced in recent memory,” says Call. “Many of the coldest Januaries on record occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, including 1977, 1978 and 1979. Anyone over 35 has experienced weather like this before — just not recently.”


Good for Jenna  Koch of the Tonawanda City Council for digging into the background of the company the city was planning to use for its red light cameras. She and Jay Hall certainly have the city’s best interests at heart and are not afraid to speak out. Go Jenna!

An email from a reader says it all “Can’t believe that our tiny City of Tonawanda is considering red light cameras ... Big Brother is alive and well!” 


The “yarners” are at it again. These are the wonderful women in the Twin Cities who are again seeking yarn for their projects that range from cancer hats to comfort blankets and more. So as you start to clean out closets in anticipation of spring, check to see if you have any yarn you’d like to donate. It can be dropped off at the News or if you need someone to pick it up, call or email me and someone will be around. This is such a good cause, consider cleaning out your closet and helping.

Girl Scouts

Carol Carney said she read with interest this column referring to Girl Scouts. 

“We had a wonderful Senior Girl Scout leader, Flo Taylor,” Carol wrote. “She had a senior high group which she took on many trips. I remember the ones to Washington DC and New York City. We met with other Girl Scout groups and even with political leaders while we were there. We toured the White House and even saw paper money being made. We were in the Capital when Alaska was voted into being a state. As part of this group we had activities with the Explorer Post that met at Gratwick School where we also met. I met my husband through this association and we just celebrated our 50th anniversary. (Flo) even nominated me for Ideal Girl — a contest run by The News. Flo was a wonderful leader and friend who helped shape the lives of many girls.”


Help out the City of Tonawanda library by stopping by between 4 and 5 p.m. Tuesday for its “Community Perspectives” Focus Group. The library wants to know how your feel about the library, what it’s doing right, doing wrong, and what you think the future looks like. Share your thoughts, comments and needs about the library services (and  maybe pick up a book.)


At the recent Membership Tea at DeGraff Memorial Hospital hosted by the Auxiliary, the food was delicious, especially the raspberry bars made by Paulette Brady who was so kind to send me the recipe. If you want to try them, you’ll have to go to the St. Francis of Assisi spaghetti dinner tonight. I only hope mine turn out as luscious as Paulette’s. Speaking of St. Francis, no news yet from the bishop but a lot of work and planning is going on, including an open house next weekend. My money’s on St. Francis to be around for another 100 years.

Contact Community News Editor Barbara Tucker at or 693-1000 ext. 4110.