Tonawanda News

April 6, 2013

Rabbits, birds attest to spring

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Chain reaction.

My walking down the driveway very early Thursday, startled a squirrel which scurried up the maple tree. Across the street, a robin seemed surprised by the squirrel’s activity and quickly hopped under a shrub in front of my neighbor’s home. The robin’s quick reaction must have startled a rabbit who no doubt was just waking up and hopped out from those same bushes to the next house. In a nearby tree, a woodpecker continued his tap, tap, tapping without a problem. Spring surely is here.


Although the City of Tonawanda is facing an overage with the high school renovations’ budget, it’s annoying that one solution is to eliminate the new band room in order to have enough money for the football and sports fields. Does everything today have to revolve around sports? What about art and music? These are programs which will stay with the students long after their sports’ days are done. With computers, X-boxes, smartphones and so many other electronic gadgets dulling the creative instincts of youngsters, the place that gives them an understanding and love of art and music, the schools’ art and music programs, are thought by many to be expendable. Well, you’re wrong in your thinking. Take North Tonawanda, for instance. Mary Ellen Holler, the finest elementary art teacher anywhere, will retire at the end of this year. It will take three art teachers to replace her commitment and interest in her students, her extraordinary creative talent and her love of art. Having been in her classroom many times, I saw first-hand how much of herself she gives her students, offering special events, art shows across the area, and working seven days a week to help entice her students to love art as she does. Will all her work and effort go for naught? You can be sure that I’ll be watching to see the outcome.


Today is the start of another T-NT Expo at a new location in the Student Alumni Center at North Tonawanda High School. Many of you will be stopping by the News booth to comment on the paper’s printing only five days. This is a trend across the country at large and small papers. Do any of us here like it? Of course not. The alternative would be layoffs — totally unacceptable. However, perhaps CNHI, the owner of the News, could have thought of better days not to print. Two days in a row, especially Monday and Tuesday, should perhaps have been Tuesday and Thursday. If, for instance, someone dies on Sunday and would be buried on Wednesday, the obituary would only be found online on the website. So I’ve decided not to die on a Sunday. Of course layoffs would be terrible, unless, some of you are thinking, that if I were laid off, you’d have a joyful celebration that my column would disappear. You know what they say: “Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are ‘good’ is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.”


A letter came this past week from Bud Scheller adding more details to the article on Shalom Baptist Church in North Tonawanda. Paul wrote that many former St. Paul Church members would like the history behind the sale of their church be told.

“As our congregation slowly diminished because of aging and a lack of a Sunday school,” Paul wrote, “we were forced to sell. After our church property was assessed at $430,000, our church council, knowing our location would be a detriment to selling, decided to accept any offers of $250,000 and up. But, after several months and only three inquiries with no follow-up and with the congregation’s approval, (it was decided) to sell to any religious institution for $100,000.

“Fortunately, Shalom Baptist came along, saw what we had and through the Grace of God, wanted this home. Our congregation overwhelmingly voted to have it remain a House of God!”

Thanks Paul, for “the rest of the story.”


Thought you might like to recall the Top 10 songs from 1913. Do you remember: “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “When I Lost You,” “Peg o’ My Heart,” “You Made Me Love You” (I Didn’t Want to Do It) an Al Jolson hit, “Last Night Was the End of the World,” “When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam,’ ” “The Spaniard That Blighted My Life,” “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral” (That’s an Irish Lullaby,) “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine,” and in 10th place, “Row! Row! Row!.” 

Now start singing any or all of the above. All these were in the music books when I took accordion lessons many years ago and my dad and mother would sing along, pretending that I was the finest accordionist ever. Memories.

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