Tonawanda News


August 16, 2013

His widow called to tell me the news

Tonawanda News — Starting in kindergarten or even before, you meet people eager to tell you you’re wrong, about everything. I refer to the ones who doubt your opinions and ideas and goals at every turn, tell you why things will not turn out the way you hope. The ones eager to dampen whatever enthusiasm is available.

You’d think you would outgrow exposure to them, but as you get older you find more, everywhere. High school, college, work life. The ones to whom you could apply a little amateur psychotherapy and conclude they’re jealous, they’re misanthropic, they’re self-loathing failures, they seek an advantage by planting some self-doubt in you, they somehow have a vested interest in seeing you screw up and seeing themselves slow you down.

There will always be some schoolyard whiner unhappy not with results but with conditions. And they themselves do not outgrow it: walk into a fast-food or casual restaurant and find the loudmouthed older guys who congregate there in the morning the way they once did at night in saloons. There is typically one person in those circles of friends providing freelance grousing about whatever the topic of conversation.

Get outta here, it won’t happen. You can’t do that. Goddamn (insert name of powers that be here) won’t let you get away with that. No way. You’re not smart enough, rich enough to pull that off. Forget it.

To them you are not the idea machine you think you are. You’re more like a mirror, the person ready to attempt what that bitter negative influence will not or cannot.

You meet people like this in life. You do not cultivate them or strive to find them, but you meet them anyway. (All right, some people cultivate them: it seems to be a codicil to life’s grand contract that there are people who are users, and people seeking to be used, in equal numbers.) Some people get their kicks stomping on a dream, a great man sang, and learning to ignore their poisonous, ruinous comments can be regarded as a sign of maturity.

Text Only
  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo