Tonawanda News

Opinion

May 18, 2013

TUCKER: Small stores win for customer service

Tonawanda News — A couple of weeks ago, some of the history of the Gratwick area of North Tonawanda was outlined by a gentleman who called himself “Dennis from Gratwick.” The column brought in a number of other memories and then, a letter from Ruth Maerten who said although she’s retired in Florida, still has recollections of Gratwick since she believes she’s much older than Dennis.

Here’s her letter: “At the corner of Stenzil aned Payne was Koenig’s for many years before it became Mellenthines. At the corner of Washington and Oliver, Joe Kohler had a fruit and vegetable stand and on the same side of the street on the other corner, Doc Smoyer.

“At Allen and Oliver was an A&P Store. Across the street was a barber shop and Kraft Dry Cleaners, then Musall’s Meat Market and Harvey Grobe grocery store.

“Long before Krinke’s was Joe LaBarbara and before him, Steve’s, with the best homemade ice cream. At Felton and Oliver, Ben Schultz had a grocery store and next to him was a shoe repair.

“Gratwick Hose Co. and Gratwick Lumber were on Felton Street. Next to the Blue Danube was Strassburg Hardware. Mr. Allard had a newspaper stand at the corner of Jackson.

“Thompson Bowling Alley and Smith Drug Store were on Oliver between Felton and Fredericka and above Smith’s was McKnight, the dentist. One corner of Fredericka was Schroeder’s Service Station with Meister’s Service Station across the street. At one time there were 49 bars on Oliver Street, places to stop for a beer or a good fish fry.”

Thanks for the memories, Ruth.

•••

Because the rechargeable battery in my cordless grass trimmer is too difficult to change, I decided to buy a lightweight electric trimmer. Stops at a large local hardware store and a “big box” store found no customer service people to ask, much less help in my quest. So on the way home, on the off-chance that a trimmer could be found, I stopped at Valu Home Center. A gentleman was working on a project near the door and quickly asked if he could help.

Text Only
Opinion
  • 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

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo