Tonawanda News


May 5, 2013

DUVALL: On being a night owl, quiet or loud


Tonawanda News — Sitting on my Buffalo porch without so much as a sound my first impulse was to call the police just so I could hear the sirens — hear something.

When you so regularly occupy those hours when other people sleep it feels like you get a bigger slice of the pie. During the day I’m just a guy sitting on a porch, no different from the guy sitting on the porch next door, or the woman pushing a stroller and tugging the family dog’s leash at every tree. I’m no different than the endless stream of bicyclists or joggers completing their daily treks.

At night when it’s quiet, when everyone else has surrendered to dreaming you’re the mayor, the president, the last man standing. Guardian of the night, a superhero or a villain, your choice. If no one else is watching, who cares?

I’ve long been sensitive to the stereotypes we night-lifers face. Sleeping until the early afternoon is a sign of laziness, a sin in this Puritan society built on productivity, bent on purchase.

I ask the 9-to-5ers a simple question: Are you in bed an hour after you get home from work? 

I just so happens there are people, in newspapers particularly, who burn the midnight oil so a newspaper can hit your doorstep (or in our case, a newsstand) in time for you to read with your morning coffee.

Much as I might wish — and some of the lazier practitioners of newspapering might believe — there is no such thing as a newspaper fairy. We sit here and do the work, night after night.

Most people with my title worked hard to get off the night shifts. Truth be told, I enjoy them. Not least of the reasons is because I have no desire whatsoever to join the 5 o’clock-watching, happy hour crowd.

I like nights. I like nights in my city. Sometimes I like them to be bawdy, boisterous affairs that go til dawn.

And sometimes I like them quiet, even silent. 

That means I live while others lay still. I say so much the better.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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