Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 2, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: No shadows in this Groundhog Day story

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Shadowers — At first light today, a wriggling rodent saw the Capitol’s shadow and forecast six more weeks of partisan bickering.

That was pretty much it for Groundhog Day until a movie fantasized that it can be rewound. So each year we look back and calculate which day bears repeating.

This year’s winner, June 9, 2012.

On enhanced grandparent duty while our son-in-law served overseas, we’d pilgrimaged to the village of Groton for grandson Clark’s final baseball game.

Rain drummed on our daughter’s tin awnings but Grotonaires are a hardy lot. The field was soft, the drizzle light. It was Clark’s turn to pitch. Last start he’d been replaced for walking too many batters, but this time he finished his two-inning stint with five strikeouts and a 7-3 lead.

Doug’s head was partly 50 miles away, where Grand Island was playing a state semi-final. But he snapped to attention when Clark, playing third, slapped the tag on an unwary base-runner, a move so deft that the umpire missed it, but the base coach, soul of fairness, said “Nah, out by a mile.” Game over.

As we slogged to the car, Doug’s sweatpants vibrated. It was Jonah Bronstein, Gazette sports editor. Grand Island had won and would play in the finals in one hour. “If you want to go …” said Jonah. “Hey, Clark, wanna’ go to a state final?” Doug asked. “Awesome,” said Clark. We scraped off a layer of mud, grabbed Groton Youth Baseball’s last two hot dogs and hurried down Route 38, Clark navigating by road map, reaching our seats as the game’s second batter stepped in.

Grand Island didn’t quite win. After two innings, Clark assigned himself shagger of foul balls. As the game ended, Doug said, “wait here while I interview folks,” but on the field, he sensed Clark right beside him and couldn’t bear to send him away. Viking Coach Dean Santorio gave him a game-scuffed ball. Doug politely introduced Clark to a young Buffalo News reporter, who asked, “Do you play?” Clark, 9, recited his morning exploits. The reporter retrieved his notebook and jotted them down.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: It's time the U.S. stopped giving aid to Israel When you see some of the atrocities that Israel has committed in Gaza, including last week's bombing of a United Nations school that was being used as a civilian emergency shelter, you should really wonder why we count them as an ally and why we devote so much of our financial and political resources to the scoundrels.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Verplank: Turn back the clock at the Porter Cup

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page