Niagara Gazette

Columns

July 27, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Amish vegetables and experiences on the Island

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Gropers — Driving Pennsylvania two-lanes last Saturday at twilight, we stopped at an Amish produce stand. It was on the honor system. Since the Amish eschew electric power, and untended candles pose the hazard of conflagration, it was so dim we could hardly locate the payment can, let alone try to weigh the tomatoes.

Hoping we had left our fair share, we opened the homebound hatchback, forgetful that we had propped a sack of paperbacks against it. The bag tipped over, vomiting the volumes, one by one, onto the gravel of the Amish driveway, giving new meaning to the phrase “dirty books.” As the Amishman drove by we swear we could heard him snicker over the clop of hooves and jingle of reins. The veggies, for the record, were delicious.

About 72 hours later, we got even closer to the Amish experience. Doug had just safely navigated the Biblical deluge which had washed away the Niagara Power’s attempt at a season-ending baseball game to find Polly sitting in the garage, as we do many nights when the days are long. Two decades earlier we had sat in this very spot and, by helping him count the seconds between flash and boom, essentially cured a grandson of fear of storms.

“That was the worst thunder I ever heard,” Polly said this time. “Our lights may be out.”

One switch-flip confirmed her suspicion, igniting a strategic debate about the electrically-operated garage door. We had a release to let it down, but with our limited musculature, could we ever raise it again? As natural light faded, we tabled the motion and sat back to watch the increased pedestrian traffic as neighbors near and far hit the streets to investigate and socialize.

With the rain over, we saddled up the car that regurgitates romance novels and soon discovered that a power line had fallen onto an East River lawn, twitching and spitting sparks like a dyspeptic dragon. We left this to the authorities, drove far enough to identify the boundaries of the outage (the parking lot of a nearby bar-pizzeria was jammed with patrons who may have been in the dark even before the lights went out), cell-phoned family, located candles and settled in to wait it out.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Immigration issue belongs to everyone I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my digital edition of the Washington Post yesterday and found something that I think captures part of the dilemma America faces right this minute; it's a simple question: Who are we, or to put it another way, what do we really stand for?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety 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 Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
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