Niagara Gazette

April 13, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Writing on a few recent wrongs

By Doug and Polly Smith
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Nit-Pickers — President Calvin Coolidge once observed that “All I know is what I read in the newspapers.” Were he reading this column, a lot of the things he’d know wouldn’t be true. Recent weeks we’ve provided full employment for fact-checkers. For example:

•••

BOWING TO “FIDDLER” — We shorted the reservation number for the Parish Players’ “Fiddler on the Roof.” It resumes Sunday at 2 p.m. at St. Stephen Church, after a night off for Confirmations (what, no bar mitzvahs?) and continues next Thursday through Saturday. One of Doug’s first bosses (1948, yes, we had telephones then) forbade the publication of phone numbers for this very reason. We didn’t get it exactly wrong, we just didn’t get enough of it, omitting a digit, so at least nobody was bothered with wrong-number calls. It’s 465-5574, that is, four, six, five, five, five (three of ‘em), seven, four.

The good news is that we get to mention this admirable enterprise one more time. Mazel tov.

•••

ROUND THE BEND — Supervisor Mary Cooke gently reminds Doug that the Curves salon next to Say Cheese Pizza went straight a long time ago and is located elsewhere. This history-as-truth appeared in a report on the parking-lot feud between Say Cheese and 7-11. The “spite fence” remains in place, withstanding assaults from wind and careless drivers.

•••

ROUND THE BEND, LAP 2 — We have insulted our little roundabout ever since it was in the design stage, but Doug has to admit it works pretty well. He no longer avoids this intersection, which was once “controlled” by a traffic light in the same way that a knot controls a shoelace. However, the presence last Sunday afternoon of young evangelists waving Bibles and placards at every entranceway did neither the traffic flow nor their cause any favors. It was downright dangerous. While eager to meet our maker, we can wait awhile.

•••

AND OVER TO YOU — Finally, there’s the matter of the daytime bridge closings to accommodate night-shift workers, our annual April Fool. We try to make these spoofs sort of a commentary on society, which is currently geared to appeasing even the slightest slights, and it seemed absurd from here, but at least a half-dozen e-mails suggest that readers thought it plausible. Thanks to all for taking it with such good grace, particularly the Mainland official from up north who seriously suggested that rather than two two-lane South Bridges, we should have one five-lane, adjustable to traffic flow. Sounds like a plan, but can you say “Peace Bridge?”

•••

SAY WHAT? — And it wasn’t Calvin Coolidge who said that, it was Will Rogers who, as it happens, died shortly after Doug was born.

Come visit. We’ll try to make it right with you.

Polly and Doug E-mail pollyndoug@hotmail.com