Niagara Gazette

Columns

May 4, 2014

SINGER: In praise of the indispensables

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — But this seems the indiscriminate, cheapening way today, where triviality has been made to reign (by the media). And yet, think what England fighting alone in 1940 against Hitler’s juggernaut would have been without Churchill at the helm. Think of the proverbial difference so many others have made for our benefit. Just for openers, Jonas Salk’s vaccine, rendering polio that once confined people to wheelchairs for life an afterthought (except in places like war-torn Syria, where it’s been making a sad comeback).

Or think simply of people in your own family, or of dear friends who are, yes, indispensable. A man with a fourth-grade education but lots of smarts once told his son, a pal of mine, that if in your maturity you can count your friends on your knees, you’re lucky. I.e., two who are truly significant...

“You have to have known him!” a French person once put it to me. “They broke the mold” or “he/she is one of a kind” are other ways of describing unique personalities who cross our path.

We see that in old Lucy or Carol Burnett shows from TV’s golden age, where no one, but no one could replace such stars. In real life, there are certain doctors, nurses, or mechanics you can’t easily replace as well. And on it goes...

But there’s also the apothegm that “when everybody’s somebody, nobody is anybody,” which has never been truer! Speaking a bit rigorously, and with relativism briefly tossed out the window, are there people one could call not indispensable? More than a few, I’d say! My own list would include actors like the insipid (to me) Ashton Kutcher. If Mr. Kutcher were somehow to move to the North Pole tomorrow, retiring from his televised labors into what I’d consider a merited obscurity, I wouldn’t mourn his loss on the small screen at all.

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Columns
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  • 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.

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  • 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

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Scheer, Mark mug CITY DESK: Hobel will be missed

    Lost in all the hoopla surrounding last week’s announced retirement of state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, was the loss of another well-known figure in local government and politics.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: More pastors, a new church and more of everything Before I go further back in time, I want to just go back to last week where I took my own advice and spent a couple of hours at the Como, where I enjoyed one of their traditional "parade of bowls and plates of great salads, pasta and meat dishes" and listened to longtime friends of Tom Darro roast him with humor, accolades and best wishes. And best of all no one who came to the microphone mentioned garbage totes or carts. It was a welcome relief.

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  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Border Patrol chief examines deadly acts A former Buffalo police chief now has the formidable task of reviewing cases where border agents have used deadly force.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Nostalgia for nostalgia: Where will it end? Not only has there been a huge nostalgia boom in America, but we're now getting to the point where there's much nostalgia for nostalgia! Maybe signifying that nostalgia will wear itself out, or, as in the old adage, that it ain't what it used to be?

    July 20, 2014

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