Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 1, 2012

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Saying goodbye to the ‘Bro’

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Mourners — It was our Holly who broke the news to us, the night after Thanksgiving, in her living room mid-state. “Oh, Dad,” she said, shaken by what she had just learned in the midst of a joyful holiday romp through Facebook. “Brother Augustine died.” Black Friday, indeed.

Not really. “Bro” had been ill, really ill, although in a performance worthy of a Tony Award, he twice played host to us in his Philadelphia convalesence with cheerful and creative enthusiasm, allowing one of us — Doug, actually — to dreadfully overstay his welcome last March. Doug suspected “Bro” tolerated him only as a pathway to Polly, of whom he was enormously fond.

We last spoke to him about five weeks ago, purposely calling at the moment the head nurse passed his bedside, 10 a.m., and she handed him the phone. Timing is everything, Bro knew.

We met in 1972, both beginning new careers, Doug as entertainment editor at the Courier-Express, “Bro” slapping life into a nascent theater department at Niagara U, a cardboard box full of scripts and resumes standing in for the cradle. A co-ed (that term was OK then) with an eager but professional demeanor called asking if we’d like to review “Guys & Dolls,” which opened our eyes to the joys of collegiate theater.

Later, he would invite our Holly, then 12, to perform as a “no-neck monster” in his cast of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Now, four decades later, she would reminisce on his kind indulgence but mostly, how much the experience had turned her on to theater, even if she didn’t take it up as a profession. “Look at how many people he did that for,” she said, “and how many of them then passed it along themselves. How many lives did he affect for the better? Thousands, maybe.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

  • Rick Pfeiffer COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

    It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
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