Niagara Gazette

March 23, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Spring's arrival gets frosty reception

By Doug and Polly Smith
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Observers — Have you seen our spring? It was due here bright and early Wednesday morning, but all we got was the early, unless you count the glare of the post light reflecting off the sugar-waffle snow on the lawn. Clearly, it’s gone missing. We can either put a picture on the side of the milk carton, round up some unusual suspects, or look for clues.

A little bit of all three:

• The groundhogs blew it. Totally. Neither Punxsutawney Phil nor Dunkirk Dave spotted a shadow back on Feb. 2; both forecast an early spring. (Both are probably vacationing now in Florida). Dave and his “handler” Bob Will, our long-time friend, were featured recently in the National Geographic’s Kids Magazine, a marvelous little short story. Perhaps the critter went all Justin Beiber and couldn’t handle the fame.

• Adrian’s opened. It’s our own private Anderson’s over here, a little locally-owned seasonal beef and ice cream stand smack in the middle of the Island, and this year decided that perhaps the groundhogs were right and opened unusually early. Lots of youngsters showed up for opening day, checking out the new flavors, but it’s been pretty much Beefcicles ever since.

• The Buffalo Bisons mowed the grass. With a defiance similar to getting your car washed the day before it rains, Herd groundskeepers gave the outfield grass a very ceremonial first-cut, media invited. Snow followed almost immediately.

• As you read here first, the Thruway Authority announced plans to close the bridges weeknights, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., give or take a few minutes of irritation. We can barely imagine the pain of construction 50 feet above the river in what must seem like still the dead of winter and in fact, neither can the Authority, as when Doug came over Wednesday night it was open.

• We also suspect: The players in that shirts-and-skins soccer game at Buffalo State (all male, don’t get huffy) the afternoon Mendon nudged the Lady Vikings out of the basketball playoffs, the guy driving the big black convertible with the top down, anybody who scheduled a pool opening and Beauty Baron Carl LaMancuso, who actually played golf at Gothic Hill March 3 and told friends “it wasn’t too bad.”

In short, we blame the extended winter on any one or any thing who by word or deed suggested that it was over. Don’t push Mother Nature. She always pushes back.

Come visit. Bring a shovel.

Polly and Doug

P.S. – Watch next week’s letter for the latest developments on the bridge closures.

Polly and DougE-mail pollyndoug@hotmail.com