Niagara Gazette

Opinion

May 10, 2014

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Paul Malecki made winter a bit more bearable

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Mourners — Our Mother’s Day joys are muted this week. We have bid farewell to a man our lives depended on during winter months, although we never met face to face.

The register shows we sent our last check to Paul Malecki Jan. 4. The invoice had come with an apologetic note; he was ill and would transfer the task of plowing our driveway to a friend and colleague. We couldn’t imagine that the end would come so quickly, a month short of 74.

During many a stormy night we would hear the scrape, sense the light, mumble “Paul’s here” and go back to sleep. He was phenomenally dependable. He wasn’t going to take any more “clients,” but he was doing several driveways nearby and so accepted us as a favor. “And if you ever need an extra, like maybe you have to leave early in the morning, just tell me,” he said once over the phone.

He never charged enough, we thought, and when he upped it a dollar as gasoline prices rose, we asked him “Why not three?” Said his loving widow Marcy through the hubbub of a legion of friends at Wednesday’s wake, “That was Paul, all over. He just loved to plow.”

He’d been an ironworker and a union president in Niagara Falls; plowing was sort of a hobby, but he pursued it with a passion, a model of dedication to us all. Our winter comforter has moved on to the eternal spring. Godspeed.

BLOOMERS – The American Legion’s traditional Mother’s Day hanging-basket sale winds up today at 2121 Grand Island Blvd. This is the fundraiser that the late Shorty Vanthoff would promote by calling every single Island resident as a reminder. We miss the calls but won’t miss the sale, which actually got under way yesterday. They’ve got lots.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • 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 Bianco mug 072514 GUESTVIEW: Business First ranking casts Falls in a new light There are those in the community who like to cite Business First's annual rankings of school districts and speak unfavorably about Niagara Falls' low standing.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHEERS AND JEERS: The best --Â and worst -- of the week of July 25 It sure sounds like the Buffalo Bills really will be "Living on a Prayer" as far as Western New York is concerned if the team is purchased by the prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

    July 25, 2014

  • 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

  • EDITORIAL: Delaying refuse law really just makes situation worse It's obvious the rollout of the city's new refuse and recyclables collection program has caused confusion and consternation among some city residents and business owners.

    July 24, 2014

  • NIA Giannetti, Robert mug 072414 GUEST VIEW: Village of Lewiston parking issues related to Artpark need to be addressed On Artpark nights, the South Fourth Street area and many other parts of the Village of Lewiston are covered with pop-up parking lots on residential lawns that operate in spite of existing zoning laws prohibiting commercial activity.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • EDITORIAL: Experience Center vital to tourism here From time immemorial, Niagara tourism leaders have expounded on the need for a first-class orientation center to showcase our assets for the millions of annual visitors here.

    July 23, 2014

  • 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

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
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