Niagara Gazette

Opinion

February 19, 2013

BRADBERRY: Out of the fire: Life from the ashes

Niagara Gazette — It still stands as a record that should never be approached, let alone broken; 15 children and three adults died in the Moonglow Hotel, in the worst fire in Niagara Falls’ history, Nov. 16, 1957. Annie L. Reid, then just 4 years old was pulled from the flames by her sister who found her hiding underneath her crib. Thrown from a second-story window of the dilapidated tenement building, little Annie miraculously survived the fire and lived to write a book about it.

Now 55 years later retired US Marine Corps First Sgt. Annie L. Chivers’ poignant memoir tells the heartbreaking, but inspirational story of one woman’s journey in the aftermath of losing nearly her entire family in one of the worst tragedies in the history of African American’s migration from the back breaking work in the cotton fields and farm life of Pigeon Creek, Alabama and other communities in the Deep South to live and work just as hard in the body breaking factories and farms of Niagara Falls and Western New York. During one of my many trips back home to Niagara Falls after moving away to attend school in 1965, I returned to my old neighborhood with a critical eye 40-some odd years later.

I chronicled my visit, recalling that I paced back and forth, up and down the now one-way Allen and MacKenna avenues, looking for familiar faces, finding instead, tin warehouses and vacant fields where my neighborhood once stood was now empty except for a few new garage-like structures and what looked like lines of tired old trucks, waiting for the rust to reclaim them.

The area, once one populated by small junk yards and immigrant factory workers who settled here from Hitler and Mussolini’s “Old Country” in Europe and Jim Crow’s Deep South, a neighborhood where the otherwise unwanted were forced to live in some kind of harmony on their way toward “Americanization,” now a wasteland.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Moreland panel comes back to haunt Cuomo Let's get this straight. That was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at the microphone in the Syracuse radio station, Dec. 4, 2013, explaining the need for reactivating the anti-corruption panel called the Moreland Commission. "The commission clearly has the legal authority to look at anything they want to look at, including the governor, the attorney-general, the comptroller, etc.," the governor told the listening audience.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: A taxing time for Lewiston town officials It's disappointing to learn that a seemingly financially sound community like the Town of Lewiston now finds itself facing 2015 budget crunch that could, of all things, lead to the creation of a new town tax.

    July 31, 2014

  • NIA Krause mug 073114 GUEST VIEW: Arnold represents a fresh start for local Republicans Two years ago, as chairman of the city of Niagara Falls Republicans, the committee and I broke from the traditional policy of the county republicans of endorsing state Sen. George Maziarz for reelection.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Immigration issue belongs to everyone I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my digital edition of the Washington Post yesterday and found something that I think captures part of the dilemma America faces right this minute; it's a simple question: Who are we, or to put it another way, what do we really stand for?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: It's time the U.S. stopped giving aid to Israel When you see some of the atrocities that Israel has committed in Gaza, including last week's bombing of a United Nations school that was being used as a civilian emergency shelter, you should really wonder why we count them as an ally and why we devote so much of our financial and political resources to the scoundrels.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Isaiah 61 Project breathes new life into city Friday was a big day for the Isaiah 61 Project. It may have been a bigger day for the Falls.

    July 28, 2014

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Pleased with increased police patrols It was good to see the Niagara Falls Police Department join forces with other local law enforcement agencies in response to a recent uptick in violent crime.

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
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