A Niagara Falls native now living in Montana has written a book that a reviewer describes as a fascinating investigation.
The probe is actually into the miraculous world of birds and the powerful and surprising ways they enrich our lives and sustain the planet.
Author Jim Robbins grew up in LaSalle before moving decades ago to the West. The book is entitled “The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future.” It was published in May by Penguin Books.
Robbins, an environmentalist and freelance journalist, has been a regular contributor to the New York Times for nearly 40 years. Based in Helena, Montana, he has produced stories on the environment and science across the nation and around the world. In addition to the Times, he has written for a number of magazines including Audubon, Conde Nast Traveler, Scientific American, Vanity Fair and Smithsonian. His books include “The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet”; “Last Refuge: The Environmental Showdown in the American West” and “A Symphony in the Brain:The Evolution of the New Brain Waves Feedback.”
Of Robbins’ latest book, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a respected authority on the environment, said: “Using enchanting stories and rich historical references, Robbins explores the role of birds on the evolution of human self-awareness.” Today, Kennedy works for a firm specializing in environmental laws. The book has also received wide praise from a number of other reviewers.
Robbins, who grew up in LaSalle and graduated from Buffalo State College, still writes numerous articles for the Times’ travel section too. In his spare time, Robbins, thoroughly familiar with the parklands in the western states, conducts guided tours to places like Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon. His mother, Betty Robbins resides in LaSalle.
HEARD ON THE STREET: That overnight crowd of youths who camped out in tents and blankets to await “The 1975” concerts Tuesday and Wednesday night at the Rapids Theater were faithful followers of the popular rock band formed in England. Some of the fans, who had attended previous events at the Main Street entertainment center, were singing the praises of the venue. “We like it a lot because of its intimate setting and it’s easy to see everything going on,” said a 20-year-old visitor from Ottawa, adding the prices here ($40 per ticket) are much cheaper than we’ll have to pay at Madison Square Garden.
KUDOS TO THE VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars-Lake Ontario Post 313 has adopted a slightly different format for its Memorial Day program held in the 1812 Cemetery in Fort Niagara State Park. The changes appeared to be appreciated by those who attended. Instead of reading nearly 200 names of its deceased veterans, Post Commander Gary Zanardi read only the ones who died during the past year. Names of all the deceased were printed in an attractive handout that included a detailed schedule of the ceremony, the lyrics for “The Star Spangled Banner,” “America The Beautiful” and “O Canada,” plus a reprint of The Gettysburg Address that President Lincoln delivered on Nov. 19, 1863.
Commander Zanardi cited a letter from a 6-year-old girl who obviously understood the real meaning of Memorial Day — a time to pay respects to those who did not return from the wars. As Zanardi added, it was never intended as day for shopping or buying a new car. Unfortunately, there are people out there who have never understood the point.
TRIVIA QUIZ: (This one for ardent baseball fans of many years ago) When Sal “The Barber” Maglie of the Brooklyn Dodgers pitched his no-hitter, Sept. 25, 1956, against the Philadelphia Phillies, who was the legendary catcher that day? (Answer Sunday.)
Contact reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.