Tuesday, August 22, 2017

God Bless America! - The Misplaced Protests

Buffalo History Gazette Commentary

   With so many athletes disrespecting the Flag at sporting events, do they even know why?  The Flag symbolizes the United States of America one of the most free countries in the world.  That Flag gave them the right and opportunity to follow their dream and play a sport that has given them the immense wealth to do something good in the world. What is their gripe with that? If you're protesting what happened in Charlottesville, social injustice in general, fine, but that isn't the Flags fault or America's.
  Protest the relatively few people who participated in that or  other  confrontations and condemn THEM, not the Flag.  Better yet, if you're going to get down on your knees during the National Anthem then do so in PRAYER for those on both sides, so they might cleanse their hearts and see the senselessness of their actions. Then you would be kneeling for something. (See Tebow) PRAY for this country to be strong again in it's ideals. Unifying this country begins with you.  Remember, you are not slaves. That may have been part of our history 200 years ago when the original Anthem was written, but Americans don't own slaves anymore. Get over that. 

   Oliver Wendell Holmes amended the Star Spangled Banner during the Civil War by writing a 5th verse with tribute to their new found freedom. (see link below) Bigotry and hate will always exist in some form.  The flag doesn't represent social injustice. It GIVES you the freedom to protest against social injustice. You should be at the games praising the freedom that Flag represents and those that died to give you that right. Don't become part of the problem be part of the solution. Outside the stadium, go into the communities and help solve the injustices you feel are there. Make speeches, talk to groups and use your wealth to spur change that supports, but doesn't undermine the basic freedoms and human rights that we ALL presently enjoy.
   Human respect is what needs to be emphasized and that starts with each and every one of us. The American Flag and our National Anthem represents the people of America, and the very basis of our freedom. To protest the Flag is a protest against yourself, and an insult to me personally, for you and I are what makes up America and that Flag represents All Americans!  You are fighting the right battles but the wrong enemy. AMERICA is not your enemy. The divisiveness you have created is not going to solve the problems. If you truly hate this country however, then that Flag also gives you the freedom to leave any time you desire.
   President Trumps' comments were comments we needed to hear from someone who took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. When he sees the open hatred and disrespect on display, it is an insult to him and millions of other Americans. You say he used strong language? Not strong enough in my opinion.  He reacted as any human being would who just got slapped in the face. Anything less from him would have been disappointing. He is a strong leader that speaks his mind no holds barred. It is great to see a "real" person in office for a change, instead of a politically manipulated robot.  Very refreshing. 

   Remember this - On Sunday 52 million Americans went to church where everyone is welcomed and we all drink from the same cup. 62 million Americans volunteer in any given year, and 83% of American adults give to charity. 145 million Americans went to work today where people of every race, gender, ethnicity, religious belief, orientation, and ability, get along just fine. America is not those few hundreds who hate; it is those tens of millions who don't.  Let's keep our perspective.  

Jerry M. Malloy

The 5th Verse of The Star Spangled Banner

When our land is illum'd with Liberty's smile,
If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,
Down, down, with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her story!
By the millions unchain'd who our birthright have gained
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.

 Link with Full Story and Video

School 60 Buffalo NY - 1918

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Over Niagara in a Barrel

A Womans Record

October 24, 1901
    Mrs. Anna Edson Taylor, a school teacher from Bay City, Michigan, celebrated her 43rd birthday on Thursday by going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She is the first person, man or woman, who ever went over the Great Falls and lived to tell the tale of how her purpose was achieved. Her object was notoriety (says the " Evening News " correspondent) which she believed would enable her to get a music-hall engagement and thereby raise money to pay off a mortgage which is on her ranch in Texas. The barrel was 4ft. high and 3ft. in diameter. It had been previously sent over the falls with a cat in it as a test. Both the barrel and the cat withstood the shock. 

They went over the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side with a sheer drop of 158ft. The barrel was lined with cushions, and the woman was fastened to her place by straps. At five minutes past four o'clock she started. Twenty-three thousand spectators saw the barrel go over the Horseshoe Falls. At 4.40 p.m. the barrel was captured and pulled on to the rocks, and the cover was broken open. Mrs. Taylor immediately raised her arm and waved her hand as a demonstration that she was still living. It was necessary to saw away a portion of the barrel, which was half filled with water, to get the woman out. 

  She had a cut 3in. long on the back of her right ear; her shoulder was strained, and she suffered severely from shock. The doctors say she will be well in a few days. She said: I feel like offering a prayer that my life was spared. I feel sore about my shoulders. I am not a notoriety seeking woman, and have lived a quiet life. I was left a widow at twenty, and have devoted most of my life to others. 

   "If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat. I will never go  over the Falls again. I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces, than to make another trip over the Falls. I was swirled about like a top, and the water seemed to come in on me in bucketfuls. I held tightly to the handles and thought only of preventing my head from striking the top of the barrel. Once, for a moment, I seemed to lose my senses. I struck the rocks three times. I made the trip voluntarily, but I would not do it again for a million dollars. My husband was a good man. I don't know how I can thank you all for being so kind to me."

This famous photo is being featured this week at the Buffalo History Gazette Store in the Niagara Emporium at Eastern Hills Mall. It is a matted photo, 16x20 in a 20x24 frame. Picture is from the Buffalo History Gazette Collection from an original glass plate negative of this event, and not a copy from the internet.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Historic Buffalo River Tour and the Buffalo Grain Elevators - 32 years

The Historic Buffalo River Tour is now in it's 32nd. season. So much has changed on our waterfront since the day the Industrial Heritage Committee had the then "crazy" notion to shuttle people up and down the Buffalo River on small private boats in 1985 to see the Grain Elevators. Maybe we WERE a little crazy then but our faith in the idea was realized when demand quickly outgrew our meager means of carrying passengers. We took a leap of faith and turned to the "Miss Buffalo" to handle our problem. As demand warranted we sometimes had to run two of their boats on the same trip and probably could have run three but for lack of manpower. We were on to something and very excited! No one before us had done this, taking this mysterious, forgotten part of the city and making it a tourist attraction.
    Back then ships were a common sight at the elevators, oil barges going up to the Mobil refinery, the sand boat, coal barges to the Huntley Station, cement boats to the Huron Cement elevator etc. Some of that is still there but on a far lesser scale. Ohio Street was still a street with remnants of its' industrial heritage still holding on. The Harbor Inn, the centerpiece of Ohio Street, was a thriving "Visitor Center" to travelers from around the world along with truck drivers, sailors, steel, flour mill and RR workers, grain scoopers, downtown office workers, politicians and more, a regular melting pot of occupations. It was doing what it had done for the previous 116 years and doing it well, but new things were in the mix.
  What was new to the Harbor Inn was it becoming the home and meeting place for the many preservation organizations, then in their infancy, beginning to set the stage for the many battles they were anticipating in the future as Buffalo began it's transition from industrial center to who knows what? No one really knew then. But the "planning" meetings and battles were on for the next three decades. 
  The Industrial Heritage Committee, Inc. believed then, as now, the Grain Elevators are the most historically significant architecture in Buffalo with a world wide recognition and importance, suitable for a UNESCO World Heritage Site and documentation by The National Park Service. The latter was achieved in early 1990s. So the Historic Buffalo River Tour continued as our platform to get the word out to the people, politicians and planners to include them in waterfront plans. Even though the tours continuously sold out year after year with people from every corner of the planet(and maybe beyond) it seemed to be falling on deaf ears of the local "powers that be." We had the world coming to Buffalo to see the elevators, but City Hall could not see them from just down the street. As other cities around this country and the world embraced their grain elevators and industrial heritage by making tourist attractions out of them and more, City Hall was intent on demolition and indifference. That's so Buffalo, stepping on it's own face. 
  Only in the last few years has the attitude begun to change. A little. Too late for some of our most significant elevators that were needlessly removed in recent years instead of being repurposed with some very obvious re-uses that would have helped transition some neighborhoods. Some are now in the hands of "developers" which is scary in itself, others are in the hands of the city while a few are up and running as they should. At Silo City we have seen improvements and events there, but the general theme for the area has yet to be defined in my opinion. I know what I'ld like to do with the area but that's a whole other story. 
  So here we are 31 years later still doing our tour among all new waterfront surroundings. It's funny in a way but 31 years ago I was a younger man naive and hopeful, talking passionately about Buffalos' great history and helping plan it's future. Now thinking back, I am part of that history I'm talking about today! There is a lot of pride in this tour I helped create which has endured all these years.  The tour has evolved from just a narrative of the surroundings to a "floating classroom" with old photographs maps and video.
    Because of the ever changing waterfront the tour is never the same from year to year and even from tour to tour. So if you've been on before come back again and bring a friend.  And If you've been curious about the elevators but haven't been on our tour then now is your chance in this fresh new season. Have a group? Get your tickets well in advance.
    Yes, there are others who have jumped on the bandwagon of late with their own version of a grain elevator tour for which we are often confused with, (a similar name), but quoting some old advertisement, you've tried the rest now try the best.  Experience does count. And please! The Historic Buffalo River Tour boards at Erie Basin Marina, NOT Canalside, don't look for us there.

2017 Dates: 
Monday July 4, Saturday July 22, Saturday August 5
Sunday August 20, Monday September 4 Labor Day 

All Tours leave Erie Basin Marina at 12:30p.m. 
and return at 2:30
Adults $19
Children 4-11 $13
Ages 3 & under Free but require a reservation
Refreshments available on board at cost($)

Book Conveniently Online at

For reservations, boarding passes 
& other information
 Call Buffalo Harbor Cruises at: (716) 856-6696

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