Sunday, June 24, 2012

Theodore Redlein - Forest Lawn

Many times I have walked by the cenotaph (person buried elswhere) erected in Forest Lawn in memory of Theodore Redlein. It is close to a roadway, so I was sure that he would get a flag on Memorial Day, but I bought a small one, just in case. Nope, so I stuck it in the ground, thinking maybe I should have spent a few more quarters on the next size up...

The boy scouts and other volunteers put in place hundreds of flags in the more traditional burial area for those who have served, so maybe this being on the other side of the expanse is why it wasn't on a list.  Wouldn't have been the only one. Maybe because he's actually buried in Belgium. At any rate, it was just something I felt a need to do.  Later on I went by and the urns had been filled with geraniums!

Again, don't know if this was another walker/jogger, family, or there are arrangements with the cemetery to take care of this. However it worked out, he now is definitely remembered! Later, I went to the store to pick up a larger flag.

I also found some of his background online, including this:

Thank you for your service Lt. Redlein, and for giving your life....

Friday, June 22, 2012

1812 Mound in the Meadow 2012

The War of 1812 is all the rage now, as well it should be. The war started 200 years ago this week and Western New York was a large part of it. As I wrote last year, there are 300 soldiers from that war buried in the middle of Ring Road, Delaware Park....about where hole #4 of the golf course is.

Last year Steve Cichon lead a processional out there to honor the soldiers buried in the Mound in the Meadow.  This year he spearheaded an additional memorial which ended up being placed outside the Zoo as it borders on the Park (the now closed gate #7, I think).

Good spot, really. As soon as you see it, about face, and there's the original boulder in the near distance.

After the ceremony dedicating the marker, we had flags to put around it, but it didn't seem right. So I asked Steve if we were allowed to go out to the monument, and he didn't see why not, seeing as it's a public park, Memorial Day, and those are war dead out there. That viewpoint may not have been universally shared (especially by golfers and their groundskeepers), but off we went. Started as a trickle, and turned into a steady stream.

The War of 1812 reenactors marched out too. Would have been even cooler if a fog had swirled in, but, as it were, they were impressive crossing the greens, and paying tribute.

Next year we should have a 21 gun salute, not that I know the proper procedure for 200 years after the fact. All the runners/walkers/joggers might hit the dirt too.  Maybe a few fireworks instead :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

771 Busti (part 2), A House by the Peace Bridge

Quite a while back I wrote about the Wilkeson House at 771 Busti, along with several other homes. They were purchased (after some browbeating and implicit threats) by the Peace Bridge Authority in order to build a parking lot, and then left to rot. So, of course they are vacant, boarded up, and deteriorating! That was part of the plan!

In 1980 771 Busti was lived in and loved... 1996 it had been bought and boarded, with others soon to follow, and the rest is history, but not the good kind....A few weeks ago the chain link fences went up...

Just looking at the property records, it seems that there was quite the turnover in the effected houses starting in the late 80's to people who then sold out...wonder if they knew something in advance? No way of proving it, and real estate speculation is as old as the land the PBA covets.

Speaking of which, down at the end of the block at the corner of Busti and Massachusetts sits the former Episcopal Nursing Home.

Not all that long ago it was filled with people...than unfounded rumors started that the place was going to go down along with the houses. People panicked and didn't chose for their loved ones to reside there. Others moved while they still had a choice. Soon the owners were all stressed and declared they had to close...well...they managed to build a spanking new place out in the 'burbs, although I don't think many, if any, of their former residents followed.

And then they waited, and waited, waited for the buy-out that never came.  Meanwhile they quit paying on loans, taxes, and other financial things specific to that building.  But then the governor tossed some $15 mil in a Peace Bridge related pot and said use this for whatever (wink wink)...Wow...that just about covers any liens and a good chunk of demolition (people who think demo's don't cost any taxpayer money are sadly deluded)...Coincidence? I think not.

To the rescue came Mayor Byron Brown...thank you Mayor...urging restraint, however temporary that may be. Also, the Campaign 4 Greater Buffalo rode in and obtained a court order for a stay of execution, pending further review. Thanks!  What I would like to see is the PBA be held liable for the dereliction of the houses and ordered to restore them. I won't hold my breath though.

I still worry about the Hutchinson Chapel too, connected to the Episcopal Home by a walkway...

Supposedly it will be saved, but moved. It's historic where it is, not somewhere else! Building the shiny new duty free store around it might be awkward though...sort of like Trico Plant#1 being built around the Weyand Brewery.  Maybe they'll move it next to its mother church, St. Mary's on the Hill...oh, wait...City took care of that already...maybe on the vacant lot where it once was. Meanwhile the Episcopal Church, one time owner of all, looks at the sky and whistles off key...

Despite what the unknowledgeable prefer to believe, there are a lot of beautiful sections of the City of Buffalo, some large and others small. Prospect Hill (the name of the area) is one of them...for now anyway.  By the time the PBA gets done it'll be a big parking lot and another duty free store. Is that number 3 or 4? The last one they built is only 7 years old...

...but that's considered progress, Buffalo-Style.