Cup of joe does a patient good

A former patient at Mercy Hospital this week was steered toward a little luck and a new set of wheels after rolling up the rim of his coffee cup.

Joseph Kozakiewicz Sr., of Blasdell, was checked out by his doctors at Mercy earlier this spring and given the thumbs-up to imbibe a little “caffeine joe,” if he wanted. He did. So Joe Sr. sent his son, Joe Jr., to purchase a small cup of java from the Tim Hortons café in the hospital lobby.

Before Junior left to retrieve it, his mom, Kathy, suggested he buy a medium instead. That way they’d get a chance to win a prize in Tim Hortons’ “RRRoll Up the Rim to Win Contest.”

Once Joe Sr. had sipped his beverage down to the last drop, daughter Jennifer rolled up the rim of the cup, but was unclear as to whether her dad had won another cup of coffee or a new car.

Before leaving the hospital, the family members returned to the café and consulted with the staff, who apprised them that Joe Sr. had indeed won a car.

Following a ceremony Monday outside the main entrance of the hospital, the Kozakiewicz family pulled away in the new 2013 Toyota RAV4.

That’s how they roll now.

High-minded poetry

This week’s Skyway forum, intended to brainstorm the future of the 10-story highway and its valuable sliver of waterfront, attracted politicians, a call for a formal study – and poetry.

The iconic stretch above the horizon has fans. And archenemies.

State Sen. Tim Kennedy, a South Buffalo resident, thinks it should come down and free up its 27.5 acres for waterfront development. County Legislator Lynne Dixon, of Hamburg, insists commuters need its speed: “What would we do with the 40-50,000 people that use it every day?”

Buffalo booster Marti Gorman would turn it into an up-in-the-air park, like Manhattan’s “High Line” greenway on a railroad.

But it was one man’s poetic advocacy that struck a chord: “The Skyway very gracefully lifts itself up into the wild blue yonder, in the flow of a ballerina’s Giselle-like move ... ,” said Lou Marconi, a Kenmore man in the audience at the Pierce Arrow Museum on Wednesday.

This impressed the visiting Senate Transportation Committee chairman: “I have never heard a more eloquent description of a roadway, sir,” said Long Island’s Sen. Charles Fuschillo.

In the end, despite highway as art, pragmatism, may win. Those cars have to go somewhere. “It’s a major roadway,” he said. “You need to take all that into consideration.”

Buffalo’s highbrow herd

The spectre of some 1,500 Buffalonians converging on the Big Apple last week for a performance of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall was singled out by editors of New York magazine.

As documented in the “Approval Matrix,” a regular feature in the magazine, offering what it calls a “deliberately oversimplified guide to the taste hierarchies” of its editors, the magazine noted how the BPO had bused in “a whole herd of Buffalonians.” It appears the magazine was impressed, rating the event as not only highbrow, but brilliant. Directly opposite on the matrix was an item about 14 hairless cats that look like Vladimir Putin. It too was rated highbrow, but despicable as well.

Were we allowed, we might have rated it just plain weird.

Pants prediction puzzle

It was published on the front page of The Buffalo Evening News 100 years ago on Saturday, May 10, 1913, and it caught our eye: “Washington Woman Says Both Sexes Will be Wearing Trousers in 2013” was the headline for a prediction from a D.C. socialite and suffragist from the era.

“Skirts will be discarded by the time the year 2013 rolls around, and both sexes will parade in Oriental trousers,” according to Mrs. Christian Hemmick. Women have been wearing pants for decades, of course, but what are Oriental trousers, and who would wear them?

By Harold McNeil, with a contribution from Michelle Kearns email: