Tucker’s sip with fame

The death of Ray Manzarek, a founding member and keyboardist for The Doors, left Lockport Mayor Michael W. Tucker with one thought: He is not going to get that wine glass back.

In August 2008, Manzarek and former Doors bandmate Robbie Krieger appeared in Lockport with a Doors-like band called Riders on the Storm.

Manzarek and Krieger attended a picnic at Tucker’s home before the show.

“It was an amazing day, talking to them about Jim Morrison and the Beatles. They did some touring together,” Tucker said.

At one point, some teenage musicians who set up in the driveway started playing Doors tunes.

The musical legends listened for a while before Manzarek went up to the keyboardist and told him, “You play the bottom, I’ll play the top.”

“They can now put my house on the National Register of Historic Places. Ray Manzarek played in my driveway,” Tucker said.

Tucker served wine with his best set of glasses that day. Manzarek, however, drank only half of his glass when a van arrived to take him to the concert. He got in with the glass.

Will he ever see the glass again?

“I would guess now that is pretty unlikely,” Tucker said.

Keeping things in focus

Talk about uncomfortable.

At an unveiling of the new splash pad at Martin Luther King Park, community activist Sam Herbert approached Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak for a photo.

Keep in mind, Herbert has been a thorn in the side of Mayor Byron Brown and his administration as work on the park dragged on, often alerting reporters about continued delays.

The person holding the camera?

That would be Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez, who, like many challengers before him, has mastered the art of showing up at his opponent’s news conferences.

This was all while the mayor – Stepniak’s boss – looked on.

Herbert talked about how he learned diplomacy from Stepniak, who took a nonconfrontational approach with the job’s contractor.

Lucky for Stepniak, the photos posted on Rodriguez’s Facebook page did not include him, eliminating the need for more of his diplomatic skills.

Aloha, Williamsville

NBC’s “Today” show crew had the enviable assignment of broadcasting from Hawaii this week and interviewed the governor, Neil Abercrombie, a frequent source of Off Main fodder.

“You know what got me?” said anchor Matt Lauer. “He’s from Williamsville, New York, just outside Buffalo. Billsville, as my college roommate used to call it.” Lauer asked Abercrombie why he moved.

“Well, if you’ve been in Buffalo, you know why I’m in Hawaii,” the governor said. “Came for statehood in 1959, fell in love the second I got off the plane.”

Honesty in hiring

Those at the Springville Center for the Arts are well aware of their snowy locale and want the next education coordinator to be, too.

“If you do not know where Springville is, please look at a map,” reads the job notice posted on its website.

“As an organization focused on community development, we have a real bias against people driving long distances to work. It snows a lot in Springville. A lot! What might be a nice, fun drive in May can be a nightmare in March ... and April ... and every month between November and February ... and sometimes even in May.”

If that blunt warning alone fails to weed out the less hardy souls, there is more: “This organization exists in the gray area somewhere between insanity, bankruptcy and awesome. We’ve seen this place chew up many a good person.

“This is a nonprofit, so you are expected to be able to do everything and do it better than your private sector counterparts and for less money.”

Sheesh! How much does this job pay?

Whatever the amount, you can now say you were warned.

Written by Jill Terreri, with a contribution from Thomas J. Prohaska. email: