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OLAF FUB SEZ: According to author and educational reformer Dorothy Canfield Fisher, born on this date in 1879, “One of the many things nobody ever tells you about middle age is that it’s such a nice change from being young.”

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Winter Porridge

Surely, a sacrosanct roasted bird

Whose incessant cacklings

Are seldom heard

Is put to the test.

Wings, bones and breast

In a closed casserole

Beside farmhouse fare

To slowly mingle

Despite wear and tear.

Then proceeds to a fine broth,

Some may name it au jus,

Or thickened somewhat

To a marvelous hot stew,

A tempting marriage

Of recipes hardly eschewed.

Albeit this winter porridge

Embraces this firm winter’s forage

With a small delicious army

Of thyme, salt and parsley,

Envied at heart

By February’s sleeping canaries,

A brew claiming an instantaneous

Victory coup,

Not by sun, sleep, industry

Or creative menu

But by the sole served steaming bowl

Of plain chicken soup.

– Janice Schlau

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WHAT’S COOKING? – Spaghetti and rigatoni dinners are on the menu from 5 to 7 p.m. today in South Buffalo Post 721, American Legion, at 136 Cazenovia St. Dinners are $7. Extra meatballs and Italian sausage also are available. For info, call 825-9557.

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TIME OF NEED – An early morning house fire on Rice Road in Elma on Feb. 4 left Timothy Panicali, his wife and two young sons with little more than the clothes on their backs. “We were very blessed to get out safe,” he says.

They’ve received help from friends, family and the American Red Cross and now an emergency relief fund has been set up. Donations can be made at any Citizens Bank branch in Western New York by asking the teller to search for Timothy Panicali.

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DOWN IN THE MINE – The Clean Air Coalition is continuing its screenings of the documentary film about the health and environmental effects of the coal industry, “Dirty Business.”

The film will be shown from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in Southside Municipal Center, 300 Gleed Ave., East Aurora, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Clarence Town Library, 3 Town Place, Clarence.

A video conference with filmmaker Peter Bull will be part of the showing at 6 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Palisano Lecture Room in Bogel Hall at Hilbert College, 5200 South Park Ave., Hamburg. Light refreshments will be served. It’s free and open to the public. For info, call 852-3813.

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REUNION ALERT – The Fosdick-Masten Vocational High School Class of 1959 is holding its 55th reunion Sept. 3 in Classics V Banquet Center, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst. For info, call June Carroll at 836-1913.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Florence Notto, Moira Gallagher Schorr, Mike Spong, Mary Vance Boyd, Lucy McCabe, Bonnie Capozzi, Joan Ogledzinski, Christine Poremba, Jim Bialota, Norman Ryan, Larry Kotlarsz, Zoe Thauer, Nancy DiMartino, Tyler Kitay, Gladie Zelasko Smith, Sharon Nadene Miller Petz, Rosemary Drzewiecki, Lucille Ess, Jeremy Schwob, Phillip Mullen, Ann Marie Zielinski, Elaine Lombardo, Matthew Toohey and Martha Lane.

email: olaffub@buffnews.com