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In heaven there is no beer

The Fredtown Stompers are students from Fredonia State College whose motto on Facebook is, “We play old-school 1910s-1930s jazz charts, and we’re out of our minds.” Kindred spirits! And so, on a rare 85-degree night, Buzz headed out to see them at the Polish Cadets. The gig turned out to be sponsored by Swing Buffalo, a friendly bunch of mostly college kids. A UB gentleman invited Buzz out on the gleaming wooden floor and taught us basic steps, and we had fun, cutting a rug. The band played great numbers like Louis Armstrong’s “A Kiss to Build a Dream On.” Just one thing was missing on this steamy night: the Polish beer for which the Cadets are famous. “We were supposed to get a bartender,” someone explained. “But he didn’t show up.” Maybe he figured most of the crowd wouldn’t be old enough to drink. Either that or he wanted to complete their sultry trip back in time, by imposing a bit of Prohibition.

The family guy

So sweet and sleepy, to relax at Rohall’s Corner in Black Rock, soaking up Austrian wine and the sounds of Joe Bellanti. Bellanti is the kind of piano man you would dream of finding in a New Orleans piano bar and probably would not be able to. When we stopped in, the evening drifted by as if we were in the Big Easy. Bellanti played the ancient blues “Sugar Babe, It’s All Over Now.” And Stephen Foster. And James Taylor. Two of the Skiffle Minstrels showed up and sat down at the bar. Such a carefree night! But for Bellanti, it ended under duress: He had to be up early to shepherd his fifth-grade kid’s class on a field trip to Gettysburg, ain’t that the blues? “And I think I’m in charge of snacks for the bus,” he added. Man, you could write a song about that.

Crash course

Buzz sometimes yearns for the days of yore when, we hear, lawyers couldn’t advertise. Because Cellino and Barnes cannot be stopped. When you come out of ECMC they’re right there. One friend marvels: “You could literally drive right out of ECMC’s parking lot and into Cellino and Barnes.” What a thought! Imagine the lawsuit. But there is a bright side to the firm’s ubiquitousness. It sponsors WBEN’s traffic announcements. Buzz always cracks up hearing the traffic guys saying things like “There’s an accident on the 190 South, don’t wait, call 8.” And: “The Delaware Avenue ‘S’ curves are flooded, don’t wait, call 8.” We love the laughs. Advertise on, gentlemen.

Paper trail

Organist Andrew Scanlon is giving a free recital in St. Paul’s Cathedral at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and corresponding with St. Paul’s about the repertoire, Buzz was copied on a chain of emails. One bore the familiar postscript: “Help the environment and don’t print this email unless you really need to!” But another went on a different tear. “Notice,” it read. “It’s OK to print this email if you need to. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of Americans. Working forests are good for the environment and provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. Thanks to improved forest management, we have more trees in America today than we had 100 years ago. The Value of Print – Renewable, Recyclable, Effective!” Buzz swiftly printed out the emails. They talked us into it!

The buzz

Wondering how Joe Bellanti was doing in Gettysburg, we checked Facebook. There were pictures of the kids at Cemetery Ridge on a gray day, and one mom had commented: “So far, in every pic I’ve seen my son is screaming! Thanks chaperones LOL!” …

Quote

“People have been known to survive on just beer, no food.”

– Flying Bison beer, on Twitter

email: mkunz@buffnews.com