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"Between the Bridges"
2010
by Teddy Linenfelser
Grand Island, N.Y.
Previous Columns


Photo courtesy of Rich Call
Class of '85

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Good morning Paul Farrell in Bella Vista, AK, and good morning Laurie (Chaisson) Carlo in Sarasota, FL.


Click photos for larger view
A little piece of Island history is no longer. This barn, recently torn down, was part of the Fremont H. Simons farm on East River Road just north of the South Grand Island Bridge. The original farm house that burned in 2000 was eventually known as the Idlehour Inn, a restaurant/tavern. Mr. Simons came to the Island with his parents in 1863.


Click photo for larger view
Shown (left) in this most attractive photo are Steve Boyle, Katlyn Holt, Mary George, and Korey Hagen attending the Grand Island High School senior prom. The annual event was held on Friday, June 18th.

If you are planning on attending the Meet-n-Greet for the Class of ’70 being held at the Brick Oven Restaurant, the start time is 7 p.m. tomorrow evening.

Happy birthday to Joey Cali (8 today), to Gary Roesch (today), Margaret Giles (cheers today), Krist Haag (the big 4-0 tomorrow), Cassidy Hogrewe (21 tomorrow), Megan Pinzel (5 tomorrow), Kevin Lipp and Gen Dobmeier (Saturday), Kyle Staub (a teenager on Saturday), Alivia Manzo (6 on Sunday), Karen Ackerman and Tom Rusert (Monday), Fred Mumm (Tuesday), Susan Willard, Ted Kessler Sr. and Earl DeGlopper Sr. (Wednesday), Ryan Link (21 on Wednesday) and Autumn Kaiser (20 on Wednesday).


Mark Anderson, son of Richard and Bridget (McMahon) Anderson, was seriously injured in an ATV accident, suffering significant head trauma. He is expected to come home this week. A fundraiser is being held to help him with medical bills. See July 8th Benefit, and please keep Mark in your prayers.

Celebrating wedding anniversaries this week are Nancy and BillyJoe Gorrell (50 years tomorrow), Kelly and J Petrie (five years tomorrow), Barb and Mike Wienke (34 years on Saturday), Tom and Kathy DeLoughry (35 years on Monday), and John and Zdenka Gast (their 40th on Wednesday). Happy anniversary and congratulations to everyone.

Our sympathy to the families of Jeffrey A. Wendling, Monsignor Edward J. Ulaszeski, Wesley Hughes, Joseph F. Foresta, Richard C. Graff and former residents Julius J. Stenis and Paul J. Denler, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Looking back 60 years - The first duplex apartments at Love Road and the Parkway were occupied on July 1, 1950 with an open house scheduled at 7 Blackmon Road.••••The Town Board moved to allow the janitor to spend $25 for flowers for the town hall yard.

Looking back 50 years - Johnny Gast suffered a broken leg in the July 3, 1960 Swiftwater Regatta off Isle View Park. "Papa's Bundle," the boat he was driving, flipped in the 2nd heat of the E Racing Runabout event. Noel Blair gave up his chance of winning when he stopped to rescue John after his boat overturned.••••Curious about calls to the Volunteer Fire Company 50 years ago? Click Fire Calls July 1-7, 1960. Those were the days when firemen's wives Marion Klingel, MaryLou Kohlhagen and others were doing fire dispatching from their homes.

Looking back 40 years - Relics of an Indian campsite were unearthed by bulldozers clearing the East River/Whitehaven Road area for the River Oaks Golf Course.

Looking back 30 years - The Grand Island Youth Foundation, an organization established in 1967, was being reactivated with aid of funds received from the Erie County Youth board. Officers of the group, inactive since 1970 were President Paul Sommer, Board Chair Adele Sommer and Directors Penny and Mike Linenfelser and Patricia Smith.

Hats off to one of my avid readers, Sandie Rall-Smith of Auburn, CA, who found the Flower A Day Florist ad at Isledegrande.com. She not only ordered her flowers but also thanked Sue Berger for advertising at Isledegrande.com as it is a big help to out-of-towners. Sandie also wrote to Sue to let her know the recipient said the arrangement was beautiful and Flower A Day went above and beyond.

The Grand Island Historical Society, River Lea, located in Beaver Island State Park, will be open from 1-4 p.m. each Wednesday in July.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
John's Pizza & Subs - Delicious Pizza - wonderful menu - Grand Island Blvd.
Grand Island Chiropractic - Why leave the Island for the help you need?
Mr. Best Wrench - Got a Classic or Exotic car that needs repair? "We repair everything foreign or domestic."
Realty USA/Liz Wilbert - Local, experienced realtor - Buying? Selling? Give her a call.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The first town sponsored band concert of the summer and the Youth Wagon Decorating Contest will be held this evening in Marion Klingel Town Commons.••••The Grand Island Class of 1975 35th class reunion event is scheduled for tomorrow evening at the BLC. ••••The Class of '70’s meet-n-greet takes place tomorrow night at the Brick Oven. •••• Members of the Class of 1978 are turning 50 and celebrating with a 50th birthday get together tomorrow at the Holiday Inn, Blues on the River. ••••The Class of ’80 holds an ice breaker tomorrow evening at the Moose Lodge.••••The Class of ’90 will get together at Crazy Jake's in North Tonawanda on Saturday. ••••The class of ’95 meets at Riverstone Grill tomorrow. ••••Grand Island’s Independence Day Parade, Race and VFW Picnic will be held Saturday. ••••The Class of ’70 will be at River Oaks on Saturday. ••••Trinity UM Church offers an outdoor service followed by a day of events including a picnic, band concert, viewing fireworks and a bon fire.••••The 3rd Annual Leon D. Carr Memorial/Redbone Classic Golf & Disc Golf tournament takes place in Beaver Island Park Sunday. ••••A town sponsored concert is schedule for Tuesday evening. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings. There are lots of reunion events not mentioned here so please check the Calendar of Events.

A big Welcome Home to all of those who are back on Grand Island for family get-togethers and class reunions. Show your patriotism, fly your flag, come out and cheer our parade participants - and have a great 4th of July.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, June 24, 2010


Good morning Mary Barbara Nelson in Anchorage, AK, and good morning Bruce Rowland in Missoula, MT.

So glad to report that Dolly Dilliot is home from the hospital. Her sister, Floydette Gannon flew in this week and is visiting Dolly and sister, Jean Tickner and their families. Welcome home, Flo!

Please pray for Mike Anderson and Joe Lovetro. Both men are facing illness.••••A fundraiser has been announced for Mark Anderson, seriously injured in an ATV accident. Click Mark's name for details


Ray DeGlopper celebrates a milestone birthday on Tuesday and is shown in his 5th grade photo in the 1951 Sidway Log yearbook. If you see Ray, wish him the best.

Happy birthday to Stephanie Goodwill (20 today), Betty Salt and Nan Nesbitt (today), Linda Greenwood (cheers today), Cole Glessner (14 tomorrow), Nancy Valone and Don Brobeil (tomorrow), Megan Zahradnik and Morgan Blum (3 tomorrow), Hazel Mallwitz (her 90th on Saturday), Chris Weaver (a milestone birthday on Saturday), Doug Smith (best wishes on Saturday), Judy Schneider and Barbara Mitten Heinrichs (Sunday), Lily Panepinto (5 on Sunday), Mary Martin (91 on Monday), June Wakeley (Monday), Samuel D. Hunt (milestone birthday on Tuesday), Dorothy Solberg (cake and candles on Tuesday), Christopher Sledzinski (Tuesday’s the big day), Jacqueline Kehoe and Elaina Bolles (teenagers on Wednesday), and Liz Lakeman (Wednesday).

My co-worker Jodi Robinson and I felt the earth quake yesterday just before 2 p.m. Those in deSignet Jewelry in our building didn't feel a thing. See 6/23/10 Buffalo News.

Celebrating milestone anniversaries this week are Dick and Gale Sander (45 years on Saturday), Karen and Rick LaSalle (40 years on Sunday), and Jim and Gloria Brown (55 years on June 30th).

I am going to attempt to track down some information on Frank Augustus Hinkey, born Dec. 23, 1871 in Tonawanda, New York. He was a topnotch athlete. His sports record is phenomenal - and he is buried right here on the Island in Whitehaven Cemetery. Conflicting reports state that he died of illness and that he died in a fatal train accident at age 54. Check out the link above and also Wikipedia.org, and thanks to Jeff Cooke for passing this on to me.

Looking back 75 years - It was on Sunday morning, June 30, 1935 that the Bedell House Hotel, an “elegant and commodious” hotel in Ferry Village, was destroyed by fire. When the flames broke out at 11:30 a.m. as mass at Mary Star of the Sea Church was ending, the clang of a big metal triangle sounded to alert all available help. The new south Grand Island Bridge, scheduled to open two weeks later, was used to bring mainland firemen and equipment to the Island. A Buffalo newspaper reported, “firefighters from Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Tonawanda Township could do nothing but confine the flames to the buildings, which were leveled to the ground.” Other reports mention members of the Sheridan Park Volunteer Fire Company as the first to cross the new bridge, and first on the scene of the fire. “The mystery of how the fire started was heightened by several explosions while the structures were burning.” Plans at the time of the fire were to reopen the Island landmark “with all its old glory and splendor with the opening of the new Grand Island bridges this month.” Curiously, it was on the previous Monday, in the middle of the night, that the barn on the Bedell House property was torched and burned. The Bedell House Annex, or Poor Man’s Bedell House as it was sometimes called, was not harmed on that Sunday morning. It operated for about 110 years, when it, too, burned to the ground in March 1988. Click for Bedell House Feature

Looking back 60 years - Two contracts were signed by Supervisor Dan McNamee for the Sandy Beach Sewer and Sewage Treatment Plant involving an expenditure of $168,000. The improvement would serve 150 homes and open the area to further development. ••••The New York Telephone Company advertised “A little old fashioned courtesy is a big help on a party line,” and “space your calls – others may want to use the line.”

Looking back 50 years - The Red Sox beat the Giants in a Mustang Little League thriller when John Sarokon struck out 10 men and Dave Dyer struck out 16. Don Kutzbach homered for the Giants in the 7th.•••• School voters on June 28, 1960 turned down a $4,100,000 bond issue for a secondary school (high school) and $229,000 for a swimming pool. Modified plans were submitted by the architect and the school board agreed to present a reduced bond issue of $3,787,026 for vote. The size of the pool was decreased and it was proposed to offer it as a separate proposition.

Congratulations to Peter Kuszczak who recently reach the milestone blood donation of 30 gallons.

Our sympathy to the families of Richard A. Borowiec, Robert A. Koch, Elaine M. Gurzinski and former residents Lucille M. Ames, Paul John Denler and Mildred D. Christman who recently passed away. A memorial service for Mary Lou Kohlhagen will be held at the Kaiser Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 26th. Click Deaths for complete information.

The Queen of Hearts jackpot over at the VFW Post is over $13,000.00. The winner will receive 60% of the jackpot when the envelope with the Queen of Hearts in it is picked. Tickets are available at the Post, 2121 Grand Island Blvd., daily during regular business hours. The next drawing is today at 7 p.m. and the winner does not need to be present.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Rose Liquor Store - Full line of wines and liquors - great discounts
Miss Cathy's Dance Academy - Talented Faculty - Adult Tap Class (beginner) in progress - Dance brings out the best in everyone
Elderwood at Riverwood - convenient healthcare center on Grand Island Blvd
Blue Water Marina - storage, docking, and boating and fishing supplies - East River Road in historic Ferry Village
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Chamber of Commerce will host its 14th Annual Island Happenings on Saturday.•••• A Memorial Planting of "The White Oak Tree" in memory of Town Justice Francis B. (Bud) Pritchard will take place on Wednesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, June 17, 2010


Good morning Jonathan Moran in Lockport, NY, and good morning Richard Sawdey in Wilmette, Illinois.

David Conboy will become Brigadier General David J. Conboy in ceremonies Saturday in the Buffalo Launch Club. Congratulations, Dave and thanks for your many years of dedicated military service.

Please keep Dolly Dilliot in your prayers. Dolly and her family are praying that she wins this fight to get well again.

Kirk Kinney, doing his part to help Jerry's Kids© and MDA, was "behind bars" until he raised bail. Unfortunately, his note came to me too late for us to help him out. We sincerely hope he got enough help in the form of donations to get out of "jail."


Carleen Alt Gerber, shown above in her 5th grade photo in the Sidway School yearbook in 1951, is celebrating her birthday on Saturday and wished a very happy day.

Happy birthday to Ardys Hamm (86 today), Morgan Santorio (6 today), Gary Conschafter (today), Samantha Dinsmore (20 tomorrow), Jillian Wohlfehrt (a teenager tomorrow), Betsy Leiner and Karen Allenbaugh (tomorrow), Nathaniel Cohen (5 tomorrow), Jaime Dougherty and Roslyn Gerard (Saturday), Nancy Dahlquist (her 13th birthday on Saturday), our son Jim Linenfelser (Sunday), Roberta Lorence and Bob Beach (Sunday), Jim Tranter (the big 4-0 on Monday), Frank Alliger (Class of ’68 turning 60 on Monday), Melissa Thurnherr-Giambra (Tuesday), Sara Fletcher (5 on Wednesday), and Mel Passarelli (Wednesday).

Celebrating wedding anniversaries this week are Don and Karen Scalise (their 10th today), Gail and George Allen (their 40th on Sunday) and Sue and Randy Hillock (their 30th anniversary on Monday).

Recent overall winners of Beaver Island State Park’s Member-Member golf tournament are Dave Carminati and Chuck McDonald (66). Ron Tanguary and Fran Nearhoof were the runners-up (67). Congratulations everyone.

Looking back 60 years - St. Stephen's Church barn was the site of two barn dances in June of '50. Hank Boehm chaired the St. Stephen's Holy Name Society's event on June 23rd, and Charlie Robinson was in charge of the Sandy Beach Property Owners Community Center dance on the following Saturday evening, to benefit their Community Center project. Heading the Sandy Beach organization were President Marion Narad, Vice President Louis Stark, Secretary Irene Wallace, and Treasurer Al Sargent. ••••Trinity Church choir members including Clayton Ames, Robert Dworak and Mary Gross, put on their annual Strawberry Festival featuring strawberries, ice cream, homemade cake and orangeade all for 50 cents.

Looking back 50 years - Pat Carroll was elected the first ‘Grand Knight’ of the Knights of Columbus, Mary Star of the Sea Council. ••••The East Park Garden Club flower show tri-color award was presented to Betty Clement for her entry, “Father’s Day – The Old Sport.” Betty’s clever use of red and white carnations, a wine decanter on a black base, all resting on a red, white and blue record album contributed to her win.

Looking back 30 years - Joncaire Restaurant at 2339 West River Road advertised beautiful dining overlooking the West Niagara River and nightly chef's specials at just $4.95.

Local runners are reminded that all applications to register for the 35th Dick Bessel Independence Day Run are to be mailed no later than July 1st. Applications may be picked up at Top's, Town Hall, the Library and the Town Recreation Office.

Our sympathy to the families of Doris M. Krehan and former residents Paul Kameron Taefi and Eleeta B. Hughes, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Keller Insurance Group - Keller Cares - a full service insurance agency
GI-Connections (Computer Services) - "Have computer issues? We can help!"
Sherry McDonald/RealtyUSA - A local real estate agent who knows the Island
Aceti's Wine & Spirits - large variety and great prices - located in the Grand Island Plaza.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

A tip of the hat to Island resident Carolyn Morell who was among WNY residents who traveled to Sarasota, Florida to volunteer at a bird sanctuary where the fowl are in extreme danger due to the Gulf oil spill.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Gliding Stars Walk-a-thon will be held tomorrow in Beaver Island State Park.••••A benefit for the family of Michael Frederick is scheduled for Saturday at Island Lanes. ••••The 2nd annual lawnmower race takes place on Father's Day. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, June 10, 2010


Good morning Arnold Jonathan in Lockport, NY, and good morning Joanne (Rogers) Daugherty in Kenmore, NY.


Click photo for larger view
Paul Malecki, shown above as a "cool" 9th grader at Sidway School in 1955, turns a grand 70 years old tomorrow. Happy birthday, Paul.

Happy 98th birthday to Ora Glor Newton. Ora, a former Kaegebein School teacher, and her husband, Eldon, raised their six children on Love Road in Grandyle Village in a house that remained in the family until just last year. ••••Happy birthday to Patrick Ryan and Nick Vallina (both turning 20 tomorrow), Linda Pinzel (Saturday), Ryan Harnden (20 on Sunday), Kayla Staub (double digits – 10 on Sunday), Jeffrey Warnsart III (5 on Sunday), David Conboy (16 on Monday), David Fleischmann (Monday), Raven Sienna Khreis (4 on Monday), Chris Russell (Tuesday), Evan Busch and Vinny Cavatto (21st birthdays on Wednesday), Harry Board, Ginny Dietrich and Marge Tetreault (Wednesday) and baby Claire Kathryn Neuhaus (first birthday on Wednesday).

Our Independence Day parade, races, VFW picnic and fireworks are only three weeks away. Click Independence Day Information for details on the events and thank you Linda Tufillaro and the Town Parks and Recreation Department for organizing this fantastic Island holiday celebration.

Branches of Niagara Campground & Resort will hold open house on Saturday from noon to 5:30 p.m. The afternoon will feature food, drinks, ice cream and fun activities for all. This is the first and probably the most beautiful campground built in WNY in the past 30 years. Right here on Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY.

Friends of Ralph and Jean Hoover will surely want to wish them a very happy 60th wedding anniversary. The Hoovers were married on June 10, 1950. See Islanders In The News for story and photo.

Though her full name was not mentioned, Shirley Luther was featured in a recent Buffalo News "My View" article by Donald P. Copley, M. D., a cardiologist practicing in Kenmore, who favors home-based care for patients with chronic diseases. The outcome of Shirley's illness last fall is amazing. Shirley, who is 85 years young, is attending meetings, church services and social gatherings and really enjoying life. For the doctor's article, see "My View."


Looking back 65 years - Ernie and Edith Godfrey moved to the Island from Tonawanda with their twin girls, Carole (Wiesinger) and Connie (Millkan) and opened a complete self-service market in June of 1945. Their store was in the former John Schutt's store located on property now known as Marion Klingel Town Commons. The building, built in 1907, had a ‘buggy room’ on the second floor with a big elevator and hoist to carry the carriages to this display room. The Godfreys found lots of farm stock in the store which the Schutts carried, such as big brass rings for bulls’ noses and a variety of oil lamp chimneys.

Looking back 45 years - Parishioners of Trinity E. U. B. Church entered their new church for first services Sunday morning June 6, 1965. Worship, which began in the older building, was continued in the new one following a procession from one church to the other.

Looking back 40 years - Paul Bauer shot the only perfect 100 to capture the All-gauge crown in the Grand Island open skeet championship Sunday, June 14, 1970. Top man out of 60, he also had high over-all title. Paul won the HOA race, giving him the Courier Express Perpetual Trophy, the two prime awards of the shoot. This was the first time for a shooter to win both crowns in the history of the shoot. ••••Write-in votes won the 1971 Grand Island High School class presidency for Paul Linenfelser. Others elected to serve the GIHS Class of 1971 were Vice President Amanda Johnson, Treasurer Mary Baldwin and Secretaries Sandra Guralnick and Jeanne Killian. ••••Winners of the Grand Island Jaycee-sponsored bike rodeo in June 1970 were David Marble, 11; Laura Mullen, 10; Jody Lloyd, 7; and Richard Nesbitt, 5. About 150 children from grades 1-5 participated in the contest at Kaegebein and Huth Road schools. John M. Elwell Jr. served as chairman of the event.

Looking back 30 years - The Grand Island Steering Committee was making plans to sponsor a project known as the Palmer Drug Abuse Program which would finance two satellite centers of the Dallas based program, one to focus on 12-16-year olds, another for 17 and older. Very involved in the project in June 1980 were Judy and John A. Polizzi and Patricia and Melvin Rupp.

The Grand Island Historical Society will again host a picnic lunch at River Lea in Beaver Island State Park as part of this year's July 24th Paddles Up event. See "Paddles Up Niagara 2010" for details.

Our sympathy to the families of Walter J. Colley and Donald W. Olson who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Allstate Mastantuono Agency - Not sure if you have the insurance coverage you need? Contact the Mastantuono Agency.
Island Ship Center Inc. - Convenient FedEx agency on Whitehaven Road
Tops Markets - Be glad they are here for us on Grand Island Blvd.
Inside & Out Home Imp. - Locally owned and operated - FREE estimates
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Pup DiTullio is still nursing his wounds. Cards may be sent to:
Niagara Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
822 Cedar Avenue
Niagara Falls, NY 14301-1136 Attn: James DiTullio - Room 216B

I have added two dramatic photos of the demolition of "Reggie Long's Store," built in the early 1940s on West River at Staley Road. See Sam Akinbami Photos and be sure to click the pictures for a better view.

Miss Cathy's Dance Academy is "Celebrating 40 Years Of Dance" when Cathy Parisi Thomas presents her students in a dance recital in the high school auditorium at 7 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday. Congratulations, Cathy, on this anniversary show.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Rotary Club’s Lobsterfest will be held at the BLC tomorrow.••••A West River Music Festival is scheduled for Saturday.••••The Kevin M. Murray family is promoting a fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation at Tops Market on Saturday (See "Collins' Cans For Kidneys")••••The VFW Men's Auxiliary will host a Chicken BBQ on Saturday. ••••Senator Thompson hosts a Community Leaders & Stakeholders Breakfast on Saturday at the K of C Hall.••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, June 3, 2010


Good morning David Johnston in Gibbsboro, NJ, and good morning Kevin Ley in Rochester, NY.

Glad to report that Lt Col Christopher T. Ford, serving his country with the U. S. Air Force, is back on US soil after more than 11 months in Iraq. Thanks for serving our country and defending America, Christopher.


Click photo for larger view
Tom Burke is shown with his prize 291.2-pound yellowfin tuna caught three hundred miles west of Cabo San Lucas. The fishing trip originated in San Diego. "Nothing but luck!! Pure Luck!!" Tom reports.

Happy birthday to Jason Hill (turning 5 today), Jordan Dixon, Anne Timmerman and Lisa Sorvelli (today), Christopher Bidell (21 today), Richard Pachter (cheers today), Catherine DiVizio, Becky Paesonesse, Allie DeMita and Janet Mumm (tomorrow), Todd Brzyski (the big 4-0 tomorrow), Franklin Mesmer (two on Saturday), Victoria Aronica (11 on Sunday), Roseanne Krause (Sunday), Brandon Loder (7 on Monday), Lou Ann Cane (Monday), Ryan Osvath (18 on Tuesday), Cathryn Hilliard (Tuesday), JT Tomkins and Tony Dragonette (Wednesday), and Victoria Kustra (Sweet 16 on Wednesday).

Happy anniversary are Melissa and Bob Mesmer on their fourth wedding anniversary today, to Sharon and Jim Watz marking their 46th anniversary on Sunday, to Bill and Susan Willard celebrating their 40th anniversary on Sunday, to Jim and Laury Linenfelser on their 13th anniversary on Monday, and to Bob and Betty Clement on their 63rd anniversary on Monday.

Looking back 60 years - Marty and Jo Schwagler and Charlie Fick had recently taken over Carpenter's Idle Hour Inn. The Idle Hour was located on East River just north of the South Bridge.••••The Grand Stand on Love Rd. and Stony Point was a busy place on June 12, 1950 when little Lynn Ehlert (Schutt) treated her pals there in celebration of her birthday. The Grand Stand, a former real estate office, was turned into a refreshment stand by the Grandyle Village Property Owners Association. It was located at the north west corner of Stony Point and Love Road.

Looking back 40 years - It was just 40 years ago that School No. 5 was moved to its present location next to Kelly's Country Store on Grand Island Blvd.

Looking back 30 years - Principal James Walline presented for the first time, the Marion E. Klingel Award for Excellence in English to F. Lloyd Garten, 18, at the Senior Class Night ceremonies June 5, 1980.••••For the third time, voters rejected the school board's $5.9 million budget in a 616-544 vote.

Our sympathy to the families of Donna M. Horton, Lillian Scott and former resident Paul Kameron Taefi who recently passed away. Leonard M. Bernstein, an extremely well liked Grand Island High School business teacher, died on May 28, 2010. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Justin Tyme Cafe On The River - Best beef on weck in the Falls - Buffalo Avenue
Budwey's Supermarket - brand names at low prices - and three locations
Riviera Theater - Theater and atmosphere - Historic Riviera just across the river
Mediation Center - Timothy Mordaunt - natural optimist, an experienced attorney and a professional mediator
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

The Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year dinner will be aired on Time Warner Cable on Saturday. See ”Televised Schedule.”

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Grand Island's Relay for Life starts at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at Masters Field.••••A "Furry Friends Family Foto" event will be held Saturday at the Nike Base. ••••The Western New York Chorale will perform Sunday at Historic Trinity Church •••• A One Island, One Team, One Dream to Be Drug Free Meeting being held on Tuesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, May 27, 2010


Good morning Joyce (Wheeler) Kohout in Cambridge, NE, and good morning Valerie (Pless) Fitzsimmons in Clarence Center, NY.

Heather and Bob McDonnell are celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary today. Sandy and Fred Arch will be married 35 years on Sunday. Happy days, Folks!

Dick DiTullio was on his motorcycle and involved in Wednesday mornings' accident on the south bridge. He sustained a painful injury and has had surgery.•••• A very sincere wish for a speedy recovery to Mark DeBole, Grand Island High School class of 1981.••••Let's keep both men in our prayers.


Click photo for larger view
That's Roy Campbell on the left with birthday boy, Carlton Schutt showing off their new band uniforms at Sidway School around 1954. Carlton is celebrating a milestone birthday tomorrow and wished the very best. If you click the photo, you will also see trumpet player Jim Conrad. Carlton played French horn and Roy played the trombone. Me? I was a drummer.

A big happy birthday to Julie Elstrodt (Sunday), to Darlynn Passarelli Hoy (Monday) and her twin, Sue-Lynn Passarelli Weiberg, and to Douglas Gruber (Tuesday). All four are celebrating the same milestone birthday.•••• Happy birthday to Larry Rall (today), Molly Mason (9 today), Gail Byron (cheers today), Paul Sipson (tomorrow), Ian Cameron (6 tomorrow), Mitchell Samplinski (5 tomorrow), Pam Fries (Saturday), James Rayhill (21 on Saturday), Colleen Furnia, Arlene Swan and Jim Watz (Sunday), Michael Dinsmore (20 on Sunday), Linda Butcher (cake and candles on Monday), Mia Sample and Nikki Roesch (Monday), Christopher Steckelberg and Jason Gonda (both turning 25 on Tuesday), Adam Schopp (his 21st on Tuesday), the Raepple twins, Mark and Jay (milestones on Wednesday), Jim Maurer (a big one on Wednesday), Diane Gerard (Wednesday), and William Avery Bermel (turning two on Wednesday).

Looking back 60 years - The local weekly paper in May 1950 mentioned that Don and Carol Bonner, who were running Bonner's Island Inn at Baseline and Staley, were having fun with their "flashlight" camera they kept behind their bar, taking pictures of unsuspecting customers. ••••East Park Road resident Tom Hogan, father of Tommy and Mary, took charge of the children's Memorial Day parade in Grandyle Village in 1950, and George Cullen, father of Lynn and Hobie, of Love Road made arrangements for refreshments. ••••Land was being cleared just north of Mesmer's Supper Club on East River Road (now the Holiday Inn property). A new picnic area and refreshment stand was announced by Fred Mesmer with the stand to open "within the week." The old lane leading to the river was being widened, a large section of beach was being cleared, and parking would be provided for approximately 500 cars.

Looking back 50 years - Highest awards were announced at Sidway Junior High School Class Day ceremonies May 27, 1960 with Kathleen Zavodny (Brehm) chosen Valedictorian and Walter Cobs, salutatorian.

Looking back 40 years - Members of the Grand Island Builders Association held a ribbon cutting on May 29, 1970 for their first ever home show on Garden Parkway. The houses, priced from $35,000 to $42,000, were built by Niro, Fireside Homes, Lindelow, Jerry R. Livingston, Chateau Revueur, George Doermer, Seaside, John Eichel, Szur, John Posch, AT&G, and Capri Homes. Builders President Ronald H. Livingston expected 15,000 to 20,000 viewers at the show.

Our sympathy to the families of Patricia A.Schiavone and former resident Mary Lou Kohlhagen who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Becky Symon, a Connor Middle School 8th grader, entered the Buffalo News 16th annual Editorial Cartoon Contest and placed second in Division II Grades 6-8. Congratulations, Becky.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Magic Towel Holder - Craftsman Don "Bones" Fancher - clever gift creations
Dr. Thomas C. Lepenven, DMD - Island Dental PC - 2095 Baseline Road
Grand Island Teachers Association - Thank you for your support!
Park Place Subdivision - Most picturesque executive residential building lots In WNY!
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

The Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year dinner will be aired on Time Warner Cable on Saturday. See ”viewing schedule” for more dates.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Memorial Day services will be held at the PFC. Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Park at 10 a.m. Monday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, May 20, 2010


Good morning Nancy (Harris) Zimmerman in Lockport, NY, and good morning Bob Mikulski in Bradenton, FL.

A very happy birthday to Rev. Richard Cahill, parish priest at St. Stephen's for many years. Father Cahill turns 80 on Wednesday, the 26th.•••• Happy birthday to Garey Staley (today), Kate Endres (21 today), Sydney Dworak and Christopher O'Connor (both turning 9 today), Harry Gibbs (cheers tomorrow), Mike McDonough, Tom McDonough and Denny Yakam Jr. (Saturday), Jayne Playfair (a milestone on Saturday), Nathan DeMartin (5 on Saturday), Ray Ackerman (Sunday), Catherine Long and Gayle Piershalski (Monday), Scott Steimle (the big 4-0 on Monday), and Clifford Reitz and Linda Berlinger (Wednesday).


Click photo for larger view
In honor of Trudy Reimann O'Connor's birthday tomorrow, I thought this "bathing beauties" photo submitted by Bonnie Ford would be appropriate. The girls in this 1956 picture are (left) Donna Titterington Leary, the late Gail Kirby, Janet Huff Martin and Trudy. Happy birthday, Trudy.

Best wishes to Dan and Crystal Harding on their six anniversary on Saturday, and to Colleen and Mark Kowzan and Judi and Dan Rees, marking their 30th anniversaries on Monday. Happy anniversary to Bob and Heather McDonnell who will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

Be sure to see the Saving C Company, Remembering D Day, a most interesting feature in today's Isledegrande.com. Members of PFC Charles N. DeGlopper’s family and veterans from his namesake VFW Post 9249 will travel to Normandy on May 31 to participate in commemorations for the 66th Anniversary of D Day.

Please pray for Mark Anderson, son of Bridget and Richard Anderson. Mark was very seriously injured in an accident over the weekend.

Looking back 60 years - At a town board meeting in the spring of 1950, a bill, then before the Governor, was read, requesting powers to take over, maintain and operate a private water system by the West River Property Owners Association. The water system, formerly owned by Horace J. French, was acquired by the State in 1947 by appropriation proceedings. •••• Nancy and Carl Vella opened their Grand Island Nursery on Express Highway (GI Blvd.) across from the Service Center (now Contract Interiors plaza) with plans to have over nine acres of land under cultivation along with a greenhouse. The Vellas had recently moved to the Island with their young sons Carl Jr. and Richard.••••The town board in May 1950 moved to give a restaurant license to Maude Fix for the Bedell House Annex.

Looking back 50 years - "Modern Kitchen Units” were being advertised by Alt Appliances on Whitehaven Road next to Alt Chevrolet.

Looking back 30 years - Members of the Class of 1980 held their Senior Prom, "The Famous Final Scene," on May 23, 1980 in the Ramada Inn, Niagara Falls.

Looking back 10 years - The Fire Company responded to a working fire at D. J. Waterworks on May 24, 2000. The former tavern, located just north of the south Grand Island Bridge, was destroyed and torn down. Originally a farm house, it is believed to have been built by a man named Fremont H. Simons who came to the Island with his parents in 1863.

Our sympathy to the family of former residents Dr. Jeremi Villano, William C. Daigler Jr. and Robert W. Peterson who recently passed away.•••• A memorial service for Harold Joseph Arcouet will be held at St. Stephen's Church at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Island Prescription Center - Consumer wellness - Can You "Turn Back the Clock" on Your Aging Skin?
McMahon's Family Restaurant - Serving breakfast and lunch at its central location, 1849 Grand Island Blvd. - Outdoor dining as well
Giecom.net - Web Hosting, Web Site Design, Custom Graphics - right here on the Island
Sandi's Family Restaurant - reasonable prices - Your Hosts......Dan and Sandi Clark
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

The Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year dinner will be aired on Time Warner Cable on Saturday. See ”viewing schedule” for more dates.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Friends of Grand Island Memorial Library's annual program meeting will be held this evening in the Library. ••••A Relay for Life Dance-A-Thon and also a Beach Party are scheduled for tomorrow.•••• A fundraiser for Eric Roloff takes place tomorrow at the Moose Lodge. ••••A Relay For Life Chicken BBQ will be held Saturday. ••••The Grand Island Golden Age Club holds a 50th Anniversary Open House on Sunday. ••••A Relay For Life Captains Meeting will be held Tuesday at the high school. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, May 13, 2010


Good morning Bernie DeLong in Niceville, FL., and good morning Jeffrey Gibbs in Phoenix, NY.

A cheery hello to Paul and Frieda Harper. The Harpers, who were married on May 13, 1960, are marking their 50th wedding anniversary today.

Happy birthday to Winnie Zarbo and Bruce Wojick (today), Lyn Laman (special happy birthday tomorrow), Mark Braddell and Carol Volk (tomorrow), Barb Brzyski (cheers on Saturday), Gabriel Wansart (6 on Saturday), Eric Corson (Sunday), Brian Minton (10 years old on Sunday), Barb Kirsch (Monday), Stephanie Senn (Sweet 16 on Monday), Nikolas Massaro (4 on Monday), Frank Pinzel Sr., Marion Pinkow, Jill Kephart and David "Nutsy" Yensan (all celebrating on Tuesday), Chase Luthringer (8 on Tuesday), Betty Ehde (best wishes on Tuesday), Elvira Lyden, Perry Figliotti and Sandy Caffery (cake and candles on Wednesday), Beth Salt (Wednesday), and Peyton Golde (three on Wednesday).

Looking back 60 years - Chamber of Commerce entertainment committee members, Harold Richardson, Dan McNamee, Dexter Lewis and Merton McElroy, took charge of the Chamber’s annual Spring Dinner Dance held at the Buffalo Launch Club. A floor show featured Master of Ceremonies Dan Linenfelser and the C. C. “All Star” Show – a half hour of fun and laughs. Johnny Gast and his orchestra had the crowd swinging and swaying until the wee hours.••••Den leaders Charlotte Lewis and Eve Collins guided East Park Road Cub Scouts, including Dennis and David Yakam, Jerry Thirion, "Corky" Lewis and Billy Collins, in the art of kite making. ••••The Fire Company took delivery of its new pumper on Sunday, May 14, 1950 when test readings included 507 gal. per min. at 120 lbs. per square inch with a one inch nozzle.

Looking back 50 years - 'Retail Merchants Week' sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, was proclaimed by the town board.

Looking back 40 years - Rev. John Russell, in his sermon on Earth Day 1970, at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, proposed the uniting of efforts of youth and adults, service groups and churches to reverse the deterioration of the Island. One example of decay he sited was the Sidway woods littered with abandoned and decaying car bodies.


Looking back 30 years - Dean Santorio, captain of the 95-pound Grand Island Jr. Football Falcons was featured in a May 1980 Island Dispatch article. Dean played four seasons in junior football and among his many honors were being named Most Valuable Player and receiving the Albert Schoenle Award. Today he is the high school football and baseball coach.••••Chris and Louie DePerro, proprietors of the new restaurant, the Shipwreck & Cargo Company located at 1600 East River Road near the south Grand Island Bridge, announced their grand opening in May of 1980. The building just north of the South Grand Island Bridge, burned in May 2000.

Our sympathy to the families of Mary Ann Ferry, Martha E. Schuh, George E. Casey, Gerald F. Feyerabend, Denise C. Oriani and former resident Thomas P. Dingey who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Last Thursday evening's Historical Society meeting featured the buying and selling of antiques by antique dealer Peter Jablonski and was very interesting. Peter ended his talk at about the same time the power went out putting River Lea in complete darkness. No problem, as everyone who had a cell phone took it out and provided enough light for our hostesses to set up the refreshments that we enjoyed by candlelight. By the way, River Lea will be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday. Docents will be on hand to answer questions and refreshments will be served.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Adrian's Custard & Beef - Best beef on the planet, soft ice cream, too - GI Blvd. Plaza
Chateau Motor Lodge - Out-of-town company? "We Offer Cheap Deals Daily"
Kelly's Country Store - Step back in time and shop for every gift occasion - 3121 Grand Island Blvd.
Bob Piatek State Farm Insurance - 1837 Whitehaven Road - There when you need him
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

The Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year dinner will be aired on Time Warner Cable. See "Televised Schedule.”

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
First off, a reminder that there are many events scheduled this month to raise money for Grand Island's Relay For Life event set for June 4th. See Relay Fundraisers•••• A boating class will be held at the Holiday Inn on Saturday.••••The Golden Age Club's annual Gram’s Garage Sale will take place on Saturday.••••A concert will be given in Trinity Church Sunday morning.••••The Historical Society hosts an open house at River Lea on Sunday.••••School district voting will be held in the high school gym on Tuesday.••••The School District Art Show will be held in Viking Mall on Monday.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, May 6, 2010


Good morning Paul Kelcey in Clayton, NC, and good morning James Esslinger in Cheektowaga, NY.

Just heard that Scott Whiting is celebrating his big 6-0 birthday this week. That would be yesterday, May 5, on Cinco de Mayo. Happy 60th, Scott.

Happy birthday to Kevin Minton and Eric Ackerman Jr. (teenagers today), Barb Gill and Jodi Robinson (tomorrow), Janet Goodsell (cheers tomorrow), Kara Dudley (18 on Saturday), Hazel Ann Murphy and Kari Klos (Saturday), Jan Baker and Gary Novits (Sunday), Mike Braddell (the big 4-0 on Monday), Greg Golde, Dana Foote and Elsa Peters (Monday), Doreen Ingram (special greetings on Monday), Ava Grace Ackerman (9 on Tuesday), Richard Garlapow and Barbara Swagler (Tuesday), and Sam Monaco (98 on Wednesday).

CW4 Bill Tokash’s recent U. S. Army promotion ceremony at Ft. Hood was attended by his mom, Sharon Tokash. See "In The Service" for their photo. Sharon, along with her sister Bridget Anderson and her husband, Rich, were in Florida last week to help celebrate sister Margie McMahon Prange' 70th birthday.

A very happy anniversary goes out to Terry and Mike Endres who will mark their 25th anniversary on Tuesday.

Several Grand Island residents took part in the 16th Annual Greater Buffalo Track Club Grand Island Half Marathon in Beaver Island Park last Saturday. For results, click http://buffalorunners.com/results/2010/GIHM10.htm


Click photo for larger view
Gary McDannell snapped this photo of a Grand Island Fire Company fire engine parked in Assistant Chief Kevin Koch's garage on Carol Lane. Actually, this is a giant "photo" of the fire truck, professionally attached to the garage door. "Way to go, Kevin!"

Looking back 60 years - Island Brownie Troops #46 and #221 attended the Riverside Theater as guests of theater manager and Isle resident Martha Clark. The movie? Francis, the Talking Mule.•••• Fire Company volunteers responded to five grass fires, one car fire and two inhalator calls in April 1950. •••• Essay winners of a contest sponsored by the Shrine Circus Daddies were Claire Ann Rupp (Bishop), Joe Kerr and Ruth Sims. The Island's 4th, 5th and 6th graders attended the Shrine Circus in the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo during Easter vacation for many years, courtesy of the Shrine Daddies.••••Approximately 600 students from 36 public schools presented a concert at Kleinhans Music Hall Sunday, May 7, 1950 at 3 p.m., sponsored by the newly formed Erie County Music Teachers’ Association of which Mrs. Ruth Dunnigan, Sidway School music teacher, was a member. Sidway pupils participating in the elementary chorus, under her direction were Bernice Glor, Patricia Gardner, Sally Swalm, Gail Burgstahler, Deanna Glasgow, Billy Linton, Glen Smith, Jack Boehm, Stuart Ellis and Barbara DeGlopper.••••Roddy Beck, owner of the Grand Island Marina that he opened in 1949 at the old Standard Oil dock on East River Road, had a machine that could make ice cubes faster than the iceman could deliver them.

Looking back 40 years - Remembering Bobby Luther on the 40th anniversary of his death, May 10, 1970 in Vietnam.

Looking back 30 years - Town Justice Eric Reimann and 10-year-old Derek Staub were the winning team of the Novice Slalom race of the 23rd Annual Hudson River White Water Derby held in North Creek, NY on May 3, 1980.

Looking back 20 years - This cough remedy recipe was included in Ruth Stahl's Treasures column in April 1990. It had been in Betty Killian's great grandmother's recipe collection.
Boil well two pounds of skunk cabbage
Press the roots and boil down to one quart
Add one quart Jamaica rum, one pint black molasses and five cents worth of Labelia Seed
(Use at your own risk)

Our sympathy to the families of Elizabeth R. "Randi" Internicola, Richard E. Martin and Thomas C. Fritschi Jr. who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Mark J. Frentzel - Attorney At Law - Experience in all courts and all areas of law - 1763 Baseline Road
Kaiser Funeral Home - Professional and Caring - 1950 Whitehaven Road
Town Cafe - Best pizza in town - Full menu - on the Boulevard
Riverview Chiropractic - Dr. Alaina Rowswell-Kulikowski - Just for kids
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening On The Island!
The Grand Island Historical Society meets tonight.•••• A relay fundraiser is being held at Dick & Jenny's tonight.••••Grand Island Dug-Out Travel Baseball team will hold a fundraiser tomorrow. ••••The American Legion's Mother's Day Hanging Basket Sale takes place tomorrow and Saturday.••••The Rotary Club's annual hot dog sale will be held at Tops tomorrow and Saturday. •••• St. Timothy Lutheran Church and Childcare Center hosts a chicken bbq on Saturday. ••••Gram's Garage Sale at the Golden Age Center is scheduled for Saturday.••••The VFW Ladies will host a Mothers Day Brunch on Sunday. ••••An American Red Cross blood drive will be held Tuesday in Fire Headquarters. ••••One Island, One Team, One Dream, To Be Drug Free meets on Tuesday at the High School small cafeteria.•••• See our Calendar of Events for events submitted after deadline.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, April 29, 2010


Good morning Rand Hawley in West Sacramento, CA, and good morning Devorah Ring in Spring, TX.

Be sure to see Jack and Bev Mikulski's "photo and anniversary" story on today's front page of Isledegrande.com. Happy anniversary, folks!


Happy birthday to Jim Kerr of Marrietta, Georgia and his twin brother, Joe Kerr of Washington, DC and to Margie "McMahon" Prange of Panama City, Florida who are celebrating special birthdays this week. Having grown up in Grandyle Village, the twins were born on April 29th and Margie's birthday is on April 30th.

A very happy anniversary to Harry and Roberta Lorence, married 55 years yesterday, and happy birthday to Harry who also celebrated his birthday yesterday.••••Best wishes to Noel and Myrna Blair celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow.

Happy birthday to Samantha Warden (her Sweet 16th birthday today), Gayle Derigo (today), Tony Piccolo (20 tomorrow), Ava DeFranks (7 tomorrow), Anna Pullano (6 years old tomorrow), Frank Potenza and Dale Kratz (big birthdays on Saturday), Mary Becker (Saturday), Brent Fred Jr. (16 on Sunday), Stephen M. Stouter (10 on Monday), MaryElisabeth Rustowicz (11 on Tuesday), Rev. Paul Robinson and Sandie Rall Smith (Tuesday), Donny Turner (21 on Tuesday), Emily Harnden (15 on Tuesday), Chris Stedman (cheers on Tuesday), Colin Lewis (Wednesday) and Elise Loiselle (21 on Wednesday).

Becky Bidell Passanese is dealing with painful health issues and is wished a very speedy recovery. Friends, please pray for Becky.

The GBTC (Greater Buffalo Track Club) will hold its Grand Island Half Marathon in Beaver Island State Park beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Call 883-2117 or see http://www.halfmarathons.net for complete information.

Looking back 60 years - Louis and Wilma Denler and son, Paul, moved into their new, "ranch type" home on Red Jacket Road May 1, 1950.••••Fire Company members offered cake and coffee and free admission to their bingo games every Saturday night in the spring of 1950, to benefit the Company's building fund.

Looking back 50 years - After a successful first joint meeting of Isle service clubs, Zonta, Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis, in April 1960, it was decided that similar sessions would be held during the month of April each year. ••••Supervisor George Burgstahler proclaimed May 1, 1960 as Loyalty Day and urged citizens to display their American flag.••••John LoPresti opened his shoe repair service in the new store next to Reese's (Jessie and Bill) IGA-Bells Market on the Boulevard not far from Staley Road.


Click photo for larger view
Looking back 30 years - Pictured are Island Camp Fire members who were involved in the Olympic events at Erie Community College in the spring of 1980. They are (back) Jennifer McCauley, Renee Taefi, Susan Kapus, Karen Ensminger, and Jennifer Zgoda; (center) Karin Cummings, Tracie Moreau (Groves), Tammy Bailey (Lasher) and Sherry Ensminger (Ryan); (front) Bradie Kaiser (Schall), Julie Linenfelser (Dee) and Diana Taefi (Staub).

Our sympathy to the families of former residents Rose Quagliana and CDR Robert E. Brown USN (Ret.) who passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Flower A Day Florist - Say it with flowers - Sue Berger - 2119 Grand Island Blvd.
Wavelengths - Stay In Style - Wavelengths has a new hair style for you - 2289 Grand Island Blvd.
Michael Anthony Rossi - Rossi Law Firm - Committed to providing competent and cost effective legal services
Century 21/Gerrie Andolina - Grand Island's longtime, #1 real estate agent
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

The former Reggie Long's grocery store on West River at Staley Road is about to be torn down. There are a lot of readers out there who have stories to tell about working at the store, stories told by Reg Long and much more. Email me your memories and include your name. I will include the best ones in a little history of the building.

Next week's Historical Society meeting features an interesting program by Peter Jablonski who will present “Antiques 101,” a guide to collecting antiques. See "Historical Society News" for information.

A school board "Candidates Night," previously scheduled for Tuesday evening, has been cancelled due to candidates unable to attend.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Be sure to check out the Relay For Life events by clicking the link.•••• The 44th Annual Citizen of the Year Awards Banquet will be held at Holiday Inn this evening. •••• The River Lea Quilters will present "Quilts That Warm Our Hearts" - 2010 Charity Quilt Show tomorrow and Saturday in the Whitehaven Road Baptist Church.••••Younglife Club hosts a take-out only Chicken BBQ on Saturday at St. Stephen’s Church.•••• A Paint the Town Purple Celebration for Relay for Life will be held Saturday at the Grand Island Moose Lodge ••••Relay for Life Team Hopeful Heroes sponsor a bake sale at St. Stephen's Church on Saturday. ••••The Grand Island Community Chorus will present a "Swing Into Spring" concert on Sunday at St. Stephen’s Church.•••• Reservations are required for a computer course on health information being held at the Grand Island Memorial Library on Wednesday. See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, April 22, 2010


Good morning Keith Manson in Fruitland Park, FL, and good morning Franz Scharhag in Kansas City, MO.

Puppet DiTullio remains in Niagara Memorial Hospital (Room 340), 621 10th Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14302. He has a raft of friends who are kept informed of his progress but I know there are others out there who remember Pup and I'm sure he’d like to hear from them, too.•••• A cheery hello to Jim Benns. Thinking of you, Jimmie, and praying you have some better days ahead.


Click photo for larger view
Wow! What a show! Parish Players youth presented four performances of Annie last week and the entire cast was perfect every show. An added plus for this event was the remarkable, 12-piece band. MaryElisabeth Rustowicz (Annie) was outstanding. And my other favorite is Anna Pullano (puppy), pictured with MaryElisabeth. I truly believe this play will be talked about for a long, long time.

Attention golfers! The Beaver Island Golf Course opens today. See "Golf Course Information".

Happy birthday to Rachel Wakefield (best wishes today), Erin Tower (today), Genna Baldassarre (11 today), Mark Ramsperger (7 today), Bill Moreland (90 tomorrow), Sydney Lynn Neuhaus (2 years old tomorrow), Kimberley Banas (her 20th on Saturday), Brad Robinson (Saturday), baby Lucas Daniel Soto (first birthday on Saturday), Sarah Gruszka (Sunday), Lisa Braun (18 on Monday), Brooke Christensen (3 on Monday), Tessa DeMartin (4 on Monday), Michael Heftka (20 on Tuesday), Bethany Leiner (18 on Tuesday), Ethel Rusch (cheers on Tuesday), Nancy Wonacott (Tuesday), Rita Hagerman and Verna Wohlfeil (Wednesday), "V.J." Freeman Jr. (turning 10 on Wednesday), Kim Glessner (hats, horns and best wishes on Wednesday), and Elijah Linenfelser and Jaimen Wright (both turning 4 on Wednesday).

Eleanor and Ted Kessler are wished the very best as they celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary today.

Local fishermen who may not have seen the fishing article in Saturday's Buffalo News by Will Elliot may find it interesting. We did! Island resident and inventor John Kam is featured in the story.

We're proud of our Island runners! Participating in the 114th Boston Marathon on Monday were Jim Figler (3:19:44) and Gregory Scarpace (3:21:15). Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya won the Marathon, breaking the course record with a time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 52 seconds.

Looking back 60 years - Paul V. Offermann, son of Isabel Offermann, and her husband, the late Sheriff Frank J. Offermann of Grand Island, was elected editor-in-chief of the Carnegie Tartan, weekly campus newspaper at Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA.

Looking back 50 years - Emily Raepple was a cook at Frank Suda's Grandyle Marina where a Sunday smorgasbord was served in the restaurant that had just opened for the season. The Marina was on the site of what is now Island Marine at East River and Broadway.

Looking back 40 years - Three Grand Island High School students competing in the WNY Science Congress lecture demonstration competition on April 11, 1970 received awards. Mark "Mitch" Stessing earned a silver medal for his “Lungs Functioning as Gils.” Harold Roberts won a silver medal for his “3-D Photography by Laser,” and Chris Koch brought home a bronze medal for his “Biosensors and Their Uses.”

Looking back 30 years - The Music Man was presented by the high school students 30 years ago this weekend. In lead roles were David Lange, Debbie Smilinich (Burandt), Li-Anne Rowswell (Kulikowski) and Brian Russell. Supporting cast members included Patti Fleming (Sloan), Paul LaDuca, Jerry Crawford, Tracie Moreau (Groves), and Mark Courey.

Looking Back 15 years - Announcement was made that the West River Restaurant on West River at Staley Road was for sale! The building, originally Reg Long's store, was built in the 1940s and will be torn down, possibly this week.

Our sympathy to the family of Roger J. O'Connor who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Beach House Restaurant. - Delicious food and cozy atmosphere on the East River
Grand Island Auto Tech - owners Ron and Mike Cook - they do it all - 2509 Grand Island Blvd.
X-Press One Hour Dry Cleaners - Charles and Carol Dunworth, 2275 Grand Island Blvd. - There is nothing like a fresh, crisp, commercially laundered dress shirt to help you feel good about yourself.
Metro Town Center - 1980 Whitehaven Road - Betty Harris - President/NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
First off, check out the RELAY 2010 FUNDRAISERS.•••• The High School talent show will be held in the auditorium at 7 p.m. Wednesday.•••• •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, April 15, 2010


Good morning Nancy (Lipp) Zelawski in Carrollton, TX, and good morning Diana (Gruber) Kornacki in North Tonawanda, NY.

Happy birthday to Curtis Nestark and Beth VanDyne (today), Carole Linenfelser (a big one today – may all your dreams come true), Jameson Hiam (5 tomorrow), Ed Burrows (tomorrow), Jeffrey P. Sullivan (Saturday), Hailey Nowak (Sweet 16 on Saturday), Jane Duffy, Arnie Beck and Christopher Monoco (Sunday), Alexis Soluri (5 on Sunday), Cassidy Smith (Sweet 16 on Monday), Margaret Villano (93 on Tuesday), Jacob McMahon (14 on Tuesday), Paige McMahon (6 on Tuesday), Christian Nestark (his 20th on Tuesday), and Sam Akinbami and Shirley Reitebach (Wednesday).

Good bowling! Mike Mallwitz, bowling with the Friday Night Businessmen at Island Lanes, rolled a high 290-740 last week.

Looking back 60 years - The following was reported in an April 1950 of the Island Dispatch: “Grandyle Village was certainly well represented at the recent Annual School meeting; to mention a few we observed present: the McMahons, Balls, Miller, Loths, Kohlhagen, Dyer, Lewis, Gast, Hogue, Keane, Stephenson, Turnbull, Noth, Wheeler, Edwards, Boehm, Olrogge, Howard, Yakam, Bagdon, Hall, Costin, Hogan, Cullen, and Glor. And if you weren’t there, you should have been.” (Wow! Were your parents there?)

Looking back 50 years - Elmer Kaegebein sold his farm on Whitehaven Road and announced that April 16, 1960 would be the last day he and his sons, Russell and Paul, would deliver eggs. "It has been a pleasure serving you," Elmer said. •••• The Town N Country, a casual women’s clothing store, opened April 21, 1960 in the former Big Willie's at 2231 Grand Island Blvd., now the site of MacDoanld's restaurant. Maureen Pitre and Ann Weiglein were the girls running the shop. ••••Members of the first place Grand Island Rod & Gun Club team were awarded trophies at the Club’s annual banquet. Teammates were Joseph Conn, Al Yadloczky Bill Spayer, Captain Cal Milkas, Harvey Pause, Joe Roth and Bob Franier.

Looking back 40 years - The Grand Island High School swim team, under the coaching of William Russo, won its fourth Section VI championship in five years. Team members receiving letters at the school’s winter sports assembly included Chuck Bagdy, Chris Beyer, Doug Bullock, Steve Benson, Mike Breier, Bob Carter, Jim Conschafter, Mike Endres, Dieter Fust and Paul Fritschi.

Looking back 30 years - Bumper-to-bumper traffic, honking horns and irate drivers were a part of the busy rush hour scene at the south Grand Island bridge toll booths April 11, 1980 as toll takers faced the “$20 bill blitz.” Sky Seven (Channel 7 TV) dropped down to interview drivers assembled at the Fantasy Island parking lot for the "blitz" in protest of the tolls on Grand Island residents.

Our sympathy to the families of Melford V. Hill and Nathan Lee Dunbar who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

St. Stephen's Parish Players production of "Twelve Angry Jurors" was extremely enjoyable. We were there on Friday night and it would be difficult to tell you which actors/actresses deserved "the awards." My personal favorites were Kevin Rustowicz and Lisa Mazurek. This weekend the kids will do "Annie" on the new Parish Players' stage and MaryElisabeth Rustowicz has the lead. I'm so looking forward to it.

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Our schools will be closed this coming week and hopefully the weather will be warm and sunny for the kids (and all of us) to enjoy being outdoors.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
A “Juggling, Bubbling and Mime” program will be presented at the Grand Island Memorial Library on Wednesday.••••The Parish Players Youth will present "Annie" in St. Stephen's school tonight, tomorrow and Saturday.•••• The Historical Society will be open to the public on Sunday.•••• The Town Recreation Department will sponsor a kite flying contest Wednesday in Veterans Park.••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, April 8, 2010


Good morning Kathy (Harris) Sennott in Perkiomenville, PA, and good morning Judy (Richter) Corson in Rainier, WA.

Congratulations to Kim and Scott Duscher on the birth of Kendall Paige, born Friday, March 26, 2010 weighing seven pounds, nine ounces. Baby Kendall was welcomed home by her sisters, Taylor, 3 1/2, and Bella, 1 1/2.

Happy birthday to Martin Camardella (today), Kaitlyn Affuso (18 today), Vincent Ricotta (7 today), Mary Ann Arsenault (tomorrow), Rhett Robinson (9 tomorrow), Dorothy Dillemuth (Saturday), Bob Clement (his 91st birthday on Saturday), Billy Rupp (65 on Saturday), Evan Ackerman (7 on Saturday), Jim Boettcher and Joe Blum (Sunday), Serena Anzalaco Troyan and Dave Henderson (celebrating milestones on Sunday), Arlene Ehde (cheers on Sunday), our granddaughter Amy Margaret Bidell (19 on Monday), Marsha Hammond (Monday), Mary McDonnell (happy happy day on Monday), Aaron Wood (20 on Tuesday), Ann Dahl and Jeff Grant (Tuesday), Michelle Becker (Sweet 16 on Wednesday), and Nicholas Aronica (6 on Wednesday).

Kim and Al Glessner are marking their 15th anniversary today. Eileen and Mark Klein are celebrating their 10th anniversary today and Kim and Scott Duscher were married five years ago today. Dorothy and Al Rowswell, married on April 9, 1955, are celebrating their 55th anniversary tomorrow. Vikki and John Smith are celebrating their 35th anniversary on Monday. Anne and Staff Sergeant Ryan Timmerman have a second anniversary coming up on April 14th. Anne and Ryan are counting the days when he returns from active duty in Iraq. All are wished the best on their special day.

So sorry to report that Betty Brice has been experiencing some serious health problems. Cards and notes of cheer may be sent to her home.••••Shorty Vanthoff could also use some cheer. "I'm sending you some sunshine, Shorty!"••••Just heard Mel Hill is facing serious illness. Please pray for Betty, Shorty and Mel.

Looking back 60 years - A "merchandise sale" on Friday, April 14, 1950 at the Emmanuel Chapel on Ferry Road was for the benefit of repairs and remodeling to the chapel.•••• The Shrine Daddys Club of Grand Island made it possible for 150 Isle school children to see the annual Shrine Circus at Memorial Auditorium over the Easter break. Teachers accompanied the kids and the Club provided them with candy, Crackerjacks and "all things that make a circus the highlight of a child's life."

Looking back 40 years - Over 100 Grand Island women were being recruited to take part in a national pilot project, “Women United To Combat Drug Abuse,” which was chaired on the Island by Donna Radecki and Marie Taylor.••••Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary members made 25 Easter baskets complete with candy and plastic eggs. Among the ladies delivering the baskets to the Protestant Home for Children were Barbara Anderson, Val Gardner, Sue Benns and Mary Ann Beyer.

Our sympathy to the families of Zoey Elizabeth Crowley, Marian Louise Nocera, Anna E. Williams and former residents Robert E. Krueger and Forest L. Keister Sr., who recently passed away. Michael A. Frederick and former Sidway School music teacher, Ruth M. Dunnigan died on April 1st. Click Deaths for complete information.

Mike Johnson had a good night bowling with the Men's A-Best Roofing League. Mike rolled a 299-745. Mike Mallwitz rolled a 279 in a great 815 series with the Heatwave H&C League. For complete results, see Island Lanes Results

Our Grand Island High School band and orchestra students took off for Myrtle Beach yesterday - four busloads of kids and chaperones. They will be playing in a competition and also enjoying the beach, points of interest and a dinner dance.

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The St. Stephen’s Parish Players will present its adult production, "Twelve Angry Jurors," Friday through Sunday in St Stephen's cafeteria. The Friday performance has been sold out but tickets are still available for Saturday and Sunday. The Players' children's production, "Annie," is scheduled for April 15th, 16th, and 17th.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Charlotte Sidway Elementary’s “Getting Ready for Kindergarten Night” is tonight.••••A special presentation on the affects of Domestic Violence will be given this evening by the Erie County Sheriff’s Dept. ••••A used book sale will be held tomorrow and Saturday at the Grand Island Memorial Library.••••An auction of surplus Town Equipment takes place on Saturday.••••See above for St. Stephen's Parish Players Production.••••A Boaters Seminar & Luncheon is being held in the BLC on Saturday. ••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, April 1, 2010


Good morning Darrell Felix in Springville, NY, and good morning Joe Gangemi in San Jose, CA.


Click photo for larger view
Several former Islanders as well as many others gathered at the Lone Star Steakhouse in Phoenix on Saturday, March 13th to celebrate long-time Islander Sam Aswad's 85th birthday. Sam's son, Fred (GIHS 1969) organized the party and was joined by Mike Wasson (GIHS 1969), Randy White (GIHS 1970) and many of Sam's friends. Sam is doing well and enjoying the Arizona lifestyle.

Last week’s Island Lanes report included the following Islanders bowling some great games. Brandon Digati had a 300-749 bowling with the Friday Night Businessmen. Jim Mondoux also had a 300 in a 751 series bowling with the Businessmen. Mike Mallwitz rolled three good games with a high 280 in a 817 series with the A-Best Roofing League. This week's report includes Dan Pilon's, 289-758 with the Friday Night Men's league and Dave Olivieri, bowling on the Heatwave H&C league, with a 298-637.

Jake McMahon is entering his first "Bald For Bucks" event to raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Jake has surpassed his goal of $1500 with his current total at $1975 "so far." See http://giving.roswellpark.org/jmcmahon for information on how you can donate to this worthy cause. The Veronica Connor Middle School Bald for Bucks team will be shaving their heads on Tuesday, April 13th and donating the money to Roswell Park.

Paul and Marcy Malecki and former residents Gary and Elsie Bartlett just returned from a seven-day Western Caribbean Cruise. The Bartletts are living in Estero, Florida.

Alexi Salamone, a member of the Paralympians U.S. Sled Hockey world championship team, scored 4 goals along with 4 assists in the games. See "World Championship" for the story if you missed it last week. Alexi is shown in "Photo A" and is also shown with linemate, Joe Howard ("Photo B"), a two time Gold medal winner.

Happy birthday to Fay McDonald and Gene Hasselbeck (today), to Ron Corp and Rob DeMita (Saturday), Zoe Dodd (15 on Sunday), Natalie Baldassare (14 on Sunday), Amanda Szarzanowicz (her 13th birthday on Monday), Nancy Sayre, Jon Holler and Beth Czerwonka (all celebrating milestones on Monday), George Smith (marking his 85th birthday on Monday), Elizabeth Pickard (Sweet 16 on Tuesday), Chelsea Bergman (21 on Tuesday), Milanne Buchholz (a big one on Tuesday), Eden Krebs (3 on Tuesday), George Crowe (cheers on Tuesday) and Joey Beauchamp (Wednesday).

Looking back 60 years - Island Girl Scouts Wanda Sugier (Fortini), Lynn Cullen (Euse), Melinda Link, Noreen Zuchowski and Doris Harding (Watson) formed the Color Guard at the Island's 10th anniversary of scouting on March 30, 1950 in St. Stephen's basement. Beatrice Ashley, who started the Girl Scout program on Grand Island, was awarded her 10-year pin. Scouts of Troop 337, under the leadership of Maryan Traun and Sally Smith, presented a play.

Looking back 50 years - The following advisory committee was appointed to assist the Grand Island Golden Age Club: Club Organizer Eileen Coulter, Rev. Rupert Wright, Rev. John M. Larsen, Dr. George Ubel, William Russo, Thomas A. McKeen, Salvatore G. Capizzi and Shirlee Dixon.••••Bonnie Taylor (Ford) was installed beloved Queen of Aries Triangle No. 131 on Friday, April 7, 1960.

Looking back 40 years - Children at Jack and Jill Pre-School helped the “Chocolate Lady”Jane Baedeker stir up a batch of chocolate and put it into plastic Easter molds. Those helpers included Jay Piechowiak, Kirk Pfannenschmidt and Bradley Robinson.••••Winners of the Jaycees annual Easter Egg Hunt in 1970 were Bobby Mondoux, Tricia McGuire, Dorothy McBride and Kevin McNulty. The event was chaired by Robert Brand and Pat Welch.••••GIHS junior class variety show participants included Val Buckley (Swain) twirling her baton, Linda Mark and Val Armenia doing a swinging jazz number and Gwen Grosenbaugh performing on the uneven parallel bars. Also on stage on March 25, 1970 were vocalists Debbie Chick, Debi Haines and Sheila Sepanski.

Looking back 30 years - Ed Zuchowski retired from his job as Beaver Island State Park Superintendent on April 1, 1980 after a 37 ½ year career that he began in 1942. •••• The Island Dispatch was full of bridge toll articles in the spring of 1980 including the following. A group of residents meeting with Legislator Charles M. Swanick became the nucleus of a committee that promised "to grow in leaps and bounds" to gather petitions and formally protest the proposed increase in Thruway tolls, especially those on our Grand Island bridges. Leading the discussion and introducing the speakers were Ms. Lynn Cherry and Mrs. Ricki Harper. The proposed increase was from 25 cents to 35 cents.•••• Opposition to the proposed increase in bridge tolls continued on Grand Island. Between 800 and 1000 residents attended a meeting in Holiday Inn Monday, April 7, 1980 to physically protest the tolls.

Eddie Weiser (Class of 2009) won his Mixed Martial Arts debut at the Gil Lay Memorial Arena in Irving last month. Weiser, who is fighting for Victory Martial Arts based in Tonawanda, defeated Jess Hall in the 185-pound class by submission choke at 1:04 of the second round. Islanders traveling to the event to watch Eddie were Kris Christensen and GIHS football/baseball coach, Dean Santorio. Kris explains that Eddie may fight May 8th at the Seneca Niagara Casino. "He's a pretty accomplished boxer who is very strong and smooth on his feet," Kris said. Another Islander, Nick Dodge, also fought that night and won in the 160-pound class.

Our sympathy to the families of Violet L. Merletti and former resident Mary P. Dienst who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Sue Berger is approaching her first anniversary of her Flower A Day shop re-locating to Grand Island Blvd. Check out Sue's website on Isledegrande and if you mention you saw the $5 off discount you will receive this on your order of $30.00 or more (excluding delivery and tax).

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
We welcome our newest advertiser, Five-Star Landscaping - a locally owned and family operated company that prides itself on providing a "five-star" level of customer service
Anchor Marine. - new and used boats, Bombardier ATV's, Sea Doo's, & Honda outboard motors and much more.
McCarthy School of Irish Dance - Beth McCarthy shares her knowledge of Irish culture through dance - activities abound
Hizair Hair Salon - Convenient hours, convenient location on the Boulevard
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Grand Island Historical Society meets tonight at River Lea. ••••The VFW Post 9249 Men's Auxiliary hosts a fish dinner tomorrow.••••A GIHS community forum regarding the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program will be held on Monday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, March 25, 2010


Good morning Max Knisely in Las Vegas, NV, and good morning Walt Oldenburg in East Amherst, NY.

Happy birthday to Michael Brown (a teenager today), Amy Blundell (today), Elsie Killian, Shelly Halter, Jim Driscoll and Cheryl Chamberlain (tomorrow), Bailey DeGlopper (20 on Saturday), Ed Burns (cheers on Saturday), baby Brooklyn Raine Landroche (first birthday on Saturday), baby Jacob Alexander Stewart (first birthday on Sunday), Liza Bowman (14 on Sunday), Morgan Green (Sweet 16 on Sunday), Marianne Christensen, Marilyn Randolph and Annalea Masiello (Sunday), Cindy Bull (best wishes on Sunday), Kenna MacNeil (2 on Sunday), Matthew Violanti (20 on Monday), Chloe Fitzsimmons (3 on Monday), Travis Kelley (a teenager on Tuesday), and Louis Fabiano and Jon Nichols (milestones on Wednesday).

Best wishes to Rosemary and Bruce Wojick celebrating their wedding anniversary on Wednesday, the 31st.

Sharon Northrup Jandrew, currently living in Arlington, Texas, writes that she recently found Isledegrande.com "and what a treat it was for me," she said. Sharon shares a memory growing up here and is wondering if those who were with her on that beautiful day remember it. "One summer some of the girls I knew got bored, so we decided to have a little contest. We would see if we could walk around the Island in one day. Well we did. It was great fun and a beautiful day." Thanks for writing, Sharon.

Looking back 60 years - Mrs. Martha Uonites was chairman of the Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary’s winter card party when Evelyn Alt won the bridge table and four chairs. ••••Elizabeth Browning (Browning) was the winner of the Buffalo Evening News spelling bee and Carol Kaegebein (Gates) was runner-up. The contest was for 7th and 8th grade students of Sidway School. ••••Girl Scouts and Brownies celebrated the 10th birthday of Girl Scouting on the Island with a program and party in St. Stephen’s basement. ••••This was written in the Island Dispatch column, Across the Mahogany With Willie: “There must have been a lot of Irishmen on the loose last Saturday night. That party at Elsaesser’s was really a honey. Party hats, noisemakers and noisy people made for an evening of fun.”

Looking back 50 years - Vandals some time Monday, March 27, 1960 caused $2000 damage to the interior of the Grand Island Playhouse on Baseline Road. The large stage curtain was slashed, paint was spattered over front row seats, dressing rooms and lavatory were wrecked and props and stage rigging left in a shambles. The Playhouse was to open its 13th season in summer stock on Grand Island. ••••The Celtics won the first season of the GI Boys’ Basketball League sponsored by the Recreation Commission. Team members were Thom Hatch, Ron Salt, Peter Baker, George Turnbull, Gary Salt, Bob Dunbar, John Godfrey, Jan Baker, Bob Wilson and Dick Byron. Ed Baker was team manager, league chairman was Norman Cahill and Bill Wood was the Celtics coach.

Looking back 40 years - Sgt. Joseph Conn graduated from Artillery Combat Leadership Officers Training School at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma and was serving as a crew chief on a helicopter with the 101st Airborne Division in North Vietnam near the D. M. Z.

Looking back 30 years - Boy Scout Troop 425 was founded on Grand Island 30 years ago and met for the first time Monday March 31, 1980 Huth Road Elementary School. First scoutmaster was Tom Ott Sr. and his son, Tom Jr. and Joe Beyers were assistant scoutmasters. Bob Hiebsch was committee chair and Don Galbraith Sr. advancement chairman.

Our sympathy to the families of Elisabeth N. Baedeker and Thomas S. Lumberg Sr. who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Justin J. Kozlowski, a Grand Island 5th grader, is among the twenty semi-finalists selected from over 600 applicants for the second annual Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors. The competition challenged students in grades 5 through 8 to create inventions using rubber bands.

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White, White & Cich Financial - We specialize in producing informative seminars.
Bergen & Schiffmacher, LLP - Read their record - they get it done
Tim Phillips Garage - full-service automotive repair - preventive maintenance center - and on the Island
Niagara's Choice FCU - Your Credit Union is a great place to begin adult financial responsibilities.
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Town of Grand Island is hosting Passport Day in Town Hall, on Saturday. •••• Connor Middle School students will present the musical, Once On This Island Jr. on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. ••••A College Information Night takes place in the high school large cafeteria on Wednesday evening. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, March 18, 2010


Good morning Jane Edwards in Omaha, NE, and good morning Jane Smigiera in Cheektowaga, NY.

This came in this week from an avid reader: "It must be time for a second donation to Isledegrande....I say if we realize we pay $1.00 a week for a Sunday paper, surely our online newspaper is worth that too. (The checks in the mail).....no really...." Thank you, avid reader!

Sean Hook will play the part of Daddy Warbucks in the St. Stephen's Parish Players youth performance of "Annie" next month, and has decided to have his head shaved. He is a sophomore at Buffalo State majoring in music, and a GIHS graduated, Class of 2008. And through the suggestion of Maggie Rustowitz, he is going "Bald for Bucks" on Monday, April 12th, a great thing for the play and for our community. By doing this, Sean will be raising money to donate to Roswell Park for cancer research. Those who would like to donate are asked to write checks made out to Roswell Park. MaryElisabeth Rustowicz, playing "Annie" in the play, will also be cutting ten inches of her hair for "Locks for Love."

Good news! Puppet DiTullio's health is improving. He is in Room 3107, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, 2950 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore, NY 14217. Keep the prayers coming.••••Cards of cheer are in order for Shorty Vanthoff, John Wohlfeil and Debbie McTigue.

A belated happy birthday to Joanne Del Zoppo, born on St. Patrick's Day and to Donna Robinson who celebrated on Tuesday.•••• Happy birthday to Brittany Robinson (21 today), Audrey Mason (3 today), Eddie Krecisz and Sarah Brady (today), Ruth Landel (best wishes tomorrow), Dee DiTullio and Sarah Smith (tomorrow), Geraldine Serba (Saturday), Meredith Hale Ruland (13 on Sunday), Charlotte Mrkall and Sandra Heberlein (Monday), Ryan Kernin (double digits – 10 years old on Tuesday), and twins, Sarah Gascon and Mackenzie Gascon (5 on Wednesday).

Judy and David Henderson just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on March 12. Happy days to the Hendersons.

Island Rumor! Rumors are flying about a taco place, supposedly addressed at Monday's town board meeting. "Absolutely no mention of a Taco Bell or anything even remotely close," is a board member's response to the question. The fact that Blockbuster Video in the Grand Island Plaza is leaving the Island is not a rumor, much to the disappointment of many Isle residents.

Looking back 60 years - It was good news for Islanders back in 1950 when Kay's Drug Store in Kenmore announced their daily deliver of prescriptions to Larson's Delicatessen across the road from St. Stephen's Church. ••••Residents were able to put telephone calls through to other local residents by dialing only the last four digits on their new dial phones in March 1950.

Looking back 50 years - The town board approved construction of a lateral water line on Legion Drive. The line was to extend from Fix Road to West River Parkway service road. ••••Rev. John M. Larsen was appointed minister of Trinity Church.••••The Town Board appointed Katherine Sheehan Town Historian upon the resignation of Rob Roy MacLeod.••••Nora Butcher earned a three-year, Cub Scout den mother service star.••••Highland Boot Shop opened between the NuWay supermarket and Neisner's in the Grand Island Blvd. Plaza.

Looking back 40 years - Spec. 5 John Gast Jr. , stationed in Germany, was chosen pathfinder soldier-of-the-month for February 1970

Looking back 30 years - The weekend of March 22-23, 1980 saw the Mo-Skeeters sting Charlie's Place, 333-320 to remain in first place in the Grand Island Rod and Gun Club's Winter Trap and Skeet League competition. The Mo-Skeeters' attack was led by perfect 25 scores by Paul Bauer, Joe Muranyi and Vince Muranyi and the victory left them with a 10 wins and 1 loss record. Among the other teams winning or losing were the Grand Guys, DeGlopper Trucking Team, Sheppards Guns, Sky Busters, Merganzers and Riverbottom Inn.

Our sympathy to the families of Barbara J. Raham, Juanita A. Pellegrino and former resident Norine E. (Webb) Giardina who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Marston Power Equipment - New Portable Generators and much more - Grand Island Blvd.
Robert M. Ratajczak, Jr., Attorney - Striving to make legal services simpler and cost effective
Mr. Best Wrench - Got a Classic or Exotic car that needs repair? "We repair everything foreign or domestic."
Realty USA/Liz Wilbert - Local, experienced realtor
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Assemblyman Hoyt will host a town hall meeting today. •••• Boy Scout Troop 630 will host its annual Spaghetti Dinner from Noon till 6 p.m. on Sunday. ••••The Rotary Club’s Undie Sunday will be held at Tops on Sunday. •••• The Grand Island Lions Club will hold its 41st Annual Spaghetti Dinner on Monday. ••••A Relay For Life Team Captain Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.


Thursday, March 11, 2010


Good morning Mary Ellen in Flagler Beach, FL, and good morning Colleen in Bug Hill, NC.


Click photo for larger view
Happy first birthday baby Chloe Anne Timmerman, celebrating on Tuesday, the 16th. She is the daughter of Anne and Staff Sergeant Ryan Timmerman and is shown in front of the "Rewinder," the family's race boat, while visiting the recent boat show. Chloe, whose dad is serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq, is the granddaughter of Greg and Liz Barker of Grand Island and Rick and Pat Timmerman of Colo, Iowa.

Happy birthday to Emily Bolles (18 today), Barbara Anderson (celebrating today with her girls), Anne Stuardi (today), Roman Cacciatore (11 today), Jessica Pauley (20 tomorrow), Madison MacNeil (8 tomorrow), Pete Xanthos, Adam Kratz and Patti Kratz (Saturday), Sam Aswad (85 on Saturday), Jon Grenda (his 16th birthday on Sunday), Richard Harnden (a milestone on Monday), John Sarokan and Rod Raham (Monday), Doris Kaiser (cheers on Monday), Paul Bidell and Karen Webb (Tuesday), Cameron Willer (2 on Tuesday), and Nonnie Carroll, Bob Tranter and Maureen Kraus (Wednesday).

Christopher Swagler is "Going Bald For Bucks" to benefit Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Can you help him out? See Christopher Goes "Bald for Bucks" for complete information.

Very best wishes to Vicki and Ian Harnden who will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, March 16th.

Donna and Kent Webb, and daughter, Sarah, have moved to Highland Falls, NY where Kent is employed as an Industrial Hygienist at West Point Military Academy. Son, Mark, will remain in the area finishing college. Good luck, to the Webbs.

"Puppet" DiTullio is in Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Room 3409, bed 9 at this writing. Not sure of visitors but cards and prayers would be most appreciated. •••• A cheery hello to Mary McMahon.

Congratulations to Pvt. Anthony J. (AJ) Guenther who graduated from U.S. Marines boot camp, Parris Island, South Carolina, on February 26th. AJ is a graduate of Grand Island High School, Class of 2009, and son of Regina and the late Tony Guenther. See "In The Service" for the full story and photo.

The Erie Community College men's hockey team won the Region III Championship, earning the No. 2 seed in the four-team National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament. Freshman Ryan Vertino with 22 goals and 22 assists, made second team.

Looking back 60 years - The “Sitting Hens,” a group of Grandyle Village mothers who formed a cooperative baby-sitting arrangement, gave a surprise shower for Ann Boehm. The other members of the club were Helen Sunderland, Betty Wheeler, Gert Cotter, Velma Harding and Mary Ellen Hau.•••• New cars were a big deal during the winter of 1950. The George Cullen and Henry Schlueter families were driving new cars and Ray and Ida Stanley had a new Ford. •••• The following appeared in the “With Dottie on the Party Line” column in the Island Dispatch in March 1950: “Television being a complete mystery to us (we still don’t understand radio) makes us admire Jake Ekiss’ talent for repairing television sets. A ten-minute going over by Jake and “presto” the complicated thing works again.”

Looking back 50 years - Reese’s new Bells-IGA supermarket opened in the same building as the old one in March 1960 on Grand Island Blvd. near Staley Road. ••••Water lines in new district 9 were ready for use and homeowners began tapping into mains. District 9 included Love Road from Baseline to West River Road, and parts of Baseline, Bush, Fix and West River roads. ••••"Dampness in the town hall basement may yet have its merits," the local weekly paper reported. "There are mushrooms growing on the floor in the assessor’s office. A maintenance worker discovered the toadstool variety while cleaning the place."

Looking back 40 years - Grand Island kids participating in the 42nd annual Buffalo Turners Circus at Turners Hall in Buffalo March 12-14, 1970 included Kim Custodi, Kathleen Siobhan Wright, Patty Wright, Jeff Certo, Bob Beauregard, Daneen Certo and Tammy Custody.•••• Airman First Class David C. Tyler of West River Road was on duty at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, Vietnam. ••••Grand Island Viking Pete Fadum led the GIHS basketball team in scoring for the 1969-70 season with 227 points, hitting 91 out of 223 field goal attempts for 41 per cent and 45 out of 68 foul shot attempts for 66 %. Other high scorers were Wayne Benton and Greg Costanzo. Wayne was top rebounder with a total of 111 rebounds.

Looking back 30 years - Members and leaders of Boy Scout Troop 510 left Trinity Church for their winter trip to Camp Stonehaven's Klondike Weekend where they unloaded their gear from Frank Schuler’s truck and dogsledded it to their campsite. Twelve troops participating in the events. Awards were presented by Dick Fancher, camp director and assistant to Tom Zarbo, institutional representative for the Greater Niagara Frontier Council. Tonawandas District first place went to Troop 510 with 196 out of a possible perfect 200 points.

Our sympathy to the families of Harold A. Smith, Thomas G. Arrigo, David Ehde and former residents William W. "Bill" Dyet who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Congratulations to our local Zonta Club members. Kathy Smith, the Area 3 Director, presented Andrea Moreau, Sybil Kennedy and Shirley Martin with Certificates for 30 years of dedication to Zonta during the Tuesday, March 9th meeting. Also honored was Sue Fleming-Brusino for 20 years of dedication.

Congratulations to all of the members of Boy Scout Troop #510 for their achievements over the past year. The boys, their leaders and families will get together for their annual Court of Honor Dinner on Sunday, March 14th.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
John's Pizza & Subs - delicious pizza, full menu on the Boulevard.
Grand Island Chiropractic - Why leave the Island for the help you need?
Rose Liquor - Full line of wines and liquors - great discounts
Miss Cathy's Dance Academy - Talented Faculty - All Ages - Dance brings out the best in everyone
For information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Members of the Grand Island High School Class of 1975 have been signing on our guestbook and promoting Isledegrande.com through their website, Facebook.com/GIHS Class of 1975. We appreciate this so much.

The reunion committee of the Tonawanda High School Class of 1960 is trying to locate all its classmates for their 50th reunion July 16th at the Buffalo Launch Club. See Tonawanda High Class of 1960 for more information. For those who don't know, a huge percentage of our high school students attended Tonawanda High from the earliest years right through the 1950s and early 1960s.

Daylight Savings begins Sunday morning. See Turn Your Clocks Ahead, and remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Great bowling over at Island Lanes this week. Chris Bahleda had a fine 299-769 and Ed O'Keefe bowled at 299-740 with A-Best Roofing and Joe Vilaro rolled a 298-659 with the Labatts Men League. Congratulations, bowlers.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Corn Beef and Cabbage will be served at the VFW post on Saturday.••••A fundraiser for Island resident Frank Eldridge is being held at Mallwitz's Island Lanes on Sunday. ••••A Cell Tower Information Meeting is being held on Tuesday.••••The Republican Committee will host a St. Patrick's Day Celebration on Wednesday. ••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.


Thursday, March 4, 2010


Good morning Marty in North Tonawanda, NY, and good morning Robert in Pensacola, FL.

Happy birthday to David Saunders, Peter Fahrer, Teresa Fahrer, Kevin Dilliot and Sally Hoffman (all celebrating today), Vincent Kerns, Sam Hunt, Rene Wulf, Chris Learman and Pattie Merritt (all celebrating tomorrow), Carrie Sturtz (cheers on Saturday), Hayden Backlund (9 on Saturday), Karen Wright (Saturday), Catherine Prell (Sunday), Grace Wenner (7 on Tuesday), and Diane Nesbitt and Stacy VeRost (Wednesday).

Two-year-old PJ Marston knows how to have a good time on a Saturday night. He took a snowmobile ride to the Village Inn with his mommy and daddy, Sue and Pete, ate his dinner and was more than excited to get back on the machine for the ride home.

Looking back 110 years - A petition was sent to the Board of Education on March 4, 1900 requesting a special meeting of Island voters to decide if a Union Free School District should be established on Grand Island.

Looking back 60 years - Radio station WHLD's "Carnival of Stars" program visited Sidway School and the Friday broadcast featured tap dancers Gloria Anderson (Pagels), Roberta Miller (Violanti) and Vera Jo Mote (Mann), students at Sidway at the time. Isle resident Martha Clark devoted her "Carnival of Stars" program to Grand Island listeners.

Looking back 50 years - A "gossip" column in the local weekly paper back in 1960 mentioned the fact that, "pretty Marjorie Murdock brings both charm and talent to her role as Madame Pompom in Victor Herbert's The Fortune Teller presented by the Adult Education Chorus on the Kaegebein School stage. Tenor Jim Farrell, with a remarkable sense of showmanship, will play the part of Count Perezowski. Jess Tromanhauser took the part of Ladislaus, a romantic captain of the Royal Hussars and Carol Cromwell was the ballet dancer."

Looking back 40 years - First place winners of the Middle School science fair included Chris Russell, Beth Walker, Lynn Kaiser and Irwin A. Zeplowitz.•••• Grand Island High produced "Bye Bye Birdie" in March 1970 with John Study in the lead as celebrity agent Albert Peterson opposite his secretary-fiancee, Rosie, played by Dela Stachelczyk (Stacey). Randy White took the part of Conrad Birdie. Roberta Gasbarre was student choreographer and the cast also included Belinda Board (Gould) and Tom Colley. ••••Judges for the Grand Island High School Science Fair in March 1970 included Everell Jewett, James Mazza, Hubert Sharpe, David Sherrif and Liz Wakefield. Jim Patmos was general chairman and blue ribbon winners included Harold Roberts, Chris Koch, James Hoffer, Mark Stessing and Kathy Meosky.••••Parents of Mrs. Wilbur Kennedy’s third year primary students at Sidway School had a chance on March 3, 1970 to watch their children on television – “pretend television, that is.” Pictured in the local weekly paper were James Klock, Kyle Wolinski and David Doebert showing off the mural they created.

Looking back 30 years - Though this never materialized, Free Winds Marine, Inc. submitted a plan to the town board for the Edgewater property, owned at the time by the Motor Boat Club of Buffalo. Free Winds proposed constructing a marina and marine sales business on the land, limited to the sale of new and used sailboats and marine supplies and the winter storage of boats. The operation required a B-2 zoning while part of the property would remain Residential A and a private residence would eventually be built there.••••Father and son, Gene and Gary Roesch served as judges for Cub Pack 425's Pinewood Derby. Ron Viavada was chairman and winners included Ron Viavada, Jon Weis, Peter Haines, Jeff Haines, Jan Baker and Jeff Leach.


Click photos for larger view
Thanks to Jennifer Peresie for sending these snow photos. Jennifer writes, "I took a few photos last weekend while we were enjoying the beautiful weather outside our home on West River." Pictured left is Jennifer's nephew, Rick Peresie. Her son, Zack Peresie is in the igloo.

Our sympathy to the families of Harry S. "Bud" Mullany II, George A. Stoffan, Fay M. Sexton Avarello, Richard J. Hoy Jr., Hazel W. Moss, Sarah L. Pacioni, Lorraine Mueller and former resident Richard J. Bedell who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Congratulations to University at Buffalo Police Officer Sean Ford, GIHS Class of 2001, who has recently received a hero award. See Islanders In the News for the story.

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Elderwood At Riverwood - convenient healthcare center on Grand Island Blvd.
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Aceti's Wine & Spirits - large variety and great prices - located in the Grand Island Plaza.
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Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Grand Island Historical Society will present "Traditional and Historical Songs of New York State" this evening at no charge.••••The World Day of Prayer service begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow. ••••A chowder sale is being held Saturday at the VFW. ••••The Grand Island Co-Op Nursery School presents a basket raffle on Saturday.••••A concert is scheduled for Saturday at Trinity UM Church.••••The Knights of Columbus will hold an all-you-can-eat pancake event on Sunday.••••The High School Corporate Bowl begins Tuesday evening at 6 p.m.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.


Thursday, February 25, 2010


Good morning Kelly in Las Vegas, NV, and good morning Laurie Jo in Greenville, SC.

A very special happy birthday to the following Islanders celebrating milestones this week: Bob Gesl (today), Lynn Dingey (tomorrow), Deb Hutzler (Saturday), Don Loder (Sunday), Leap Year baby Donna Linenfelser (February 29th), Gail Click (Monday), Donna Webb (Tuesday), Billy Costello (Wednesday), and Roy Gerard (his 90th on Wednesday). ••••Happy birthday also to Sueanne Miller (tomorrow), Kevin Koch Jr. (8 on Saturday), Kevin Sander (10 on Sunday), Jason Weis (February 29th!), Karie Stedman (8 on Monday), Ashley Gorman (Sweet 16 on Monday), Matthew McNaughton (a teenager on Tuesday), Travis Rockwood (21 on Tuesday), Todd Roesch (Wednesday), and Jessica Lew and Brian Dolan (both celebrating 21st birthdays on Wednesday).

A few readers have contacted us about a problem with our front page. See Viewing Problems for information.

Historical Society meetings resume next Thursday, March 4th in Historic Trinity Church when a musical program with historical ties to our area will be presented. For information, see Music & History.

Looking Back 50 years - From a February 1960 issue of the Island Dispatch: “In Nick and Helen Mager’s Restaurant, Ferry Road, Ferry Village, you will find an exquisite scene painted by local artist Mrs. Gladys Martin, past president of the Buffalo Society of Artists. You’ve got to see it to appreciate its beauty. It was voted the most popular picture when exhibited at a WNY art show.” Could this have been Mrs. Martin's colorful tavern/bar scene? Magers is now the Village Inn.••••"Motor Isle Sale Fourth Since 1895" was the headline in a February 1960 edition of the Island Dispatch. The story follows: “Historic Motor Island this summer will again revert to a picnic spot for family groups and club and plant outings. The 8-acre isle off the southern tip of Grand Island has been purchased by a newly formed corporation, Motor Island, Inc., which plans to construct some additional dock space but otherwise to use existing buildings this year without any notable changes.” ••••Fifty years ago tonight, the Riverside High School Hi-Y show took place. Island teens taking part in the variety show were Richard and James Sawdey, Teddy Klingel (Linenfelser), Sherri Walsh, Barbara Beck (Muratore), Barbara Fox (Smith), Roy Campbell and Dennis Guilfoil.

Looking Back 40 years - Grand Island High School students Kevin Donlon and Mike Lovetro won their respective weight division crowns in the Section VI Class A wrestling sectionals at Cheektowaga High School in February 1970. Kevin, seeded second in the 130-pound division, proved his undefeated season record of 11-0 was well earned by defeating his three opponents and extending his record to 14-0. In his final match, Kevin gained his victory by reversing his opponent with only 11 seconds remaining. Mike Lovetro fought his way to gain the upset of the tournament and capture the 185-pound division crown. Mike defeated his first opponent, who was the third seeded in his final match, and had an early lead with a takedown, bringing the fans to their feet by pinning his opponent from Cheektowaga for the title.

Looking Back 30 years - Among winners at the Town sponsored Winter Weekend held over the February 15-17, 1980 weekend were Gale Sander (Podsiadlo), Teresa Sander (Hooper) and Eileen Sander (Klein) (ice skating); Tim Klein, Josh Perkins, Bill Blain, and Stacy Lenhard (hockey shoot-off); Ron Fehr, Jennifer Weis and Steve Riggs (toboggan competition); and the Sanders family (snow sculpture contest).

Our sympathy to the families of Robert F. Irvin, Dorothy Elizabeth Tubbs and Michaeline (Webber) Reining who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Just a reminder! Island organizations, please take note. Here is the link to our new Organization Publicity Policy at Isledegrande.com.

Help is needed! The Golden Age Center is in desperate need of volunteers to deliver "Meals On Wheels" to homebound elderly. Those interested are asked to call the Center at 773-9682.

GIHS Class of 1970 Reunion committee members have mailed out the invitations to their 40th reunion. If any 1970 graduates have not received the invitation, they are asked to notify Diane Hassan at DMHassan@aol.com.

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Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The Knights of Columbus will host a Spaghetti Dinner on Tuesday.••••The Grand Island High School Class of 2013 will host a fundraiser at Tully's restaurant, also on Tuesday. •••• •••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.




Thursday, February 18, 2010


Good morning Thomas in Virginia Beach, VA, and good morning Mark in North Myrtle Beach, SC.

A big happy birthday to Mark Anderson (the big 5-0 today), to Dan Webb (a milestone on Saturday), and to Jack Boehm (cake and candles on Wednesday). Also celebrating this week are Christopher Heftka (25 today), Michelle Gast, Anita DeGlopper and Bob Dworak (today), Dorothy Rowswell and Phyllis Wesolek (tomorrow), Madeline Porter (Sweet 16 on Saturday), Hailey Lorence (7 on Sunday), Sophia Black (6 on Tuesday), Marion Passarelli (Tuesday), and Lauren Braun (her 20th birthday on Wednesday).

What wonderful news I received this week. Zdenka Gast is home and completely cancer free. Praise the Lord.••••Our dear little grandson, Evan Linenfelser, came through his minor surgery (adenoids) on Tuesday with flying colors. He will be taking it easy for the better part of a week and then making up for lost time, I'm sure!••••Good news from Jack Mikulski's family. "The Mikulski Gang would like to thank everyone for all their kind words and especially prayers as they helped to bring Jack, our dad, home for therapy and recovery today!"

Island organizations, please take note. Here is the link to our new Organization Publicity Policy at Isledegrande.com.

Looking Back 60 years - The following was included in the “Across the Mahogany with Willie” column in the Island Dispatch: “Now that Ed Tucker has a television set, he can watch “Lights Out” without a lot of interference. ••••The Chamber of Commerce mailed its first Grand Island directory to box holders on the Island. This was not a telephone listings, but a directory of Island businesses.

Looking Back 50 years - Members of Grand Island’s Adult Education Chorus, including Eve Strong, Margaret Hedrick and Elaine Carlson, presented “The Fortune Teller” in the Kaegebein School auditorium in February 1960. Jane Clark served as stage manager. ••••A third generation Islander, John E. Hillock, 14, of Cox Road, was awarded a four-year scholarship to a Catholic high school of his choice by the Knights of Columbus.

Looking Back 40 years - Some of the winners of the first high school Winter Carnival staged in February 1970 were Lee Brion (big winner), Jeff Gardner, Bob Funk, Bob Bedell, Gail Hollinger (Conshafter) and Val Buckley (Swain). The event was sponsored by the freshman class. ••••Children who collected for the Blind Seal fund while Christmas Caroling were Edward Bookhagen, Marci Bidell (Lange), Vicki Bidell (Wilkinson), Marty Bidell, Renee Penta (Kippley), Brian Cahill, Sally Cahill, Sue Radder, Sally Wald (Hayes), Becky Wald, Steven Wald, David Regan, Doug DeLong, David Gentz and John Gentz.

Looking Back 30 years - The Grand Island Neighbors Foundation, through the generosity of the community, made Christmas 1979 a little happier for 20 Island families .

Looking 20 years - The River Lea Quilters Guild was formed 20 years ago with 20 members. The originators of what is now one of the largest organizations on the Island, were Carolyn Doebert, Betty Clement, Lydia Moorse, Ruth Stahl and the late Betty Barrett and Doris Rees.

Our sympathy to the families of Agnes E. English, Scott A. Smith, Maud Good, Donald R. Deitzman and former residents Audrey Pollock and Thorice A. Berger Welch who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Anello Wine Place - conveniently located on Pine Ave., N.F. - Bottle Your Own Wine
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Mark Abate of Sound Choice Audio and Performance is featured in a Buffalo Auto Show article in the Buffalo News by Samantha Maziarz Christmann. See Auto Show.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Members of the Grand Island Rotary Club will host a "Night of Wine and Tango" tomorrow evening. ••••An event to benefit the Leon D. Carr Memorial Fund will be held tomorrow evening.••••An "All You Can Eat" spaghetti dinner takes place at the VFW Post on Saturday. ••••A special school budget forum is scheduled for Tuesday.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, February 11, 2010


Good morning Maria in Dodge City, KS, and good morning Joan in Jacksonville, FL.

Zdenka Gast, along with her family, has been dealing with the recent diagnosis of cancer. We are all so thankful to hear that her surgery this week was so successful. She’s in excellent hands and through the power of prayer, she’ll lick this disease with all her might. Cards may be sent to her home.

Bev Mikulski would like all of Jack's friends to know that he has had a laryngectomy last Tuesday and will be spending a little more time in Sisters Hospital before being moved for recuperation. Get well, Jack. May it be a speedy and complete recovery.

The 1909 photo display of the parks, clubs, hotels etc. that were located on the shores of Grand Island, is still at the Grand Island Memorial Library for those who haven’t seen it yet. It was put together by the combined efforts of the Town Historic Preservation Board and the Grand Island Historical Society. It’s worth a special trip, or if you are in the Library, walk into the community room. You’ll be glad you did.

Thoroughly Modern Millie, this year's high school musical, was a fabulous show. Jim and I "thoroughly" enjoyed every song and dance number. Next up at the high school will be Connor Middle School's musical, Once On This Island Jr., on Tuesday evening, March 30th.

A very happy anniversary to Sharon and Skipper Ullrich, celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary on Sunday.

It is a pleasure to wish Joseph J. Stefaniak a happy 90th birthday. Born on February 15, he will be honored at a party at the VFW on Sunday, February 14th. See VFW News Page for a little more information on his career of serving our country.

Happy Birthday to Jim Hassan, Dom Affuso and Bill Schutz Jr. (all celebrating milestones today), Jagger Click (10 years old today), Lisa Truitt (Sweet 16 tomorrow), Kim Kalman (tomorrow), Jayce Claus (9 tomorrow), Cody Clarke (25 on Saturday), Emily Cole (Sweet 16 on Sunday), Kassie Bennett (15 on Sunday), Marianne Ward (special greetings on Tuesday), and Kathy Farmer and Tom Giambra (Wednesday).

When I posted Isabella Fagiani's name in the story on "Ice Castles" starring Taylor Firth, last week, I had no idea that Isabella had strong ties to Grand Island. She is the daughter of Beth Andrew Fagiani and niece of Susan Andrew Dickey who both grew up on Grand Island and graduated from GIHS in the 70s. A tip of the hat to Jan Tyson for this information.

As recently mentioned here in my Looking Back 50 years, the purchase of land on Ransom Road for the new high school was approved by the voters. The land, part of the Fred Grehlinger estate, was the site of the former Army Anti-aircraft Base.

Looking Back 50 years - Riverhaven Lodge, formerly Mesmer’s Supper Club, on East River Road was being completely redecorated and modernized with the addition of three large fireplaces. The Riverhaven Corporation, owner of GI’s largest single parcel of land, was in the process of doing extensive remodeling to their property for the past two months. The restaurant was being managed by John Dietrich.•••• Plans and sketches of Fantasyland and the proposed $2,000,000 resort hotel were presented by officials of the development corporation to the town planning board on Monday, Feb. 7, 1960. Application for rezoning about 45 ½ acres off Whitehaven Road for hotel construction was filed in the town clerk’s office the same week by Lester Gross.

Looking Back 40 years - Martin Prast was critically injured in Vietnam. His parents, John and Elizabeth Prast, received communication Sunday morning, February 1, 1970 that their son was injured in a booby trap in the area of his base camp at Quang Tra.

Looking 30 years - The Board of Education approved a proposal to offer LaCrosse as a boys’ varsity sport, but not until it discussed the possibility of junior varsity sports for girls, according to Bill Rohring’s column, “To the Point.”

Looking 25 years - Jamie Bessel, senior co-captain of the GIHS wrestling team, won the 132-pound class wrestling title of the Niagara Frontier League Individual Meet held in February 1985.•••• Members of the local Knights of Columbus discontinued their popular bingo games, a fixture on the Island for the past 25 years.

Our sympathy to the family of Audrey Pollock who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

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Dr. Thomas C. Lepenven, DMD - Island Dental PC - 2095 Baseline Road
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Congratulations to Ross Aydelotte who rolled a 300 (701) with the Monday A-Best Roofing League at Island Lanes.

A note of thanks to Bonnie Taylor Ford and to Dave Saunders for their submissions to my "Old Photo Album." Watch that column for some old pictures that should bring back interesting memories for some of you. Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Cinderella Isle Garden Club’s Plant Sale will be held tomorrow and Saturday at the Grand Island Memorial Library ••••Trinity’s movie ministry will be sponsoring a Valentine's Babysitting Service on Saturday.••••The Community Chorus will begin Spring rehearsals on Sunday evening. ••••The Women of the Moose will hold a Yahtzee Tournament at the Lodge Family Center Monday night.•••• See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Good morning Parul in Pickering, Ontario, and good morning Robert in Charleston, SC. Hello also to SSgt Andrew Golembiewski, a member of the United States Air Force, who has been stationed overseas in England for the past three years.


Grand Island's ice skating champ, Taylor Firth, has finished her "first movie," Ice Castles, to be released on DVD Tuesday, February 9th. See "Taylor Firth of Ice Castles" posted at http://blog.beliefnet.com. See also "Buffalo News story" by Niagara Falls High School student, Isabella Fagiani.

Happy birthday to Mike Sandford (today), to Bill Bagdy (celebrating a milestone today), Erin Russo and Dolly D'Orazio (tomorrow), Mike Podlucky (a teenager on Saturday), Olivia Wenner (3 on Saturday), Cody Okelberry (5 on Saturday), Noelle Linenfelser (6 on Saturday), Susan Turnbull (cheers on Sunday), Glenn Skelly (16 on Sunday), Grace Giambra (a teenager on Monday), Jadon Garman (8 on Monday), Sheila Strott and Carleigh Rodriguez (both turning 6 on Monday), Don Hughes and Heather Wright (Wednesday) and Kaylee Montana (5 on Wednesday).

According to Will Elliott, Buffalo News reporter, if you're looking to do some ice fishing, the bays and slips around Grand Island have solid cover and the Beaver Island State Park slips offer the easiest access for ice outings.

Looking Back 50 years - Developers of a new super motel, estimated to cost $2,000,000, announced that this would be built on property facing the NYS Thruway between Whitehaven and Bedell roads.•••• Eugene H. Bucher was elected the Grand Island Golden Age Club’s first president at a meeting in the fire hall on Thursday, January 27, 1960. The Club, sponsored by the Town Recreation Commission, was seeking a permanent meeting place. ••••President Bill Dunshie announced that the Coachmen Auto Club of Grand Island would hold a dance from 8 p.m. to midnight February 6, 1960 at the American Legion Hall on Ferry Road in Ferry Village. The “Electras” provided the “spark” of dance music for the first affair of the Coachmen Club. Other club officers were Vice President Bob Bauer, Treasurer Joe Cushner, and Secretary John Meyers. •••• Voters on Tuesday, February 8, 1960 approved the $40,000 purchase of the 100-acre Ransom Road site for the new school to be built and ready to open September 1, 1963. The junior-senior high school was to be designed for 1400 pupils.

Looking Back 40 years - The price of elementary school lunches went up from 25 cents to 35 cents on February 9, 1970 and the secondary school lunches went from 35 cents to 40 cents. It's interesting to note that the price of a lunch when the new cafeteria opened at Sidway School in 1950 was 25 cents.••••The large Wall Street investment firm, Loeb Rhoades and Company, announced plans to create a $160 to $200 million combined resort, research center, convention center, 500-room hotel, shopping mall, a marina, a golf course and a public golf clubhouse, and a high-rise housing development in the area of Whitehaven and East River roads and to be known as Riverhaven.

Looking Back 30 years - A fire at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Whitehaven Road Tuesday, afternoon February 5, 1980 caused an estimated $60,000 damage.

Reserve Airman Peter M. Sommer, son of Paul and Adele Sommer, recently completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio. Peter is a graduate of Grand Island High School.

Our sympathy to the families of Vincent H. Watson, Joan Bodkin, and former residents Richard J. Lazarz Sr., Harold A. Smith and Corwin Macklin Bell, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Congratulations to Buffalo State College swimmer, Kyle Sauer, who won the 1650 free in 17:45.07 to help the Buff State team beat Brockport 122-118.

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Magic Towel Holder - Craftsman Don "Bones" Fancher - clever gift creations
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A covering of fresh snow yesterday morning may have caused several early morning auto accidents. A two-car crash on the Thruway at Whitehaven Road sent one driver to the hospital and tied up north bound traffic for a short time. A minor two-car accident Monday morning south bound on the south bridge created a bottleneck in the area of the South State Parkway overpass, and at the corner of Staley Road and Grand Island Blvd.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
The High School production, "Thoroughly Modern Millie," opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. and runs through Saturday evening. ••••The Fire Company volunteers are offering a Chili Sale on Saturday.••••Boy Scout Sunday will be celebrated at St. Stephen's Church on Sunday.••••St. Timothy's annual salad bar potluck luncheon and pound auction begins at noon on Saturday.••••Relay for Life team "Racing Toward a Cure" - 3rd annual Pancake Breakfast Sunday.•••• A One Island, One Team meeting is set for Tuesday afternoon.••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.



Thursday, January 28, 2010


Good morning Ryan Timmerman in Iraq, and good morning Peter in Jackson, TN.

For a most interesting story on Islander Dale E. Jaenecke, who spent a week in Haiti during and after the earthquake, see Buffalo News writer, Dan Herbeck's story.

Class of 1990, where are you? According to the counter on the Grand Island High School Class of 1990 page, classmates are checking the page daily, most likely looking for information about a 20-year reunion. Are there plans in the works? Let me know as I would be happy to get the word out.

Barbara Aquilino Wienke is wished a speedy and complete recovery. Her surgery is behind her, however recuperation may take awhile. Keep Barb in your prayers.

A belated happy anniversary to Nicole and Gregg Roesch, married two years this past Tuesday and enjoying life in Florida with their two children, Luci, 1 and new baby, Jack.

A reader has lost her dog. See Isledegrande.com Classifieds for details - and if the ad has been deleted, you can assume that "Ladybug" has been found.

Drum roll! Dave Lantz is turning the big 8-0 on Saturday. May it be one of your very best, Dave!•••• A very happy birthday to Karen Johnson as she celebrates her 60th birthday today.••••Happy birthday also to Sue Radder (Sunday), Hailee Clayton (a teenager on Sunday), Conner Bolles (16 on Sunday), Sydney Mazur (9 on Monday), Barb Eastman (cheers on Monday), Ryan Pecoraro (8 on Monday), Richie Vanthoff (his 20th on Monday), Dave Hennigar and Mike Ahr (celebrating milestones on Tuesday), Maria Ramsperger (12 on Tuesday), Dominic Pullano (four years old on Tuesday), Natalie Kopf (3 on Tuesday), Barbara Backlund (Tuesday), Tom Zarbo, Rita DeGlopper and Ilene Dee (all on Wednesday), and Peter Kuehne Jr. (25 on Wednesday).

Looking Back 60 year - Henry Ehde Sr., born in a log cabin located on East River north of Kirkwood Drive, near the Morgan farm in 1861, was surprised on Sunday afternoon, January 22, 1950 when 36 of his relatives helped celebrate his 89th birthday.

Looking Back 50 year - The Peter Hayes family moved into their new home at 2249 Stony Point Road with their children, Peter, 3 and Jodi, 1.••••Ilona and Ed Lang and their three little daughters, Ilona, Terry and Cathy, hosted a housewarming after their recent move into their new home on West River Road.•••• The town board “again” authorized the hiring of counsel to investigate the legality of bridge tolls. A resolution approved 3 to 2 Monday evening, February 1, 1960 authorized spending up to $500 to have attorney William H. Clency probe "RFC" records in Albany and Washington in an effort to uncover evidence which would assist in a court fight to have tolls removed.

Looking Back 40 year - U. S. Air Force Airman First Class Mark M. Stewart of Revere Road was on duty at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam. ••••GIHS seniors Pete Fadum and Doug Krueger led the Vikings to its first Division III Basketball win as they downed Cleveland Hill 53-52 in a home game January 20, 1970. Among other outstanding Varsity Vikings were Les Broadhurst and Wayne Benton.

Looking Back 30 year - According to the Island Dispatch in February 1980, “The Governor’s proposed budget for 1980-81 school aid leaves much to be desired. Based on preliminary estimates, Grand Island would receive an increase of $145,582 over last year but mainly in the area of aid for the handicapped.”

Reservation for the Historical Society’s Vintage Bridal Fashion Show & Luncheon are due by February 6th. The event will take place Saturday, February 13th at Historic Trinity and Carol Moore, 773-3817, is handling reservation ($20).

Congratulations to Evan Carey, a high school senior who broke two school swim records last week.

Mallwitz's Island Lanes had some fantastic scores last week. Tom Digati rolled a 295-689 with the Friday Night Businessmen's league. Mike Mallwitz had a 290-771, bowling on the Heatwave H&C league, and Bill Kemp rolled a 296-729 on the Labatts Men's league. Now for this week's best bowler report! Mike Mallwitz had three great games (257-279-268) for a phenomenal 804 series. Brian Sander rolled a perfect 300 (706). Both men were bowling with the Heatwave H&C league. Congratulations, everyone!

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Mel Passarelli of Burlington, MA is on the Island visiting family and friends and thoroughly enjoying the snow, just as he did when he was a kid growing up here.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
An Incoming 9th Grade Parent Night will be held tonight at Grand Island High School.••••The Grand Island Alumni Association's 3rd Annual Comedy Night will be held Saturday at the Holiday Inn.••••A Flu (H1N1) Clinic is being held in the high school on Saturday.••••See our Calendar of Events for complete details on these and other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.




Thursday, January 21, 2010


Good morning Chris Ford in Baghdad, and good morning Rob Meyer, in Iraq.

East River Road residents Dan and Renee Gietz arrived in Haiti on Monday, January 11th, just one day before the massive earthquake. Members of a missionary group from First Trinity Lutheran Church, Tonawanda, they were on their annual visit to help out at the Children of Israel orphanage, adopted by the Town of Tonawanda church six years ago. See "Island Missionaries Video."
See also "Buffalo News 1/15/10 for story by Dan Herbeck.


That's Margie Rall Hunter (a few years back!) and she's celebrating another birthday tomorrow. Happy birthday Margie. Hope it's one of your very best.••••A belated happy 27th birthday to Mackenzie Hassan who celebrated on Tuesday.••••Happy birthday to Mary Cooke and John Gast (today), to Jamie Dalbo (tomorrow), Marion Bradley (her big day is tomorrow), Vinny Pascucci (two years old tomorrow), Jonathan Minton (6 on Saturday), Sarah Ramsperger (Sweet 16 on Sunday), Benjamin DeFranks (8 on Sunday), Hunter Schmidt (3 on Sunday), Chris "Johnson" Gallagher (Monday), Jason MacClelland (8 on Monday), Paul Long (a big happy birthday on Tuesday), Mary Stewart (Wednesday), Elizabeth Gardell (Sweet 16 on Wednesday), and Sabrina Butcher (four years old on Wednesday).

According to Tonawanda News writer, Joe Olenick, "In just their second year of competing, the Grand Island School District has reached the top of the Tech Wars mountain." Congratulations GIHS Tech Team. See Tonawanda News/Tech Wars Champs.

Best wishes to Pete Cherenzia, the "Tin Man," who is recovering from yesterday's heart surgery, and doing very well! Pete, a former Island resident, is currently living in Destin, FL.

Received an update on Merritt Kinsey and family. The Kinsey family lived on East River Road in the 1940s and 1950s and on Stony Point Road in the 1960s. See "update" for Merritt's email.

Looking Back 60 years - The town board in January 1950 moved that the deputy town clerk, Laura E. Winters, be compensated at $5 per day not to exceed $150 for the year. •••• Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Director Rob Roy MacLeod announced that his book, "Cinderella Island," had been printed. An updated edition is still available at the Chamber office, 2257 Grand Island Blvd.•••• Johnny Lyden won a new Chevrolet convertible in a benefit drawing, John Wheeler bought a new Dodge and Marty Schwagler was driving a new Plymouth station wagon in January 1950.

Looking Back 50 years - The Grand Island Presbyterian congregation was formally organized as a church to be known as Island United Presbyterian Church at a special service held in the Ashley Chapel, Whitehaven Road, in January 1960. Among elders elected were William J. Bagdy, Allan Wholahan, Lloyd G. Sidwell, Harper D. Roth, Robert P. Morris and Richard Crago. The congregation’s plan was to build a church on a 12-acre site on Huth Road.

Looking Back 40 years - The Fire Company was advised to provide for an expected population of 45,000 by 1990, many of whom would reside in new high-rise apartment buildings. This was conveyed to the volunteer firemen by Planning Board Chairman Earl W. Harrison when he spoke at the Company's installation of officers in the Buffalo Launch Club January 3, 1970. 45,000? Today's population is under 20,000.

Looking Back 30 years - A drug program was presented at a general meeting of the Sidway School PTA in January 1980. Panel members were Dr. Robert Miller M.D., general practitioner, GI school physician and G.I. Narcotics Council chairman; St. Timothy Church Pastor and GI school board president, The Rev. John Scarfia; and Ms. Deborah Bourne, a crime prevention specialist in the Erie County Sheriff’s Department’s “Project Awareness.”

Our sympathy to the families of former residents James A. Sugar Sr. and James Lester Laughlin, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Sue Braun was recently recognized for her blood donations. On December 29th, she gave blood for the 128th time and reached 16 gallons. Sue became a donor at age 16 when she participated in a blood drive at Grand Island High School.

Received a note from former residents, Nancy, David and Kara Duysters, now in Naples, Fl. Nancy writes that their holiday cruise this year was the Mexican Riviera. Click for "photo." The Duysters wish everyone a "happy, healthy New Year!"

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Sandi's Family Restaurant - reasonable prices, good food - Your Hosts......Dan and Sandi Clark
Chateau Motor Lodge - Out-of-town company? "We Offer Cheap Deals Daily"
Kelly's Country Store - Step back in time and shop for every gift occasion - 3121 Grand Island Blvd.
Riverview Chiropractic - Dr. Alaina Rowswell-Kulikowksi - Just for kids
Be sure to check out the above business websites of our Isledegrande.com advertisers, and for information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

The Grand Island Alumni Association hosts its 3rd Annual Comedy Night on Saturday, January 30 at the Holiday Inn Grand Island. See Comedy Night for ticket information.

Here's What's Happening this week in Our Town!
The VFW Ladies Auxiliary hosts a soup night on Saturday. See our Calendar of Events for more upcoming Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.


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Thursday, January 14, 2010


Good morning Dori in Tampa, FL, and good morning Paul in Bethesda, MD. And a special good morning to Chris Ford, in Bagdad with the United States Air Force.

Isledegrande.com has a brand new look for the new year. Credit goes to our co-worker, Travis Rockwood, GIHS Class of 2007. In his third year at Niagara University, Travis is majoring in Computer Information with a minor in Computer Crime, and works part time for Giecom.net.

The latest on Pup DiTullio is that he will be released from his rehab “and be able to limp around in his apartment real soon.” ••••Pup's brother, Dick DiTullio writes, "I remember some guy attending every performance of The Phantom of the Opera. Well, I'm that guy with Avatar! My new address is Imax Theaters, 6707 Transit Road, Williamsville. You can visit me between showings. If you need to call, have them page me." I like this!

Happy birthday to Cari Luciani and Mike “Rusty” Rustowicz (19 today), Kristin Berver and Marlene McCarthy (tomorrow), Jennifer Farrell (her 23rd birthday tomorrow), Jim Tranter and Joan Buchanan (milestones on Saturday), Jason Sexton and Adam Peters (Saturday), Jennifer Ciechoski (her 20th on Sunday), Jenna Saltzman (Sweet 16 on Sunday), Bill Stewart (Monday), Mark Anderson (“You’re how old on Monday?”), Julie Meyer and Phyllis Lange (Tuesday), Kristyn Brown (9 on Tuesday), Abe Morgan (21 on Wednesday), Don Kutzbach and Tammy Louderback (Wednesday), and Kaylee Ann Connell (5 on Wednesday).

Some of us love this winter weather! Evan and Emma Smith, the children of Marijane and Tim Smith, enjoyed some winter driveway hockey time out side there home on Tracey Lane. Click for "photo" to see the kids.

A picture is worth a thousand words! Check out Gary Dahlstrom peeking out from behind a monster icicle at the Martin House on East River Road on January 10th. Click "photo".

Looking Back 60 years - A step forward in the development of Grandyle Village was made on Friday, January 20, 1950 when ground was broken for the eighty-six duplex homes to be built by the Grandyle Construction Corp. at Love Road and Beaver Island Parkway.••••A note in the Grandyle Village column in the Island Dispatch follows: "We would like to award Flora Benns a Salvation Army bonnet for her good neighbor policy on Saturday, January 14th – the day of the Big Wind! With the aid of an oil stove, Flora brewed gallons of coffee and distributed it, piping hot, to her less fortunate neighbors who had nothing more than cigarette lighters for fuel and light."

Looking Back 50 year - A Record Hop in the Kaegebein gym on Saturday evening, Jan. 15, 1960 featured Tom Shannon of WKBW, the Rebels and other “starts.” Free Kingston Trio records were given away, and Tom’s new instrumental version of his theme song was to be played for the first time.••••A group of six doctors planned to have a hospital constructed on a 38-acre track of land purchased from Elmer Kaiser. The hospital was to be built on Baseline Road between Bedell and Huth roads. •••• The Town Board reappointed the firm of Pritchard, Kinney and Coleman as legal advisors for the town for the year 1960.••••The 1959 Jaycee Christmas lighting contest winner of a $25 savings bond was Francis C. Dunn of 1488 Red Jacket. Other winners were William F. Mertine of Jenell Dr. and Arthur M. Webb of Love Road.

Looking Back 40 years - A fund set up to provide special after-hours ferry service to Island residents was given to the Grand Island Historical Society in January 1970 to finance research. The fund, established in 1926, was sometimes used to pay for bringing a doctor to the Island when a serious illness struck. On other occasions it was used to transport Masons attending evening lodge meetings on the mainland. George H. Alt Jr., 83, treasurer of the fund, closed out the bank account and turned the remaining $103.20 over to the Historical Society. According to old bankbooks, the highest balance ever attained in the fund was $1,704 on April 5, 1926. Mr. Alt was one of the users who set up the fund.

Looking Back 10 years - When firefighter Gary Roesch invited newly elected Town Justice Sybil Kennedy to play a couple games of shuffle board after she installed officers for the Fire Company in January 2000, he had no idea she would beat the - socks - off him!

Our sympathy to the family of Norbert J. Mankiewicz and former resident Norman J. Dusenbury and XXXXX, who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Kaiser Funeral Home - Professional and Caring - 1950 Whitehaven Road

Town Cafe - Best pizza in town - Full menu - on the Boulevard

Mark J. Frentzel - Attorney At Law - Experience in all courts and all areas of law - 1763 Baseline Road

Bob Piatek State Farm Insurance - 1837 Whitehaven Road - There when you need him

Evan Carey a senior at the high school broke the Grand Island High School Pool Record in the 100 Freestyle leading off the 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay with a time of 48.64. The previous Grand Island record was set by Doug Ford in 1982 with a time of 48.80.

A speedy recovery to George Rowe who is in the Vet's Hospital, but doing much better.

Be sure to check out the above business websites of our Isledegrande.com advertisers, and for information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

For What's Happening in Our Town see our Calendar of Events.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.


Thursday, January 7, 2010


Good morning Carrie in San Diego, CA, and good morning David in Asheville, NC.

Who is our newest Islander? We're looking for the first Island baby of 2010. Send us your newest native (photo/information) for this column to teddy@giecom.net

Wendy Card who grew up on the Island and is a member of the Grand Island High School Class of 1985, has retired from the Navy after a 21+ career. Living in New Bern, NC, Wendy wrote this week to thank us for "keeping up with your wonderful website" and credited us for inspiring her to create a free website for her community at www.newbernnow.com. Nice site Wendy, and thanks so much for writing.

Happy birthday to Brian Rosman (today), to Jack Gorman (his 80th today), Kyle Podgorny and Sarah Burns (both turning 10 tomorrow), Maggie Rustowicz (a teenager tomorrow), Bernie Pagliaro (this pretty girl marks a major milestone tomorrow), Bonnie Ford and Adria Ryan (Saturday), Emilie Kovacs (Sweet 16 on Saturday), Marge Stratton (Sunday), Zachary McMoil (20 on Monday), and Amber Meyer (her 20th on Wednesday).••••A belated happy birthday to Vince Ramsperger who celebrated on New Year's Day.

Happy anniversary to Ken and Debbie Rogoza, celebrating their 20th on Wednesday, January 13th.

Don't wait until the last minute to have a lovely piece of jewelry made for your Sweetheart at DeSignet International Come on in and have a custom made ring, pin, necklace, bracelet - the choice is endless. DeSignet International is located right here on Whitehaven Road.

Best wishes to Kathy Pollard and Bill DeGlopper who were married on November 27, 2009. Bill writes, "Shortly thereafter, we awoke to find this image on the apron of our Oak Harbor driveway. The interlocking heart image is strikingly similar to the art work that appeared on our wedding program cover. Neat, eh?" Yes it is, Bill. Click for "photo."

Good news! Though he is not yet receiving visitors, Rick Pellam is home from the hospital and slowly recuperating.

We had a lot of snow fall Saturday evening and all day Sunday. Diane Hassan submitted this photo that shows the snow at 18 1/2 inches deep in her Wallace Drive yard. Click for "photo."

Looking Back 60 years - From the column "Across the Mahogany With Willie" in the local weekly paper came the report that "Warren Kaiser, Buster Ekiss and Bill Dekdebrun did a bang-up job on that radio quiz show contest. They sounded like a group of seasoned radio actors."

Looking Back 50 years - The Grandyle Mart, a sporting goods/hobby shop in the Grandyle Plaza on Love Road, advertised a complete selection of new skates from $7.95 up as well as used ice skates starting at $1.50.

Looking Back 40 years - Eddie Burrows, 3, son of Fran and Don Burrows was Erie County's March of Dimes Poster Boy, and pictured in the local paper with Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

Lots of families took advantage of the sledding hill in Beaver Island State Park last Wednesday and most days since. It was pretty cold sledding over the weekend with temperatures in the single digits.

We extend our deepest sympathy to the families of Stephanie Ali and her infant daughter, Grace Emma Ingalsbe who lost their lives in the tragic accident Tuesday evening.•••• Our sympathy to the families of Laura Ann Metzgar, James A. Kish, Cynthia Olson, Anita Anderson, Ray Mesmer, Anna M. Krauser who recently passed away. Click Deaths for complete information.•••• Thomas J. Griffin, former teacher at Charlotte Sidway School in the 1950s, passed away on December 11, 2009, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Please Support Our Loyal Advertisers.
Flower A Day Florist - Say it with flowers - Sue Berger - 2119 Grand Island Blvd.

Wavelengths - Stay In Style - 2289 Grand Island Blvd.

Michael Anthony Rossi - Rossi Law Firm - Committed to providing competent and cost effective legal services

Century 21/Gerrie Andolina - Grand Island's #1 real estate agent

Be sure to check out the above business websites of our Isledegrande.com advertisers, and for information on advertising at Isledegrande.com, email Jodi Robinson at jodi@giecom.net.

Avatar? A 3-D movie! Yes, with those colored glasses we wore in the early 50s. Jodi Robinson reports this movie to be fantastic. The film is about three hours in length however Jodi said she could have watched it all day! One review stated that the film is likely to become the second highest-grossing movie in history behind Titanic.

Here's What's Happening in Our Town!
Grand Island Alumni Hockey will host its second annual alumni game and Chinese auction fundraiser on Saturday.••••See our Calendar of Events for other Island happenings.

"Say a prayer for our guys over there." Please pray for our country. God bless America.