The Miracle of Limestone Hill

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To anyone born and raised in Lackawanna, the stern threat, “You better behave or I’ll send you to Father Baker’s” remains forever burned into one’s ears. It turns out, IMG_2524_OLV_Dome_300chances are that same phrase remains forever burned in the ears of a child raised by someone born in Lackawanna. Like mine.

I can definitely see my grandmother shouting this phrase at my uncles when they were kids. The effect was no doubt the same on them as it was on me when my mother tried using it. Actually, it probably wasn’t the same. By the time I was old enough to realize the truth behind “Father Baker’s,” it looked just like the school it was. The orphanage of my uncles’ youth had been torn down before I was born.

To me, though, Father Baker’s wasn’t the school, it was the church and the amazing story Continue Reading “The Miracle of Limestone Hill”

The Real Birth of Greater Western New York

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“It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.” – Clemenza, The Godfather

Our story starts approximately 400 million years ago. Back then, Western New York wasn’t really western, it was more northern. And by northern I mean north – as opposed to west – of the east coast, which itself might have been more appropriately called the south coast. Oh, and another thing. We weren’t hanging at a cool 42º North latitude. We were closer to the equator. In fact, we were just south of the equator.1 To prevent further directional confusion, I will Continue Reading “The Real Birth of Greater Western New York”