The Erieites might complain about the harsh winters we experience, but compared to all the horrible weather that plagues much of the nation, we have it pretty good here. I will take a blizzard anytime over the floods or fires crippling so many other states.
It might be an overstatement to say that Erie’s climate is ideal, but living next to one of the Great Lakes gives us access to water. And the water treatment facilities here provide drinking water. I’m sure the people of Jackson, Mississippi or Flint, Michigan would be thrilled if they could say the same.
As western lakes and reservoirs continue to dry up, Lake Erie is looking better and better all the time. A recent post on Facebook makes me think that our summer is ending too quickly. Erie will no longer see sunsets after 8 p.m. until April 9, 2023.
● When Doc Severinsen, longtime leader of the band “Tonight Show” in the heyday of Johnny Carson, recently performed his last concert, it reminded me of his friendship with the late Walter Hendl, former Erie Philharmonic maestro Orchestra.
Severinsen, 95, has always praised Hendl, who conducted several performances featuring the great trumpeter.
● Mike Simmons, whose outside columns graced the sports pages of the Erie Times-News for more than two decades, died Aug. 31 at age 80. Mike was not only a qualified English teacher and gifted writing coach at Penn State Behrend, he was a great hunter and fisherman who wrote about it so well.
My sons and I will always remember the cool September morning when Simmons took us out on his boat, Kenny’s Pennies, and we caught our perch limit. Mike even let the boys drive the boat on the way back which thrilled them but made my heart flutter.
Mike was a great guy who was respected nationwide for his outdoor gear and his commitment to improving the terrain and waterways of Pennsylvania.
Obituary:Michael K. Simmons
● Fran Lebowitz, the endearing writer and critic whose 2021 biographical miniseries, “Pretend it’s a city“, starring director Martin Scorsese Is So Nice, will appear October 6 at Mercyhurst University’s D’Angelo Center. Lebowitz is a character, and she’s not a bad actress, as she showed when she occasionally played a judge on TV’s “Law & Order.”
● Thank Paul Nelson, Owner of Waldameer Park, and Steve Gorman, General Manager, for sharing amusement park facilities with the Barber National Institute for its annual Beast on the Bay event. Waldameer’s grounds, parking areas and swimming pools add much to the appeal of the Beast each year.
● In the online bulletin of the Benedictine Sisters “Monasteries of the HeartErie Benedictine Sister Mary Lou Kownacki’s essay on spending time in a hospice brought tears to my eyes. Sister Mary Lou has accomplished so much in her life, starting with her time as a reporter for the Erie Times-News. From an early age, she demonstrated a real talent for writing.
She continued to help establish the Downtown District Art Houseand she helped improve the neighborhood near Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 2220 Reed St., after moving to help his aging father. Wherever she went, Sister Mary Lou made things better.
● Ken Burns’ latest film, “The United States and the Holocaustpremieres Sept. 18 on PBS. Early reviews for the film seem to show that America could have done a lot more to help those trying to flee Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s. of Anne Frank was refused entry to the United States, according to the film.
Burns and his associates deserve a lot of credit for their courage and determination to set the record straight.
● Erie County Judge Daniel Brabender will discuss his excellent new book, “Erie’s Sensational Murder Trials,” at the Jefferson Education Society on September 20. The presentation starts at 7 p.m.
● The side of the new Warner Theater addition facing French Street appears to be finally complete. It took many years to secure the funds to restore the 91-year-old theater, but now it looks great and is a source of pride for all Erie residents.
● Al Swigonski’s research on his latest book on Erie baseball is progressing well, as he has discovered dozens of major league players who got their start here. Al’s love for baseball shines through every page of his books.
Kevin Cuneo can be reached at [email protected].