Monthly Archives: September 2012

Another Evil Corporation Telling Me to Hump Things

I don’t understand.  Why is Toyota telling me to hump things?  And what exactly am I humping?  A Prius?  Random strangers?  You’re not giving me very clear direction here.  Your suggestion  seems irresponsible for a company of your stature, however, regardless of what it is you’d like me to make sweet non-penetrating love to. 

Shouldn’t I be driving your car instead of humping it?  If I’m getting down on an car, it’s going to be a Carrera, I just want that on the record. 

Shame on you Toyota.  Shame on you and your cutesie, perverted commercial.


National Cheeseburger Day with Buffalo’s Best

previously published on Buffalo SoapBox

Today is a very important day, and one I hope everyone is not only aware of but celebrating appropriately.  Today happens to be National Cheeseburger Day and if there is any one holiday we in Buffalo should get behind, it’s one involving food.

And really, when it comes to food, what’s better than a cheeseburger?  Aside from deep-fried anything or Gramma’s homemade pie?  Nothing, nothing is better.

There are a lot of places in Western New York to get a great burger but why not stick with the best?  You may have noticed I specified Western New York and not Buffalo, if so, very good.  That’s because for pretty much as long as Artvoice has been doing the Best in Buffalo series Grover’s in East Amherst has taken the top prize.

If you’ve never been down there, you have to check it out.  This place has amazing food at great prices.  Is there anything on the menu over $10?  You need to go for the Groverburger, at least if it’s your first time, but don’t limit yourself.  It may be a good idea to starve yourself for the day so you can start off with some cheeseburger soup, pizza rolls or maybe their parmesan chicken wings.

The place itself is as great as the food, it’s that perfect rundown cozy low-lit joint anyone should fall in love with.  For the record, the reason it’s so cozy and awesome, is that it used to be Grover Cleveland’s hunting lodge.

So when Cleveland wasn’t drinking himself stupid down in the old Canal Street, hanging people as Sheriff of Buffalo or marrying his dead best friend’s daughter, he was getting drunk and gorging himself on hearty roasted meats.  Have you ever seen Cleveland?  The man loved his meats.

Right now that is exactly what you should be doing, loving some meats.  So go.  Beer.  Meats.  Now.  Oh, just bring some cash.  Much like another best known secret of Western New York, this place doesn’t take card.

Don’t let that stop you though, don’t let it even slow you down.  Go out right now and celebrate National Cheeseburger Day.  Of course, in case you do miss it, National Hamburger Day is coming around soon.  In fact, there’s some debate as to when it actually is, so it could be in December, May or July.  Maybe we should play it safe and celebrate them all?  I’m always up for a trip to Grover’s.

The Death of William McKinley

William Mckinley Seated At Desk

William McKinley

previously published on BuffaloSoapBox

Today marks the death of President William McKinley after being shot on September 6, 1901 while greeting fair-goers at the Pan-American Exposition.  Many joke that this was the beginning of the end for Buffalo, since once you kill a President people tend to stop returning your calls.  The financial failure of the Exposition however, and the death of the President has always cast a pall over remembrances of turn-of-the-century Buffalo.

Although the assassin, Leon Czolgosz, fired two shots at the President, one was deflected by a button.  Nevertheless, the second bullet could not be located by the inexperienced doctors who poked and prodded the President’s wound in vain.

Remarkably, even after his death and autopsy, the second bullet was never found.  It is believed that after passing through the President’s stomach, colon, and kidney, as well as damaging his adrenal glands and pancreas, that it became lodged somewhere in his back muscles.

After the unsuccessful surgery in the Pan-American Exposition’s primitive hospital, McKinley was moved to Exposition president John Milburn’s house on Delaware Avenue.  There he remained while gangrene set in and slowly poisoned his blood.

There is a historical marker standing on Delaware Avenue at the site of the Milburn House, which was demolished in 1957 in favor of a parking lot for Canisius High School, as well as one on Fordham Drive at approximately the location where McKinley was shot within the Temple of Music.  Intended as a temporary structure, as most of the buildings at the fair were, the Temple of Music was demolished in November, 1901.

As for the President’s assassin, Leon Czolgosz, he was severely beaten by the crowd inside the Temple of Music after shooting McKinley, and it was perhaps only the wounded President’s intervention that kept him from being killed himself.  He was executed 45 days after McKinley’s death and sulfuric acid was poured into his coffin to destroy his remains.

Vice President Roosevelt was vacationing in the Adirondacks, climbing mountains and boxing grizzly bears at the time after initially being told the President was improving.  When it was clear this was not the case, he raced to Buffalo, where he was greeted at the station with news of the President’s death.  A few hours later, Roosevelt took the oath of office at the Ansley Wilcox House, one of the few landmarks in this story still standing.

President and the Assassin by Scott MillerRecently, two books were published on the subject of McKinley’s assassination, The President and the Assassin, and The Secret Plot to Kill William McKinley.  The first, by Scott Miller, sets the assassination in the political context of the time, focusing heavily on the Spanish American War, anarchism and the role of business in politics.  It follows the rise of McKinley as equally as it does Czolgosz, tracing his infatuation with anarchism and attempts to ingratiate himself with Emma Goldman, and presents an excellent, balanced and thorough examination of the events leading up this tragedy.

the Secret Plot to Kill McKinley John KoernerThe Secret Plot to Kill William McKinley, written by local Buffalo author John Koerner, summarizes the actual assassination and does little to provide original information on any of the participants.  Despite the title, no plot is ever proven or decently explored.  The second half of the book relates anecdotal supernatural occurrences at sites loosely connected to the assassination.  In most cases they are connected only in that they exist in Buffalo.  The only interesting piece of information provided was that Dr. Roswell Park was performing surgery in Niagara Falls at the time of the shooting and was unable to return in time to perform surgery on McKinley.

A conspiracy?  Probably not, but it’s interesting to consider what could have been had that not been the case.

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