Short Take on the Taste Of Clarence & Cruise Night

[Editor’s Note: Joseph Genco is a recovering newspaper reporter and editor who publishes a daily opinion column called Short Takes, which we have re-posted with permission. Joe moved to Clarence to serve as Bee editor in 1987, and he and his wife Beth raised their sons Joe and Ben here. The opinions expressed herein are strictly his own.]

A Short Take on Today’s News
–Taste of Clarence and Cruise Night Brennan’s Silver Spoon Threepeat version.

–I got their early to help Scott R. Medole park classic cars in the 90 degree sun. The job gives a great chance to see every car arrive. It also is a bit nerve racking to figure out alignment as well as make sure those 6 drivers from that particular club get their designated spot.

–The first fellow parker to greet me was Dave Stafford. Dave is an all-around good guy in Harris Hill, firefighter, landscaper, retiree and formerly indispensable handyman at St. Paul’s Episcopal. Far too often, men like Dave toil without receiving proper recognition or thanks. They are the bedrock of our town.

–Wandered around and visited the merchant booths. My favorite was Montabaur Heights at Brothers of Mercy on Ransom Road. On a Wednesday, for just $10, you can get a lunch and dessert prepared by Chef Warren Drew. I had a excellent salad samples from them.


–I am always intrigued a DeLorean shows up every year. I am certain it is the same one, with the unmistakable block DMC on the grill and gull wing doors, one flux capacitor from taking us where we need to go.

–Speaking of unsung heroes, Flora Leamer was omnipresent as always, wandering with her camera and a ladder to get a better vantage point. Of course John, her husband was there to carry and steady said ladder.


–Trish Ann and Marcia from the Bank of Akron stayed busy all night selling 50/50 raffle tickets.

–Paul Cambria drove in in his Bentley and spent the evening selling raffle tickets for a 1955 Chevy Bel Air, hopped up by NASCAR great David Pearson, with more than 700 horsepower under the hood. For $25 you can have a chance. 

–Given the state of flux at the Chamber, which went from thriving under Judy Sirianni to struggling to find effective new leadership, it was great to see Mark Medole step up to run the event. The chamber is indeed still thriving and a vital cog in our community fabric.

–Got volunteered for “crowd management” in case of an emergency. You never know it at such an event, but there are always 8 or 10 volunteers around charged to take control in case of an emergency, remaining calm, taking control and offering direction in a crisis. Somehow I was one of those, though I didn’t have to do anything.

–Nice that after 30 years or so on the job, Building Inspector Dave Metzger can still proudly wear his building inspector shirt without worrying some unjustly harassed home or business-owner is going to ruin his night by being a jerk. I’ve seen other communities where that isn’t true, like North Tonawanda.

–This was the first time in about 10 years I didn’t help Troop 93 with trash collection. Again, another unsung hero. It was a sad day when St. Paul’s Episcopal chose to part ways with a long-time fixture like Stafford, as well as a thriving Boy Scout Troop, but perhaps it has a different mission than to give a guy like Dave a place to help out or a program like Scouts a chance to mold boys into men. Both are doing just fine.

–I could write one paragraph about each food vendor and not do them all justice. Entrees were fairly priced, excellently prepared, some healthy, some decadent and everything in between. My favorite was the simple stuffed pepper sandwich from Dash’s. And of course Orazio’s wouldn’t be Orazio’s without pasta con vodka and Adam Zakrzewski helping out.

–I wasn’t going to do a Short Take from the event, but Noel Dill asked, so that he could use it for Discover Main Street. Noel was unable to be there because he was off at Slow Roll, promoting the Aug. 25th Saturday Bike Stampede, leaving at 3pm from Brennan’s Bowery Bar in the Clarence Mall.

–As for the Silver Spoon, I left before it was awarded because all those hours in the sun take a toll, but the voting procedures were changed this year to ensure fairness. Brennan’s won because it’s food was best.

–That said, if you are new to Short Take, it is a daily Facebook status, my take on current events, with local flavor, and opinions thrown in, usually posted between 7 and 7:30 daily. It is not in any way affiliated with my business at Financial Partners of Upstate New York, where I sell life, long-term care and disability insurance and advise people like you on investments and retirement income. You are welcome to like, follow or friend Joseph Genco on Facebook.

Vol. 4, Issue 126 (1185 (9 consecutive))

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