Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Welcome my fellow Buffalonians, Buffaluvians, um Buffalovites.....

Welcome to the latest blog about my hometown. The home of the Bills, the Sabres, the Bisons, and someone or something called Lop Ba Nick Box. I've been away for the past four and a half years but I still remember the taste of Jim's Steakout, Mighty Taco, and the almighty Zorba's!

Here's a little introduction from yours truly...

My name is Brad E. Ruszala. I grew up in Depew, New York but went to school in Lancaster due to one of those wacky school districting issues. My dad taught me how to skate when I was four at Fireman's Park in Depew (home of the fastest ice in Western New York) and I spent the rest of my youth playing hockey (and riding the pine) with the Depew Saints before representing the Lancaster High School Redskins in my Junior and Senior years.

From there it was off to the ARMY where I traveled the world with a rifle and a rucksack the size of a small house on my back. I've traveled across the States (actually driven cross country three times, not to mention the north-south trips) and been to Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Cuba, Japan, Saipan, Tinian (where I saw the bomb pits for the Fat Man and Little Boy), Rota, Managaha, and exotic Canada (at least their dancers were exotic).

I played hockey all the way until the night before I left for the Northern Mariana Islands, back in January 2003. Since then I have done a lot of living with my head in the clouds and my feet in the sand.

I currently write sports for the local paper and live the carefree life of a single white boy in the Pacific. Sounds nice, huh? Yeah, it's not too shabby.

Even with a year round tan and an ocean view apartment for $400 a month I still miss the folks back home (and yes, Buffalo is still back home) and our culture. Funny enough, before I left I only thought people who weren't white had all the culture. Looking back, that's a load of bull.

We do have culture! Honkey's unite!

Some of us can dance, but out culture isn't defined by the way we pop and lock. Just the fact that we head out for a few "pops" after a long day of work counts. And once in a while we hit the dance floor on the Chipewa Strip like there's no tomorrow. That's cool. Let it all hang out white boy.

A lot of us go to church on Sundays (and a lot of us don't), but we always watch the Bills. We come home to reunite with our loved ones for the holidays. We know the first day of spring isn't on the calendar. It comes out of nowhere. Even Don Paul can't predict it--that first day when you can smell it in the air. It's a little bit warmer outside and the sun is out. People are walking with a little spring in their step and their faces as marked with smiles rather than runny noses. You might crank the heater up in your car just to drive with the windows down, and the line for Delta Sonic stretches down the street and around corner as everyone washes the salt off of their cars.

Can't forget those days.

I love it.

I miss it.

I miss you.

My Buffalo.

I hope that this blog can be more than just for my memories. If you're away from home and want to share some Buffalo memories, feel free! Still in WNY and want to keep us updated? Please do!

Send photos, stories and more right here or to my email address...


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