Sven chicago

One of the recreational opportunities in Buffalo that gets a lot of use all year-round is the walking path system which stretches from West Hart Street near the Bozeman Steak House all the way to Grouse Mountain.

While the more western parts of the trail can get pretty icy in the winter, most of the lower sections in and near town are useable any month of the year.

Emil Hecht was mayor of Buffalo when locals got serious about a walking path system in the community. Emil enjoyed operating the city’s street department equipment and often joined the crew working on projects.

In his enthusiasm to get the pathway up Clear Creek above Washington City Park started, he soon had part of an old fence wrapped around the wheel of the city’s new road grader.

Bob Borgialli was city works foreman at the time and took that in stride, getting the machine back to the shop for some minor repairs.

A lot of people donated many hours developing the pathway system which was years ahead of most communities in the state. Among those who spent a lot of time was Bill Mentoch. He worked so hard that a section of the trail has been named in his honor.

Had a visit with Bill the other day, and he says he uses the trails a lot. Bill keeps track of how far he’s walked.

“I have averaged at least a thousand miles a year for the past 10 years,” Bill told Sven with a big smile.

“Well Bill,” Sven said, “If you had walked in a straight line, you would be in Chicago by now.”

Meanwhile, back down at the “later-and-wiser” coffee club meeting the crew continues to discuss a lot of local history. Good stuff most of the time.

And often there are tidbits that will never make any book on local history because a few more generations will have to pass before a defamation lawsuit would not result.

Years ago it took weeks or even months for a harmful bit of gossip to circulate through the community . . . often giving truth the time to kill that kind of trouble before it spread and did serious damage to some innocent person.

With social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, that poison can spread wide and far while just a few seconds tick off the clock.

And there’s a place for every bit of misinformation on the web. Crazies can find their equals all over the world to support and confirm the bags of baloney they may be peddling.

The Bench Sitters often point out the downside to modern technology. It might be partly because they find it difficult to use and understand but also because they recognize the evils which have accompanied all this progress in communication.

Sunday evening a lot of the local television sets will be tuned to the annual Super Bowl. Taking a sampling of local interest it seems like the Kansas City Chiefs have more fans than the San Francisco 49ers.

Red is the dominate color for both teams. The stands should be a “sea of red” for this game, and it will be interesting to see which team gets to wear red jerseys on the field.

The last betting line on the game was giving Kansas City only a one-point advantage. That tells us the odds-makers don’t have a clue which team will win this one.

And the final thought from the Bench Sitters this week is . . . There’s always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example – how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt. Enjoy life, and we’ll write again next week.


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