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Nostalgia Porn

No doubt about it, looking back in time can be addictive.  This find on the Youtube’s Forgotten Buffalo is one of the best pieces of nostalgia ever.  I had to listen to it several times to be satisfied. It is a video panning over an image of Downtown Buffalo in 1961 with a WEBR Radio helicopter in the foreground.  The sound track for the clip is a January 6, 1961 recording of the station’s reporter Jack Sharpe describing rush hour traffic from his perch inside the copter.  Forgotten Buffalo notes that Jack Sharpe started reporting on Buffalo traffic from the air in 1959 in the second traffic copter in the nation.  The old downtown image combined with this vintage sound track makes for a compelling look back in history.

Traffic copters are ubiquitous now and  with some stations playing rush hour reports every 15 minutes or so.  You can see multiple helicopters hovering over accident scenes a few times a month.  Traffic copters may be a waning technology for people stuck in traffic however as phones are an easier and more instant source for determining where the traffic insanity is worst.  I found the most interesting aspects of the Jack Sharpe  clip to be the streets he talks about.  They are not typical of the streets that you will hear in today’s traffic reports.  He talks about Grant Street, Hertel, Forest Avenue, Kenmore Ave. and other more neighborhood oriented roads with brief mentions of the Throughway and other highways. Good stuff!

Does anyone know if this is the same Jack Sharpe that later became Amherst Town Supervisor?

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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