Author: Dick Hirsch

Dick Hirsch

Dick Hirsch is a veteran Buffalo journalist and author. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is “A new bathtub for the White House,” a collection of some of his favorite essays.

It has been an epoch summer in Buffalo, with prolonged periods of days and nights characterized by torrid heat, a time to be thankful for air-conditioning. Air-conditioning changed this country and later the world, delivering comfortable living and working conditions to locations previously cursed with seasonal temperatures that were unbearably hot and humid. The eventual result was a dramatic population shift from the Northeast to the sunbelts of the Southeast and Southwest. Buffalo is a victim of air-conditioning, perhaps the most beleaguered casualty of all. In 1900 it was the eighth largest city in the country. In 1940 it was…

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Have youse ever heard of the youse curse? Probably not, because I have the feeling that my audience understands that youse is not the plural of you, that youse isn’t a word at all, but a curse. Ahh, yes, but what of those others, those who move through life, confidently saying youse when addressing more than one person, and wondering why they never get hired or promoted? Who is to try to rescue them? They are cursed. It is the curse of youse. Those who adopt youse as a part of their vocabulary are doomed to a life of missed…

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And now a few words about the Cardiff Giant. Despite the profusion of rhetoric about an alleged hoax, I have seen no recent mention of that legendary Giant. Along with the Piltdown Man, the Giant is ranked highly among venerable pranks which earned enduring listings in the glossary of hoaxes. More about the Piltdown Man later, but the Giant deserves prime billing today because it is a New York story. Named after the hamlet of Cardiff in Onondaga County, south of Syracuse, the 10-foot tall so-called “petrified man” was supposedly unearthed in 1869. So the saga goes, two hired hands,…

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Among men, the absolute truth is that the less hair we have the more time we spend arranging it. I specify “arranging,” because that task far surpasses ordinary combing or brushing. I reached that conclusion based on years of surveillance of men at various locales where mirrors are present and sinks are nearby. I have modest experience with women and their hair, which is probably just as well, since that’s a much more complicated topic, one that I’m ill-prepared to critique. But I have been wondering which group, women or men, is more loyal in their relationship with cutters. Which…

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Investor Warren Buffett has always been portrayed as a billionaire who also had a way with words. One of his most-quoted aphorisms offers this memorable bit of advice: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Much to the surprise of thousands of Buffett groupies, he ignored his own advice when it came to his admiration and affection for newspapers. He ignored that sage comment. He kept digging his hole, seemingly unaware that newspapers of every description, from small weeklies to major metropolitan dailies were faced with declining circulation and advertising. Conditions were far different in 1977 when his…

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