To whom it may concern

File Photo The athletic field, including a track, football field, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, along with a playground, was a staple of life for those who grew up in the 1950s and 60s. Dunkirk High School now sits on the site.

Exactly two weeks ago marked 67 years since my mother delivered me to an unsuspecting world.

Didn’t think too much of it, another day, another missed putt that was eminently makeable. Grandson’s ballgame to attend, grandaughters once again amusing themselves as best they could — a good day.

But that night, sitting with Otis the pup, who turned 15 yesterday, I got to thinking.

My dad, Gilbert Sr., was 67 when he passed away in 1993. This past week, a friend and political ally of my dad’s in the battle of Dunkirk politics that once existed in the city, Len Catalano, passed away. Len’s son Rich said something at the wake — as he has before — that struck a chord with me, our two fathers lived life, enjoyed what they did, and “went after it.”

Are you “going after it?”

One thing I’m not particularly good at going after is projects around the house, been saving up a lot of those projects for either one of two events, winter or retirement. Now to be sure, winter will get here first and I’ll probably jump right in — for about two days. What the Mrs. would likely tell you is that would be one day more than usual — maybe one and a half days.

What can I say in my defense? How about this?

If it’s not leaking, sparking, smoking, or a spill doing damage, it can wait.

Or this one. I’m not sure that color of paint will look any better than what you picked out that is already on there. Remember to duck after saying something like that and start moving — quickly.

Another thing that is moving quickly along is — you got it — summer.

What do you like most about summer? Either this one or summers in general? What was the best summer you ever had? The worst?

Summers are indeed the season for reunions and there are plenty of reunions this summer — this week in particular — as classes are gathering this first weekend in August to coincide with the alumni golf tournament at Shorewood Country Club on Friday. The event has grown, due in large part, to Bill Bamonto, Mike Criscione and the rest of the volunteers. The golf is good, but arguably the most fun is seeing people from “back in the day” — and sharing stories and laughs. The two-putt rule helps keep things moving along.

And as always, life keeps moving right along. Other than a stint in the Army, I have been “local” — and maybe “loco” — the rest of the time. For those folks who grew up in the local area but spent their adult years elsewhere, I have a request.

I am wondering what sets of eyes that did not remain local see when they are visiting the place(s) they lived during their “formative” years. What differences do you see from what you recall in the downtowns of Dunkirk and Fredonia, parks, playgrounds and neighborhoods?

If you are so inclined, please send comments to and I’ll let you know the results of this informal survey.

In the meantime, enjoy summer and the reunions. And remember to duck if you hear me yell “Fore!”

Gib Snyder is the OBSERVER Lifestyles Editor