Wooden Ship Reunion performance July 3 at Memorial Park

Submitted Photo Pictured are Peter Chimento, Les Sikorski, David Waldarek and Donnie Waldarek.

Special to the OBSERVER

Wooden Ship, a five-piece vocal/acoustic rock group, will be re-uniting for a performance to be held in Memorial Park, the afternoon of Tuesday, July 3 commencing at 5 p.m.

Performing in this show will be original band members Peter Chimento, Les Sikorski, and David and Donnie (Waldo) Waldarek. A fifth member, James Gloff passed earlier this year, after a courageous battle with cancer. Joining the group onstage, appropriately in his absence, will be Jim’s brother Corky Gloff.

Wooden ship was founded in the early ’70s, and featured the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Eagles and America, effectively becoming one of the initial “tribute” bands performing this music locally.

The band has performed numerous concerts during the period 1973 through 1975, appearing annually many times in the City of Dunkirk’s parks. Additionally, the band was featured in concerts at Fredonia State University, Jamestown Community College, and appeared as a featured performer on the Channel 7 Variety Club Annual telethon.

The concept for the reunion show came out of a conversation between Sikorski and Jim Gloff, about how “We should get together and play again” for fun. Shortly afterwards, Sikorski began to reach out to the band’s former members to see if anyone was interested in doing such a show.

Consensus was unanimous, planning began and then tragedy struck. Jim was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Shortly after receiving this news, sadly Jim passed.

As time went by, the surviving members would talk amongst themselves, rationalizing the feasibility of trying to continue on in Jim’s absence.

It is cliche to say “That’s what Jim would have wanted”, however it is really true. He would have been the first one to encourage us all to continue…..So that’s what we decided to do.

With encouragement from City of Dunkirk officials, who offered the venue, we decided to proceed with the project and do the show.

It’s been challenging for the band to conduct rehearsals with its members living in Hamburg, Fredonia, and Webster, New York as well as Atlanta, Georgia.

Set lists were developed and shared amongst members (Home work required) and then sporadic one-on-ones, as well as three men in a room sessions have taken place.

The members will formally get together as a band the last week in June to pull it all together, with all hands on deck rehearsals.

Wooden Ship would like to thank the honorable Willie Rosas, mayor of Dunkirk, Councilman Marty Bamonto and events director Hector Rosas for their encouragement in providing us this opportunity.

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