“It was a different time, then, son”

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

I stumbled on this patch on eBay… I had a knit winter hat with this patch on it, which Grandpa Cichon got working at Buffalo Raceway.

It seemed for a few years every Cichon was keeping his or her head warm with one of these orange and blue hats.

Gramps was good at finding stuff hanging around at work. I’m not exaggerating to say there must have been 20 of these hats around the family.

That was in addition to the stuff he used to bring home from National Aniline.

There was an endless supply of work gloves, flashlights, wooden-handled ball peen hammers, and blanket-lined denim work coats.

I’m sure some of these things were issued to him, but there’s little doubt he lifted some of this stuff, too.

It was before I was around, but his stories about being the night watchman at Paul’s Pies are legendary, too… coming home with the car filled with baked goods–mostly day old, I’m sure.

If Gramps was telling this story, he’d probably have ended it with, “But it was a different time then, son.”

Hahaha.

I think this Seneca Mall Santa was ready to give me extra stuff because I had a connection at the track.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.