Nothing like sharing a pop with my ol’man

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

We moved around a lot growing up– I had been in seven different schools by the time sixth grade rolled around.

Even with the many bumps in the road, at the time it all seemed normal enough.

There was even the opportunity for some special moments which wouldn’t have otherwise happened.

Orchard Park Middle School was my third middle school in two years. We were building a new house, and it wasn’t done yet for the beginning of the school year, so my ol’man would pick me up from school.

We’d then have to wait for my brother and sister to get out of classes at Eggert Elementary.

To help kill the time, we’d pull into the Kwik Fill next to the pizza place on North Buffalo Rd.

Dad would send me in with a buck, and I’d grab a can of Diet Squirt which we’d share as we’d wait.

Years earlier, the ol’man would bring Squirt home for us from his gin mill. Well, the Visniak version of Squirt, anyway.

He’d fill up an old, used two-liter pop bottle with the pop gun behind the bar. Sometimes, he’d throw a couple of the small bags of chips hanging behind the bar into a Marine Midland cash bag to take home for us kids.

The Squirt was good, but better because of the company. I was happy to get to spend some time with Dad, even if it was just sitting with him in our ol’85 Dodge Caravan in a grammar school parking lot, just shooting the breeze about who knows what over a pop.

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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.