Talks, Seminars, & Workshops: The Buffalo Stories Roadshow

Steve Cichon has spent 25 years as a journalist, author, and historian collecting and sharing Buffalo’s great stories, and writes about the great things that make Buffalo special.

The storyteller has written five books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and TV.

He’s an Adjunct Communications Professor at Medaille College, an in-demand speaker, and as proud a Buffalonian as you’ll find.

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Steve has crafted the best of the best into a handful of multimedia presentations which help make some of the most fascinating ideas in Buffalo’s past come to life.

Contact Steve at steve@buffalostories.com to bring one of his fun, high energy lectures to your meeting or event.

For more about any of Steve’s books, check out his virtual Buffalo Stories LLC Book Store.

Topics:

New: Four Common Sense Steps to Writing Your Own (Book, Memoir, Family History…)

The old adage says we all have a book in us, and it’s true—although sometimes it doesn’t feel that way when you’re staring at a blank page not knowing where to start.

As the author of five books and award-winning journalist with thousands of newscasts and articles written, Steve Cichon understands the sometimes elusive nature of trying to craft the thoughts in your head and the feelings in your heart into words.

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As an editor, adjunct communications professor, and radio news director, Steve Cichon has helped hundreds of people get better at taking what they see, hear, and feel, and turning it all into ideas and words to share with the world. The great news is… we all have the skills and abilities necessary to be able to write something great—it’s just a matter of putting them all together in the way that turns you into an author.

Steve’s handful of easy techniques build on the writing skills we already have, no matter your assumed level of competence or aptitude. The focus in this fun workshop is less about rules and grammar, but more about using common sense to help you find your unique voice and share it more easily in four outstanding steps:

  • Outpouring- getting it all out through prolonged brainstorming
  • Outreach- researching facts (best practices in internet and local library research, and what you can expect to find there) and talking to others (how to get the most out of interviews and talking to people.
  • Outline- once you have your raw materials assembled, it’s time to start understanding what you have, how it all relates into one or two overall themes, and putting it all together in a way that will make sense for a reader.
  • Bang it Out While the best time to write is when you feel inspired to do so, having all your ideas organized and ready to go, helps keep that light lit… and it’s off to the races.

For more about any of Steve’s books, check out his virtual Buffalo Stories LLC Book Store.


New: Grover Cleveland’s Buffalo

Many Buffalonians know that Grover Cleveland was mayor of Buffalo before moving on to become governor of New York and president of the United States. Other than that, we don’t have much to say about the man who lived here for 27 years practicing law and serving as sheriff and mayor.

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Steve Cichon takes a look at the life and times of the fun-loving, beer-drinking, card playing bachelor who lived through the period that saw Buffalo grow from a frontier outpost to one of the nation’s largest cities.

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Like most of Buffalo’s 1860s and 1870s landmarks, just about every known place Grover Cleveland lived or frequented is gone, but picturing these places in reference to what’s there now, dispelling a few myths, and uncovering some fascinating truths help us understand our 22nd & 24th President, the old Buffalo, and the new Buffalo that much better.


New: The slow death of Humboldt Parkway and the building of the 33 & 198

“It was a dreadful mistake to build the Kensington Expressway.”

While it makes for great speeches, it’s difficult to boil the agonizing, slow, 25-year Humboldt Parkway destruction process and community debate into a single sentence, let alone just the word “mistake.”

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Steve Cichon looks at the beautiful, Frederick Law Olmsted designed Humboldt Parkway, the reasons behind the first 1946 plans which eventually became “The 33” and “The 198,” and the messy, politics-filled 25 year ordeal between those initial sketches and the 1971 finishing of the highway.

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New: Before there was Canalside…

Today, it’s the latest, greatest Buffalo hangout: Canalside. Selfies with Shark Girl and Tim Horton, curling, riding ice bikes, and soaking up sun in colorful Adirondack chairs are all exciting new parts of what it means to be a Buffalonian in 2016.

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While many say the rebirth of the inner harbor area is a long time in coming, it’s at least the fourth or fifth time the area has been “reborn” since Buffalo’s first non-native residents built huts along the northern shore of Little Buffalo Creek. That creek was excavated to form the Commercial Slip and Erie Canal terminus, which was filled in so the Aud could be built on it. Then the Aud was torn down and replaced with the Canalside skating rink.

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Steve Cichon explores all the different yesterdays, today, and what the future might bring for our city’s birthplace—the Inner Harbor.


New: WNY’s Favorite Amusement Parks of Yesterday & Today

If you grew up in Western New York, places like Crystal Beach, Fantasy Island, and Darien Lake are firmly etched into the warm memories of being care-free kid in Western New York.

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Steve Cichon looks at those parks that we all remember, as well as a handful of smaller fun places that used to dot every corner of our area– from the rides at Woodlawn Beach and Glen Park in the 40s and 50s, to the small “Kiddieland” parks which wound up in places like the parking lots of Twin Fair stores in Tonawanda and Cheektowaga, to parks which maybe our parents or grandparents might have told us about in Buffalo, West Seneca, and along the lakeshore.

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We also take a look at the North Tonawanda’s Allan Herschel Company, which for nearly a century was the world’s largest manufacturer of amusement rides.


 

CROWD FAVORITE: 90 Years of Buffalo Radio & TV

WGR Radio signed on in Buffalo in 1922. In the over 90 years since then, the men and women who’ve come into our homes and cars through the power of Buffalo’s radio and television stations have entertained us, given us the news, provided company for us, and been our friends.

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Long time broadcaster, historian, and author Steve Cichon takes us on a fun multimedia journey through time, touching on the great stations, great personalities, and great memories which come back to life with his treasure trove of stories, images, videos and sound bites.

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CROWD FAVORITE: Buffalo’s Great Retailers

These days, the shopping malls and strip plazas of Western New York are filled with the same stores as similar structures around the country.

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Historian and Author Steve Cichon takes us back to a fun and heart-warming time when not only did we have our own stores like AM&As, Sattlers, and Sample, but those grand department stores were lined up along city streets like Main, Broadway, and Hertel.

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New: The Evolution of Hertel Avenue

Over the last 10 to 15 years, Hertel Avenue has cemented a reputation as the slightly less-crazy-but-still-just-as-fun older brother of the Elmwood strip. It was also the last of Buffalo’s major streets to be built out, with some of the strip still retaining a rural feel into the 1920s.

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Spending an afternoon or evening on Hertel drops you in the center of the cosmopolitan “New Buffalo,” showcasing a perfect example of a diverse neighborhood that has retained the flavor and feel of its heritage, keeping bits of the old while the vibrant and new evolves. The result is a strong, proud, urban neighborhood filled with residents and entrepreneurs of every age and experience — all combining to reflect the best of our uniquely Buffalo character.

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Steve Cichon takes a look at the past, present, and future of a place with a great vibe doesn’t rely on cheap nostalgia, and where longtime venerable institutions have been rebuilt and reconfigured to fit our modern needs and make the past a living, breathing part of what’s next.


Parkside, Buffalo, NY

From the Delaware Park meadow, to the Darwin Martin House, to the Buffalo Zoo, to the Frederick Law Olmsted designed streetscape, Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood has long been one of the city’s most stable and attractive neighborhoods.

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As a resident and author of The Complete History of Parkside, Steve Cichon keeps it fun and interesting, hitting on all the big attractions and many amazing stories you’ll wind up repeating to your friends.

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For more about any of Steve’s books, check out his virtual Buffalo Stories LLC Book Store.

 


Irv, Rick, Tom

For more than three decades, Buffalonians turned to Eyewitness News at 6 & 11 for a uniquely Buffalo version of the day’s events around the Queen City.

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Steve Cichon, longtime Buffalo newsman, historian, and author of Irv! Buffalo’s Anchorman: The Irv, Rick, & Tom Story, takes a fun look back at what made Eyewitness News so unique, and tells the unlikely separate stories of Irv Weinstein, Rick Azar, and Tom Jolls, and how they came together to form the longest running anchor team in TV news history.

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For more about any of Steve’s books, check out his virtual Buffalo Stories LLC Book Store.

 


Mayor James D. Griffin in Photos

James D. Griffin was the most commanding figure in Buffalo during the second half of the 20th century. He’s best remembered for his “rough and tumble” nature and his advice to sit out snow storms by grabbing a six pack and staying home.

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Steve Cichon takes a fun look at that side of the man, but the historian and author of Gimme Jimmy! Mayor James D. Griffin in his own Words and Pictures also examines the vast accomplishments of Buffalo’s favorite mayor, with insights from his close friends and family.

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For more about any of Steve’s books, check out his virtual Buffalo Stories LLC Book Store.

 


Buffalo’s Tomb of the Unknowns: The 1812 Mound in the Meadow

Three-Hundred American soldiers died during the harsh Buffalo winter of 1812 as they waited to invade British Canada. Those soldiers are buried in a mass, virtually unmarked grave in the middle of what is now the Delaware Park Golf Course. It’s an incredible story too few people know about.

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Author Steve Cichon has worked with several fellow historians in researching, preserving, and sharing this story of American bravery and sacrifice. He tells the story of these men and the efforts made through the years to commemorate and honor their ultimate sacrifice.

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For more about any of Steve’s books, check out his virtual Buffalo Stories LLC Book Store.


Technical Requirements:

I’m ready to just show up and start speaking, or I can bring the entire array of necessary technical equipment to make an audio/visual presentation happen.

What I (usually) need:

– microphone/sound system
– ability to plug my laptop audio into the sound system (it’s a standard mini headphone jack)
– laptop projector/cables
– screen or wall onto which I’ll project
– Laptop with PowerPoint installed
– Presentation remote

I will bring my own laptop and presentation remote, but can also bring any of the equipment needed to make it all work…

– sound system/mic/cable to laptop/monitor
– laptop projector/cables
– portable screen

Don’t worry about the technical part: we can figure it out together.



Let’s tell some stories together!

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Steve Cichon, Buffalo Stories LLC

Steve Cichon writes about the great things that make Buffalo special here and daily at history.buffalonews.com. The storyteller, writer, and historian has written five books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and TV. He’s an Adjunct Communications Professor at Medaille College, an in-demand speaker, and as proud a Buffalonian as you’ll find.

Find out how Steve and Buffalo Stories LLC can help you tell your story or appear at your next event or meeting with The Buffalo Stories Roadshow.

716-479-3173 | steve@buffalostories.com