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"A Sunday Afternoon Meeting of the Rubber Workers Union," 1942 Wikipedia
“Sunday Afternoon Meeting of the Rubber Workers Union.” Photo by Marjory Collins, 1943. Image courtesy Wikipedia via the Library of Congress.

I am flying to Buffalo, NY tomorrow afternoon so that I can scoot over to Williamsville, NY Saturday and Sunday morning to hang out with the savvy and able-bodied gals at Aurora Sewing for the weekend. They had to add an extra day for my lectures and trunk shows because clearly, when it comes to itinerant quilt teachers, the quilters of the greater Buffalo area have excellent taste.

I’m clicking around to learn a little about Buffalo because I have an occasion to do so, and that’s good; Buffalo is a city you hear about in the news from time to time but probably don’t know much about if you’re not from around there or close to around there. I suspect most of us read several paragraphs about Buffalo in an American History textbook at some point. Industry, is it? Wealthy escape for New York Cityfolk? Surely there aren’t buffalo there. Surely.

Here are the things I am learning about Buffalo as I click back and forth from here to my other browser pages. This is a play-by-play account of Buffalo you’re looking at. Let’s do this:

1. Named after Buffalo Creek.

2. Terminus point for the Underground Railroad! Woah!

3. Right there on Lake Erie, not too far from Niagara Falls/Canada; this explains #2.

4. President McKinley was shot there! Woah! He died eight days later! And it was Teddy Roosevelt who was sworn in when he died! Zounds! That’s kind of a big deal, Buffalo.

5. I was right about industry: cars, shipping, freight, grain elevators, stuff like that. Hard times came in the Depression, etc.; a rust belt city.

6. Now it’s coming together for me: I’m picturing some sad newscaster out in snow up to her stocking cap, reporting from a highway in Buffalo about the latest blizzard. Buffalo gets seriously dumped on in winter and for some reason, we hear about that a lot.

7. OH MY LORD: BUFFALO WINGS. Buffalo wings were first served in a bar in Buffalo, NY! That juicy little fact was worth the price of admission. I do not understand the appeal of buffalo wings, but at least I now know the truth of their origin.

I can’t top that last one, so I’ll quit while I’m hot. I do want to point out the picture above is of a meeting of the Rubber Workers Union in Buffalo in 1943. Those women are so fabulous! They are wearing hats and furs. It looks like they’re about to do a Broadway finale.

I’m not a fan of wistful, misty gazes into the early 20th century; stuff was as weird back then as it is now and people had plenty of problems we do not want now. But man. Those clothes. That pride! The pride of going to meetin’! The photo says it’s a Sunday, so they probably came from church. But still. That’s some Sunday best, ladies.

I shall take my best purse on my journey to your great city.