Videos like this, which I ran across on Facebook this morning, inspire me to redouble my efforts in finding the right publisher for “The Seventh Generation,” a novel that focuses on a fictional Buffalo mayor in the late 1960s/early 1970s; on some kids whose lives he unwittingly touches, and on the surprising role these kids play as adults in the city’s 21st-century renaissance.
With a respectful tip of the hat to Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh, I could easily convince you that in the space of a hundred and sixty roller coaster years, my hometown is the most dramatic example of a place that went from backwater outpost to one of the dozen most prosperous and important cities on earth, to a rather sudden and painful fall from grace from which it is now, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, beginning to emerge. A place where noble ambition has met human frailty; where money, talent and resources have been caught up, gathered, and then scattered in the celestial sweep of angels and demons. It’s a place where some underdogs, as much as we might like to see them win, may remain forever underdogs. A place like any other and yet, a place like no other.