"Flat Fix" sign along Main Street in Niagara Falls
“Flat Fix” sign along Main Street in Niagara Falls

We’ve stayed at the Giacomo in Niagara Falls so we were ready for funky. The building was built in 1929 and is owned by Carl Paladino who ran for NYS governor on the “Take Out The Trash” platform. The radio in our room was tuned to a Toronto jazz station and “Blue Monk” was playing when we arrived. There was a Gideon bible by the bed. I opened it to a random page and landed on Psalm 19.

1. Give unto the LorD, O you mighty ones, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2. Give unto the LoRD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3. The voice of the LoRD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the LoRD is over many waters.
4. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the LoRD is full of majesty.
5. The voice of the LoRD breaks the cedars, yes, the LoRD splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
6. He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7. The voice of the LoRD divides the flames of fire.
8. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the LorD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
9. The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, and strips the forests bare; and in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”
10. The LorD sat enthroned at the Flood, and the LoRD sits as King forever.
11. The Lord will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.

Our friend, Pete, illustrated the Psalms. They read like journals from psychedelic trips. The voice of the LoRD thunders over the waters. And we were just two blocks away from the Falls. We had walked along the river gorge from Whirlpool State Park to the Falls and back. We cleaned up and headed out to my Uncle’s wake. I have a big family and he was our favorite. My brother and his wife came up from New Jersey and we had dinner with them in the historic Red Coach Inn. I love Niagara Falls, the New York side, but parts of the city are so run down it will make you cry.

The young priest made my Uncle’s Mass of Christian Burial meaningful and welcoming. The organist was a one woman choir. As he shook the incense burner over my uncle’s casket the priest said, “May the martyrs come to welcome you.” I remember my Uncle Bob picking out a Thomas Merton letter to share with my dad when he was dying. He lived his faith.

When we got home we watched Marilyn Monroe in the 1959 movie, “Niagara.” The honeymoon capitol looks empty but the Giacomo Hotel building towers over the city in quite a few shots.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *