From BFA co-founders when BFA was formed in late 2005.
Michael Miller (in his own words about Broadway Fillmore Alive)
(Our good friend Mike passed away in 2009…just decided to keep this up here from him…he was and continues to be an inspiration to us here at BFA)
Hi, my name is Mike Miller. I am very pleased and excited to be working with the Broadway Fillmore Alive crew!
My personal history, as it relates to the East Side, is kind of an almost full circle story. My mom worked as a billing clerk at the Central Terminal during the World War II years of the early to mid 1940’s. It was in 1946 that a young man, recently returning from service with the Navy during the war, caught her eye. It just so happened that he worked in the same department on the same floor as she. It was shortly after seeing him that she told her best friend Doris “that’s the man I’m going to marry!”. They did, five months later.
My parents bought their first house on Grape St. in the early 1950’s, when my sisters were babies. My dad continued to work at the terminal, although the future of railroading looked bleak. Because of that, he left the New York Central in 1956. When I came along in 1958, the decline of the east side had already begun. Because of increasing incidents of crime in the neighborhood, my parents decided to move their young family to Kenmore in 1960. That is where we all grew up. My dad passed away suddenly in September of 1979, one month almost to the day that the last passenger train left the Central Terminal.
It wasn’t until a trip to Grand Central Terminal in New York City in 2002, that I remembered the story about my parents and the Central Terminal. I first visited there in May of 2003. Even though the concourse showed its extensive damage, its architectural and almost spiritual beauty brought tears to my eyes. I joined the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation in October of 2003 and was elected treasurer the following January. It has been my hobby and my passion ever since. I have worked events, done the books and even shoveled out tons of debris. I will do whatever is necessary to complete the mission. I consider my work there to be as much a tribute to my parents as to a building that I literally “would not be here” if it did not exist.
I remember the bustling Broadway shopping district in the early 1960’s. I used to ride the bus with my mom and neighbor to the Broadway Market, Sattler’s and Kobacker’s. While Broadway Fillmore, or the Central Terminal, may never again be exactly what they were, the possibilities for the area are endless.
It just requires the patience, dedication and elbow grease of people who care enough to help. I am honored to be included as a member of Broadway Fillmore Alive, a group that definitely fits this bill!
Michele Johnson (in her own words about Broadway Fillmore Alive)
My name is Michele Johnson and I am proud to be in the company of both Mike & Chris.
I was born and raised for most of my childhood on the East Side of Buffalo and moved to the suburbs when I was in 11 yrs old, I always felt the East Side was my “true” home and moved back unto the very street I lived on as a child 3 yrs ago. I have worked hard to bring the publics focus to the East Side whether it be with my work as a researcher or the time I spend getting to know the people who live on the East Side. I am a Mother who wants to make Buffalo a better place so my children will want to continue living in WNY, I volunteer my time to a variety of causes all which have to do with the East Side, I also manage some properties in my neighborhood,I feel the East Side has long been neglected and like a diamond in the rough it needs some polishing but will shine brightly again! I invite you all to take a trip to the East Side, We are home of the most beautiful churches, homes, buildings and people you will ever meet!
Christopher Byrd (in his own words about Broadway Fillmore Alive)
The East Side and more specifically the Broadway-Fillmore area has been of focus of my life from day one for me on God’s good Earth. I grew up on Ashley Street literally a stone’s throw from Broadway and the Central Terminal.
I attended St. John Kanty’s school on Broadway in the 70s and 80s. My grandparents lived next door to me. There are so many memories I have growing up East Side. Whether it be exploring “The Terminal” as a teen, spending my allowance and paper route money at Sattlers on Broadway, going to the Broadway Market, eating a fish fry at the Broadway Grille, selling the Courier Express every morning at Broadway and Miller or playing baseball at Lincoln playground, the experience is a Buffalo story.
I like so many people I meet don’t want to see the Broadway-Fillmore area fade into history as one of those “remember when” places . The East Side is full of history and tradition. This is something I want to preserve and help bring back to life for all of WNY.
The Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood area is very much alive.
A couple of years back I got involved. I can’t explain totally. But there is something inside of me that draws me to my old neighborhood. Something that says, “Chris, you can make a difference.” Part of it stems from a revelation I had while visiting my Babcia a few year back. She is a life long B-F resident and still resides next door to the house I grew up in. I decided that I needed to do something to help the neighborhood…to keep it ALIIVE…because people like my grandmother helped build B-F. Its history and traditions are something I could not stomach fading away.
I have no illusions. The neighborhood will never be like it was when I was growing up, but the Broadway-Fillmore area is a unique historic treasure in and of itself.
It can be a catalyst in helping turn Buffalo around.
You may not hear of them…but there are plenty of new Buffalo stories being written on the East Side everyday.