I rose up from the ground in a residential and industrial neighborhood on the West Side of Buffalo, New York and became aware of being built shortly after my four-story modest apartment building cornerstone was securely in place in 1900. I often noticed a young woman with a child in her arms, watching me daily, except when the weather was bad. The construction crew would wave and sometimes talk to them. It was quite confusing at first because I felt a warmth toward them both and felt alive.
I can’t tell you the exact moment it happened, this awareness, or the date I was completed, but it was during this time that my tales of generations began. Gradually, I learned that my first tenants were the mother and son who watched me being built. My journey with them taught me to listen, observe, and feel what it’s like to be human
I’m privileged to be an eyewitness to many generations who lived in my building. The tenants living within my walls were from all over the world and had multiple twists, and turns, creating a journey of a lifetime. For decades I tried hard to connect with someone who would hear my plea; for someone who would write my legacy. In 2006, Fran, my author heard my cry for help as she drove by my building. My voice will take you back in time to meet and hear my characters talk, and live their lives, in their historical period. You’ll get to experience what their challenges were like and how they dealt with unpredictable lives.
When you read this historical, multi-period novel about my life, FRED: Buffalo Building of Dreams, you’ll also find out how intertwined my tenants were over a span of 118 years. They were a mosaic of humanity and made this old building sometimes wish I really was human. Having lived as long as I have, my history actually takes place in the real-time lives of the immigrants, refugees, internal migrants, and descendants of enslaved Peoples of Africa who called me home.
I’ve had my share of fear and disappointments too. One of my fears is of being destroyed or demolished before evidence of my existence can be documented, but I think almost everyone can relate to being fearful. I was a novice about life. Each decade provided new insights about how wars, poverty, political upheavals, and famines took a toll on many of my tenants. I learned that Freedom was their common goal. Their stories were often heartbreaking, but through them I experienced the real meaning of courage and how it never dies. I cried with them when I had no tears, smiled on the inside when they were happy.
I’m excited about being published in 2020 (Buffalo Heritage Press) because it will allow me to share these unbelievable stories. When you read this book, you too will enter the lives of this mosaic of people and become part of their hopes and dreams. Perhaps you’ll also discover the secret their legacies reveal for the current and future generations of Americans.