Fred has big news he wants to share about his neighborhood on Buffalos West Side Niagara Corridor…. coming soon!
More details and posts beginning monthly in the Spring of 2023!
Happy New Year

Message to Fred’s friends, followers and post viewers

With the holidays coming soon he is sharing his first chapter of FRED Buffalo Building of Dreams. Please consider purchasing a copy of his historical novel and legacy of hope and freedom as a gift for all generations in America and worldwide.



First Chapter of FRED Buffalo Building of Dreams
First Chapter of FRED Buffalo Building of Dreams
Book Availability




Hungarian Freedom Fighters Move In

Two Hungarian brothers, twenty-eight year old Zoltan and twenty-nine year old Lazlo Popp, moved into my building in 1965. It was eight years after they immigrated to Buffalo, NY from Kabesca, a city in The Communist Hungary, a year after the Hungarian Revolution ended.  As protesters and fighters in their home country, to fleeing as refugees, they eventually found their way to freedom in the United States.

When they first arrived, they lived with their deceased father’s older brother, their Uncle Istvan (Stephan) Popp and his family, who were already settled in the U.S. Istvan had previously come under The Displaced Persons Act of 1948, which allowed certain people displaced by World War II, to qualify for Permanent Residence. 

The day the brothers moved into my building, I thought they were flying up the stairs to their new living quarters! I didn’t know it right then, but it was a momentous time in their lives. How proud Zoltan and Laszlo were to be able to afford their own apartment together. The reason this was possible, is because they were both hired at The Mentholatum Company located at 1360 Niagara St., only a short distance away. The Mentholatum Company was an 80,000 sq. ft. factory built in 1919 that manufactured a product of menthol, camphor and petrolatum, used to alleviate muscle aches and to relieve congestion. Zoltan and Laszlo felt lucky to be hired as two of the seventy-five employees. When you read their full story in my book, Fred: Building of Dreams, you’ll learn more about how Mentholatum was made.

The brothers flight to freedom is an unbelievable tale. Thousands of Hungarians were killed, but the young men were fortunate enough to be among the youngest group of about 40,000 refugees who arrived in America with the help of the Hungarian Freedom Fund. There’s not enough time to share more details now, but their story will touch your heart and shows the power of hope, survival, and freedom.

Freds Publicity Update

Book Signing with Frances R. Schmidt, author of FRED: Buffalo Building of Dreams

Additional Announcements

I’m proud to announce that FRED: Buffalo Building of Dreams is now on the shelves and available to purchase at Talking Leaves…Books (click to view)


Wednesday June 15th 7:00pm
Presentation from the Author of FRED: Buffalo Building of Dreams
Town of Tonawanda Public Library Kenmore Branch
160 Delaware Rd, Kenmore, NY 14217
Flyer of Event


Author Talks presentation is now available on the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library YouTube Station.


Read Fred’s Wonderful Book Reviews

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library Presents Author Talks with Frances R. Schmidt, Author of FRED: Buffalo Building of Dreams.  This presentation will also be available on the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library YouTube Station.


I’ve learned many secrets in my lifetime. Some are too hot to handle. To me a secret between two people is sacred. Only sometimes they reveal themselves in unexpected ways. I believe we all have secrets and some we never share with anyone except ourselves.

I don’t think secrets are bad if they keep people from despair. I was a secret for a hundred and twenty years. Now many of my historical secrets have been revealed while others will remain hidden within my walls. They can be happy or sad depending on one’s circumstances. They can even be serious or embarrassing. Sometimes saving lives or destroying them.

To tell or not to tell a secret is a question I’ve often asked myself while telling my tenants tales. I’ve learned  what it is to be a human, although I’m really only a building with a human perspective. I’ve tried to be understanding and kind when privy to secrets. They have sometimes inspired and disillusioned me. I’ve learned to respect and at times fear knowing them.

Most of all I believe secrets can help us to survive tragic situations. And if the bearer of a powerful secret can make the world a better place, it would be worth sharing…



Frances R. Schmidt Author