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Shrine at 847 Seneca Street, Buffalo, NY

Seneca St. Shrine in 2007

(photo: 2007)

Here in 1950, Joseph Battaglia, a barber in the downtown Hydraulics neighborhood of Buffalo, reported witnessing a glowing vision of the Blessed Mother next to his barbershop.  He had a marble statue of Mary made, arranged a coronation function in 1951, and personally built a brick shrine to preserve the message of world peace she had instructed him to spread.  His next-door home, and the barbershop were demolished in the late 1960’s, and before his elderly departure from the neighborhood, he asked an across-the-street neighbor to look after the shrine.  In the 1980’s, the city of Buffalo intended to demolish the shrine, but advocates succeeded in having it spared while Battaglia’s former property around it became a snow-emergency parking lot. Read more…

20 Aug 2012

Ronald Manolio 1930- 2012


Ron Manolio; Lyndhurst, OH 2010For over 50 years Ron Manolio cheerfully hand-painted the (real) eggshells for Betty Manolio’s Eggshelland graph paper designs.  I’ve truly never met a person who exuded such giddy delight over bringing pleasure to other people.

The immense regional following that Eggshelland has earned no doubt brought Ron great, and well-deserved satisfaction.  During the couple of weeks the annual display lasts, there is a constant stream of visitors, and Easter Sunday brings hundreds and hundreds of often generational admirers.  Ron and Betty made me feel like just another member of their big Italian-American family from the (unannounced) first moment I showed up with my big camera at their suburban Cleveland front yard in 2005.  According to the articles below, Betty intends there to be one final goodbye display for Easter 2013. Read more…

12 Aug 2012