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Welcome to the Ellicottville Special E-Fects
Serving Ellicottville & the Twin Tiers of Western New York since 1989
The Official Newspaper of:
The Town & Village of Ellicottville
Town of Great Valley & Township of Mansfield

We've Come a Long Way!
(1/9/2009) PART I
By Carol Fisher


Special-E-Fects was first published in 1989 at 13 Martha Street In 1990 Special-E moved to a tiny storage-turned-workspace behind Lynn Dubey’s thriving TODAY’S HEAD LINES hair shop.  It was then that the newly arrived ad-man and resident, Hank Dubey of Dallas, Texas, started the publication after leaving a struggling newspaper called Tree Town Talk.  Shortly thereafter, I, Carol Fisher, wandered into his office, offering a trilogy of stories.  He liked them, published them and then he hired me as, what turned out to be for many years, his right hand “Lois Lane.”  Life in Ellicottville in those growing years was never dull, even when things were slow.  (Can you imagine “slow” in today’s Ellicottville?)  Insert the colorful, zany, ultra-creative, and loquacious cowboy, Hank Dubey, and the fun enlarged – because Hank Dubey was larger than life in everything he did!

In preparation for the weekly paper, we would try to plan in advance, but during a busy news week, we’d sometimes get down to having a conversation about what we thought our weekly point-counterpoint piece might be only after the collage was done and all the important news articles were typed, printed, and stuck to the boards.  For many years (until Jane and Brenda came on the scene), it was just the two of us pulling news and photos together, and writing informative and entertaining articles for our wonderful readers and faithful advertisers.  As a result, oftentimes with midnight looming, we would both be tired and punch-drunk, having worked all week to get the paper out before deadline.

The ubiquitous coffee in our cups (now was the cream and sugar or Baileys jazzing it up?) kept our energy churning when the word-smith well threatened to dry up, just at the critical moment when we needed to pull our weekly repartee out of the hat.  We’d banter – we’d stare blankly at each other – we’d poke fun in voices muffled by arms nestling tired heads resting on our desks - we’d throw ideas around, or our best hope, Lynn or a friend would wander into the office at that late hour.  Fresh conversation would take place and then suddenly one of us, maybe Hank, or me, or Lynn, or John, or Mike, or Big Eddie., or whomever, would come up with a bizarre comment that would plant the elusive seed.  At last, I could to kick off the piece … naturally, as the prudish, proper, pedantic straight gal.  I’d then read my perennially, predictably, virtuous argument to him and Hank would take over and perform his verbal magic that would crack us all up with his multiple same-letter adjectives and characteristically annihilating, very funny response.  How many of you remember the weekly piece called She Says, He Says?  It went something like this one from Mother’s Day, 1993...

Do you really believe that women are truly the weaker sex?

By Carol U. Gotabekiden

Look, any human being on earth knows the strength and resilience, the determination and bull-doggedness of their mom, a woman. Who in their right mind would say that women are the weaker sex?

Was Eleanor Roosevelt the weaker sex when she saved her ill husband’s Presidency? No! Does the sight of the Woman in the Harbor lighting the way to liberty create a sense of weakness in onlookers’ eyes? Not on this planet! If you were sitting next to Rosa Parks on that Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955, what might you have thought? No weakness there!

I would go on to argue my point and then it would be Hank’s turn to refute. It usually went something like this …

By H. Owcanu Dodistome

Carol, Carol, Carol!!! Now you’ve gone over the proverbial jagged edge. As usual, you are out in left field, Carol Can’t Win!. You are an uninformed, illogical, capricious, arbitrary, and irrational member of the female sex, and, face it, nothing is worse than a pitiable, pathetic, pitiful, poor sport.

You don’t play fair, Carol Conartist Can Cheat!...

He’d send his verbal bullets flying and usually wrap up his indictment by shooting me right between the eyes with something like this…

Do I dare tell you that for every one powerful woman, there are ten powerful men? And easily name a hundred? No! And why? Because my mother would have my head, that’s why! Not only that, she’d take your side. Even if I win with you, I lose with her. My Mama raised tall boys, Carol Illgetu … not stupid boys. You just be ready to hold on to your knickers next week, when I get to double deep-six you, Carol, Carol, Carol. And, you know I will! … And He DID!

Ahhh, those days laid the foundation for the publication you hold in your hands. Alas, Hank is now a memory about whom everyone who knew him has a story – generally humorous. His quick wit and intelligence, his love of words and creatively painting pictures with them, his demand for truth, and his willingness to speak out on local social issues when necessary, created a legacy that personalized this paper in a way that made it so SPECIAL.

So, here’s a toast to the next twenty years! I can just imagine Hank sitting up there somewhere on a cloud dazzling the onlookers with his famous cigarette trick. Look there, I see him! He’s got a camera slung around his neck, and he’s wearing cowboy boots and tattered wings, with guitar in hand, singing On Top of the Hill, while toasting all of us, and all of his “friends in low places.” Cheers!


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