Hilton, New York

To help ensure that every memory and feature of the the epic “father-son” trip to Rochester, NY can be enjoyed in its proper context and not a single moment is wasted, here’s an online “guide” that will provide an internary as well as some links that will guarantee a truly amazing “walk down memory lane.”

Buffalo, NY

We arrive around 1:00. The first thing we can do is grab some lunch at the Buffalo Airport location of the “Anchor Bar” which is the place where Buffalo Wings were born.

After that, we’ve got the Buffalo Navy Park. I came here as a Senior in High School with my friend, Mark Heitz. We were just visiting, but it was also here that the Navy Show Band put on a performance and I got my first taste of what a military music program looks like beyond John Philip Sousa.

From here, we’ll head to our hotel in Niagra Falls.

Niagra Falls

We’re staying at the Hyatt which is at 310 Rainbow Blvd South, Niagara Falls, NY 14303.

Be aware…


On Thursday, we’re looking at:

Niagara Falls Day Tour (American and Canadian side [Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds])

That will take a good portion of day and should be a phenomenal way to experience the Falls in two different countries.

Whether we make it to a museum that has some memorbilia from those who have tried to conquer the falls, not sure, but click here to see some of their stories.

Also, click here for the story behind the “Maid of the Mist.”


1) Oak Hill Country Club – home to the PGA Tour this year. We need to park at 3750 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY. They’ll have additional security in place at that point and that’s the parking that’s being made available that day. The Grand Opening of the PGA Store is Friday, the 12th. The address is 145 Kilbourn Road, Rochester, NY 14618.

From the PGA Office…

Grand Opening Hours
Friday, May 12 – Sunday, May 14
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Note: The PGA Shops Grand Opening will be open to the general public, Friday. May 12 – Sunday, May 14. No ticket required. Parking is complimentary and located at 3750 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14534, please follow signage and traffic control to PGA Public Parking. Complimentary shuttle service will be provided to and from the Main Spectator Entrance at Oak Hill Country Club. There is no public parking at Oak Hill Country Club during the PGA Shops Grand Opening.

Eastman School of Music / Hochstein Music School

Not that we need to go here, but just for the sake of “memories,” it was in downtown Rochester that I attended the Eastman School of Music Prepartory Department and studied Percussion with Ruth Cahn. Prior to that I studied with Brian Klaphen at Hochstein.

2) White Haven Memorial Park

It’s here where my Dad’s Mom and Dad are buried.

  • Henry Gust: Section E, Lot 211, Unit A, Grave #3
  • Helen Gust: Section E, Lot 221, Unit B, Grave #4

3) Browncroft Community Church

This is where my family worshipped after the original church was able to successfully expand by purchasing an old school and converting it to a church.

4) Brighton Community Church

This was the church that I went to as a child and up through my freshman year in High School. This is where I was baptized and it’s here where Aunt Brenda and Uncle Tom were married.

5) Long Ridge Mall

It’s called “Greece Ridge Mall” now, but at the time, this was the ultimate shopping experience, not to mention an arcade that, at the time was called, “Time Out.” This was where you went if you wanted to play video games.

The mall today is actually a comination of two malls that used exist independently of one another, but now operate as one unit and, as a result, is one of the largest malls in the country.

6) Wegman’s

A grocery store like no other. We might stop and buy some Zweigle’s hot dogs and make them in our hotel room! Wegman’s became a staple after I left home for the USMC. Up until that point, we shopped in stores that are now defunct. One of which was “Star Supermarkets.” Once Wegman’s became the “go to,” though, there was no turning back.


7) Northwood Elementary School

Where I went to Elementary School. Bring it!

8) The Corner Store / Gas Station

Parma Center Road crosses over Rt 259. At that intersection is where Whalen’s Corner Store was. That’s where we went for lttle grocery store runs, but more often than not, that’s where we went for candy and Cokes when we were kids.

There’s also a Mobile Gas Station. That’s where I got bit by a German Shepherd who used to bark and growl at me every time he saw me passing by on my bikd delivering papers.

9) 399 Parma Center Road

This is the house that your grandfather built and it’s where I grew up.

10) The Willow Tree

Behind my home it used to be nothing but acres and acres of pasture. We spent hours by the creek and my best friend growing up, was Rick Kanous. He was my next door neighbor. We built a Cadillac camping site that might actually still be there.

What will make this extra special is that it’s down by the creek where that Willow tree used to grow where Brenda and I scattered the ashes of my Mom and Dad.

11) Parma Town Hall

Built to look like a contemporary structure, it always looked bizarred. I rarely went inside, but it was here that I played Little League Baseball.

12) Hilton Fire Department

We’re just driving by, but this is where the Carnival happened every year, which was the annual main event in Hilton! It was also here that I had to work off my punishment for pulling a fire alarm accidentally in High School.

13) Village of Hilton

This where the parade route started when the Hilton High School Crimson Cadet Marching Band lead the procession that kicked off the annual Volunteer Fireman’s Fair every year. And this was th “downtown” area of the Town of Parma.

The place has changed a lot, although the architecture of the buildings is still the same. There’s an Ice Cream Parlor here that we may have to hit.

14) West End Middle School

I got in a fight with a friend of mine in front of this school one time. I don’t think this

15) Merton Williams Junior High

You went to Elementary School from Kindergarten to 4th grade. After that, you went to Middle School which was fifth thru sixth. Then you hit Merton Williams, which was 7th and 8th grade. And then…

16) Hilton High School 

Marching Band, School, Football Games – the stadium where I caught the last pass of the last play of the last game of the season!


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