My Old House: 460 Lowes St.
What happened when the chicken crossed Lowes Street?
According to Mike Martini ’87, Tom Doring ’87, Kurt Bouley ’87, John McDonnell ’87, Tony Gasunas ’87 and Andy Schmitt ’87, the chicken ended up in the Marycrest residence hall kitchen.
“[Bouley] and [Schmitt] hailed from Rochester, New York, not far from where Buffalo wings originated,” Martini said. “Every year they’d bring down 25 pounds of chicken wings and we’d fry them up in Marycrest’s kitchen.” They’d serve the wings to the neighborhood in an event they dubbed “Wingfest.”
460 Lowes St. may not have been the newest and nicest house in the neighborhood, but the square white house with a spacious front porch became a central location for social gatherings.
The kitchen and dining room — only big enough for picnic-style eating at their 8-foot plywood dining room table — became the hub of fine cuisine beyond chicken wings.
“We purchased food for group consumption and taught each other how to cook,” McDonnell said. “There were funny mishaps along the way including putting the frosting on Pillsbury cinnamon buns before cooking and cheese powder being boiled with the macaroni and spaghetti.”
The plywood table also doubled as a dance floor when necessary.
In the yard, the roommates enjoyed playing hacky sack, softball and flag football. They had a fire pit, but the firewood came from an unusual place.
“We didn’t have any wood so we just burned the house fence instead,” Martini said.
More than 30 years later, the men still treasure their friendship and time as roommates.
“These five guys are certainly friends for life, and I know each one of us would bend over backward for a housemate in need,” Martini said. “Our favorite saying when all of us were together was always ‘six housemates partying together,’ and we still say that today.”
As the friends are each nearing retirement, they are looking forward to finding more moments to reconnect.
“We don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, but as we start planning our retirements, it comes with the promise of more time to get together,” McDonnell said. “The memories and laughter come flooding back whenever we get together. We are transported back in time during the telling of stories, and we see each other as 21-year-olds once again.”
Address: 460 Lowes St.
Year built: 1910
Square feet: 1,360
Style: Old-style wood frame