His spontaneous kiss of a passing woman in Times Square was captured on film and published by Life Magazine. George Mendonsa died last weekend at the age of 95 but a part of his life now rests docked in the waters of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.
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For one brief era, Buffalo, or at least one part of it, was an integrated place where people of different races and ethnicities mixed freely and comfortably. The time was the turn of the 20 th century, the place was the Near East Side, and the environment that flourished there produced some of the greatest music America has ever heard.