The Bishop’s Wife

January 23, 2017

The Bishop’s Wife: points of discussion.

Starring:       Cary Grant

Loretta Young

David Niven


The Bishop’s Wife is a movie recorded in black and white during a much simpler era, before electronic home entertainment and cell phones were invented. It shares common themes with other films of its time, those being angelic intervention and Christmas;  It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Angels in the Outfield, Heaven Can Wait, Bells of St. Mary’s, … and so on.  In these movies we get a concept of how and why angels do what they do.


Each character in this movie represents an office of the church:


Dudley             angel                           Part of the divine order.

Blind man        Arch Angel                  A test for Dudley.*

Baby Buggy     angelic intervention    A miracle.

Julie Brown     Prophetess                  Human with direct communication to the divine.

Professor         Scribe/ Scholar            Recorder and teller of history.

Bishop Henry  High Priest                  Teacher and counselor of church officers. Administrator

Mrs. Hamilton Patron/ financier        Worldly and financial supporter of church needs.

Miss Mildred Cassaway Secretary     Scribe/ Gatekeeper


Queen (Dog)   Saint Bernard              Companion and Protector, church usher/ greeter.

Debbie             Child/ sheep                Represents the world of souls to be persuaded.

Rev. Miller      Pastor/Deacon            Teacher and counsellor of the common laity.

Mrs. Duffy    Organist/Chief Musician The chanter. One who communicates through music.

Choir               Followers                     Sheep. The laity of followers.



Cook/               servant/worker           Performs a prescribed service for the church.


Help save St. Timothy’s


Dudley’s definition of an angle.


The Bishops morning fast.


Matilda’s Hat: covering of the head.  Bishop’s scarf represents the Bishop’s vestments.


Miracle Snowball fight: Comparison to David’s sling and the lion. (Later implied, Goliath)


Work to do in Paris:  Modeling for the Sistine Chapel.


Palm-reading: Eyes are the window to the soul.


Three stingers… guess who paid the check…

Miracle manuscript and coin. Divine inspiration.


Bishop and celery in his pocket. Pass the celery.


Locked door miracle. (An angel might walk thru without opening it.)


Julie hums Music improvised from antiquity. The harp solo.


He didn’t know it was an angel. Who inspired him? Psalm


The sticky chair: angelic impedance. (God’s timing.)


Who do see as the dragon? (An invitation to self-analysis.)



Will “Witch Hazel” be of use? (Suggesting magic.)


Julie’s Crown of regal authority— the hat.


Skating, gliding, like flying. Learning to fly without wings can be comical. Sylvester learned well.


This glorious edifice… is it worth it?


Dudley needs a mortal’s authority to do his work. This was Julie (not the Bishop Henry.)*


The Harp speaks to Dudley. Leading him to the music score. (Spiritual possession of objects.)*


Music touches the widow’s heart, as did the songs of David for King Solomon.


Henry’s dream of a cathedral is decimated. And he is insulted by being put in charge of the dismantling of his cathedral plan.


Professor’s revelation. His eyes were open to interpretation and to tongues.


Angels are a little beneath the human kind.


Julia had to pray him away. To prove his work was complete.


Do not envy the mortal in your care. Unlike David and Bathsheba, Dudley makes the proper choice.


Julies original prayer was to restore her marriage and bring Henry back to her heart.


I notice many similarities to the story of David in this script. Is Dudley the spirit of King David as an angel under God.  It matters not his past or his future. Dudley is intended to do the bidding of his divine creator in the here and now, wherever and whenever that here and now should be.


“Mooney: Stand-up view”

March 31, 2016

One Day at a Time

I am an honorary alcoholic.

How did I earn this distinction? Did I work diligently toward this end?

Those who know me say I have a drinking problem. I never touch the stuff.

Those friends say need to, for the sake of all humanity.

How can I be one of “those” people, when I do not drink alcohol at all.

I was drunk, once. It resulted from a college hazing.

I was juggling in a dorm room. The dormers were drinking. They involved me in a little game.

Any time I would drop, they offered me a taste of the tap. The more I’d taste, the more I’d drop.

The more I’d drop, the more I’d taste. (You get the idea?)

At the end the dorm was chanting: “CHUG TILL YOU PUKE! YEAH! CHUG TILL YOU PUKE.

So, I puked. — Then, I was looking for my balls. When…I puked again.

— College life.

— Did I mention this was the night before my freshman dissertation? Yes, maybe I should leave that part for another monologue.

My older brother was a drunk; under-aged and over-raged. He’d get plastered & clobber me over the head while I was under the blanket of my bed. A blanket party in my room.

It prepared my brother for Navy.

I don’t remember much after that. Everything is pretty much a blur.

I was sober — but it was still the ‘60s.

My father was an alcoholic. I sure that’s what killed him.

Let me think… cataracts: never saw it coming — liver disease: liver’d through it. – Male pattern baldness: shining example.

But, when that car came up onto the sidewalk, old “Pop-tart” was road kill.

Too drunk to dodge traffic. So a dodge rammed my Daddy. (SINGING)  Standing on the corner watching all the grills go by.   (PINK PANTHER THEME) “Dead Dad”

Talking of traffic mishaps, Mom was killed by the bus. At first she would wait forever for the bus to come. She found that if she lit up a cigarette the bus would arrive sooner.  So after thirty years of waiting for the bus, she succumbed to cancer.

But Mom was a ten-year cancer survivor (yea!) before the inevitable.  I miss her, in spite of all the love and parenting she put me through.

Her finest piece of parenting advice to me was—“A stiff prick ain’t got no conscience.” 

This was my Mom’s version of – “the talk.”  Just that one sentence.

—“A stiff prick ain’t got no conscience.”  

Mom and I … We had it often.

My Mom was not a drunk. You don’t need booze to make you crazy—when you can rely on manic depression disorder. All of Mumsie’s “happy-drugs” were required by prescription.

I grew-up as an only child.  I have one and a half sisters, and I have one and a half brothers.

You figure out the math. Use common-core calculations. It’s easier that way.

  1. I have three half-sisters, totaling 1.5 female sibling.
  2. I have one full brother, and one “half-brother” totaling 1.5 brothers.

Or might that be one “full-brother’ and one “full-sister” with one “trans-gender” sibling?

That’s the NEW MATH.

So, Why do I hold a poker chip in my wallet?

To prove membership is this most exclusive club. — A.A.

Let me explain… (harp glissando and visual effect to new scene.)

I was working at the carnival as a “free act”. The show boss thinks “free act” means I’ve taken a vow of poverty, but that’s not what “free act” means. I would freely walk the midway with stilts, juggle, unicycle and play music.

The ride company provided me with a room and shower in their bunkhouse trailer. Ten cattle stalls with two bunk beds in each stall. For this royal suite I would assist in set-up and tear down of rides.

As we got further from home, the show boss changed the rules. I became just another carny slave. I not able to perform my midway act as we’d agreed.

In Clearwater, Florida I had enough money to rent a U-Haul and skedaddle out-a-there.  I performed at the Tourist Pier where I was well received as a street performer. But there was a matter of where to go for beddy-bye-time.

Then, the cops told me — the

(sung: TUNE: Beverly Hillbilly Theme)

Clearwater homeless shelter

is the place You otta’ be.

So I clutched my U-Haul truck


Labor Pool – Donation Jars, (switch-blade spars, Beggar czars.) .


This was a very enlightening experience, for the shelter had many rules and requirements

Among these rules were to remain substance free (that means abstain from alcohol and drugs—I see I just lost half of you, already.)

And residents must acquire full-time employment (that’s a job. – I see I just lost the other half.)

And we must participate in mandatory meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. No exceptions. You don’t attend– you’re out of the country club.

Was I in Denial?  Did I look like a drunk?

Alcohol?  I never touched the stuff !  Yet, there I was, sitting in with an actual community sponsored meeting of AA.

The facilitator asked the group “How long have you been ‘clean’?”

I was concerned. He asked: “How many of you have gone one whole day without a drink?” He awarded these persons with a white poker chip to reward their sobriety.

“How many have gone a week without alcohol?” The respondents received a colored chip. And so on, through the calendar of weeks and months and years.

I was still standing, imagining an LSD trip as they offered the most colorful psychedelic chip in the system.

I was unwilling to admit the cliché:

“My name is Gary and I am an …awk… allock… Allocco…”

— wait a minute! If i make this pledge. It’s a lie! I am not an alcoholic.


But, if I refuse this pledge, who would believe me. These men have been through

“genuine — false”



I felt no great since of achievement — giving up a demon that I had never carried. Yet, I honestly knew that God had placed me that room to learn the experience, so that I need not live it for myself.


When it came my turn, I refused the most colorful longtime sober token.

Rather, I requested a simple white chip — indicating one day clean. I then proudly, and honestly announced:

“Hello. My name is Gary, and I am an honorary alcoholic.”


Without the torment of the disease, I have learned through the testimony of this group how to begin counseling those in need.


I am not qualified to say “I have been there…” Yet, this experience has given me a humble understanding, which is priceless, and cannot be purchased at a university for any tuition.


The struggle is always ONE DAY AT A TIME. Some say live for the moment. I say live IN the moment. PLAN for the future; STRIVE for the present, and LEARN from the past.


I repeat my successful efforts, and learn from others mistakes, because I have too little time to make all those mistakes for myself.

And, mistakes… I make plenty, like staying sober in this place.

My Name is Gary. I am an Honorary Alcholic. May God bless you. And, make it a great day.

Now—Somebody – Buy me a drink !!!


Buffalo infringement Festival and the law.

August 8, 2015 



verb in·fringe \in-ˈfrinj\

: to do something that does not obey or follow (a rule, law, etc.) ( chiefly US )

: to wrongly limit or restrict (something, such as another person’s rights)


Full Definition of INFRINGE

transitive verb

1:  to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another <infringe a patent>

2:  obsolete :  defeatfrustrate

intransitive verb

:  encroach —used with on or upon <infringe on our rights>

— in·fring·er noun


     The Buffalo Busker

Buffalo, New York

copyright: 2015 by G.F. Mooney      FREE, Donations accepted


July 27, 2015           Volume XVI, Number I

Celebrate the festival—Halloo !!!

by Gary F. Mooney

I love the mandate that governs the BUFFALO iNFRINGEMENT FESTIVAL (BiF). The organizers truly appreciate the creative artists that are hiding in our community. This festival staff (all volunteers themselves) spend countless hours coordinating artists and volunteer venues to host these artists. They accomplish this all by mutual agreement, so everybody can be happy.


In years prior, the festival has been well organized and promoted in Artvoice and other media. Festivities on public right of ways were “staying under the radar” with law enforcement agencies. This year, BiF faced the issue of restricted speech artistic expression head–on. David Adamczyk assisted artists in obtaining city mandated licenses.

Many artists hedged at the licensing requirement for outdoor entertainers. Several refused to apply for the city license at $10.50. Some dropped out of the festival altogether. Others opted to perform but refuse all gratuities. Many paid the fee to appease this government imposed restriction of protected speech, even though it is in violation of the First Amendment, U.S. Constitution.




Buffalo City Code

Chapter 319:Performers, Outdoor

[HISTORY: Derived from Art. XIV of Ch. V of the Charter and Ordinances, 1974, of the City of Buffalo. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 319-1 License required.

[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
No person shall perform magic, act, sing, dance, play music, act as a mime, juggle or engage in similar entertainments upon the streets, sidewalks or other outdoor public places of the City without first obtaining a license to do so from the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services.

Read this… carefully.

These forms of artistic speech and expression are protected by the First Amendment, and articulated by court rulings.

This chapter states that you need a license before engaging in any of these activities. There is no mention here of soliciting money. Money is not the issue. The sole subject of this is a ban on “entertainments” as interpreted by law enforcement. This allows for censorship.

Prior restraint on protected speech is unlawful. This paragraph has a chilling effect on those who do not know their rights under law.

Assuming that such entertainments will not insight riots, promote treason, make false claim of “fire” or instill unreasonable menace upon the audience, such expression is legal.

§ 319-2 Application for license.

[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
Application for such licenses shall be made upon a blank form furnished by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, signed and verified, giving the name, address and telephone number of the applicant. Said application shall be filed with the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services and accompanied by a fee as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.

To receive the city’s license the applicant must surrender his identity and contact information for the city’s record.

The City of Buffalo charges a fee for the licensee to engage in protected artistic expression. Free speech will cost you $10.50 per year in the city. (Waivers will be discussed later.)

§ 319-3 Expiration; contents; transferability.

A.  The license shall be effective for one year from its date of issuance.

B.  It shall contain the name and permit number of the applicant and the date of expiration. 

C.  No such license shall be transferred from one person to another.

Your address is not to appear on the printed license. As your license must be displayed at all times during your performance (§ 319-6) some observers may be offended. An offended person may become an unwelcome visitor at your home.

§ 319-4 Free licenses.

[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
In his discretion, the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services may issue licenses free of charge to indigent persons. Any such free license shall expire 30 days after the date of its issuance unless sooner revoked.

Disclaimer: license is free if you cannot afford it.

When I filed a legitimate request for this indigent waiver, this request was refused. “We don’t give free licenses.” was the director’s initial response. After reviewing this law, he demanded “proof of income” from the indigent person. How do you prove what does not exist?

§ 319-5 Information to be furnished to licensees.

All licensees shall be furnished a copy of this chapter, together with a list of areas and places where performances are restricted.

The City is compelled to “furnish” the written chapter 319 to all who apply for this license. This paragraph suggests the licensing authority should attach a copy of this law to the printed license — they do not.

The Office of the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services ignores this obligation under law. The licensing authority has never given me a complete copy of this law. They have referred me to the internet, or to the City Clerk’s office.

I have requested a list “…of places and areas where performances are restricted.” Never has a written document been provided. Verbal suggestions have been proffered, but no legal list of banned locations exists, to the best of my knowledge.

§ 319-6 Display of license.

All persons licensed hereunder shall display their licenses at all times during the street performances.

… “Your papers, please.” License is a label of privilege. If you accept protected speech as a privilege, you then forfeit it as your right.

You are performing in a licensed industry—the same as a doctor, plumber or an electrician. Therefore, it is not legal to hire a musician for an outdoor concert, unless he holds THIS license. (See: § 319-1.)

§ 319-7 Locations and hours for performances.

A.  Performances regulated hereunder may take place in public areas, unless excluded by § 319-9 of this chapter. Performances may take place on private property upon written permission of the owner or other person having charge of such property. Performances may take place at a fair or public festival authorized under this Code upon written permission of the sponsor thereof.


B.  Performances shall be restricted to the following hours: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays; 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Fridays; 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturdays; 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sundays, except that in those areas known as the “Theater District” and the “Pedestrian Mall,” performances may occur between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.

Restricting protected speech at an outdoor public gathering or festival is a touchy debate. By requiring a license of all artists, event sponsors may claim the “license” is invalid at that event.

Dates and times of performance fall into the: “…time, place, and manner…” provision for reasonable regulation of public performances. Time restrictions aim to avoid public disturbance during residential sleeping hours. Special extensions are allowed for the entertainment district, where residential sleeping patterns are not an issue.

§ 319-8 General restrictions on performances.

A.  Amplified equipment. A performer licensed hereunder may use amplified equipment only with permission therefor from the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services. Such permission must be noted on the face of the license. Amplified equipment shall be battery-powered only and shall be audible for a distance not to exceed 100 feet.

[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]

B.  Passage of public. No licensee shall perform so as to block the passage of the public through a public area, unless permitted to do so at a fair or public festival by the sponsor thereof. The Commissioner of Police is hereby authorized to disperse a crowd or portion thereof which is blocking the passage of the public but shall not order the licensee to quit the location absent a violation of this Code or other statute, rule or regulation.


C.  Distance requirements.

(1)  No licensee shall perform at a distance of closer than 50 feet to another licensee or group of licensees engaged in a performance.


(2)  No licensee shall perform at a distance of closer than 50 feet to a restricted area as determined by the Common Council, Commissioner of Police or as delineated by a posted sign.


D.  Contributions. A licensee may accept contributions at a performance in a hat, instrument case or other receptacle. All signs requesting contribution shall be limited in size to 12 inches by 11 inches.

319-8 General restrictions are the rules of conduct in this code.

Many cities have passed laws to ban amplifiers. These laws have been abandoned. Courts have ruled that amplified speech is protected speech, within reason. It is appropriate to amplify a performance to cut through ambient street noise. Too much volume is still a public disturbance.

In Buffalo, I have applied for an amplified equipment endorsement. The commissioner has consistently refused. I took this issue before The Buffalo Common Council, where the matter was investigated, and buried in committee.

Never block the passage of pedestrians. Blocking access and egress is unsafe and infringes upon the rights of others. (The fair or festival exemption is a mystery to me. Why would a sponsor wish to cause a safety hazard?)

But this law offers specific PROTECTION TO THE PERFORMER.

  • 319-8 B.“…The Commissioner of Police (…) shall not order the licensee to quit the location absent a violation…”

Police may not order a licensee to stop on the complaint that he is an unlicensed vendor, vagrant, panhandler, beggar or loiterer. The license protects a licensee from police harassment, playing by their rules.

Maintain a fair distance from other performers. Fifty feet suggested here is reasonable.

Restricted areas are covered next paragraph.

This law protects “contributions”. This choice is ascribed to your audience. They have a right to give.

Historically, police have falsely criminalized artists by charging them with disorderly conduct, vagrancy, hooliganism, pandering, aggressive panhandling, begging or any other made-up charge to stop their performance. In Buffalo this was the case. The Outdoor Performers License law was created to defend a street performer’s rights and segregate buskers from those other meandering criminal charges.

§ 319-9 Restricted areas.

A.  The Commissioner of Police may exclude a public area from performances for a period not to exceed seven days if, in his discretion, such exclusion is necessary or desirable for the public health, safety or welfare.

B.  Upon the written recommendation of the Commissioner of Police, the Common Council may conduct a public hearing to determine whether a public area should be excluded from performances by persons licensed under this chapter. The Common Council shall determine whether the public health, safety or welfare would require such an exclusion and may exclude any public area from performances. No such exclusion shall be effective until seven days after notice thereof has been mailed to all licensees.

The police may not close an area without cause. The cause must be related to: “…public health, safety or welfare.” Police may not close an area except for a danger, and for no more than one week.

The Buffalo Common Council must hold a public hearing before they can on exclude any area from a licensed performer under this law.

No such exclusion shall be effective until seven days after notice thereof has been mailed to all licensees.”

So, even if the City lawmakers vote to exclude an area, that decision is NOT ENFORCABLE, under law, until licensees are advised by mail.

(Note: I have never received a notice of this nature in the mail. My license was first issued in the year 1999.)

§ 319-10 Suspension and revocation of licenses.

A.  A license issued hereunder may be suspended or revoked by the Common Council for cause after notice and an opportunity for a hearing have been afforded the licensee.


B.  Upon revocation, the former licensee may be restricted from application for a license for such time as the Common Council may determine but no longer than one year.

Your [free speech] “license… may be suspended or revoked by the Common Council for cause…”

Suspension of license by the Common Council violates the separation of governmental powers clause. Common Council has the authority to pass laws and ordinances. It is the duty of the judicial system to see complaints and pass judgment. This clause is a possible devise for governmental censorship.


The Buffalo Infringement Festival is well managed — yet oddly named. Every performer is cooperating with the law. They are filling out the forms, paying all the fees and jumping thru the hoops.

These artists are not infringers; these artists are the VICTIMS of a despotic system of legal loopholes designed to censor out objectionable speech through the process of invidious discrimination.

In this law, (Chapter 319 Outdoor Performers) the city of Buffalo infringes on the rights of artists to perform in public places, as protected by the first amendment of the U.S. constitution.

The law protects the interests of the City, granting certain rights only as permissions. By signing into this license scheme the City may assume that you have waived your speech rights under the terms of the license contract.

An unlawful contract is not binding and cannot be enforced under law. This shall someday be challenged, and revealed.

I appreciate those performers presenting their art under the protection of the festival. I appreciate the role this festival has in exposing the truth of how censorship works in today’s culture.

For their great work I suggest recommitting the Buffalo Infringement Festival to its true calling and renaming it:



Goldstein v. Town of Nantucket, 477 F. Supp., 606, (1979)






Civ. A No. 79-1455-Z.

United States District Court


Sept. 25, 1979


Professional musician brought action for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that enforcement by town of its transient bylaw deprived him of rights secured by the First Amendment. The District Court, Zobel, J., held that transient vendor bylaw, as applied to troubadour, was constitutionally deficient.

Judgement to be entered.

  1. Constitutional Law 90(1)

By its terms, the First Amendment forbids infringement of right of free speech and this constitutional protection of free speech, moreover, applies broadly to various forms of expression, literacy, artistic, political, and scientific. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 1

  1. Constitutional Law 90.1(6)

Troubadour public performance of Nantucket’s traditional folk music was clearly within scope of protected First Amendment expression. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 1.

  1. Constitutional Law 90(3)

Constitutional guarantee of the First Amendment does not confer absolute protection from government regulation of public expression; states may impose reasonable and impartial regulations upon the time, place and manner of public expression. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 1

  1. Constitutional Law 90.1(4)

Nantucket’s bylaws setting standards for licensing of entertainers, including plaintiff troubadour, and which included broad licensing criteria of financial responsibility of applicant, effect on neighboring properties, and opinion of town merchants, did not pass constitutional muster as applied to plaintiff troubadour, whose contemplated activity of performing in tradition of balladeers on the street, enjoyed First Amendment protection. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 1

  1. Constitutional Law 90.1(4)

Fact that plaintiff troubadour accepted contributions of passersby during his public performances would not dilute his protection under the First Amendment and would to broaden town’s narrow mandate to exercise impartial regulation upon use of sidewalks for public expression. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 1.


Warming up the audience

March 26, 2014

I have used this bit to focus young audiences before the show begins.

I believe that the guitar is alive, and has a mind of its own.

Victorian Dazzle Festival

March 26, 2014

The stilt-walker playing mandolin is yours truly, Gary F. Mooney at the Victorian Dazzle Festival in Fredonia, N.Y.

I also performed Juggling and unicycle at this event.

“Willies Wonderfool White House”

March 8, 2012

“Willie’s Wonderfool White House”(1991) was a satire lampooning President Bill Clinton’s life in “pubic office” (pun intended.)  Written under the psudonym of Frank Lunar and produced by Gary F. Mooney at Medaille College’s White House Conference Center.  The cast is made up from volunteers and college students.    <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”;hl=en_US” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Working a room.

January 5, 2012
Table hopping family entertainment.
Gary F. Mooney as “Ollie Dey” at Holiday Inn dining room.

When Holiday Inn Hotel in Niagara Falls, NY engaged live entertainment, I was fortunate to be their headline magician/ children’s show artist.  During breakfast and dinner I would promote this evening program.

Do you work for the zoo? — My response.

December 28, 2011

For roughly thirteen years I have been entertaining on Parkside Avenue in front of the Buffalo Zoo, playing music and giving away balloon sculptures. I never charge for this performance on the street, receiving gifts of love when freely offered.

On Wednesday October 5, 2011 the Zoo administration challenged me — on the city right of way — saying that I need to be fifty feet from their entrance, as defined by the traffic circle outer rim. (No such legal space limit exists for protected speech activities at this location.) I suggested that they call a police officer to cite me. 

An officer arrived, not familiar with busking law. I had a chance to educate the law officer. He did not cite me for any violation. He asked me to have documentation ready next time the Zoo confronts me, implying a certain confidence that there will be a next time.

The first time zoo management challenged me was in 1998.  A zoo official told me I was not allowed on “zoo property.”

I replied simply, “I am not on Zoo property.”

At that time, Mr. Dick Payne was Assistant Director of the Buffalo Zoological Gardens. Payne proposed: “This is all Zoo property, right up to the curb. We have a contract with the city.” Mr. Payne was assertive in this contention. Mr. Payne was wrong.

The Zoo management then engaged in a harassment campaign to deter me from playing the sidewalk along Parkside Ave. One time a zoo manager steered passers-by to me shouting; “Get your free balloons from Mr. Balloon Man, All his balloons are FREE!” – perhaps thinking that this would deplete my stock of balloons with no financial return. Their stunt actually inflated my tip income for that day. I thanked them.

Then, Buffalo Zoo Director Thomas Garlock conceded to allow me to perform on the zoo frontage public sidewalk and in the plaza approach to the gate, after I demonstrated documentation of public easement laws, and the blueprints of the property’s lease line. There was also a suggestion of civil liability against the zoo.

Payne approached me while I was playing outside his fenced perimeter, on the public sidewalk. He humbly apologized for his previous actions, saying that he would invite me to perform inside, but could not allow balloons with the animals: “We have to protect the collection.”

Payne and Garlock were soon gone, passing the mantle to Dr. Donna Fernandes. Status quo continued. I had a good set of eyes to aid security and was cordial with the guards. Live and let live; and little interaction occurred. Dr. Fernandes was making phenomenal strives of progress, building inside the zoo. They pretty much ignored me on the street outside.

In March of 2010 something changed. Zoo staff again sought unqualified control of the public sidewalk.

The City of Buffalo Department of Licenses and Inspection Services sent Jason Bailey, who flashed a badge, telling me to leave. Bailey claimed that I needed the zoo’s permission to perform anywhere on the entire length of their frontage sidewalk — even with a Street Performer’s License. I was amazed that a licensing inspector was so ignorant of first amendment rights, and existing city law. I asked Bailey to cite me for violation. He refused to write me the ticket.

While renewing my busker’s license at city hall, I asked for the specific nature of the complaints lodged against me. I summoned the director of the Department of Licenses (name). Together, we reviewed the language of the city law. Then I illustrated where the city was in violation. (They call it: “non-compliance.”)

The city licensing director (name) said, “You know this law better than I do, don’t you?”

The director acknowledged that the zoo had complained, but was unwilling to disclose any specifics of those complaints.

I had made my point — and beat city hall — returning to Parkside Ave. & Russell Street without any further problem from the city.

Zoo staff was now openly challenging me on the public easement.

“You can’t be there!” shouted a docent, corralling pedestrian traffic into a special event.

“Yes I can.” I calmly replied.

“No you can’t, and I am going to report you!” the docent declared, then sprinted inside.

Adair Saviola, Director of Development & Marketing, Buffalo Zoolgical Gardens (I asked for her I.D.) appeared with two senior uniformed security guards.  Saviola claimed to be the Zoo’s Marketing Director and Operations Manager, along with several other titles.

“You can’t be here.” barked Saviola in an intimidating pose.

“Yes, I can.” I responded in a calm and somewhat stoic voice.

Saviola: “No you can’t!”

Me: “Yes, I can.”

Saviola: “No you CAN‘T.”

Me: “Yes, I can.”

Saviola: “NO YOU CAN‘T”

Me: “Yes.” — I paused a beat.  –  “I can.”

Saviola: “You can’t be in front of our entrance.”

Me: “You’re incorrect. I am not allowed to obstruct your entrance — I am not obstructing. I am on a public easement.”

I handed Adair Saviola a packet of papers defining Buffalo Laws on street performing.

Saviola flatly held, “I don’t need that.”

“No.” I agreed with mine adversary quickly in reply. I continued, “You don’t. But your legal department does.”

Saviola received the papers.

I asked, “May I continue now uninterrupted?”

“Go to it.” Saviola capitulated, snarling in her angry, frustrated voice; retorting: “But I expect you to remember just who you are making your money off of.”

First Saviola, and then her contingent of guards retreated into their gated fortress.

In my opinion, Saviola — a heavy-weight executive and fund-raiser– acted as a bully who is accustomed to getting her way. I have zero tolerance for bullies.

A marked Buffalo police car parked nearby. The officer observed my performance from inside his cruiser. After about twenty minutes the patrol car drove off without incident.

Subsequently, plain-clothes police detectives have observed me perform, and introduced themselves while leaving a tip in the hat. (Sorry, can’t give names.)

In conclusion, it is fair to say that I am not affiliated with the Buffalo Zoological Gardens. Rather, I am a professional, licensed Street Performer, working with the public passage in a high-traffic corridor.


Sample letter of determination.

December 28, 2011

Gary F. Mooney

Buffalo, NY  14216


To Whom it May Concern,

This is a written response to a request that I cease lawful activity as a street performer.

Please be informed that artistic performance (as in the playing of musical instruments) is considered protected speech as declared in the First Amendment, U.S. Constitution.  The city of Buffalo has also passed laws which protect the rights of entertainers in public places.  See attached: Chapter 319, Buffalo City Charter, copy attached.

Also note that I am not a vendor, as defined by law.  I do not sell any item.  My performance is free.

If, upon review of this response you determine that I am not allowed to perform at this present location, and desire to chill or mute my First Amendment rights, you may to me issue a letter of eviction.  This legal notice must be placed the official company letterhead of any agency that you represent.  It will include a description of my exact location (photograph is helpful) in your complaint.  Such a letter must be duly dated and signed by a person with such legal authority to make this determination.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Gary F. Mooney

I am a silhouette.

August 11, 2009

Gary F. Mooney as Mr. Balloon Man

Gary F. Mooney as Mr. Balloon Man

Can somebody help me attach a picture to my comments. I feel creepy appearing as a generic sketch.

WordPress is a anathema to me. There are far to many drop-down menus — and I am a mere silhouette.

I have been searching links for a upload photo to comments. But I can find no such command.