I recently had a talk with my Dad and the discussion went to business owners in the family. It seems that apart from my grandfather, who was busy as the head of his parents household when his father died, most of them had one business or another over the years.

Joe Stuczynski & Ron Stuczynski

My uncle Joe as I remembered him used to drive a bright red station wagon, and seeing me and my grandfather (his brother) taking a walk, stopped it in the middle of the residential side street, blocking the road. His wife died years ago, and he remarried. I met his new wife, who had amazingly warm and gentle eyes, and last I know was living in a retirement complex on Main Street in Dunkirk, NY.

I also knew that he owned a farm that eventually was passed to his son, who then moved to Florida. I was on this small farm on at least one occassion, helping dig up a few potatoes, and I remember grapevine strunk along the back row. It was a small farm next to a railroad track, but I’m not sure exactly where in Dunkirk or the Town of Sheridan, NY it is.

What I didn’t know was that this farm was not a business really and that uncle Joe was not a farmer afterall. While working at Allegheny Ludlum, he owned a TV repair shop.

His son Ron owned a gas station. I had been there once or twice, and I believe it was a Sunoco, and it was located just off the Dunkirk thruway exit to the left on route 60. It’s no longer a gas station today.

Bernice & Steve Korwin

Bernice Stuczynski, daughter of Bernice and Julian Stuczynski, married Steve Korwin (changed from Korzeniewski). He owned a restaurant in Niagara Falls, then had a business dealing with break pads.

Her second husband had a career in the Marines, and they ended up living in San Diego, with at least one son and two grandsons.

Richard Stuczynski

My grandfather’s brother Stanley married Mary Bak (B?k) and was one of the owners of the fishing boats Mary S and the Mary S II.

Their son Richard “Dickie” Stuczynski owned the convenience store in Fedonia, New York. After he retired a few years ago and moved to the Southewest, and his son Richard Stuczynski Jr. took over, the store was no longer a Convenient Food Mart and is currently the Fredonia Food Mart.

Richard and his wife have children a little older than my daughter.

Jerome Stuczynski & Ken Stuczynski

My Dad and I both have experience as business owners.

When my father left Shuman Plastics, he had a difficuly time finding work because his resume was a bit intimidating. No one could afford him, so in late 1991 he partnered with two people who had also worked for Shuman Plastics previously, Alan Braunstein and Myron Cascio. They formed JAM Plastics Grinding, Inc., a post-industrial recycling and brokering firm in the secondary market, located in Buffalo, New York.

When oil was at a major low and the market for plastics crashed, too many customers went out of business, causing JAM to close as well. Alan left and the remaining partners founded Phantom Plastics (after Phantom of the Opera), which was able to retain JAM’s employees for a while longer, but the market didn’t lift in time, closing in 1999.

Also around that time, I partnered with my Dad in a company called DAKCOR, Inc., but apart from manufacturing a prototype invention for spraying and flagging lines, we never took on any viable projects. It was more of a hopeful concept company.

Also at that time, I started Iron Circle with a partner David Moerler. I was the money end and he was operations. In late 1994, we started with a flea market stand and a mail order catalog for martial arts supplies and cutlery. Soon after, we opened the Iron Circle Martial Arts Supply and Knife Shop — a one-and-a-half room store on Seneca Street in South Buffalo.

Robbed blind by partner and friends, I took it over altogether with my later-to-be wife and we made it work until getting bad legal advice regarding incorporation. That, and I was tired of not spending more time with loved ones. We closed it around 1996.

After Phantom Plastics closed (I was in the warehouse at JAM and worked in sales/procurement for both JAM and Phantom), I went full-time with my recently formed Internet business, having established myself by building sites for community and non-profit organizations. Within a couple years, I became one of the top 25 web development firms in Western New York, and still run that business currently.