Sloan, NY—Before fan fiction was ever a thing, Stanley Sokowtowski was writing richly imagined narratives about the 13th President of the United States and Buffalo native, Millard Fillmore. Formal history presents Fillmore as an austere bureaucrat, an ineffective leader and a hopelessly dour geezer. But Sokowtowski advances a different Fillmore—a fun loving party guy with an ability to time travel to many big events in the history of Buffalo.
In a novella titled “Player,” we find Fillmore post-presidency traveling to Great Britain on a diplomatic mission to boost U.S. interests. During tea in the court of Queen Victoria , Fillmore is giving her the eye. Later, after one too many sherries the Queen sends an attendant for Fillmore and in the English moonlight seduces him. In her diary she writes: Such a playful bug prancing around in my bloomers and corset. And never, and I mean never has such a mediocre man done me so good.
In another chapter we find Fillmore stranded at the WGRZ studios with meteorologist Patrick Hammer during the Christmas Blizzard of 2022. The always prepared Fillmore shows up early for a “Daybreak” interview, but the station loses power and everyone is sent home. The flighty Hammer doesn’t get the message and staff forgets Fillmore in the green room. Facing this emergency together as the snow piles up and the studios descend into a deep freeze, Hammer becomes scared and vulnerable and says he needs someone to hold him. Fillmore then takes him by the hand and soothes the always too bright and chipper forecaster and eventually shows him some real hammering skills.
In a book of essays titled “Jokes On You,” Sokowtowski portrays Fillmore in a lighter, less serious way. Here we see him exchanging momma jokes with Mark Twain, who was a Buffalo resident from 1869-1871.
MF: Yo momma’s so fat cows in a pasture use her for shade.
MT: Yo momma’s so fat Magellan died of old age trying to sail around her.
MF: Yo momma’s so stupid she think Vivek Ramaswamy is a muslim holiday.
MT: Yo momma’s so stupid she think sugar in her bed will give her sweet dreams.
MF: Yo momma’s so old I signed her yearbook.
MT: Yo momma’s so old she started her diary on stone tablets.
In another essay we find a mischievous Fillmore seated in the office of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown having a pleasant chat about traversing the city during snow events. The jocular Fillmore relates an anecdote about how he was thrown from his carriage when one of his skis snapped after a night of frivolity at the Eagle House in 1837. As the two men chuckle about the mishap, for which Fillmore received a ticket: Driving Carriage While Intoxicated or a—DCWI, the mayor becomes visibly upset when he notices every picture and every framed artifact in his office had been replaced with images of his rival, Erie County Executive, Mark Polancarz. “Karen . . . KaREN . . . KAREN,” the mayor yelled for his assistant as Fillmore leaned back in his chair with folded hands and an impish grin.
Here are a few other Fillmore legends created by Sokowtowski:
-On January 24,1968 sparks from a welder’s torch working on the South Park Bridge ignited an oil slick on the Buffalo River and set the water on fire. Fillmore was there to heroically extinguish the burning river.
-In 2016 at Bills game against the Patriots not only was Fillmore shooting Blue Lights and breaking tables in the Hammer Lot, but he was the the guy that threw the dildo on the field as the Pats prepared to score.
-In another scenario Fillmore is in the room doing lines with Rick James when he comes up with the bass line for Superfreak.
-Just prior to going on camera during another Buffalo blizzard in 1985 Fillmore fed Jimmy Griffin the line: Go home, buy a six pack of beer and watch a good football game.
-And, of course, Fillmore pleaded with Sean McDermott NOT to kick it out of the endzone with thirteen seconds in the Bills 2021 playoff loss to the Chiefs.
Look for more exciting Millard Fillmore fan fiction at www.Sokotowski.com