Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The Niagara section of Sunday's Buffalo News featured an interview with town supervisor Dick Lang. Here's a sample...

ROYALTON—Richard J. Lang is retiring in December as Royalton supervisor after four years at the helm of this town of 7,600 and two years on the Town Board.

“I never wanted to make a career out of this,” he said.

He will be succeeded by Councilwoman Jennifer Bieber, who is unopposed in her bid for the top post in the Nov. 8 election.

Lang, 70, retired after 34 years as a state Department of Environmental Conservation officer but has kept very busy with a variety of interests, from wrestling—yes, he still wrestles—to farming.

Many in the area know your name from your association with wrestling, and you were honored this fall by the Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, based in Oklahoma. Tell us about that.

We went to Syracuse, where I received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” on Sept. 18. I started coaching at Royalton-Hartland High School in 1978 for 10 years, before going to Newfane High School, where I coached another 19 years. I retired from coaching in 2007. My teams earned 17 Niagara-Orleans titles, and we had two state titles. I still wrestle with the high school kids and volunteer as coach. I have also been selling wrestling equipment for the past 20 years. I go to the little kids’ tournaments and set up a booth.

You grew up in Orchard Park. How did you happen to settle in Royalton, and how long have you had a farm?

When I became a conservation officer with the DEC, I had to move to Niagara County and live around the Lockport area. We moved here in 1969—I have 75 acres, it’s more of a play farm, really. I grow a variety of wetland seeds—I’ve been doing that for 20 years. These are seeds that can be planted in or on the borders of wetlands. I also show chickens— Blue Cochin bantams and Buff Brahma bantams. I’ve been doing it since 1951, when I was 10 years old.

How did you get involved in politics?

When I ran for the Town Board, that was the first time I got involved in politics. It was something I had always wanted to do, to be involved in some form of town government, for a period of time.

Read the entire interview here: