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Allentown's Bubble Man dies at 75; neighbors reflect on his legacy

Passers-by often saw the bubbles at the corner of Elmwood and Allen. 'He was doing it seven days a week, sometimes five or six times a day,' Jim Incorvaia said.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There isn't a bond quite like the one between siblings.  

"We talked on the phone quite often. I tried to make sure he had everything he needed at all times," said Jim Incorvaia, owner of Jim's Steakout. 

The only time Jim and Chuck Incorvaia were separated was by one floor. Jim's business is on the bottom of 194 Allen Street, and Chuck's apartment on the top left.

It became his home 25 years ago, and five years later, it's where he put a fan in the window and grabbed a wand.

"It grew crowds of children because there's that children's playhouse across the street," Jim Incorvaia said. "They'd come outside and be chanting 'bubbles, bubbles, bubbles,' and he started doing it more and more and just became a legend."

"(Chuck started doing the bubbles) just to make him feel better," Jim Incorvaia said. 

Passers-by could see all the magic anytime at the corner of Elmwood and Allen. 

"He was doing it seven days a week, for 365 days a year, sometimes five or six times a day," Jim Incorvaia said.

However, Chuck shared his life and memories with his Allentown family, like Intersection Café owner Heidi Jones. 

"He would tell really good stories about when he got put in the brig when he was in the Navy for coming back to the ship drunk," Jones said. "He told stories about being a mechanic and about his kid. It was like having an older uncle or a grandpa around."

No matter what side of Chuck people knew, nothing can replace the man.

"It's my brother. I'm going to miss everything about him," Jim said.

Or who once filled a section of Allentown with hope.

"It (now) has a serious joy deficit," Jones said.

"You wouldn't believe how he affects other people doing a simple thing like that," Jim Incorvaia said. "He's the absolute bubble man who brought a lot of cheer to people, young and old."

So if there's one thing we can all learn from Chuck, maybe it's that in this one life, we should all leave a legacy of making others happy too. 


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