I greatly enjoyed the Phillip Glass Violin Concerto on WSPR today. I called Merriam-Webster and asked for Mr. Bicknell and spoke to Ann Brown, who said he was "in a meeting but he received your material and thanks you very much." I said he is supposed to send me a thank-you note and she replied, "He will if he hasn't already." So are we going to have trouble with Bicknell?
I drove out close to 4pm and made copies. I then took a Coolata coin from Dunkin Donuts over to the Coin Exchange and gave it to the guy, but he had no new medals of interest. Then over to White and Sumner and into Radzicki's and we talked about the Iris painting which he said came out of a Springfield attic that contained many treasures. I also identified a yellow Tiffany bowl for them which turned out to be with $300.
Eamon called and said Nardi, who has two or three kids, is now living someplace in an apartment. He recalled visiting with the family many times in their house on Ardmore Street in the old days. Eamon says Nader the Hatter is talking about buying a very expensive house in Florida and fixing it up to sell. Eamon said Nader often thinks up projects that never get completed. Eamon told me he gave $700 towards a safety lock Nader invented and was going to patent, along with three or four other investors, but only he and Libby ever contributed and nothing came of it. That was when Nader went to Holland. When I told Eamon about the books I acquired that had once belonged to a nursing student, he said he once had an excellent nursing book, but gave it away to a woman who was going to nursing school. Eamon is very generous.
Intellectual capital counts and time off is better than money. Devin R. Adams of Elm Street in West Springfield is a former employee of Jalbert Electric and I Like it Like That Bakery. His favorite writers are Stephen King and Carl Sagan.
First thing I left some magazines at the Cohn's with their cleaning woman. I never noticed before, but Mr. Cohn has a little desk by the kitchen table and obviously conducts business there. I stopped to see if they had any Valley Advocates at Louis & Clark, and for the second consecutive week they had none. I recalled to the clerk how Schermerhorn's stopped distributing them after they started attacking Matty Ryan and I said I hope they are not going to do the same. The clerk replied no, that they have always supported the Advocate. A woman in the her 30's in line behind me piped in, "It's my favorite paper!" I then went next door to the fitness place, which also had none, and the manager said the stopped carrying it because "it's not the sort of paper my customers read." That sounded like nonsense, but I said nothing.
Next I swung by Karen Powell's and dropped off some things. We chatted briefly at the her back door but her dogs would not stop barking. From there I drove to the 16 Acres Big Y mall, where the pizza parlor in the corner, which always had an enormous pile, had none. The manager said he didn't want them anymore because they made a mess of the place. Yet, there were other papers on the windowsill, including the latest BRAVO, the CANE report and Devine's newsletter. Finally, I went to Blockbuster Video where there was a large pile. I remarked to the clerk that I wonder if Albano people have been going around urging merchants to drop the Advocate. The clerk smiled and said that Blockbuster will always support the Valley Advocate.
I stopped by Gateway Hardware on Boston Road, but Tom McCarthy wasn't there. His place looks good and was not too badly affected by the road widening, which is virtually complete. As I left I grabbed a Caribbean Labor Day Parade poster. Then to Mrs. Staniski's, whose lawn was freshly mowed by the black man. She had a lot of books to return to me and she thanked her profusely for them, as they helped sustain her through the hot weather. Mrs. S. is a nice lady but aging rapidly. I gave her the McDonald's toy of Snoopy and Woodstock to give to Ann, who is still reading the Western Mass/Pioneer Valley anthology. Before I left, she gave me a bag of chocolate chip cookies she made for me and some hollyhock seeds she said came from The Colony in Kennebunkport, Maine.
From there, it was over to Eamon's where I left my bag for him in the chair next to the open garage door. Then came the difficult part of the day, when I went to visit Aunt Maria Giroux. I was there from 10:58 to 11:14am. The lawn was mowed and there was a white plastic chair by the front steps. The rhubarb patch is plucked nearly clean and no sign of activity in the shop. I went inside and found the place relatively picked up. Aunt Maria was sitting in her chair in the corner of the living room, looking at a new Panasonic TV. She has a new, white telephone with large numbers that Ruth got her.
Aunt Maria was friendly at the start. I gave her a poster of Vermont and two bottles of Mother's perfume. I put the five Swanson frozen dinners in the freezer and showed her the bag of canned goods I brought. She turned off the TV with the remote and told me about a girl she had come in and do some cleaning for $10, but she has since decided to do all the cleaning herself. When I asked her, "What's the state of your medical plan?" she snapped back, "None of your goddam business! Now, get out of here and take the stuff you brought with you if you want!" I said directly to her, "I want the IBM stock!" to which she shouted, "You are never going to get it!" Without further ado I departed. Aunt Maria has always been an attention glutton, getting people to dedicate large amounts of time caring for her. Spoiled brat is the bottom line.
From there I drove over to the Old Country Buffet and dined for $6.50. When I paid, I told the lady that I used to dine at their restaurant on Boston Road all the time and I'm mad they closed. She replied, "I am too." On the way back I stopped at the former Valle's Steak House on West Street, where I addressed the Rotary Club in 1976 and where Mother and I once took Aunt Maria for Thanksgiving dinner. I learned that it is now Razzl's Night Club, a very large and fine facility for that sort of thing.
When I got home I called Maureen Turner and left a message saying that I think the Advocate may be being boycotted and wishing her a nice Fall. Eamon called and read me the editorial in today's paper criticizing Tim Ryan and Bill Foley for opposing the baseball stadium. Eamon called it "one of the meanest editorials" the paper has ever printed. Eamon's cousin Tux Sullivan, who has written two books on baseball, thinks the whole stadium project is laughable and so does Spellacy, who calls it "a joke." Eamon then recalled the time Carol Malley Schultz came by the Ryan headquarters on Sumner Avenue, the only person from the paper to do so, and expressed shock that Charlie intended to criticize the newspaper coverage he was getting. "You're going to take on the newspaper?" she exclaimed, as if they were above all criticism. After he hung up I called Tim Ryan and left a message of support with his secretary, who thanked me.
Arrogance and Ignorance are twins running in a viscous circle. Paul Caron's office is at 535 Main Street in Indian Orchard. The members of the Springfield Baseball Corporation include Cheryl A. Rivera, Peter Picknelly, Michael J. Graney, Allan Blair and Tom Russo. Ronald F. Goulet is President of the North End Community Center. Angelo Della-Ripa is the proprietor of Razzl's Night Club in Springfield.
First thing, I cooked up a mess of broccoli and stewed tomatoes. Paul Caron sent a letter endorsing Jack "Righty" Keough for State Representative, stating, "I feel that Jack Keough is the right candidate for the job of serving as your next State Representative." Eamon called and said his cop friend Spellacy told him to "wear your bullet proof vest if you go downtown at night." He should know.
We discussed Armory Street School and I suggested the building looks in too good shape to tear down. "No doubt about it," Eamon replied, and suggested the problem is the failure to maintain the schools properly. If he was running things, Eamon would privatize the custodial services because a private firm would supervise them better. He says there are five or six custodians per school with no accountability or supervision. He claims that many custodians "don't know what they're supposed to be doing."
Reached Tom Devine, whom I have not spoken with for some time. I mentioned my visit to see the the Twig Painter and the photos of nude people on the wall, but told him I didn't look close enough to see who was in them. He replied that "it's just as well you didn't look too closely." Tom told me he has copyright papers from Doyle, but hasn't read them yet. I suspect Tom is quite close to Doyle so I asked him if Doyle is still friends with Tom McCarthy across the street, and he said yes. I wondered why Doyle seems less interested in me after the mailings he sent and Tom replied, "Maybe because he's afraid you'll embarrass him." So, by being way-out I have caused some people to pull their heads in.
Tom says he gets the impression that "Mayor Albano likes you," but I said that may no longer be true. I also told him how there seems to be an organized effort underway to get merchants to boycott the Valley Advocate and Tom said, "I wouldn't be surprised." Devine wanted to talk about the mean editorial in the paper, he feels the stadium project will fail and cited Mo Turner's article suggesting that the city did not follow instructions and wrongly classified Northgate as a blighted area. Tom says he sometimes exchanges e-mails with Mo Turner but was vague when I pressed him for details. I asked if he thought Mo was well off, but he refused to speculate except to say she is from Long Island, which is an expensive area. I told him I don't care if she has money, I want someone who can bear my child. Maureen Turner remains a research project in progress.
Nice day, but the drought continues.
Eamon claims to be able to to recognize which unsigned editorials are by McDermott or David Starr, based on their writing styles. Over 100 displaced by the Holyoke fire. Northeast Utilities claims they had a profit for a change, 14 cents per share. Jeremy in the comic ZITS has a hippie van. B. John Dill is the President of The Coleman Group.
Dined on cornflakes, three peaches, a plum, broccoli and hot dogs. I drove out and made copies at Breckwood and put a few letters in the Louis & Clark mailbox. Then I drove to Forest Park and put out the major mail there. The antique shop up the street is asking $5 for old road maps. Since I have several hundreds of them, my collection must be worth thousands of dollars. The Clock Mill was closed for vacation. Dined at 16 Acres Burger King on a 99 cent coupon (a big one, not a little one) and took pictures of the construction work at the library and the awnings in front of the Goodwill.
I set out for a tag sale at the corner of Puritan Road and Puritan Circle. The sale was unremarkable except for one thing, a box of fundamentalist religious tracts. They were about converting Jews, converting Muslims, Billy Graham, you name it. They had belonged to Rick W. Lidwin of 16 Oliver Street in Chicopee Falls, who had printed his name with mechanical precision on a number of the items. I took all the controversial ones, they are wonderful. I also spotted a sale on Balboa, where I bought a Sealtest milk crate dated 7/86.
Home at 4:30pm, I watched the news and took a nap. Awoke at 10pm and decided to go cruising downtown. I drove past Doyle's art gallery and saw the lights were on, but couldn't see in because of the large painting on display in the window. Arrived downtown at 10:30 and found no parking around the arch, so drove around Worthington and Stearns Square but found no parking spot. Finally I turned back towards Main and parked opposite Hampden Savings Bank.
The lights atop Monarch Palace were an impressive red, white and blue. Gus & Paul's were just closing with three fashionable, young women sitting on the patio out front as workers stacked chairs all around them. Inside, Spaghetti Freddy's was also empty but with their lights still on, having closed just a few minutes ago. Down the hall at Champion's Sports Bar, the story was very different, the place was absolutely packed. There were another 40 people in Mad Maggie's Billiards. Departing Tower Square, across the way Pizzeria Uno had a good number of people inside and on the terrace. Kaos was getting ready to open at 11:30am, it stays open until 5am. They serve no liquor, but no doubt many customers have been drinking at the bars all night and of course may sneak in a vest bottle along with pot or whatever.
Friends had 58 customers, the usual sort, yuppies in their 30's. The stairway was open to the leather bar, so I walked up the green lit stairs and paid a $2 cover charge. It was a long, narrow room, painted all black with art deco mirrors and prints on the walls. There was no live band, but blaring rock music with several mirror balls revolving with blinking colored lights. Some guys were wearing white t-shirts, but no leather anywhere. Lots of conversation, but no action. Back on Worthington Street, I saw that Theodore's had maybe 40 people in it. The band was on break and their instruments were at rest on the stage which is just inside the front window. Naismith's had maybe 30 people at the bar, with the owner checking ID's.
Fat Cat and Cat's Alley, two adjacent storefronts, had a band and a good crowd of about 75. Suddenly a police officer approached and started speaking to me, but I pretended not to hear. Finally he loudly asked, "Sir, are you looking for something?" The officer, whose badge number was 481, was quite friendly. I told him I was counting noses in the bars to see how business really is. The cop said downtown will become more populated the closer it gets to midnight. He said nothing about my purple pants. "All set." he said and walked on.
Over across Stearns Square, the Cafe Manhattan had a good crowd, maybe 50 customers. Caffeine's as always was packed, with maybe a hundred people. The Hot Club was rocking with a police officer standing outside. The Tic-Toc had maybe 30 inside. Eamon says the Tic -Toc has the burger anywhere, served custom made, fat and beefy. Eamon says he's taken Nader the Hatter there several times, he's also taken the Hatter to the Mardi Gras, where girls will dance in your face for a dollar, which seems pretty cheap to me. Eamon claims the strippers look nice, but they're airheads. He says he sees a higher class of girls at someplace in Ludlow, where he sometimes goes.
Sivio's just before Dwight had only 8 customers and nobody at the tables. How does it keep going? The Pub, the oldest gay bar in Springfield, is dominated by a U-shaped bar and a couple of game machines. The bartender was an older man. I cut out and crossed the street to the Judge's Chambers, which had 23 customers with the cheerful proprietor greeting customers as usual by the door.
I'd never been to David's at night before. I paid $3 at the door and then $3 for a Budweiser and sat at the bar for about twenty minutes. The place was filled with kids in their twenties, well dressed, bright and clean. There are pool tables up front and young latino male and female bartenders. No food as far as I could see. They had wonderful dance floor lights, worth watching though there were no dancers. I soon left having engaged in no conversation, although I did have repeated eye contact with a tall, well dressed black man with a collar around his neck who said hi as he passed. I left at 12:15 and headed home, the lights were still on when I passed Doyle's.
Lovely day, but ground wet this morning and humid.
John Boyle O'Reilly died in Hull, Massachusetts in 1890. This is the 17th season or Wheel of Fortune, and I am sick of it. The best music on WFCR is to be heard on Sunday mornings and especially in the middle of the night. Clarentha A. Coleman is Director of Personnel for the Springfield Public Schools.
Spent most of yesterday and today at home reading. I wrote a letter to President Caprio this morning, then dined on bacon, eggs and a peach. Went out first thing to the McDonald's on Allen Street and had a steak, egg and cheese bagel with a coupon. The manager asked where I got the coupon and I told him at the Taste of Springfield. Read a morning paper that someone had left behind in the restaurant. Next I went to Food Mart to get some brown bread and other items on special. I made copies at Pride and mailed something to Moriarty at Breckwood. I found a MARS Night Club Grand Opening featuring D.J. Michael Kane flyer lying on the ground.
When I got back, I came across an old lock from the Waterbury Lock and Specialty Company in Milford, Connecticut that Mother got out of a bargain bin somewhere. I remember it never worked and when I sent a letter of complaint I got it back with a notice of no forwarding address. Perhaps they were already out of business when Mother bought it, yet she never threw it away.
Eamon called and told me that over the years he has given away thousands of dollars in clothes to the Salvation Army. He fears an economic downturn is coming soon. We got to talking about former governors, and Eamon said that Governor Foster Furcolo's administration had homosexuals in high positions. "Chris Mahoney, his chief secretary, was one." Eamon hears that Senator Brian Lees may be gay, but has never seen any evidence of it himself.
Eamon has heard nothing from Nader the Hatter. He did speak recently with Tony Ravosa, who told him that Tony Jr. is no longer with the Massachusetts Port Authority and is making more money as a political consultant. Yesterday Eamon was walking past the Springfield Newspapers building when he ran into an old friend. As they were chatting, David Starr and Larry McDermott walked past and gave Eamon dirty looks. Eamon gave them a big, friendly grin in return, thinking this would annoy them more than responding in kind. "Oh Sully!" his friend exclaimed. "They didn't look like they liked you too much!" Eamon laughed and told his friend, "It's a long story."
Red sun at dawn.
TV22 was showing us their new studio on the 6am news. It is supposed to be the premiere studio between New York and Boston. The Business section of the paper had an article about Mary Kay Wydra of the tourist bureau, she is an unmarried 34 year old who is a Springfield College graduate. Barbara Wallace is Senior Vice President of the Bank of Western Massachusetts.
Typed a letter to Wesley Church. Drove out to Pride at 7am and made copies, but on the way I dropped off something for Caprio. His car was not in his space so I left my stuff with Susette Curto, who was very cordial. No campus literature lying around. Actually, my first stop was at the Cohn's. She was at the kitchen table and he appeared and returned the Polish grammar book. He said Zachary has a hit a snag and won't be down to visit as planned. He also said "it's too bad" that Mr. Penniman's health is failing. Then down to Breckwood, where I saw two cop cars parked across the way at Duggan. I got the paper out of the Louis & Clark trash can as usual.
Then out to the Forest Park Post Office to put out my mail, including my letter to the Anti-Defamation League in Boston. The clock shop was open but I didn't go in. Bombed down to the Quadrangle, where I tried to park by Lido's, but the lot was full. Cops having a union meeting? I finally found a spot on Worthington. On the way downtown I paused at Fred Whitney's and left some stuff, including the Harvard recommendation forms. The garage door was open and his car was inside, but no one came to the door. Road work is still clogging the Edwards Bridge.
At the library I picked up Devine's latest newsletter, which includes a flashback to his Heroes and Villains of 1996. I then left a few items with the security guard at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum. The Museum of Fine Arts lunchroom is closed for remodeling, silly because they just opened. Then I picked up my Mass estate tax forms at the old post office. The blood drive people had a table set up and a woman invited me to donate. I pointed to my leather jacket and replied, "I hear you don't want any from queers." She nodded and said, "So sorry." That took care of that.
My next stop was the current Federal Building, and I had trouble getting in. The metal alarm went off and they couldn't find the source until we realized it was the zipper on my fleece. I got the federal estate tax materials, then looked at a display of building plans for a new Federal Courthouse. They all look awful, although some are better than others. One proposed plan looks like nothing but big panes of glass held together by coat hanger wire.
I swung by the SIS Building and dropped off something for Christopher Bramley with his receptionist Joan Lewandowski. Then I made a deposit at the Bank of Boston, wandered through City Hall, then over to the courthouse, where I found Moran impeccably clad, cordial, complaining of back pain and not ready to return the book I loaned him. I decided to go the The Fort to dine, where I was greeted at the door by Rudi. I sat at the table under the bottle openers, but walked around a little first. I found the tunnel out to the back alleyway, it really is an immense and eccentric structure. Matty Ryan was there, seated with an old man. I had onion soup and a mug of beer and left a $2 tip. Down on Dwight in the porn shop next to David's, they have a small sex toys department with an nice iron collar, but Larry had no idea what the price was.
When I got home, the mail was already here and there were no calls while I was out. The mail included a letter from Marshall Moriarty, Chairman of the Springfield Republican City Committee, inviting me to a meeting about ward representation at Christ Presbyterian Church on Allen Street September 13th. Eamon called and said he was downtown filling out the papers to have his tax lowered as a disabled vet. He asked me to sell him my Roche's Collected Works of John Boyle O'Reilly. I said he's a friend and is free to borrow, but the set is not for sale. He argued that he is afraid to borrow lest something happen to it, so I told him if so he is forgiven in advance. I also gave him the number of East Bay Books. We talked about the ad in the paper for Halloween jobs at Riverside.
Eamon's caller ID shows his editorials get regular calls from Jahn Foundry and John Cameron. Eamon is surprised because he hasn't said anything about Jahn Foundry since the time of the explosion. Eamon told me Spellacy called and told him that Starr, McDermott and Wayne Phaneuf came down to the police station and complained that they are not being given regular updates on important investigations and their reporters always have to ask. But Chief Meara was not around, she goes to a lot of official functions.
Raining this morning, then hot and humid.
Manhood is a current issue. Formerly both the church and military taught young men discipline. Such is no longer the case and things are getting out of control as young men aspire to male stereotypes. Nastiness prevails. A monument to the kids killed at Kent State was unveiled today. What a disgraceful adventure Vietnam was. Why didn't they unveil the monument on May 4th, the actual date? Henry J. Duffy is Curator of the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire. Just Friends on Hampden Street in Springfield has a monthly Latin Night with Nina Arena. Wes and Mim Herwig took a birthday cake to their daughter Daphne Fleury of West Brookfield.
Trash went promptly. Dined on dropped egg, a peach, corn flakes and then later Franco-American Ravioli. Reading about Edwardian fiction. An awful lot of these authors were educated at home, as Grandfather George Manuel Miller was. A lot of little moths on the breezeway today. Drove out to the Acres looking for the Valley Advocate, but nobody had one. Then to the Eastfield Mall, where they were giving away a free vegetable brush. Went past the theater and the ticket seller lady told me that business is usually slow except on weekends.
The mail didn't come until 5:30pm. What's up? None of it was First Class. I called Merrian-Webster and Ann answered, saying that Bicknell was in a meeting. She connected with John Morse's secretary and I left my complaint with her. Eamon called and said he is a member of Cosco for $35 per year, but he isn't sure he's getting his money's worth. We talked about the opening of the riverfront in Hartford. He also told me that the article in the Advocate dumping on McDermott is excellent. We also talked about the Talented and Gifted program in Springfield, which Eamon says is a mess.
Eamon told me he listens to WMAS because he "likes the oldies." It will cost $287,000 for United Wreckers to clean up after the fire in Holyoke. Eamon said his brother Raymond the Fire Chief, who died young despite working out three times a week, told him once that the Holyoke Fire Department has the wrong fire fighting philosophy. They fight fires from the street, instead of aggressively going into a building and knocking the fire down from the inside.
Rainstorm at dawn, biggest shower we've had for weeks.
A lawsuit has been brought on behalf of the disabled, claiming that the courthouses in Plymouth and Franklin Counties deny adequate access to the handicapped. There was a picture in the paper of Thomas F. Moriarty, history professor at Elms College, walking through the old Elms Library in Berchman's Hall. The Boston Nasty Boyz are performing at Club Escape on Paine Street in Chicopee. The Pioneer Valley Brew Club is located on Taylor Street in Springfield.
Years ago the Gallagher's painted their house lilac and then later put maroon paint over it except for a patch on the back of the roof, I suspect because it is a difficult spot to get to. Dick Nichols never finished painting the sides of the gables at the back of his house and they are tacky looking. Out bright and early at quarter to ten. Kelly has pulled the weeds out of her lawn and reseeded. I got the paper out of the Louis & Clark trash can, then stopped at several tag sales. I got some video boxes that were marked H.O.T. 1900 Wilbraham Road. I also saw a desktop paddle wheel such as I once saw the reception desk of the Valley Advocate many months ago. At the Evangelical Covenant Church the base to the steeple has been mounted on the roof. A new building is going up just beyond Angelo's and Arnold's on Bay. The Pier One building at the corner of Parker and Boston Road has been demolished and the land leveled.
From the tag sales I proceeded downtown and parked on Dwight near the old Federal Building. I went to the fair on Mattoon Street, where I had barely arrived when a woman carrying a canvas covered violin case called out to me. She was wearing a white blouse, red shirt and short heeled black shoes. I realized it was Stacia Flipiack Falcowski, the violinist/vocalist from Indian Orchard. She told me she studied with Maurice Freedman and was in the Junior Symphony, just like me. What a coincidence! She described herself as an environmental activist with a degree from UMass. I mentioned Eamon and Belle-Rita and promised to send her info on how to get in touch with them. A few minutes later she was performing alone and at one point asked me what I would like her to play. I suggested Meditation from Thais, as I know no one who studied under Freedman could fail to know it. She played it very nicely.
Then I walked around and studied the crowd. I saw no posters. Mattoon Street was looking pretty empty compared to past years. There was no Doyle the Twig Painter or other local artists who had once been Mattoon Street regulars. There was lots of empty space and no booths near Chestnut. There were two food booths at the top of Mattoon, one run by the Hispanic Baptists and the other by someone in the neighborhood. Good gay community turnout, I spotted a few couples holding hands. I talked to the Preservation Trust Lady and asked if Fran Gagnon was still involved with their group and she said she used to but no more because "she's busy with other things." I said I didn't think much of her and the lady volunteered "a lot of people don't."
I then spoke with a man and woman at Encore Players and they were very forthcoming. They said that in the old days under Steve Hays, Stage West was very friendly to them. But shortly after Hays left, things changed, certainly after moving into the city, and now Stage West has nothing to do with them, no sharing, no communication. They said Stage West is no longer sensitive to the kinds of shows Springfield audiences want. I recalled that Eamon told me he has been to Encore performances and they were good, despite the acoustical problems at the Sanderson Theater. Louise Minkshad had a sign "Artist of the Day" on her easel.
From Mattoon I went over to Glendi 99, where I paid $6 for a gyro plate, which turned out to be different than the one I used to buy at Madison. In Wisconsin, the plate was piled high with meat, lots of onion, tomato wedges and with sauce poured generously over the whole business. It was a feast and I got one every month or so. However, at Glendi it consisted of only a gyro sandwich with a little rice on the side. I drank no beverages. There was a long table of Greek desserts, however, I bought nothing. There were a few men standing around to pick up dishes and wipe the tables.
In the basement of the old library they had an art show, but the prices were far too high, selling for thousands what was only worth hundreds. There were few of the beautiful Greek scenes I recall from the last time I went. Upstairs they had a good tag sale going, which included the Diamond Gold Connection dealer, a fine table of Russian religious icons and nice boxes of carved wood featuring images of bears and rabbits. There were several hundred under the tent, watching a line of red, white and black clad Greek dancers.Bradley and his wife were just arriving at one sale as I was leaving. He asked me, "Do you still wear orange?" Apparently, he has a problem with it. I decided I had enough for one day and exited. Home at 4:20pm. The mail brought a nice thank you letter from John M. Morse at Merriam-Webster for the painting registration forms I sent him.
For supper I had a Marie Callendar Chicken Pot Pie, which has good crust. An Alice Quinlan called asking, "Are you the John Miller who went to Holy Name School in Chicopee? When I replied no, she apologized for bothering me, but it was the only way she had of finding this person. Called Aunt Maria and she answered with a hearty hello. Called Crosset and Powell about the upcoming Republican meeting featuring Whitney. Tom Vannah of the Valley Advocate returned my call and we had a cordial chat. I congratulated him on his piece on McDermott and told him that many are praising Mo Turner's piece on the Police Department. I informed him about Spellacy also liking it because it was critical of the Meara regime. He seemed quite interested as I told him how I got my season pass revoked by Riverside. I had no problem hearing Vannah's voice, which was not always the case when I spoke with Maureen.
Eamon called and we talked for about 15 minutes about the lawsuit by Dianne Wilson over injuries she received at Riverside in June 1998. Eamon said Chicopee is paying $70 per day for substitute teachers and more if they work for an extended period. Eamon has not yet received an invitation to the opening of the Irish Cultural Center Grand Opening. We talked about the decline of Protestantism in Springfield and all the churches that have closed or merged. I was surprised by how little Eamon seemed to know about the Protestant faith.
Sunny, a beautiful day once again.
Worcester now wants a baseball stadium. Thirty years ago it was civic centers. Anthony Lake, former National Security Adviser, will speak at the Springfield Public Forum on October 21st. Muhlberger is not in the phone book. Dined on tomatoes and toast.
Increasingly things are being put in squeeze containers, and now they are going to sell peanut butter that way. I'll bet manufacturers like squeeze containers because food is left behind that you can't squeeze out and that means more sales sooner. No scraping clean a squeeze container. I came across some of the last checks from Shawmut signed by Father in 1985, and it is obvious his handwriting was failing.
I went to bed this morning at 12:35am after listening to some Swedish composer's Reminiscences of the Norwegian Mountains which was hauntingly beautiful. Out to McDonald's with another coupon for a free steak, egg and bagel sandwich. My supply has lasted all summer and I have two coupons left. The McDonald's on Allen was well filled as it always is, but next door at Wendy's there was only three cars in the lot. As I left, I pointed out a loose door latch to the McDonald's janitor, a black gentleman with pigtails.
Next I made copies at Pride in the Acres and photographed the progress on the new library roof. The Goodwill, whose Grand Opening I missed on the 9th, had a large red balloon in front. From there I headed downtown and parked on Spring right near the back door of Technical High. I headed over to the second day of the Mattoon Fair, it was a beautiful day and a good turnout. A line of about 20 were waiting at the Spanish Baptist Church food booth. There were people all around and I took pictures. The Jozephczyk's were there and I said I'll have to have them over sometime. I then drove over to the North End to check out Glendi again and parked in front of the Peter Pan bus garage, the old trolley shed. There was more people there than yesterday and I ran into Mr. and Mrs. Cohn. We exchanged pleasantries.
When I got back, the Allard's were just going out to eat. He asked, "How are you doing now, living all alone?" He also said they hated the oak tree that died during the drought and claimed the city will have to remove it because it is on the tree belt. I suggested they might be sluggish about doing so and promised to have them over for sherry sometime. Eamon called and we discussed McDermott's latest diatribe against lengthy letters. Eamon claims I wouldn't last a week married to a woman. Could well be.
Dined on cornflakes, peaches and a Subway grinder I bought downtown, generously prepared by Shkena, who after a hiatus still remembered how I like vinegar and oil. D'Affunchio's Ristorante and Pizzaria next door is closed and available for rent thru Colebrook. I think Lou Dramin's was in there and the art deco motif goes back to Arden's. The Reminder was delivered and the mail came at its heels, delivered by the regular guy. The General Edwards Bridge will be closed tomorrow, it has been tied up on and off all summer.
Took a pile of mags down to the Cohn's and Mrs. Cohn was at the kitchen table and I left them with her. Her husband was out. Poked my head into Penniman's, but she had her hair up in curlers so I simply said hi and extended my good wishes. I didn't hang around. Got the paper out of the Louis & Clark trashcan. From there I went to drop off film, which would be developed by noon (I don't really need such good service) at Walmart. The clerk at Walmart was an Oriental guy named Lenny so I asked him if he had ever heard of Lenny Bruce. He laughed and said, "That's who my parents named me after!" However, he admitted than he has never read anything by Lenny Bruce. The film developing cost $6.46. I counted 31 cars in the parking lot. The new pavement on Boston Road is really nice, the orange lines in the middle remain to be painted.
Next I headed down to Merriam-Webster, where I left something for Mr. Morse with their chubby receptionist Ann. Directly across from their main door was a light blue car with the driver's side window smashed out. I saw a cop standing around Pearl Street so I told him about it. There were cars parked illegally all along Pearl by the Armory fence and every one of them had an orange ticket on it. Then down to the Greek Cultural Center where I got a Glendi 99 poster. From there I drove back downtown and and parked on Salem. At City Hall I ordered seven copies of Mother's death certificate, which they said would not be ready until 3pm tomorrow. Got a grinder at Subway and then headed home, pausing to photograph the steeple raising at the Evangelical Covenant Church. I told the person in charge I would give them copies, it turned out to be Ralph Carlson, a Vice-president at Spaulding in Chicopee.
At night I went to the Republican City Committee meeting wearing my Raising Hell is My Business t-shirt. It turned out the meeting was quite worthwhile. I had hoped Brian Santinello would be there so I could tell him I think he's an Albano toady who only turned Republican in hopes of getting a big job in Boston. However, although he had been at the GOP picnic, he was not there tonight. Candidate Scott Santaniello was there, he has signs all over town but is somber rather than smiling and doesn't speak very loud.
Marshall Moriarty arrived late, but made some good comments about the need to recruit more minorities into the party. I doubt that will happen, but Marshall's heart is in the right place. The Powell's were there and were chatting with Fred Whitney when I arrived. Karen told us she is going to run her dog for Mayor as a joke write-in candidate because Mayor Albano has no opposition this year. I mentioned Wavy Gravy's Nobody for President joke campaign and she remembered it. Mr. Whitney wasn't all that friendly towards me, I don't think he liked the way I was dressed. His son walked by me without speaking. Bob Magovern of Agawam was there. I counted 26 attendees in all, no blacks or Latinos.
While I was chatting with a young Italian fellow who lives in Longmeadow, recently graduated from Worcester Poly in Chemical Engineering, a tiny mouse appeared in the hallway. I stepped on him and threw the corpse in the trash. We figured he probably got in through the back door of the church. I put a dollar in the collection pail, they served coffee, donut holes, stale cookies but nice brownies. I put Eamon's phone number on the blackboard at one point and told everyone to call "to find out the latest news."
The whole event was Whitney giving a presentation, after being introduced by Mary Kaufman, about the need to change from at-large to a ward representation system. Whitney stated that the current system "has killed democracy in Springfield." He spoke politely, honestly and with confidence, coming across as a real teddy bear. I could hear Whitney just fine. Later I told him he should develop his speech into a scholarly paper. Whitney said Tom Devine has been appearing regularly on Kateri Walsh's radio show on WHYN. We both agreed that it is difficult to get elected in Springfield if you are not Irish or Italian.
Eamon's present answering machine editorial is about the need for term limits. Eamon called and talked about his oldest brother Gerald, who died of scarlet fever. Eamon got it too and it stunted his growth, so as a kid he had to be tough in order to handle bigger kids who gave him a hard time. Eamon said Peter Hogan, who vacations at Groton Long Point in Connecticut, told him that Eddie Boland just spent $1.2 million for a place down there. It's more private than on the Cape where a lot of big politicians go.
Eamon then talked about Boland's adviser and life long friend Daniel Keyes, a Chicopee judge. Keyes never gave any politician more than $25 and his son was a disappointment to him because he never became a lawyer. Young Keyes was briefly Hampden County Treasurer, but was defeated by Rose Marie Coughlan. The son also sold life insurance and Eamon described him as "light as a feather" intellectually. Eamon then told me how he himself once tried to sell life insurance, but he couldn't stand the idea of scaring people into buying by talking about heart attacks and the need to provide money for loved ones.
It was a busy day. Peter Pan has closed its pizza shop in the Springfield bus terminal, McDonald's will move into the pizza shop's former space. Dined on Swedish meatballs and peppers. Spoke to Karen Powell briefly, she told me that Picknelly's son was involved with the Cellucci campaign. According to her, the Picknelly family deals with both Democrats and Republicans and "play both sides of the fence."
Went out to cut the lawn, and brought out Sweet Pea and Honey Pot so I could take their picture sitting in the driveway. I also clipped down the goldenrod, which has crowded out the phlox in the garden. Kelly was home watering her lawn. Both Mrs. Penniman and Martel drove by and waved. The Allard's went by in their black Cadillac. The street sweeper came by, which seemed silly, they should have come by after the trash gets picked up tomorrow.
At Breckwood I sent a mailing to Tom Vannah which included a note for him to give to Maureen. I also got the paper out of the Louis & Clark trashcan. Then I left off a Harvard vita form on Fred Whitney's back doorknob, after swinging by Walmart, where I bought four rolls of film for $9 and dropped one off for developing. Then I drove downtown and parked in the parking lot for Jeff's Frames and walked over to City Hall to get the copies of Mother's death certificate, 7 for $56.
From there I headed to the unveiling of the bust of State Representative Andrew M. Scibelli (1911-1998). The ceremony was on Main Street in the South End, opposite Margaret Street, with a reception later at the Our Lady of St. Carmel Society. The bust of Scibelli is by Wilbraham artist Carl Sundberg. Governor Cellucci, a friend of Scibelli when they both served in the statehouse, was there along with Mayor Albano. All the big shots were present, Peter Picknelly arrived in a white and cream Rolls Royce. Fran Gagnon and her husband sat right in front of me, he nodded to me but she remained sullenly silent. Had a chat with Leonard Collamore, who said he still collects Columbus material. Mayor Albano gave me a big smile and a handshake. I heard someone call "Wesley" and it was Marshall Moriarty. Joe Carvalho was there chatting with the Quadrangle lawyer and City Councilor Bill Foley.
I spoke with the sculptor Carl Sundberg, who described himself as "a Swede who converted to Catholicism." I told him it was wrong that his name appeared no where on the program, although he was introduced at the end. I told him how much I admire his work and that the Scibelli bust has a great smile. An honor guard stood behind the monument throughout the ceremony. This was the third event I've been to recently where Kevin Kennedy has stood in for Richie Neal. Eddie Boland was there sitting with former Mayor Sullivan. Boland looked feeble and hunched over, that beach house he bought for a million must be some kind of estate planning.
President Caprio was there with an umbrella (it sprinkled slightly but soon stopped). Gagnon's umbrella was white and gold. Some Italian women sang the Star Spangled Banner and the Italian National Anthem. Many people spoke of how Scibelli was an early riser and used to call people at five in the morning. Several people spoke besides Governor Cellucci, including Picknelly, Albano, Heribero Flores, Cheryl Rivera, Tom Finneran, Linda Melconian plus Representatives Bill Nagle and Tom Petrolati. Paul Caron said hi.
At the reception at Mt. Carmel, the refreshments were lovely. They served cream puffs with real cream, little cakes from LaFiorintina plus a platter of veggies from which I took only one tomato. They had a plate of cheese, finger rolls filled with egg salad (I consumed two) deviled ham and tuna fish. When I got back to the car I gave Jeff a program for letting me park at his shop. On my way home I stopped to see Mrs. Staniski, who I found sitting on her front porch. She said she had been over to see Carol, who has had a knee operation and can't drive for a while. Ann is expected this weekend.
TV22 had a reporter on talking about food safety at the Big E and said the stands are inspected "by the town of Springfield." Louis & Clark has stores in Baystate Medical Center, Mercy Hospital, Chicopee, Wilbraham, Breckwood Shops and one on Page Boulevard. The Dance Company is in most of the old lawnmower place at the plaza. As of the end of August my Hampden account has $2,916.79 in it.
Dr. Thomas G. Little has died at age 87. He was an oral surgeon in Springfield for over 35 years and his daughter Susan Little, a thin, dark haired girl who often wore plaid skirts, was in my 8th grade class in Room 203 in Buckingham. At one point she invited our class to a picnic at their large house on Parker Street about opposite Hillcrest Cemetery. I think her family moved to Longmeadow in 1958.
I've been reading and working on the estate. At Louis & Clark I mailed the quarterly tax payments to the IRS and a note to Lois the artist. Ciatras was there but sheepishly just said hi. Then I delivered the steeple pictures to Aggie in the ground level office at the Evangelical Covenant. There were lots of cars in the parking lot so there must have been something going on. It was starting to sprinkle as I arrived at the Albank on Island Pond Road. Then to STCC, where the lady in the President's office took my letter. I walked around the campus a bit and picked up a few posters.
Next to Eamon's, who was out so I left my magazines in a chair by the garage. Then to Savers, where I found a used book with a John A. McDonough business card in it. I also bought a hardcover Portable Arthur Miller, an unusual find. A young guy in a red Savers employee cap told me that if something doesn't sell in about a month they take if off the shelf. I also popped into Food Mart and bought the specials, especially the Swanson dinners and Progresso soup. I could survive just buying the foods that are on special. I stopped and got a McDonald's double cheeseburger with bacon for 99 cents, on the way home I saw Doyle doing his twig painting under his umbrella.
I called Sheila at the Probate Office and she immediately recognized my voice. I told her a lot of people recognize my voice and asked if there is anything funny about it. "Nothing at all," she said, "It's just a very distinctive voice. You said once you were an English teacher and I'm sure you were a very good one." She said she would see that I get the form. Called and spoke to Karen Powell briefly, she said she doesn't think Larry McDermott is all that bright. She also agreed with me about the Seuss statues, they need color and motion to better represent the style of Seuss' work.
Eamon called and said Nader the Hatter called him on Monday. He also thanked me for the magazines I dropped off. Eamon said he was down talking to Dick Serkin at Feinstein's Leather, who told Eamon he believes the baseball stadium will fail. Serkin has heard rumors that the Mardi Gras may buy the Exeter Building and tear it down for parking. He said of David Starr: "He'll step over a dollar to pick up a dime."