June 2005

June 2, 2005

Sweet pea bushes coming into bloom.

Love is a basic human need, we need love even as we need food.

In 7-Eleven I bought two jumbo hotdogs with onion and mustard on a roll for a dollar. Can't beat that anywhere.

Steve Power and his assistant were on 57 telling about doing tombstones and his kid's career as a drummer. He is my neighbor down the street and the owner of Venezian Monuments

Former Valley Advocate regular Shera Cohen is running the Taste of West Springfield, June 9-12.

Irving Cohn called and asked about Nader. Used the word "museum" referring to my house.

Grand opening of the Hartford Civic Center. Springfield Civic Center has the same architect. Not a word about Stuart Hurwitz in the feature story in either edition of The Reminder.

Excited that the morning paper says that Mass Mutual CEO Robert J. O'Connell has been fired, no reason given.

Herbie Flores is the big North End Latino. Would he be a good candidate for City Council? Eamon says he's shady. Eamon also noted the phone probe of city employees wasting time and money to make sex chatline calls. Landers says that since Bruce Fitzgerald used to work for the phone company he has known about these things for years. Related issues are Pelleran-Duck playing video poker and the people I saw doing the same thing in the city Consumer Affairs Office and in the Parking Authority.

June 4, 2005

72 degrees start of the day. Shell at the corner of Stony Hill Road is $2.15.

Old fashioned roses on the back of the house opening up. Mother loved them.

Channel 57 brought on The Dead rather than the London Symphony last night. Times change.

Eamon has a new message up about Mass Mutual that hits all the possible targets - extramarital sex, illegal campaign contributions and Charlie Ryan's involvement with the company. By not naming O'Connell's deficiency they open themselves to being reminded of all their weaknesses, some of which they probably haven't addressed. Eamon says that Mass Mutual has given money to local political campaigns for the last thirty to forty years.

News talked about mortgages and how 31% of new homes are interest free loans. Things have changed from the old days when Grandpa Wilson was scraping together money each year to pay the interest on his loan. However, these modern loans balloon into interest plus principle in a few years and if there were a crash people would be in a lot of trouble.

United Methodist Church is moving from Amherst to Hadley. Their church is failing and their goal should have been to evangelize every student at UMass Amherst by explaining that Methodism has a theology for the 21st century, a Christocentric theology that focuses on what Jesus would have done and Wesley's admonition to do good. Not Unitarian-Universalism, but a Christianity without a lot of lies and belief in stuff that could never have been. And a nice hymnal. Of course that chameleon Methodist/Episcopalian George W. Bush (Episcopalian for serious events; Methodist, preferably with a black, when he makes a latitudinarian appeal for popular support or political purposes) whose good little Methodist wife has not made him good, is an embarrassment.

Went to a tag sale at 1663 Wilbraham Road corner of Venture. These same people had a tag sale last year. There was a very jovial fat man sitting and a friendly little woman who buzzed around. Books for 50 cents and magazines for practically nothing. Boxes and boxes of very unusual ephemera, little booklets from long ago. Where do they get this stuff? Bought a Jimmy Carter button for a dollar. They also had a Nixon and a Mondale but I ignored them. I like Jimmy.

June 6, 2005

72 degrees at 6:30am, a lovely but hot day.

Big Y bananas went up to 79 cents a pound when there was a problem in Nicaragua, but the price has never gone back down!

On March 21, I left two dollars at Dream Studios for a poster but never heard back. This is why I have to swipe posters rather than ask because they won't send you one even if you pay for it.

Roy Scott was on TV, his voice somewhat changed, not quite as jovial. Maybe had an operation or got some teeth. Still Roy always does very well.

216 teachers left the Springfield School System over the summer. Cathedral just put out a glitzy alumni publication "The Connection." Their principal is named John Miller. Features enormous pictures and biographies of star alumni, one of whom is Susan Tatro Alfano, Cathedral '71 and an AIC grad.

Speaker Tom Finneran has been indicted. Eamon says that Rep. Tommy Petrolati of Ludlow "who sucked Finneran's ass all these years" ought to be indicted too. Last Sunday at Holy Name (Ryan's church) Gerry Phillips and his mother sat in the front row to one side.

I called Mass Mutual and heard "your call is being recorded for quality assurance" and I got Jennifer who got me Liz Gagne in the President's office. I told her I have never received an answer to my letter which I gave to a little guy in a dark suit who never gave me a receipt. I mentioned that my letter was about sex, discrimination and political contributions by goons in the living room with brown paper envelopes. Gagne said "I would agree with you" that I deserved acknowledgment to the letter I dropped off. I told her to paraphrase what I said and pass it along and she said, "All right. Thank you so much."

Last year Mass Mutual sponsored a golf tournament where there was a special tent with all the politicians eating fancy food including Mike Albano, Gerry Phillips and Charlie Kingston, giving very special treatment for politicians apart from the regular golfers.

June 8, 2005

74 degrees, trash picked up early. June is Rose Month.

Bought a Subway salad and the Norwegian girl really filled it up so I got maybe three times what you'd get in a Big Y salad.

Gingras is getting three thousand a month for working for the Springfield School Department all those years. It is necessary that Springfield convert its operations to computers as rapidly as possible. It is a disgrace that so little has been done with advanced technology in city departments. My father was a man who loved learning. He was always taking courses, earning certificates and diplomas. Had he been running a department that was ripe for computer conversion he would have taken a course or two or three and done what he could, whatever resources were available. But when you're already making $75,000 a year why bother? "Soft discrimination" is letting people get by with low standards.

In the Acres the House of Television building is being demolished, by which I mean the Carlisle's/Bernies building with the signboard atop it. The liquor store is also coming down for a parking lot and a bank and gas/convenience store will go in there. All that is good.

Clodo Concepcion of the 16 Acres Civic Association has announced he is running for City Council. Some dream of Springfield as a tourist mecca. We have some sites, but not enough to reach critical mass. Our entertainment district is unruly, noisy, coarse and low-end. The Basketball Hall of Fame is an overpriced house of stinky t-shirts and sneakers. The tourists at the Quadrangle tend to be children. We have fifth rate colleges that are just a bunch of diploma mills. We have business schools but no businesses.

Landers brought over a flyer on home security sent around the Atwater neighborhood where there have lately been an enormous number of break-ins. This is also the sixth consecutive week that car windows have been smashed all over the city.

Reminder editor Mike Dobbs in his column blasts the recent Hartford Courant article critical of Springfield. Also in The Reminder this week is word that Brenda Garton is going to have a radio show. You can bet that Dobbs and Tom Devine will be on the air all the time.

On the TV news Sen. Brian Lees reportedly said something to the effect that Boston wants to put Springfield into full receivership and a meeting to do so may be only days away. Mayor Ryan says he's heard nothing about it and in any case things have gotten better.

June 10, 2005

76 degrees at 6:15 am. Salvia is in full bloom.

I turned off the furnace for the summer this morning.

Sex chatlines cost $5 a minute.

It is common practice that when you are on the defense, you try to shift to the offense by changing the focus.

Proverb 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go.

Keough fired, Phillips had several charges tossed out (is the judge a friend?)

Maybe Bewsee looks so sour in the picture in the paper this morning because she and Kevin Noonan have grants to look after the homeless and if Mayor Ryan accepts responsibility for them then they'll be losing their funding and livelihood.

A. Gingras was at a Commerce retirement party for teachers and said "everything is out of control." He says the English Department is pretty much dismantled/shot and that "they'll hire just about anybody to fill those slots" but not me because I'm "over-qualified."

Eamon showed me the figures yesterday and his net worth is around $950,000. He says the mafia used to police the South End and kept out drugs and prostitution, but that's no longer the case. Eamon also told me that Tom Devine is off the air. He was on the radio with the AIC guy Tony Gill every Tuesday for about three years, but the word is that AIC President Courniotes didn't like the political talk and told them no more show.

Left the house at 12:02 and down the road before you get to Venture, where there was an accident where someone ran into a big tree, there is a little memorial. The tree is gone but a little decorated cross is there. On Breckwood a couple of houses before the old Devine place there is another of these small crosses. How long do these monuments last?

Stopped at Mass Mutual to deliver stuff to Schulz, Fancy and Reipold. The same lady was at the reception desk as last time but less slovenly and uniformed with the name tag Peggy Lance. "Can't accept anything at this desk," she said. A male guard, Carlos, was standing by. In due course Andy Canevarn, probably the security boss, came along in a grey suit and after asking me a number of questions said he'd x-ray the envelopes and then deliver them.

I stopped in Mason Square and parked by the Motocycle Building to gather some posters. I saw that two of the glass bricks in the medical center where Buckingham School used to be were smashed. Vandalism is everywhere. I stopped into the Mason Square McDonald's where there were eight customers, only one other white person besides me. Lawn around the old Byron's Funeral Home has been cut but the building itself is abandoned and getting increasingly rundown. One of the brick and stone gate posts are partly smashed.

Arrived at the Quadrangle at 12:40. Lots of school buses out back but plenty of parking in the inner Blake House lot. Went into the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, where Moore greeted me cheerfully as usual. Humbertson had just left so her colleague dealt with me, a slender young woman who has just written a historical novel about Western Mass. I gave her a big box of Giroux stuff and said they can keep what they want and dispose of the rest as they please.

Then over to the Fine Arts Museum where the collages by Michael Metzger are simply super. Sue Davison is gone, following Marianne Gambaro. Two more empty slots doubtless saving the better part of a hundred thousand dollars a year. Finally to the library where in the Reference Room the Forest Park guy is always cordial. The photocopy machines are not working. Out at 2:13.

Heading downtown, I saw that there is an immense cellar hole where the new courthouse will be. The lunchroom on the corner of State and Main is now Crown Fried Chicken & Pizza.

Civic Center exterior is finished - It is ugly! Over $71 million spent on improvements and it is hideous.

June 11, 2005

Two Amherst Middle School eighth graders, Nathan C. Woodard and Nathaniel A. Gorlin-Crenshaw, were told that a science fair is no place for a BB gun. The rejection came after the teenagers spent seven months researching and testing their hypothesis that BB guns are deadly and shouldn't be used by children. Students said they were "insulted and offended" by the rejection of their project for safety reasons, so I sent this letter on their behalf to their Principal Jennifer D. Wellborn:


I won First Prize in the 1959 Massachusetts State Science Fair for my study of the acoustics of vibrating membranes - bells. I constructed a precisely tuned carillon of tubes of metal, which might have also been used as a blowpipe to propel a poisoned dart at my Latin teacher.

Innocent children are easily taken advantage of by pompous ass adults trying to cover up their mistakes and the poor children don't have the techniques for dealing with them. The teacher should have known the rules of the Fair and should have read them to the class.

Kids maybe can't do differential equations, but they can tell a turkey when they see one. In this case you educators bear a very heavy burden of embarrassment and shame over how Nathan and Nathaniel were screwed out of their science project. Don't tell me how lousy the students are, the teachers are to blame! Here in Springfield incompetent principals get promoted to do-nothing jobs in the School Department and are never heard from again. Nobody gets fired. We need a law of Academic Malpractice.

Yours very truly,

J. Wesley Miller III, AB, AM, JD, S0B, Esq.

June 12, 2005

77 degrees and overcast at 7:45 am. The peonies have gone by, but Mother's red rose bush in the garden is doing well.

Section one of my copy of The Republican newspaper today was totally ripped in half.

Went to the McDonald's on Bay Street where I tried their new salad: A bowl with half a green apple sliced and half a red apple sliced and maybe ten red grapes and a cup of sweet fruit dressing. No other fruit. It was good but, well, disappointing.

Lights are on in the Twig Painter's once again. Took a picture of the Carlisle's/Bernie's building, everything but the front is torn down. Pride is going to put an even bigger convenience/gas station there.

STCC has security cameras all over but Landers has discovered that a lot them don't work. The one watching his supervisors office hasn't worked for a couple of years, according to a security cop he calls "By-the-Book Bob."

Michael Jackson was acquitted today on all counts.

Victor Gagnon, husband of Francis, is retiring after 36 years as a public defender. Says he won't have to hear one of his least favorite sentences, "I don't want a public defender. I want a real lawyer."

Commonwealth is taking over the monies in Springfield's employee pension fund and that should get us 10 million dollars in extra earnings.

A janitor has been fired for unauthorized use of the phone and Pat Markey said "it is important that those individuals who are privileged enough to have employment with the city are actually working full-time." Right on.

Eamon called and said that when the North End was leveled for urban renewal all the rats in those old buildings moved to Hungry Hill. One night Eamon went into his bathroom and heard a strange noise. There was a rat in the toilet that had come up through the sewer. He ran out to the garage and got a baseball bat and beat it to death.

Eamon also recalled that his mother returned to Ireland for visits a couple of times, but his father never went back. Eamon says he himself would never go to Ireland now because he could never leave his dog behind. "The more I see of people," Eamon said, "the more I admire my dog."

June 14, 2005

64 degrees. Sunny, breezy, high cloudiness.

Long discussion on WFCR by Charlene Scott about the closing of the Hampden Public Library at the end of the month. Opened in 1891.

Went to Stop & Shop where they had a two for one special on orange juice. Never pay full price, let them plan your menu with their specials.

Heading down Parker to Boston Road, men were cutting down two big old oak trees. These are the trees that remember the farm people that are no more.

Channel 40 is always telling us to call their Cheap Gas Hotline. I called in the middle of the night and said if I know where there's cheap gas I'm not going to tell so everyone can flock there and cause the price to rise; I'm going to save it for myself.

Eamon is writing a letter to Mass Secretary of State Galvin about Mass Mutual to try to get him interested in their illegal political contributions and is mentioning the people involved like Gotterer and Kingston. Chicopee Alderman Tillotson told Eamon that the Springfield newspapers are "absolutely worthless."

I was surprised by front page story in the Reminder about how Atty. William Flanagan is thinking of running for mayor. It said he has a copy of the Baracker Report on the Police Department and has read it twice. I want a copy of it too so I called the Mayor's office and got a mayoral aide named Teshawn and asked about getting the report. Teshawn said the report "is not available to the public." So I asked to speak to R. Bruce Fitzgerald and fortunately got him. Fitzgerald says he has the postcard I sent him sitting on some ledge in his office.

We talked. I mentioned the story about Flanagan maybe running, and Fitzgerald said he was surprised because Flanagan loves West Springfield, where he currently lives, and he would have to move to Springfield to run. I remarked that it's too bad that with Ryan having such a mess on his hands that all the cranks are crawling out of the woodwork and Fitzgerald jovially laughed and agreed. He told me to call the Control Board at 784-1000 to see about the report. I did and a very friendly person named Ann told me they only have one copy of the report but said, "I can ask Phil Puccia." She will get back to me tomorrow.

From Eamon June 15, 2005

Eamon T. O'Sullivan

Attorney Miller:

I wonder if the abrupt and unusual firing of Mass Mutual executives under the guise of ethical standards, conduct and behavior has anything to do with Mass Mutual's longtime practice of giving large, illegal and unreported campaign cash contributions to city, state and federal politicians through Mass Mutual bagmen like Charlie Kingston, Barry Gotterer and others? I'm sure that Charlie Ryan, a longtime intermittent legal counsel to Mass Mutual and close friend of Mass Mutual executives can shed some light on this matter.

I find it hard to believe that Mass Mutual's Board of Directors would fire their CEO and other top executives for having casual sex (so common these days) outside of marriage. Maybe the CEO and his underlings were cooking the books covering up kick-backs and receiving additional monies to which they weren't entitled to. Hopefully investigators are looking into the large, illegal unreported campaign cash contributions given to local politicians.

Springfield's junk bond rated, corrupt, bad city government is a financial and personnel management mess caused by inept, weak mayors and an irresponsible monopoly rag daily paper which failed to hold these villainous profiteers accountable. Charlie Ryan knows a lot about the deep-rooted corruption that has gone on in this city and I hope he has reached out to the FBI in their current investigation. With District Attorney Bennett asleep at the switch and in bed with local politicians, it's good to know that the FBI is at least trying to do something about the corruption.

Charlie Ryan says he loves his job, and why not? He's receiving $95,000 dollars a year and has several administrative assistants and secretaries, all of them going through the motions with no job descriptions or responsibilities because the Control Board has taken over all of the financial and personnel duties of the city government. If they had any character, honor and integrity they would all relinquish their salaries until this financial fiasco is straightened out.

I have been talking and writing about the incompetence, corruption and mismanagement of the Springfield Police Department for years too many to count. This is a top heavy, overstaffed department which suffers from hardening of its administrative arteries and lacks accountability, supervision and personnel evaluations from the top down. The overwhelming evidence and staggering facts of the Buracker & Associates Report clearly shows that Paula Meara is way out of her depth. She was the political hack appointee of former Mayor Mike Albano, the most dishonest and corrupt mayor in Springfield's history. Wouldn't it be interesting for Albano, Chief Meara, Gerry Phillips and Kathy Pellegrino all to take polygraph tests?

We know about the former aide to Charlie Ryan, the late Stephen Pegram and his frequent use of the telephone Raven Sex Chatline. This is only the tip of the iceberg. How about the hundreds of city employees misusing computers on internet porn sites, not to mention those playing Solitaire or Hearts all day long. With no definitive job description they do what they want without fear of oversight. Let's see the telephone records of all departments and get to the bottom of this misuse of telephones and computers.

Good public relations is the successful promotion of quality product publicly appreciated. With a quality end product the public relations take care of itself. Springfield with its rampant crime, bad schools, blighted neighborhoods and mismanged, corrupt city government does not make for good public relations. All the fancy marketing promotions, glossy brochures and glitzy videos have failed to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

In this dumbed down City of Sheep where dishonest, inept career politicians are returned to office on a regular basis, the taxpayers are easily duped, misled and misinformed by the monoply rag Republican while the city slides deeper into debt on the brink of bankruptcy and receivership. The failed bulldozer mentality and bricks and mortar doctrine which leveled the North End and gave us the badly designed, misplaced white elephant Civic Center, Baystate West and Federal building did not revitalize or save a dull in the extreme downtown which makes no economic sense. The tragedy of all this is that the so-called planners and politicians never seem to learn from the stupidity of their mistakes.

You don't have to have a PHD in political science to recognize that even a relatively small city like Springfield can stagnate, decay and decline when the voters elect and re-elect people who appoint some of the worst people in society. Tony Ardolino has a low threshold to anger and violence, as proven when he threatened Officer Greer when Tony was arrested for drunk driving. Tony also smashed the windsheild of his former girlfriend Ms. Scibelli with a baseball bat. The wiseguys like Ardolino, Frankie DePergola and Dan Kelly are known for using baseball bats, clubs and pipes but in a fair fight they couldn't lick a postage stamp. Reminds me of the Springfield firefighter who once threatened to burn my house down.

Wouldn't you like to see the names of all the politicians, friends and associates of Frankie Keough and Sheriff Ashe throughout the city who had their lawns cut, walks shoveled, houses painted and other odd jobs and home renovations done by homeless shelter clients and county jail inmates? How about the political sign making operation conducted in Keough's garage over the past twenty years? But you can't blame entirely the Albano Pasta Sauce Gang for all of Springfield's corruption. They found the system already put in place by the likes of Neal, Catjakis and Asselin and simply enlarged upon it.

The Springfield City Clowncil just don't get it. The state appointed Control Board is here because they violated their fiduciary responsibilities, oath of office and public trust. Unsound municipal finance and personnel management has caught up with this former City of Homes, placing it beyond the point of no return. Improving Springfield's bad national image and reputation is impossible with the likes of self-serving opportunists like NoDoze Williams, Sinecure Foley, Suspenders Sarno, Plumber Puppolo and Mazza the Shrill Moriarty.

I'm afraid Springfield and its mismanaged, junk bond rated bad city government is beyond redemption. I don't believe that the Control Board can resolve the irreparable harm done by several mayors and city councils. In order for this city to solve its deep rooted unsound municipal finance practices, our dwindling tax base must be enlarged, but you can't retain or attract good people and businesses with an image and reputation of rampant crime, bad schools, and poor quality of life in drug-infested, blighted neighborhoods.

In the words of Dr. Seuss on his last visit to Springfield before leaving for California for good, "What have they done to my city?"

Eamon T. O'Sullivan

June 16, 2005

Gas $2.11 at Pine Point Racing Mart.

Eamon says Mark Wiernasz of 22 called him when the Buracker Police Report came out and said it was just what Eamon has been saying for years.

Mullan up at UMass said, "I know of no great city or even a good one that has a bad downtown." He ranks Providence first and Springfield last.

Saw on the public access channel Councilor Tim Rooke ask Mary T. what rate Springfield bonds were out at and she didn't know. She should have all those figures on a single sheet of paper on a clipboard in front of her - the amount of debt, the rates, when they pay off, etc.

Ann Marie called from the Control Board and said I can have a copy of the Buracker Report if I pay to have it copied. Got it from her and dropped it off at Sir Speedy to be copied, then wandered around downtown until it was done.

At the Springfield Newspaper building it looks like light fixtures have been taken down from the promenade out front. At the bus terminal there is a Peter Picknelly display along the inside wall. Morgan statue at Court Square has some sort of covering erected all around it, maybe because it is being sandblasted or chemically treated. Main Street was very clean. I went into the Crown Restaurant on the corner and got one chicken leg and a thigh and a container of coleslaw for $3.50. Finally back to Sir Speedy where the lady, Tracy, had my Buracker Report waiting for me. Well over 500 pages. I gave her $45 and told her to keep the change.

When I got home I wrote a thank-you letter:

Dear Phillip Puccia and Ann Marie:

Thank you so much for your unexampled graciousness in getting me a copy of the Buracker Police Report. I'm the guy that stuck the posters under your door - I am nationally known for collecting "street literature." I shall share the Buracker Report with Eamon T. O'Sullivan and several other activists who support what you are doing. We all have fields of expertise, Eamon's is in accounting, business and education. I am a traditional academic in the humanities and law, in both of which I publish.

You may or may not hear more from me, but thanks, and good luck.

J. Wesley Miller.

Letter from Solomon - June 17, 2005

Dear Mr. Miller,

Thank you for forwarding your packet. My particular favorite is the orange jumpsuit postcard! Say "hello" to Jack Hess from me; I've missed him.

I do remember your name from my days as curator. I had not, however, seen your Quadrangle articles. I am saddened to see the events at the Quad, but I cannot say I'm surprised. I'm sure Jack told you that I did not see eye to eye with the administration (actually, that's putting it mildly). My hope is that the museums outlast the detrimental management of this era. They certainly deserve to, and the region deserves such an amazing resource as well. It is a tragedy when civic-minded people like you, who have collections that would benefit many, have lost respect for the local institution and will not donate items.

Most disaccessioning at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum occurred before my time. In fact, I can recall disaccessioning only one set of items in my five-plus years there: giant framed photographs of non-local politicians, including John Kennedy. I recommended offering them to a public institution. I was overruled; I think the Kennedy portrait was given to the mayor's office (Mike Albano), but I may be mistaken. Of course there were many years in the distant past where record keeping was so spotty that no one really knew what came into the collection - which made it impossible to determine what went out!

There were many ethical and capable people working at the museums when I was there. Unfortunately, they had little to no say in how situations were handled. I doubt very much that has changed, since asserting oneself was a sure stepping stone on the path to losing one's job!

Anyway, I hope I have been of some help,

Melanie J. Solomon

June 18, 2005

Overcast, 64 degrees at 8.

Fred Krug is an elderly man always in a blue suit, white shirt and tie and a straw hat who is frequently over to the Boston Road Walmart at the photo counter when I am there. So I asked him for his card. He showed me a large color group picture he had just done (very nice).

Ratner, Meeropol and Newman are involved in a play Guatanamo to be read at the Academy of Music Sunday in Northampton. I should get a poster for that.

Eamon called and said he just came back from the farmer's market down at Steiger's Park. He parked for 50 cents on Dwight behind the telephone company. He found only four vendors and said that two told him they're not coming back. He talked with a guy selling berries, asparagus and pies who said he grew up in Springfield. They talked about what a mess the place has become. Eamon bought some Berkshire Mountain Bakery bread and left.

Went to see Hess and found him home watching TV. He gave me the two WNEC postcards he got from receptionist Alice Calabrese and he let me look at some of his recent acquisitions. Hess said that Blake of Friendlys, the car collector, borrowed the Knox car and "restored it" in a "shitty way," making it look good but applying paint where chrome should go.

Stopped at the William Sullivan Information Center near the riverfront and picked up their latest literature. They have a guest book and looking it over I found only one or two signatures for some days but some days had none at all. There were only two cars parked in the lot when I arrived. Not getting a lot of business.

On my way home I pulled into South Congregational Church which was having a tag sale. It was a mere shadow of their former tag sales. The sometime proprietor of Forest Park Antiques was presiding over a book counter. I bought The Complete Boating Guide to the Connecticut River, fat and full of maps.

At the intersection of Middlesex and Alden a gaggle of geese, four or five adults, probably twenty little ones, were waiting to cross. Reminded me of the pedagogical rhyme I taught at Heidelberg:

The old grey goose, I see, is loose.
By ones, by twos, our geese we lose.

June 20, 2005

Tuition at Cathedral is now $5,000. Orr Cadillac charges $88.00 per hour for repair services.

Down on Alden in the Bassett Boat & Bait complex there has been an unused storefront sitting there pristinely waiting to be occupied going way back to when I was a kid delivering the Shopping News. Now there is a market in there, Wholesale Kitchen Supply. Have to look into them.

The 24 Hour Store on Liberty is always being robbed. Guy working there is a Marine and his boss told him that he can't pack a gun but he is doing so anyway. Personnel turnover in these stores is high. Gingras' daughter got a job in such a place but reported most of those coming in were shoplifters so she quit.

Landers and his wife drove around the Hall of Fame yesterday and looked into the Sullivan Visitor Information Center and nobody was there.

Read my remarkable letter from Melanie Solomon to Hess over the phone. He noted that the last thing Solomon did before she left was to work on the display cases.

Went to the recital at St. Joseph's down on the corner of Union and East Columbus Avenue. Played the Haydn Missa Brevis. About 75 to 100 in the audience, all white, mostly old. It is a solid church with touches of elegance, but not a rich church. On leaving I noticed a car in the church parking lot with a bumpersticker that read, "I Love My German Shepard" with a picture of the new Pope in an oval at the right end.

Watched Swan Lake on 57 this evening. Lovely.

June 22, 2005

Sunny, warmer. First day of Summer. 64 degrees at 6:30am.

Mobil way up to $2.23.

Black-eyed Susans are emerging.

Jim Landers was rushed to Baystate with a ruptured appendix. It happened last night around 10:30, he had terrible pain following not feeling well for several days. A female doctor operated on him. I called the hospital and chatted with him for a few minutes this morning and he seemed cheerful.

Dentist's girl called to remind me of my appointment. I said, "Please tell the dentist not to bring up a lot of treatments to sell me. I don't have the money."

The crew from College Pro arrived to paint my house today. One of the painters is named Andrew and he is a tall, thin fellow who is majoring in business. He agrees with me that Burlington, Vermont is even better than Northampton.

Francis (Rozkuszka) Gagnon will give a talk to the Polish Genealogy Society of Massachusetts on June 23.

Eamon says the Monte Carlo Restaurant on Memorial Avenue listed as owned by Mrs. F.B. Pugliano is a place associated with the Mob. Eamon said he used to go over there with Jack Connolly to pick up back taxes owed to the Commonwealth.

Governor Mitt Romney has "publicly acknowledged" for the first time that he is thinking of a run for president, but says he loves his job as governor. I never had a reply from Romney to the letters I sent him at the start of his term. But he did send me requests for campaign funds to which I never replied. Now he may be running for President and this certainly could have an impact on the decisions he makes about Springfield because whatever he does will be scrutinized nationally.

June 24, 2005

A 3-H day: Hot, Hazy, Humid. It is meteorologist Tom Bevacqua's birthday.

Channel 40 poll says only two percent favor forced taking of property for economic development. 22 poll says more than half oppose their kids enlisting in the military.

Manny's Appliances says on their commercial, "A scratch, a dent, a discount." Does he scratch and dent stuff he can't get rid of?

Went to the Dentist at one and she said I'm due for a new set of x-rays. I said I have no pain or aches so why bother? She said I have an infected tooth that is draining and I said it's been that way for years. Out of dentist at 1:15.

I stopped by the dedication of the new Five Town Plaza Friendlys at 10:31. I saw Clodo Concepcion talking with Councilor Angelo Puppolo and drifted over. Clodo turned to me and held out his hand in a most friendly way and said, "Hello, Mr. Miller, how are you?" I thumbed my nose at him and walked away. Angelo saw it all. Sen. Lees couldn't make it and had a woman represent him. Ryan didn't make it but sent a proclamation read by somebody.

At the Boston Road Big Y they had frozen dinners offered at 50% off in one case, and the regular price in another case. I discussed it with Dwayne the clerk who was friendly enough and he got the manager, who was furious because he's had to deal with me before. However in the end I got one dinner for free and the others at the lower price.

Landers is home and back on his feet. Painters finished my house today. I had a picture taking session with the workers and then a little ceremony in which for their tip I gave everybody a poetry book and a bottle of Bristol Creme.

Sorry to read that Paul C. McDonald from the credit union has died. McDonald was a very nice man. I last ran into him at Louis & Clark one evening.

Mowed the lawn and then sat on my little chair in the garage doorway and contemplated all the many different shades of green around, reflecting on what a lovely day it was.

June 26, 2005

Lots of white moths around, milkweed coming into bloom.

Weatherman says it was 95 degrees yesterday, one degree short of the record of 96F.

Went to McDonald's on Allen Street and a little old lady in front of me had a flyer with a coupon in it and they refused to accept the coupon on the grounds that they're not a participating McDonald's. I asked to see the coupon and found on the back a list of participating restaurants and they were on the list as one. I showed them this and the old lady got her bargain and she thanked me as I went and sat and ate my Sausage McMuffin. I wonder if at that McDonald's it's a matter of policy to hassle people who come with special coupon offers. As I left McD's at 10:29 I noticed that there were no forms by their suggestion box.

The backs of street directional signs are a significant venue for stickers. You have NO LEFT TURN and NO U-TURN signs and so on at many spots, and people put stickers and posters on the backs of those signs because they are easily seen by the people rolling by.

Dobbs article in the Reminder on the Duryea car fails to mention Knox or Hess.

Ryan will hold a press conference tomorrow regarding dumping Chief Meara. He arranged for B. Fitzgerald to leak the deal because it wasn't good to have a lot of rumors floating around.

I went to the closing of St. Joseph's today and it was handled in a very dignified fashion. I think there was a missal marker with a string on it which I missed out on but would have gotten had I stayed until the very end, but I had to go to the toilet and couldn't stick around for people to go up for their wafers.

Arrived at St. Joe's at 2:37 and parked in a third slot inside the gate across the street. Misty out. Inside there were magnificent large bouquets of flowers in front of the main and side altars. Many candles were being lighted as I came in. Five minutes before it was to begin I counted 73 people present, but people continued to come throughout the proceedings and the place eventually filled up to nearly packed. I saw NO politicians present.

I was amazed when I turned around a few minutes before the Service began to find several pews behind, with his usual bright smile, Efrem Gordon Esq. in a lovely blue shirt and blue tie. Now what is the Gordon connection with that church? Given his father, any connection could go back many years.

The Bishop delivered a fine church closing homily. He noted that the French came to North America and initiated a presence in many communities and long before St. Joseph's in 1873 they were in Springfield where they grew and flourished. But he said things have changed, look at the neighborhood and the houses, and he seemed to suggest that things have gone to the dogs but he was polite and didn't say that. Instead he said the people have moved on, saying that it's a lovely church and he wishes he could have a helicopter come and "lift it away to some other location, but we can't and so we must say good-bye and be glad that what has been here has been the foundation of so many good things in so many places."

I left at 4:48 and arrived home at 5:03.

June 27, 2011

Make love of learning - Not war.

Paul M.H. Murphy called offering Forsych's Beauties of Scotland for $350, said it's on the internet in better condition for $1200. I said I'll take them. He said he would come over to deliver them, the only people he lets into his shop these days are Eugene Povirk and Sam Morrill of Boston. So Paul Murray arrived at 12:20 wearing love beads, red tank top, shorts and sandals but arrived in a car rather than a motorcycle. I bought the books for 367.50 with tax and I gave him a gift of 25 Atheneum Society cards. So we renewed our friendship.

Work has started on the Food Mart plaza in Agawam.

Former Mayor Bob Markel is selling his Springfield home on Florentine Gardens for $311,000.

Drove by Frank Keough's at 10:48 and saw a little Dodge Neon with a Florida licence I44 AJF. Yesterday there was a little blue and white Altima license # 25P519 in the driveway.

On the evening news it says the city will collect millions in outstanding parking fines. Why didn't Albano do this?

Mayor Ryan on TV saying he had to give the bribe to retiring Police Chief Meara because the Council wouldn't go along with taking the chief's job off civil service. He said it's "disingenuous" (a favorite word of Ryan's) to be complaining when the bribe to retire her was necessitated by their own failure to co-operate. P. Puccia talking very stern now about going ahead and mopping up the Police Department. Meara will retire on 80% of her salary plus $300,000 to get lost and $45,000 in accrued sick time. Fitchett is acting Police Commissioner. Councilor Rooke and others say let her retire but why the buyout when her performance was severely faulted?

June 29, 2005


Sunoco up to 2.21, Shell 2.23.

Front corner of 16 Acres Bernie's still up. Demolition of liquor store not started.

The Tavern Restaurant on Mill Street located in the old fire station is in trouble. Hess had his transportation museum upstairs and was paying $450 per month. They upped the rent to $500 and Hess said phooey and moved out. The restaurant was one of the businesses successfully relocated by Albano (maybe the only one) to make room for the Hall of Fame. It was originally run by John Bonavita, but Bonavita sold out and the new owners are losing their shirts, as Bonavita probably was. Several businesses along Columbus Avenue are out of business as the result of the ramp relocation construction work.

On the evening news we had a story on TV featuring Rep. Neal talking about economic development at a special party held on the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking of Monarch Place. Young Picknelly was shown speaking and we heard Neal talk and in the background clearly visible was David Starr looking well. Also on TV I saw a mass being celebrated at St. Michael's with Ogulewicz visible in the background with Sr. Keating and Tourtelotte.

Jack Hess came over at 10:49 am. He mentioned just having paid around $175 to Schimke for a lot of nice Springfield postcards including photo cards. We looked at some of my medals and he has some but not all the ones I do. Gave him my copy of the Buracker report on the Police Department to read. Told him that Fitchett has no experience in management or administration. Paula Meara should have the decency to decline the $300,000 buyout. Indeed, she should have stepped down the moment she ascertained the nature and extent of the criticisms of herself in the Buracker Report.

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