September 2005

September 2, 2005

My mission in life is to clean up the world starting with the petty jerks. I am not a team player, if you want to join a team go to the Y. I am a whistleblower.

Some kind of construction, maybe a fence, across the MassMutual front lawn. Paul Longo says that the Springfield real estate market is flooded: 950 homes for sale.

Only six days of Ford Family Pricing and up to $6,000 rebate. Oh? Are they going to stop selling cars after that, or will they have an even better sale??? It's one damn special after another with autos and furniture and mattresses.

Paul Peter Nicolai and Eamon failed in their attempt to put a tax reduction proposal on the ballot. They needed 6400 signatures by yesterday's deadline and only got about four thousand. It is a major embarrassment for Nicolai. Nothing great was ever achieved by a committee. The members of the City Council are a bunch of machine politicos who had their chance and blew it. In Springfield good people aren't electable or don't want to run. The Springfield Newspapers have traditionally insisted that everyone must have a positive, pro-active attitude. Richard Neal, who is deeply involved in the local machine, has been heard to complain about "naysayers." There is no desire to have a conversation involving a diversity of views, but to instead form a line behind the views espoused by the Springfield Newspapers.

Ryan's opponent Ashe left a very pretty note for Eamon, who has been running anti-Ryan tapes for days now: "Eddie, stop by to say hello. Thanks for everything. Tom Ashe." He also visited Deezer Sullivan and talked about Eamon to him. Ryan sent a fundraiser invitation to Jim Landers, but Landers is mad because he got nothing for supporting Ryan in 2003. John Abbott has replaced Barry Gotterer as Ryan's bagman.

"Scarred" is a word Eamon has often used to describe the Irish of Hungry Hill.

Went to the teacher's rally. Parked on Eliot just before Matoon and walked across to the Quadrangle and found an immense gathering on both sides of State Street. How many? Newspaper said a thousand, but I'd say less than half that, tightly packed on the steps of the School Department building, others across the street in front of the Deacon Samuel Chapin statue. Many wore green t-shirts and carried signs of all sorts.

Policeman very obliging to let me cross the street even though I was in biker boots with jeans tucked in, biker jacket festooned with buttons, doggie collar and on top of it all my leather biker cap with an ARISE button in the middle where a cop would have his badge.

I had my camera and weaseled myself to right in front of the speaker, union head Tim Collins. Collins speaks well but I caught one grammar error. I am a correctional facility - I correct everybody's English! Trucks and police cars and ambulances and fire engines came by all honking support for the teachers. Show lasted half an hour starting at 11:30 and then they headed for City Hall. Virtually no litter at all.

The teachers noted that Superintendent Burke had canceled the annual teacher convocation (which they had planned to boycott anyway) so their little protest gathering was in its stead. And they noted that Burke is taking Wednesday off for a job interview and said that if they did such a thing they'd be docked for it!

Burke had said in his letter in the paper (too perfect to be written by Burke) that people should stop in for a student handbook. So when the teachers cleared out I went in and Burke's offices were empty. Behind the counter the ladies said the Handbooks are being printed and not yet ready. They took me to a friendly person named Lynn Yanis who said she hadn't read Burke's letter but said they don't have the Handbooks yet. I left my card and she said she'll mail me one. We'll see.

Mayor Ryan on TV news tonight commenting on the teachers occupying the corridors of City Hall: "It's a free country and it's a public building."

Driving home up State Street after the rally I saw a Goth kid in a shirt with Bush's picture on it with TERRORIST lettered beneath. I was idling at a light and I shouted to him because I want to get a shirt like it, but couldn't get his attention.

September 7, 2005

A Great Nation Deserves Great Art. - National Endowment for the Humanities.

No, that's wrong, it should be:

A Nation cannot be Great without Great Art. - J. Wesley Miller

Morning is the best time to work - Everybody says that.

Sunny, mild, wonderful day. Cooked up my kettle of zucchini and peppers.

Picked my last six blackberries today.

At the 16 Acres Pride and Mobil stations gas at both $2.59 per gallon. In Blockbuster the Valley Advocate rack is full of Prime magazine, the Reminder rack is almost empty and there are no Advocates.

Photographed the Nichols place and a paranoid woman in a car at the corner snapped, "Why are you taking my picture?"

Mr. Cohn called and said he had "a very pleasant childhood" and feels that has been key to his personality. Stopped by Hess at 12:55 and the Mrs. was assiduously cleaning out his truck with a vacuum cleaner. I was amazed and embarrassed at how diligently she was going about it. Indeed Hess, who is 71, has a well-trained wife who waits on him hand and foot, while he has provided her with a magnificent house and gardens.

In the paper it says Lyman Wood and the Arts Fund got a million. Too bad he's so prominent here but hasn't rescued the Hampden Library.

Thomas H. Trimarco said on TV that our schools "have years and years of poor management at best and corruption." The fundraiser for Ryan is at St. Anthony's tomorrow evening at $20 a ticket. I called to tell Colleen about it but she told me she already got an invitation and I said good enough.

Eamon says a perfect example of a self-serving politician is Brian Santaniello, former City Councilor and then later Election Commissioner, as well as "Bloopers Foley" who has a politically appointed sinecure at the State Lottery Office.

I am fundamentally different from normal authors in that my best work is unpublished and not intended for publication during my lifetime. My work in letters and memos most people can't stand, don't acknowledge, don't thank me for, don't reply to and presume/hope will never see the light of day. The problem is if you're a normal author you have to please an audience. I seek to please nobody but to speak the truth.

September 8, 2005

Beautiful and sunny, 67 degrees at 7 am.

Eamon says Tony Ravosa Sr. has health problems.

Article in the paper says Burke didn't get the job in Florida. I asked and Eamon admitted that as is his custom he called down there and gave Burke a damning recommendation.

When he ran in 1995 the Charlie Ryan fundraiser at St. Anthony's was absolutely packed and there seemed no way Ryan could lose, but he lost. This fundraiser was satisfactorily attended but not packed. At 6:45 I counted 250 present.

As I approached by car you could see RYAN signs all along the street and also an immense picket line. I counted 81 cops in blue, three firemen in red and maybe a dozen teachers in green. Bruce Fitzgerald and another were standing twenty feet back of the picket line. I drove in. Mitch Ogulewicz walked past in a tan suit. Bob Powell was there with a fancy little silver camera. I chatted with Karen Lee who still lives on the next street and she said she just got a job with the United Way.

At first people just mulled around and in due course Ryan's son Tim introduced him. Then Ryan invited us to pull forward in the hall. Ryan said of Springfield "we can be what we used to be" and went on to say that "there is presently a fight for control of this city. A gang of men not worthy of their stewardship ran this city for fifteen years. They want it back."

Ryan said that although Tom Ashe is the candidate "the real candidates are Anthony Ardolino and Raipher Pellegrino." He also mentioned Saco Catjakis, who controlled the Springfield Housing Authority for 20 years and claims he doesn't know any of the crooks working for it." Ryan also described Frankie Keough as Tom Ashe's mentor.

Ryan praised Markey as an outstanding City Solicitor and praised Eamon's nephew Pat of the Parks Department. Said that Patrick Sullivan has the department completing twenty tasks a day whereas formerly it was only two per day. Said he's "impressed and pleased" with Fitchett. Dumped directly on Dan Kelly and Kateri Walsh for telling the state "we don't need money." Said they engage in "doubletalk." Back in '95 Ryan didn't dump on the people he's rightly dumping on now.

Ryan claimed credit for collecting 15 million in deadbeat taxes, lots of it from people who didn't pay for licenses. Got $700,000 out of Jimmy Santaniello of the the Mardi Gras strip club.

And on it went. I think Mayor Ryan has done a good job. But he didn't say a word about the library or about Starr, so at one point I shouted out, "What about David Starr and the library?" But he ignored me.

I ducked out a bit early and was home at 7:57.

Letter to the President of STCC
September 9, 2005

Dr. Ira H. Rubenzahl,

Last night at Charlie's fundraiser I saw you come in and so I said hello and you asked if we'd met. I told you that I am the foremost authority on legal poetry and anecdotes. I assured you that I was not looking for a job, but that the advice I had for you as the new president of STCC is that your school is full of political hacks and flunkies and that you should start building a new faculty. At that we parted.

I'm writing today in order to add that I believe that STCC has the brightest future of the several local colleges because it is a lower-end technical school with a wonderful campus in a vintage manufacturing complex with a lot of nice trees. In fifty years STCC will be the primary local college, and I hope that you Dr. Rubenzahl are off to a running start to bring that about.

As a major Victorian industrial center, Springfield was smug about education and no major college was established here. Unlike Worcester, for instance, we don't have a Clark, a Holy Cross or even an American Antiquarian Society.

We once had a wonderful City Libary, but around 1985 they dumped too many of their books. I once wrote an article on the breaking of the will of George Walter Vincent Smith by the Library and Museums Association that was commissioned by the magazine Hobbies but Richard Muhlburger, right hand man to David Starr, made out that my article was unreliable so they paid for it but did not publish it.

I have the second best collection of Springfield postcards (about 2000) and could show them by appointment in about two hours. You are invited to make an appointment, but take heed that I'm a nut and it is better not to be seen with me. I have received No Trespass orders from several quarters.

Yours truly,

J. Wesley Miller III, Esq.

The preceding sarcastic letter to the President of Springfield Technical Community College is the last known act of correspondence by Attorney J. Wesley Miller III. In mid-September of 2005 friends became concerned when Miller missed several appointments and no one was answering his phone. Eventually the Springfield police were notified and broke into Miller's Sixteen Acres residence, only to find the lawyer lying beside his typewriter, dead of an apparent massive heart attack. He had been stricken while in the act of typing his diary.

The typewriter itself is pictured below:

An incomplete diary entry was found in the typewriter. These are the last words of J. Wesley Miller (click to enlarge)

"Unappealing and I daresay overpriced."

Johnson's Bookstore Funeral Ode
by J. Wesley Miller, Esq.

Johnson's Bookstore's gone for good;
Springfield's down the tubes.
Doctor Seuss won't puff it up;
Basketball's for Boobs.

All Monarchies must end,
All Monarchs have their fall.
And when at last they do,
It burns the hides of all.

Lugete, Oh Lugete! Johnson's Bookstore's dead.
Lugete, Oh Lugete! Springfield won't be back.
Out of nothing, nothing comes.
Into nothing, nothing goes.

Once downtown was compact
And you could stroll around
Browsing, buying, snacking, joying
From end to end of town.

Forbes and Steiger's, Greene's,
Meekins, Packard, Wheat.
Poole's and Penny's, Kresge's
Neiser's and Stillman's couldn't be beat.

And when we went to the Public Market
Victoria Square was the place to park it.
Brigham's Lerner's Enterprize,
McLellan's, Haynes and True's.

Carlisle's, Kane's, Okun's, Stearns
The Waldorf for a bowl of stew.
Graffito stenciled on Union Trust;
While Brunton Sleeps Springfield Rusts.

The Georgian, Jensen's, Jackson's;
Spiral staircase in Child's;
Adaskin's, Hadley's, Regal's;
Al Strohman was all smiles.

Broadway, Bijou, Poli,
Arcado and Paramount,
Capital and Court Square,
Kimball, Highland, let's be done!

Bricks and mortar fall to dust
Like Abyssinia, Greece and Rome.
When Doctor Seuss passed through
He said, "This is not my home."

Lugete, Oh Lugete! Johnson's Bookstore is dead.


  1. Hi Tom. My family (Irvin & Lenore's daughter& grandchildren) have really been enjoying reading through these diary entries you put online. It's been fascinating to read tidbits about our grandparents from Miller's point of view. Thank you for putting this up here. Have you thought about making it an online/self-published book?

  2. Glad you are liking this, the Cohn's appear frequently in the diary, which will eventually come online in its entirety. I would like to see it become a book at some point, we'll see once I get a few more years of it up. Thanks for the kind words, and keep coming back as the diary will only continue to expand.