August 2004

August 3, 2004

76 degrees at 6:30. As muggy as it gets around here.

Barack Obama for president, why settle for less? Certainly Obama before Mitt Romney or Arnold Swarzenegger. Bruce Springsteen is supporting John Kerry.

Cobble Mountain Dam is the largest earthen dam in the country and if it were to break it would flood Westfield.

The Sunday Republican has an immense amount of advertising and less and less news in it. Dave Madsen at 11:30 had a couple in wetsuits and bubble helmets getting married in a shark tank. He made a snide remark about lawyers and sharks.

There is a superb picture of Michaelann Bewsee in the paper marching in an anti-war parade from the Boston Common to the Fleet Center. Michelle Webber says she doesn't know what Bruce Fitzgerald did with the stuff I left him.

Eamon went downtown to the Post Office to mail letters about the Control Board to Boston. He said there were lots of cars around Liberty Methodist today. Latino festival is all over downtown, cars cruising around with Puerto Rican flags flying.

Efrem Gordon called and thanked me for the fruit I put in his cup "on behalf of my entire staff" and praised the cup itself for "its classic lines." He told me he recently got a man off who faced a possible life sentence, and who told Efrem afterward that he had cyanide pills on him to take if he was found guilty! Later I called the Community Foundation and the receptionist Jessica said that Anne Mullen has cancer and is on leave of absence for chemotherapy. I asked her to send Anne my best wishes.

Tuesday when I got The Reminder I found an article about the dumpy old O'Driscoll's Pub by the overpass in North Wilbraham (used to be called the Overpass Saloon) and Dobbs had located it on the wrong street in his article. So I called Dobbs and he informed me, friendly enough, that "I got the address off the menu."

So I was out there today enroute to Maynard Road and I stopped in. The building used to be a dingy tan (asbestos shingles) and now it is white. Inside were mostly old people, the same sort who used to go to the Lakeside, and I got two copies of the menu. Sure enough Dobbs got it wrong: the menu says 2823 Boston Road, not Wilbraham Road as he had claimed. I mailed one of the menus to Dobbs with this note:

Dear Mr. Dobbs,

You told me at 3:20pm Tuesday that you got the address from the menu.

Here is the menu.

May I bill you $200 for conclusively proving you incorrect?

Yours truly,

J. Wesley Miller, Esq.

August 6, 2004

72 degrees in the morning. Forsythia coming out.

Mary-Kay Gamel, daughter of former Commerce Principal Oscar Y. Gamel was a classmate of mine at Harvard. Now she is a professor in California.

Mayor Ryan originally wanted City Clerk Metzger to be the Executive Director of the Control Board but Puccia got the job instead. Control Board wanted their own man and I don't blame them. The Public Access TV Channel is a disgrace for the way they film the City Council and other public meetings. No moving the camera to follow speakers, poor sound quality, totally unprofessional.

Went to State Senator Brian Lees' "Golden Gathering" freebie festival at the WNEC gym. I walked over from my house wearing my logger's boots with black jeans tucked in, purple t-shirt, doggie collar and motorcycle jacket with just three buttons: "Block Bush", "Gay Rights are Civil Rights" and "Challenge Authority."

Governor's Council candidate Issac Ben Ezra was there campaigning for maybe half an hour. Also campaigning was State Rep. candidates Rosemarie Mazza-Moriarty and Sean Curran. I chatted with Curran and was disappointed to find out that he opposes abortion, but I'll vote for him anyway. Mayor and Mrs. Charles V. Ryan were there with State Rep. Cheryl Rivera. Linda Melconian arrived late but was warmly greeted by Senator Lees. They are old friends. Bob Robinson from the Advocate was there taking pictures.

When the doors opened at 9:15 the line waiting outside was only about half as long as last year and there were fewer exhibitors. I told the guy in the Goodwill booth that the Sumner Avenue Goodwill is a mess. I asked the two people at the Verizon booth whether they could tell me the source or meaning of the word "Verizon" but they could not. Miss East Longmeadow looked nice but never smiled, so I told her to practice in front of a mirror. From Six Flags Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig came along greeting people. I asked Porky if he was a capitalist pig and I asked Bugs Bunny his position on birth control. They ignored me.

I left the Golden Gathering early and headed down by the Basketball Hall of Fame and parked as close as I could to the old Hall. There's a lovely wooded grove by there, a perfect pastoral retreat amid the hubbub of the city, which will be ruined if they construct something onto the old Hall. I don't like how there is a fence all along the bike path because if you needed to elude a robber the only escape would be to either climb the fence or dive into the river. The elevator there has never worked, despite rosy stories in the paper.

Cornell W. Lewis, a former aide to Mayor Mary E. Hurley, was sentenced to home detention and is paying restitution for taking junkets and consulting fees while treasurer of the Greater Springfield Entrepreneurial Fund. "He was on the gravy boat when it took off," said Judge Michael A. Ponsor. Prosecution says the sentence was too light, but that's typical of Ponsor.

Charlie Ryan's son James called Eamon to complain about what Eamon said about him on Masslive's Springfield Forum. Eamon had complained that Charlie's coattails weren't long enough to get James and his cousin Kevin Sears onto the Council. James said that he didn't like Eamon saying that it was wrong that James used to work for Albano, who appointed him to the Park Commission. Sears also served on the Planning Board. Eamon replied that the fact is they both were appointed by Albano so there must have been some closeness there. Eamon stuck by his position that it was disloyal to Charlie to have his relatives accept positions with Albano.

Then he asked James, "What did your father do for your campaign?" James responded, "We all ran independently." Eamon scoffed, "Old man Ryan didn't lift a finger for you or Sears and I don't blame him." Later James told Eamon that before the primary he met with Larry McDermott for two hours one day and figured that the paper would endorse him, but they did not. "I was very disappointed with McDermott," Jim said. The phone call ended pleasantly enough, with Eamon telling James Ryan he should have called him for help with his campaign, but Eamon told me, "The poor fellow has no grey matter upstairs at all."

August 9, 2004

63 degrees this morning. A wonderful day, but the nice weather won't last. Gas in the Acres is $1.85.

If only more lawyers were also poets. Vice-presidential candidate John Edwards is under attack because he is the sort of trial lawyer who is driving up medical costs. Yes, but there are far more important issues in this election.

Stop & Shop has a big sale on frozen dinners. The Maple tree at the corner of South Branch Parkway and the dingle is always the first tree around here to turn color in the fall.

My neighbor Lucius is still flying his United States Marine Corps flag. Around town I've seen maybe a dozen USMC flags in front of people's homes, but no Army, Navy or Air Force flags. Along Riverdale Road in West Springfield two adjacent auto dealers have obnoxiously large American flags waving.

Received a note from Belle-Rita Novak: "Thank you so much for your contribution to Siani in memory of my mother Jessica Margola Knox. The fund you donated to is in memory of my brother who died in 1970. It purchases books for our temple library. How appropriate is that? Thanks again, you are a good friend. Sincerely, Belle-Rita and family."

Called the Staniski house at 4:45 and Ann answered. Said her mother has the flu and she took her to Mercy Emergency Room to be checked out and there were no serious problems. She said her Mom is on the mend but at her age there is never getting better for good. I told Ann how wonderful she and her mother are and that in a purely platonic sense I love her, which seemed to cheer her.

A homeless man with a grocery cart full of bottles and cans was by Mutual Ford/Lincoln Mercury. Went to the Valley Flea Market this afternoon and bought a Victorian mug and a 1946 Pynchon Medal in its original box for $50.

Mike Albano had a photo portrait of himself in a fancy frame hanging up outside the Council Chambers but now it's gone. Wonder what became of it. Curran for State Rep. signs are all around, none for Chris Asselin and since Rosemarie Mazza-Moriarty expects to walk away with the race she hasn't bothered with signs. Asselin is bragging in the media that it was he who got Carew Street paved.

The Control Board's new Executive Director is getting a higher salary than the Mayor. The Control Board went on a tour of the city today and met with Superintendent Burke. Also visited some of the city's most blighted neighborhoods. Police Chief Meara is defending herself from critical remarks by Bill Cosby, claiming that Cosby "is not working within the same reality that we are." Who is she kidding?

It turns out Frankie Keough was using jail inmates from Sheriff Michael Ashe's community restitution program to work on his personal property and for unnamed people with political connections around town. Ashe's son Steven worked at Keough's shelter in the 1990's. Shelter board President Maryrose Coughlin Porter also worked for the Sheriff's Department in recent years. Paper describes Sheriff Ashe as "a longtime friend and political ally of Keough's."

August 11, 2004

73 degrees, sunny, gas is still $1.87 at Breckwood Sunoco.

If you know, teach. If you don't know, learn.

There is much less fat in a can of Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup than in Campbell's, even though Progresso is a bigger can.

I was cutting my bushes today when an orange and black cat scurried out of the corner, probably prowling for chipmunks. Now that isn't nice! Jim Landers is painting his house brown. Paper has an obituary for a Francis C. Leonard who worked for the Federal Land Bank in Springfield.

Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley had numerous author events last year, including Ian Frazier, Elinor Lipman and Jim Hightower. Bill Cosby lives in Shelburne Falls but his mailing address is a Post Office Box in Greenfield.

Adams Playground on Wilbraham Road looks good. When I was a child there was a brick building with equipment in it but it was never open. There was a slippery slide with bars to climb on. The field was dust and weeds. Today the grass is manicured and there is a modern, multicolored kid's jungle-gym play unit. Maybe a dozen black kids with two or three mothers were there.

Eamon said his elementary school teacher at Liberty Street School used to ask, "Do I hear any lip in my room?" She was in room 203 while a teacher with the last name Fitzgerald taught in 208. Barbara Garvey called Eamon and told him he could have a copy of the Mass Mutual Report for $14. Eamon is pretty sore that they want him to pay and won't get one. Eamon said he has had no contact with Karen Powell for some time and has had no contact with Nader the Hatter all summer. After he hung up I called Karen Powell and she said Mayor Ryan offered her a job working on the Mass Mutual Report but she declined the offer. Told her that she and Bob are invited over anytime they want to make an appointment.

Arrived at the Quadrangle at 11:05. Inside the Library I found a couple of books in the discard section (Stephen Green on water and a Nero Wolfe) and a big pile of Americana magazines which I wanted to look through. I needed a chair and saw one over by the bust of Andrew Carnegie and went over to get it. Suddenly a tall old man firmly said, "That chair stays there!" in a tone more firm than polite. Of course I was in my biker jacket with political buttons. I grabbed a piece of paper and marched right up to him and wrote down the text on his badge: Hank Hanmer/Library Volunteer.

Then fortunately I spotted the short woman at the Circulation Desk who used to run Periodicals and asked where I could get a chair. She told me to take one out of Rice Hall. So I got a chair and purposely walked past Hank Hanmer saying loudly, "I have permission to have this chair." He walked away and I sat screening the free magazines. I took one that had an article on Indians for Eamon, another one with an article on railroads for Mr. Cohn and one on public markets for Belle-Rita Novak. As I left Judy Matt of Spirit of Springfield was heading out. I said, "Well, look who's here! How are you?" "Wonderful, thank you," she replied.

Men are still scraping the Alexander House and a black guy with a roller on a very long pole was painting the pillars. Went to City Hall to drop off some stuff for the City Council. Mayoral Chief of Staff Bruce Fitzgerald is on vacation until next week. Ran into Barbara Garvey, who was wearing a rose pink dress, and we chatted. Then I left and sat on a rock by the Boland Monument when along came Gary Plant. He said, "Hi Wesley, can't stop, I'm on my way to the Hampden County Courthouse."

Then I drove up to the AIC library and got some more magazines off of their freebie rack. Wings Over Springfield is the name of the new place going in at the site of the old 16 Acres Burger King. When I came home a cop in a blue unmarked car was lurking in the Church of the Acres driveway.

August 14, 2004

82 degrees at 4pm. Just beginning to hear raindrops on the air conditioner here in the pink room. Pride gas is down to $1.83.

Julia Child has died two days short of her 92nd birthday. Mother and I used to always watch her cooking programs and chuckle about the liquor she always served at the end.

I stopped into the former Sheraton Hotel on Chestnut Street, which is now called Museum Park. They have a sign up saying they are looking for senior (55-plus) tenants. I chatted with a Fred Zibell about renting there. He said it is $550 a month for a one bedroom apartment. Pretty expensive!

Eamon called and said he had a tuna fish sandwich for lunch today with celery, bacon, lettuce, cheese and a slice of an enormous tomato he got from Landers. To drink he had a container of Diet Moxie. The Whitcombs who lived across from me in the 1940's used to drink Moxie. Eamon says a lady called him on the phone complaining, "Mr. O'Sullivan, aren't you the man who told us all to vote for Charlie Ryan? Were we wrong again?" Eamon replied that things would be even worse if we had elected Linda Melconian.

Mayor Ryan appointed four new members of the Historical Commission, suggesting they "follow its charter and hold two meetings a month rather than just one." So that means that Fran Gagnon wasn't holding all the meetings she was supposed to.

Latoya Foster on 22, who frequently makes grammar errors, was talking about the skyrocketing price of building materials, plywood in particular. Said "cost of materials go up" when it should have been "cost of materials GOES up." Called Rosemarie Mazza Moriarty three times today and only got her answering machine. Finally I left a message telling her about all the grammar errors in her flyer. I noted that she says she was a school teacher and if so her kind of English is what we don't need in the classroom.

Mass Mutual had a special corporate hospitality tent to watch the 2004 U.S. Open from the exclusive view of Mount Holyoke Village. Open bar and all you can eat buffet for hacks like Mike Albano, Gerry Phillips, Heriberto Flores and Benjamin Swan. Donnie Moorehouse was broadcasting live from the press tent with special guest Dan Yorke.

Springfield City Councilors Jose F. Tosado, William T. Foley and Dominic J. Sarno met with Control Board Chairman Alan L. LeBovidge about the budget. Foley said he believes that elected officials could have dealt with this year's budget without needing a Control Board. "What stopped you?" LeBovidge asked.

August 17, 2004

68 degrees. 9:14am it started to rain.

"Stronger, Higher, Faster!" is the 2004 Olympics motto. Reports of problems in the suburbs of Fisher cats attacking people's pets. Brick pillars are going up at the ends of the new black metal fence along the front of Gateway Village.

Former Election Commissioner James (Deezer) Sullivan called looking for Paul Caron, then apologized for calling the wrong number. Bob Collamore is running ads in the paper in his race against Gale Candaras. State Rep. Cheryl Rivera is having a fundraiser at Stephanie's Restaurant in Chicopee. Frank Buntin was on the news complaining about the Control Board being all whites.

Donald Rumsfeld, whom I hate, said on the news that you never want all your research and development people working in the same location, eating lunch together, etc. if you want to maximize creativity. This is a rule David Starr didn't know, as he surrounds himself only with people who think like him.

I went to East Longmeadow because I had a coupon for the Panera bread place at 450 North Main Street for a free loaf of bread. It is a trendy, yuppie place, very stylish with a fireplace. Then over to Home Goods, where I admired a millefiore vase and other glitzy stuff.

This morning Shena Seymour on TV40 said there will be a public "meet and greet" with Control Board Chairman Alan LeBovidge this afternoon. So I went downtown and parked on Eliot Street, then walked through the light rain down the hill to City Hall. I was all done up in my orange jumpsuit, logger's boots, collar and jacket with buttons. I stopped by the Mayor's Office where I left off my critique of the Mass Mutual Report with Michelle Webber. I told her that Charlie Ryan instigated the Mass Mutual Report not to save money but with the intent of starting a fire under the entrenched bureaucracy of politically hired hacks. And now that the fire is lit the time has come to take up the axe and let heads roll!

Suddenly Mayor Ryan appeared and invited me into an inner office. There was LeBovidge having coffee with Dom Sarno and Sheila McElwaine. I gave LeBovidge my Mass Mutual critique, he thanked me and I left just as Tim Rooke and Angelo Puppolo arrived. There were no citizens waiting to meet LeBovidge. I waved to Bruce Fitzgerald as I passed his office, and outside a TV22 news crew was arriving, so I gave them some of my literature. When I got home Colleen was in her driveway and told me, "You look hot!" I gave her a copy of my critique.

This Saturday is the sales tax free holiday. Eamon and I agree that since the tax is only around 5% it isn't worth fighting the crowds just to get the savings. Jim Landers has read the Mass Mutual Report and is passing it on to his wife who is a CPA. Eamon got hold of a copy of the Mass Mutual Report and says it is a mess. Complained that these executives couldn't hold down a job anywhere else and that Mass Mutual is still operating like they did fifty years ago.

There was a debate the other night in Indian Orchard of the candidates for State Representative in the 9th District - Bob Underwood, Rosemarie Mazza Moriarty and Sean Curran were there but not two-term incumbent Christopher P. Asselin. All three candidates called on Asselin to resign.

Jack Hess called to say he bought an old Classical yearbook with his grandfather's picture in it. He said that Eddie Boland and Judge Keyes made a lot of money when the Federal Building went up on Main Street. They bought land all along I-91 and the South End and sold it to various government agencies for their projects. They also owned the former Milner Hotel across from Union Station.

August 19, 2004

72 degrees, a gloomy day.

"Music for Little People" a program of early childhood education directed by Bonnie G. Light has opened their new studio on Allen Street in Springfield.

Ex-State Rep. Frederick M. Whitney has another letter in the paper supporting Ward Representation. Give him credit, he has supported that issue longer than the ARISE crowd has. Attorney Michael D. Bissonette of Chicopee is running for Governor's Councilor. He served as a legislative assistant to Representative Kenneth Lemanski and Senator John P. Burke.

Saw three Mazza-Moriarty signs along Parker Street out to Five Town Mall. Rosemarie is in small letters and Mazza-Moriarty is in enormous letters - she is counting on Irish and Italian name recognition to get elected. The first signs I've seen from her but I'm sure we'll see more.

A woman called at 7:49 taking "a short opinion poll." The first question was, "How would you rate Congressman Richard Neal, good or bad?" I said wait a minute, it's not that simple! They should have several categories, such as extremely favorable, somewhat favorable, neutral, somewhat unfavorable and unfavorable. I said Richard Neal is connected with some crooked Democrats but he has also done some good.

Then she asked about Rep. Chris Asselin. I said everybody is innocent until proven guilty, and told her I read the flyer he sent about all the good things he's done. But I met him once and he came across as a pompous ass.

Next she asked about Rosemarie Mazza-Moriarty. I said she has youth, energy and a nice smile. But I don't like her mother, whom I perceive to be a pushy, political empire building type. Just as Asselin says he's not guilty of the sins of his father, Mazza-Moriarty is not guilty of the sins of her mother, but the apple usually doesn't fall far from the tree. I also mentioned the bad grammar in Mazza-Moriarty's mailings and how she says she was a high school English teacher and said that as a role model she should have excellent English in her publications. It's okay to have grammar errors in personal letters or in your diary, but a letter to prospective constituents should be flawless. Indeed, Chris Asselin's mailings have had perfect English.

Predictably I was then asked about Sean Curran. I said Curran is a Hungry Hill Irish Catholic who is anti-abortion but I intend to vote for him anyway. I told her Asselin has had his chance and I'd like to see a new face.

The next question was, "Is Springfield headed in the right direction?" I said absolutely yes, thanks to Charlie Ryan. He may be a Catholic who wears his religion on his sleeve but he is a true professional who is rescuing the city from the Albano gang. I said Charlie Ryan is a fine man.

Then I was asked if the election for State Representative was held today who would I vote for, and I replied that I promised Curran in person that I would vote for him. She asked if I was aware that Mazza-Moriarty favored gay marriage but that Curran does not? Actually Curran favors civil unions, and the fact that the questioner left that fact out makes me suspect that this poll was paid for by Mazza-Moriarty. I replied that the force of history is for change and that universal gay marriage is inevitable anyway so I'm sticking with Curran. She asked me my age and I said, "62 but young at heart." She said, "It was a pleasure talking with you," and the poll ended at 8:18.

August 21, 2004

90 degrees at 4:45pm. A lightning storm but I heard no thunder. Gas $1.88 at the Acres.

I love Doonesbury, which had the priest (Anglican?) saying, "You know, it's hard to believe we have a president who doesn't believe in evolution. It means the leader of the free world has closed his mind to vast areas of human experience and knowledge. Rejecting evolution requires him to repudiate the core tenants of entire fields of study, such as biochemistry, genetics, ecology, paleontology, anatomy, physics, astronomy, geology, cosmology, history and archeology." The punchline was that explains why Bush was a C student. Pretty sophisticated for a comic strip!

A small tornado hit a park in Pittsfield this evening. Saint Matthew Elementary School in the Orchard was founded in 1902. The Valley Advocate has devoted a quarter of a page to dumping on Raipher Pellegrino and all his lawyer ads. Anne G. Mullen of the Community Foundation has died. She was only 47.

There is a shortage of science and math teachers in Springfield. Art Gingras got a letter inviting him to come back and teach and he told them to put the job where the monkey put the plum. Mayor Ryan says the shortage shows the stupidity of the early retirement buy-outs under Albano.

Eamon said there are more than a hundred administrators in the Springfield schools and they should solve the teacher shortage by forcing them into the classroom. He said some of their job descriptions are so vague they don't even have desks and "they don't do shit."

Today I cashed a check at United so I went over to the 16 Acres Friendlys where, as a stockholder, I looked for dirt and found it. Frosted white glass globes hanging from the ceiling had crud collecting in them, just like at the City Library. Window wells have dead bugs and dirt at the bottom. I noted these things to the manager Nicholas Fazio as I sat in a small booth and paid an outrageous $1.69 for a soft serve cone.

Wings Over Springfield at 1219 Parker Street has opened so I went in. They have burnished steel tables and chairs and in the middle of each table is a roll of paper towels (very unsanitary). At most fast foot places you can see into the kitchen, but here the old Burger King kitchen has been walled off. There is a little window on the Wilbraham Road side and three cash registers where you place your order. They have pictures of their Hartford store framed on the walls. I was so turned off by the whole operation I just took a menu and left and I won't be going there again.

I went over to the old Nichols' place and walked around. Lots of stuff still in the garage and piled up in the back lot. At some point I think the Nichols decided to just be as self-sufficient as they could, just keep going as long as possible, and who cares what happens to the place after they're gone. I think that will be my attitude in my final decline.

August 24, 2004

64 degrees first thing today. Gas is $1.91 at the Pond.

Always print on ivory, not white, and demand acid free paper.

Nader the Hatter got here around ten and showed me wonderful archival photos of the machinists at Package Machinery and three photos of an enormous VanNorman grinder. The Package Machinery photos are superb and list all the workers on the back. I suggested he give them to Jack Hess but he said he could get $400 for them on the internet. Nader is using Dreamweaver to design a new hat website and I volunteered to check his text for errors.

Nader has a lovely brand new silver grey Hyundai with a hatchback. Cost $15,000, he said he put five grand down and is financing the rest. We set out at 10:24 and arrived at the Pioneer Valley Flea Market on Northampton Street in Holyoke at 10:52. Inside there were three stands of free Sunday papers; Larry McDermott is reaching out to new markets everywhere!

We walked around, sometimes together, sometimes separately. I came across a lady who had some postcards for sale showing all aspects of the production of broad leaf tobacco here in the Valley. It reminded me of how Eamon once said that he had worked in the fields for three summers as a teenager. He said he didn't make much money but he had a good time. I gave the lady $20 for the cards and she threw in for free some pre-war German postcards from the collection of a Professor Smith of the UMass Chemistry Department. I also bought two views of Holyoke (City Hall, Kenilworth Castle) and one of the Amherst Common for $35 each that were originally commissioned by People's Bank. Nader bought a 1970 Tic-Tac dispenser for $50 which he says will bring $200 on the internet.

We left the flea market at 1:10 and I told Nader I would treat him to lunch at Kentucky Fried Chicken, but he said he doesn't eat fried food. He suggested Wendy's because he likes their chili, but we didn't know where one was located in Holyoke. Finally he agreed to go to KFC, where we discovered they have baked chicken on the menu.

While we ate I asked Nader whether he has seen Fahrenheit 911. He said no because he thinks Michael Moore only made the film because he felt guilty for having backed Ralph Nader in 2000, thereby causing Bush to win. As we left KFC a woman on the corner was waving a sign saying that Lord & Taylor is having a clearance sale. Back home I showed Nader the Lambeth Conference scrapbook and gave him a Waller article reprint and he departed at three.

August 28, 2004

67 degrees at 8am. Mowed the lawn and noticed I have plants in the front eaves, I'll have to get after them.

Mrs. Staniski made brownies using the recipe of Jackie Kennedy's private chef Annemarie Huste. She got it from a 1970 book. I sent a check to the Community Foundation in memory of Anne Mullen.

The Quadrangle phone system no longer has a switchboard operator. Their new system requires that you have a touchtone phone. I do not. Verizon is putting an antenna platform on the Trinity Church bell tower on Sumner Avenue for better cell phone reception.

I must file a complaint with Springfield Lincoln-Mercury, they have stopped serving popcorn in their waiting area. I keep seeing police cruiser 43 parked in their used car lot. Checked out the dumpsters behind the 16 Acres Library. The trash dumpster was empty but the blue recycling dumpster was full of newspapers and Highsmith and other library catalogs. Nothing good.

East Longmeadow has the highest public school salaries in the valley. Buendo brothers Chris and Dan have their "Golden Rules for Living" in The Reminder this week. The Springfield Republican has hired former state police officer R.C. Stevens to make inquiries into the unsolved murder of Daniel Croteau in hopes of finding new leads. No sign of Doyle the Twig Painter painting outside his shop on Boston Road this summer.

Mazza-Moriarty has an immense sign in the Sunoco triangle corner of East and Carew. Atty. Sean Curran of 470 Carew Street is 26 years old and I will be voting for him for State Representative.

Deezer Sullivan is mad about rumors that Mike Albano is selling his home on Florentine Gardens and building a half-million dollar house in East Longmeadow. Eamon says the City Clerk, Treasurer and Auditor should be fired. Also said he saw Russ Denver walking into a downtown bar.

Former AIC professor Salvatore Anzalotti escaped a prison term for his role in the looting of the taxpayer funded Greater Springfield Entrepreneurial Fund. He was forced instead to pay back his ill-gotten gains. Convicted felon James W. Asselin used to teach at Holyoke Community College. Our local college faculties are full of corrupt politicians.

August 31, 2004

73 degrees and humid at 7:30 this morning. Mobil gas is $1.86.

TV and NPR reporter Daniel Schorr is 88 today. Governor Romney is making trouble for Commerce Insurance which insures one in four cars in Massachusetts, including mine. The Republican Party is holding its nominating convention in New York City this week. Watched some of it, with John McCain saying we are "better, safer, freer" under Bush. Had to change the channel.

I was thinking of dear old Homer Street School in Springfield recently and Miss White's room. She was a soft spoken fine lady and her room had once been part of the original assembly hall. When the addition was built the auditorium was moved to the basement and the old assembly hall was divided into classrooms. I remember the kindergarten had a fireplace and folding doors with a nursery in the back. Mother only let me go half-days and my kindergarten teacher was Miss Darling. Homer once had nice cornices all around but the wooden beams supporting them rotted out so they bricked in where the beams had been. Eastern Avenue School still has its cornices.

A Scorpion Bowl costs $9.00 at the Hu Ke Lau in Longmeadow. Susan T's Antiques on Sumner Avenue in Springfield, where I bought a World's Fair tray years ago, has gone out of business. Norman F. Barnard and James R. Moody own the Xcapades porn shop on Memorial Drive in South Hadley. At 11:26am I got a call from a guy who said, "Blow me, oh won't you blow me." I pretended not to hear and he repeated it and hung up.

Hess called and said Schimke has a pile of Springfield postcards he is holding for him but is out of town attending a postcard show in New York City. Postcards have been dumbed down. Around 1900-1920 every damn thing went onto a postcard. Today it is one postcard per community, often with several different shots on the same card.

One of the Buendo brothers from The Reminder was on TV40 complaining that the Republican is installing paper racks and demanding $10 a month per rack for other papers to use them. The Reminder (metro edition) has the headline, "The Republican doesn't want you to read this paper."

Bishop McDonnell will celebrate the annual Red Mass at Saint Michael's Cathedral on Oct 3rd. Honorees will include Judge Daniel M. Keyes and Attorney Mary Egan Boland. State Rep. candidate Sean Curran has been endorsed by the Pioneer Valley AFL-CIO. He accused City Councilor Mazza-Moriarty of "rubber-stamping unsound city budgets." Atty. Philip Boyle of Boston has been hired to handle labor negotiations for Springfield. Councilor Sarno voted against him because he feels we should have hired someone local. Merylina Asselin, wife of Rep. Asselin, has been suspended from her job at Chicopee High School pending the outcome of the criminal charges she faces with her husband.

Stopped by Eamon's house at 34 Tacoma and Landers stopped in. Landers said he and his wife have both read the Mass Mutual Report and it's "a lot of fabrication and phoniness." Eamon said Brian Lees was spotted drinking recently at Alibi's in the Acres and Sophia's Pizzeria and Sports Bar next to Lewis & Clark. Before I left I took their picture in the backyard with Eamon's wooden Indian.

James Landers and Eamon O'Sullivan.

Then I went downtown and paid 50 cents to park on Dwight Street and walked down to City Hall to check out the Control Board meeting. Passed Bruce Fitzgerald's office and some people were in there watching TV. Stopped in at the Mayor's Office and asked Michelle Webber about the sound in the Aldermanic Chamber and she said, "We are required by law to have an open meeting. We are not required by law to have a certain quality of sound."

The Aldermanic Chamber was packed. There were TV cameras present, with Bill Metzger seated at the far end of the table. Russell Denver, Superintendent Burke and Robert Brown were there. Barbara Garvey was in the front row wearing a blue denim top. I didn't stay for the meeting and as I left at 11:10 I noticed that the Assessor's Office now has computer terminals and the little black lady with white hair was using a Xerox machine. So they are modernizing at last. Later walking down Main Street some young guy in a suit across the street pointed his finger at me and yelled, "Wesley!" Who was it?

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