8/23/11

April 2004

April 1, 2004


44 degrees, overcast but dry. Breckwood Shell is asking $1.75. It is April Fool's Day and I love Doonesbury!

Have written a birthday card to Blanche Allen Pritchard. Alice Newhouse has died at 79. Her daughter Robyn Newhouse of Suffield, Connecticut is vice president and assistant to the publisher of the Republican. Shows how the Newhouses position their people in all their businesses.

When I left this morning I saw something you seldom see these days, but which I often saw when I first moved here - not a car in sight on Wilbraham Road! On my way to the job fair I poked my head into the Hampden County Law Library and they had a big pile of catalog cards they were throwing away so I took a few.

I went to the so-called Job Fair. The Best Western on Riverdale Street in West Springfield is a nice motel with tropical plants and the Red Parrot restaurant. The motel parking lot was packed and had some enormous puddles. Inside there was a long table in the hallway at which to sign in. Then I walked around the room and over to the Masslive table and asked if they were looking for editorial workers. They said they were not hiring right now but asked if I knew that the most complete listing of jobs was at Masslive.com?

The Republican had a booth next to Masslive with a large container of chocolate kisses, but no editorial jobs, just delivery and marketing. I saw that Hasbro was passing out plastic eggs of Silly Putty. I took a lime green one and one for Eamon. TransWestern Publishing issues little directories and sales manager Amanda Hayle promised to send me a Pioneer Valley one. They were looking for people to sell advertising. It was the smallest and worst job fair I can recall, named the "Best Local Job Fair" but should have been called the Piddling Little Jobless Fair.

Left at 11:51 and stopped at Roy Rogers. In the old days Mother and I used to like the fact they had a "fixins bar" where you could take lettuce, slices of tomato, slices of onion and you could make a little salad that way. No more. A lot of toppings but no onions, lettuce or tomatoes.

Back home I watched the installation of Bishop Timothy Anthony McDonnell on TV. Dan Elias was good as the narrator but unfortunately he didn't know the names of a lot of the people and it would have been nice if he could have identified everyone on camera. Beth Ward said about 600 attended. I found the ceremony to be far less stuffy than the one for Bishop Dupre.

April 3, 2004


Chilly, 42 degrees. This day in 1882 Jesse James was shot dead.

Michele St. Germaine is the Senior Teller at the State Street United Bank. Mary Ann Maloney is the President of Friends of the Springfield Libraries. Ken Gloss of Antique Roadshow is giving a talk on rare books at the Palmer Public Library. John P. O'Connor of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum writes a monthly genealogy column in the Springfield Republican.

When I was a child Aunt Jennie's pink dish sat in the middle of the mahogany table and I used to put my cap on it. This horrified Mother because there was a danger that sometime when I pulled my cap off the table I would accidentally pull the dish on the floor and smash it. Lately I have been hanging my knit cap on the head of the Buddha which is on the sewing machine in the dining room. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Found a Sean Curran flyer in the breezeway door today. A little more Catholic than I like but I still prefer him to Councilor Mazza-Moriarty for State Representative. Arrived at Stanton's Auction in Hampden and looked over an album of 179 Springfield postcards. There were lots of Christ Church, some hospitals but no schools. I bought the whole album for $90. My trunk of sheet music sold for $35 and my brass bed brought $125. The Roseville pottery vase Grandmother Miller gave Mother got $150. There was a very young woman holding things up as they were being sold. She wore a flimsy top held up only by two thin cords so that as she held things up her shirt pressed against her torso and her breasts were fully outlined. I briefly saw Wayne Phaneuf in a topcoat wandering around accompanied by a thin female.

Before I left I bought for $10 a copy of Raphael Tucker's book "Little Boy Blue" with very brittle pages and a broken spine that no doubt someone's mother had lovingly stitched back together. It is a museum piece in the history of book preservation. I have placed it in a small plastic bag and will preserve it in a box. Will the next person to see it be as respectful of it as I am being?

The Asylum nightclub downtown has closed for violations and it is surrendering all licenses and will not reopen. Apremont Triangle residents will be glad and this is a subtle triumph for the Ryan Administration.

April 5, 2004


Start of Daylight Savings. No snow. Gas $1.73 at both stations at the Pond.

Colin Powell is 67 today. FleetBoston Financial Corporation and Bank of America Corporation are merging. Acres Fleet Bank's information table has an exhibit for Debra Bell's Unique Jewelry Creations. I collect local posters and pile them in boxes in the garage; others I put down in the cellar.

Called Terry Nagel and his receptionist said he would be back in a half hour, but lawyers are busy in the morning and I was on my way out. Went to Arby's in West Springfield for lunch with a coupon to get two roast beef sandwiches for five dollars. There was plenty of meat in them. On the way I saw two cars parked along the causeway across Watershops Pond for fishing, there were also several there the other day. Monarch Place has pansies planted all around it. My odometer was stuck so I went to Lincoln/Mercury at 462 Berkshire. There were two street sweepers on Berkshire Avenue. I showed the odometer to Jim Oelowski and they fixed it. The popcorn machine was gone because he said the salesmen ate too much!

Jack Hess called today and said he has 300 postcards of Knox fire engines. He told me someone provided him with a picture of the Sixteen Acres Mill which was built in 1861 and burned down in 1914. The picture shows it had two waterwheels. Hess then went on to talk about the Quadrangle. He said Joe Carvalho started out a really friendly guy who invited him to the main library one evening after it closed to make some photocopies and he almost got locked in overnight because Carvalho forgot he was there. I told him I thought Carvalho was a glad-handing flunkie of David Starr.

Hess said he gets free admission to the museums because he is a "docent." He said he got them to leave the Duryea car in the case upstairs because it was too much trouble to move. He believes stealing from the Quad is less likely now because of the enhanced security but that wasn't true as late as the 1980's. He recalled that Hamilton had been with the Masonic Museum in Kentucky for years. Mentioned a Melanie Soloman of the Connecticut Valley History Museum who was fired about three years ago after she "fought with the higher-ups." He said "one day they walked in and said you're all done, see you later." She later got a job in Ohio. I told him about Hollister Sturges.

City Councilor Dan Kelly and his sleazy law practice is featured in today's paper. He has a reputation for fixing parking tickets. Under Mayor Dimauro Charlie Kingston was known for that sort of thing. When he left City Hall Eamon said Kingston had "two drawers of his desk filled with old parking tickets."

Eamon told me that when he worked for the Department of Education he was "banished" to Western Mass in order to get him out of the Boston office. Eamon was glad because that meant he no longer had to commute to Boston every day. He used to work for Jack Collins who was always bragging about how he once worked for the FBI. Collins was always saying "in the Bureau we did it this way or in the Bureau we did it that way." Later Eamon asked FBI agent Brian McLaughlan about it and he checked and said that they had no record of Collins ever working for the FBI.

News last night showed the new Bishop celebrating Mass in the Cathedral to a less than overflow crowd. TV cameras were visible from the Chalice of Salvation program. A blistering letter appeared in today's paper by James Anziano of Springfield condemning the Republican for all it has failed to do over the years in exposing clergy abuse: "Larry McDermott has the gall to pat the newspaper on the back as some sort of whistleblower, but while these terrible injustices occurred you were asleep at the wheel."

April 6, 2004


35 degrees at 7am. Andre Previn is seventy-five.

Cooking up a Sara Lee Blueberry Pie just in case I have company.

Story on WFCR by Anthony Brooks about former radical David Horowitz, who is leading a campaign against "the left wing conspiracy on campus." He wants an Academic Bill of Rights guaranteeing freedom of expression in the classroom.

Sex is good for the prostate! Poll shows 47% of Massachusetts residents support gay marriage and 47% oppose it. There were no Teacher's Aides when I was in school. Somehow we got along.

Eamon called and said come over, he had something to show me. When I got there Jim Landers' car was in the driveway. It turns out Eamon has bought a life-size antique wooden Indian which is now sitting in his garage fresh out of the crate! It is one of only three of its kind and is about a century old. I told Eamon he should keep it in his house but he wants to put it in his yard. Landers was there programming Eamon's computer for him. I left at 4:22.

Sent the following letter today:

Dear Healthy Choice Customer Relations Department,

Enough is enough, and not enough is not enough.

I bought two of your outrageously priced Healthy Choice Bowl Creations, the roasted potatoes with ham. The taste was okay, but the portions are decidedly skimpy and misrepresented by the picture on the box. The bowl is not as large or as deep as shown in the picture. Inside I found 17 chunks of potato, probably the equivalent of one potato, twelve small clumps of broccoli and 14 teenie bits of ham.

Your product is totally overpriced. Watching one's weight should cost less, not more. Chop a dollar off the retail price and it may make a nice luncheon item.

Sincerely yours,
Jack Miller


And another one:

Dear Grote and Weigel,

Your liverwurst is very nice, but the half loaves are very unevenly cut and the printed representation on the casing that they contain 16 ounces is simply not true. Some are under, some are over, and it is rare to find a big one. Look at it this way, if you are casual about the weight of the package, maybe you are casual about the content of the package. A firm of your caliber should be able to do better.

Thoughtfully yours,
Jack Miller


I also completed my Orange Manifesto:

Wear orange in solidarity with all the folks doing time for doing drugs. Education and interdiction rather than incarceration. Decriminalize historically culturally used substances. Take the money and violence out of dealing. Zero tolerance for lazy D.A.'s and crooked politicians. Academics over athletics. Export mercy not mercenaries. Conciliation not confrontation. Homosexuality is a virtue but lying religions are a menace. Do good not some God's will. U.S.A. out of the Third World. Have the U.N. monitor American elections. Palestinians are human too! Take a Muslim to lunch. Pray for Osama. Make the Earth green, the water crystal clear, the air invisible and Wear Orange!

April 8, 2004


Heavily overcast and 41 degrees at 7am, sun out at noon.

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

Terrorism is a better kind of war because it puts everybody at risk and is thus a reason for everybody to work for peace.

Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of Boston said on WFCR that "American culture is inhospitable to Catholic teachings. Catholics are exiles in the land of Babylon." Went down to Louis & Clark to mail an Easter card to Mrs. Staniski and bought the Boston Globe. There on the front page was the Archbishop fulminating against "consumerism, hedonism and individualism."

My copy of the Springfield paper today has a Neighborhood Plus supplement designed to cover East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Enfield, Somers and Suffield, but Eamon's supplement had a picture of Fran Gagnon, Scott Hansen and Barbara Stroup with a form to fill out nominating architecturally significant buildings for a map they are going to make to give to tourists. I called the Springfield Cultural Council, the sponsors of the project, and left a message saying that the form should have been printed in all editions of the paper.

Went to hear Ken Gloss of the PBS show Antique Roadshow at the Palmer Public Library. Drove past George Washington Plaza and its K-Mart. Down the road the factory complex says Seder Food on it. Where the old Palmer Public Library was there is now an impressive three story Georgian colonial structure with a cupola atop it. Down the street it's a shame that the former stately bank building is gone and now there is a new CVS on the corner. Palmer is a small town where things are done "right" rather than rigorously.

I asked a guy where the library was and he actually knew: next left, up to the light (across from Universalist Church) and take a right down to the old schoolhouse. The lecture was upstairs and I got a seat in the front row. I had no trouble hearing even though there was no PA system. Between 60-70 people were there, all white.

Ken Gloss knows how to speak in public. He speaks up, is concise, has a sense of humor, moves fast and when questions were asked he repeated the questions before answering them. He appraised old books people brought for free. The Springfield Library would never schedule a program like that. The content was educational, anecdotal, often humorous and always interesting. Gloss was well organized and considerate of the audience in every way. He told us that "rare depends on when and where." Overall a good basic talk on books.

Behind me sat an older professional woman who said she taught stenography at STCC and had once been a secretary to Bob Staffanson, so we talked about the Springfield Symphony. She said she remembered my name from when I was writing the history of the Symphony. She was reluctant to give me her name or address yet let slip that she had married the Symphony's publicity man Walter Haggerty in 1960.

Sitting next to her was Charles Gray who said he didn't like all the politics at the Quadrangle. He said the original Mason Square Library was in a storefront in the strip mall across from the Indian Motocycle factory, the one that had Woolworth's, Western Auto, SIS and the liquor store. Sugar cookies and punch were served at the end and there was such a mob of people crowding around to get books appraised that I politely departed after using the toilet. The library's toilet is a tidy unisex room off the former principal's office, which now has periodicals in it. I left at 7:36 while there was still light in the dome of heaven. Home at 8:06.

April 11, 2004


Salomy skies, 39 degrees at 6:45am. Gas at the Acres is $1.69.

I expect enlightened communism to come back eventually.

White Cloud is the self-unrolling toilet paper. I remember White Cloud was intensely promoted with coupons when I was in Madison. Came in 4-roll packs. Since Mother died I have been using up the immense quantity of paper products Mother stored in the attic. Today I opened a lone package of pink White Cloud, saved by Mother "for guests" since our bathroom tiles are ceramic pink. The balance of the roll is such that left alone it unrolls itself several inches. One of the great unsung innovations, self-unrolling toilet paper.

Yesterday Colleen's hedge trimmer Michael T. O'Malley asked permission to come over and trim my side of the hedge and he left a lot of trimmings on the ground. I'll have to get after him - I have to get after everybody!

I listened to WFCR today and Erica Broman Director of Marketing for Holyoke Commuity College was on. The Storrs Library is having a book discussion led by Professor Carol LaLiberte. Katie Wainwright is the owner of Doggy Doody Disposal "We Do Doody" in Agawam. Marcel J. Gelinas of Wilbraham does short notice weddings. Oh really!

Hess called and I thanked him for sending a copy of the photo he found of the 16 Acres Mill. He thinks the mill was located where a house is now and that the old millstones may still be next door. He said we should go there and ask questions and take photos. Good idea. Then I talked to Eamon who said there are always five or six cruisers parked doing nothing by the Department of Youth Services building (former House of Good Shepard) on Tinkham Road. Eamon says Lisa Cignoli has many friends, including Bruno, Albano, Ardolino, McDermott and Phillips.

Belle Rita Novak of 112 Manchester Terrace was in the paper with a picture of her at the X Farmer's Market at 473 Sumner Avenue. I called and congratulated her. She says she is spending a lot of time with her mom these days, who is not well. I noted that I had a similar experience caring for my Mother and she replied, "you gotta do what ya gotta do."

Went to mail letters to Haggerty, Beck, Gray, Bowen, McIntosh and Landers. I went to Kimmell's Bagel Shop and ordered an onion bagel with cream cheese on it. $1.95 seemed like highway robbery and the bagel wasn't all that big. No relation to Kimmell the musicologist. Back in the car at 12:09 and home by Dwight Road. Late in the day I went out for a paper and got a Rev. Howard John Wesley poster off the front of the religious bookstore in the Acres.

Today is Easter Sunday. For Easter dinner I dined on corned beef and asparagus with thick Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup spooned over it, topped with pepper from a shaker. Sun glowed through around one and things brightened until the sun came out at four.

April 13, 2004


Lightning, thunder and rain at 5:35pm. A-Plus Minimart Sunoco is $1.71.

Civil society can't grow with people who are willing to kill to stop progress.

Seventy-one Americans have died in Iraq since April 1st. WFCR says Minnesota's Jesse Ventura (who never graduated from college so he's a visiting fellow rather than a professor) is teaching a one semester non-credit course "to adoring college students" at the Kennedy Institute for Politics. He tells them that "both Democrats and Republicans are no good."

Mark J. Contois from the Palmer Public Library sent me a thank you letter for the photos I sent of the Ken Gloss speech. Called A.G.Edwards and got Jack Dunn who says 10-year CDs pay 4.4% and claims that bonds are falling so interest is bound to go up. I said okay, I'll buy. A woman called for the Springfield Republican offering the daily paper for two dollars per week. I refused.

The Springfield City Council has disastrously but not surprisingly rejected ward representation again. Voting against it were the same old hacks determined to keep themselves in office. Last night Police Chief P. Meara was on the TV news telling about a clamp down on prostitution at the corner of Main and Norwood. Meara said they are trying to send the message "go somewhere else." Note that the message is not cut it out, just "go somewhere else."

I bought half-price Easter candy at Big Y although Whitman Sampler boxes were not reduced. Professor Eugene D. Hill called and said he is going to London for research but will come visit me when he gets back. His wife is studying the English drama of 1890-1910. Jim Landers told me he attended Easter services in East Longmeadow and told Fr. Scahill he ought to be Bishop.

Michael A. Graziano, President of the Diocesan Communication Department since 1998 has resigned after being accused of sexual misconduct. Eamon said a neighbor asked him, "Will there be no end to it?" Graziano came out of TV22 and his partner on the show Real to Reel is Anna Giza, who is also Promotions Director at TV22. Andre Tessier was a classmate of Eamon's and his son was abused by Father Lavigne. Warren Mason said on TV there is "a culture of abuse in this diocese."

Eamon spoke today with Jim Johnson, Director of the Bureau of Audits who said that Springfield is close to receivership. Eamon claims that "Mike Albano's buddies are robbers, gangsters, convicted felons and thieves."

April 14, 2004


59 degrees on the Sheraton digital clock at 12:11.

Al Qaeda was established in 1988.

The Valley Advocate this week has a big cover story by Maureen Turner on "How Big Business and Politics Conspire Against Breastfeeding Moms." So I guess we know what she's up to these days. Colin Murray from the Republican called and offered me the Sunday Republican for one dollar per week. I said no thanks and mentioned my difficulties with the libraries and David Starr. Attorney Efrem Gordon called and was very friendly as usual. He wanted to return the Giroux papers but I told him I have copies. Our conversation was cut short by an "emergency" when he suddenly got word that his secretary's relative had died.

I went to the Trade Show in West Springfield today and wore my orange jumpsuit and Correctional Facility orange t-shirt, orange kerchief on my head, weightlifting belt, engineer's boots with jumpsuit tucked into my heavy purple topped socks and my motorcycle jacket. It was very misty in downtown Springfield, the tops of the buildings were in haze. Arrived at the Big E grounds at 9:33 and had to pay $3 to park. I had my Orange Manifesto cards with me, as well as some Holland and John Wesley cards. I gave a card to everybody who gave me a freebie.

Turnout seemed lower than in previous years but it was an overcast day. Saw Attorney John T. Duffy and we had a good chat about Property Law. Ran into one of the Buendo brothers and I reiterated my enthusiasm for The Reminder. He told me to feel free to call them anytime. Also ran into Roy Scott and Russ Poetter of WFCR. They were very cordial but it was obvious they thought I was a clown. I gave Roy Scott a postcard and he said he had never heard of Josiah Gilbert Holland. Jack Briggs came up to me and we talked about Collins. The Republican had a booth and served strawberries dunked in chocolate. Young people liked my orange outfit and I got no complaints from anyone. I even gave my Orange Manifesto card to two security guards!

On the way back I stopped to see Jack Hess. He lives in a very cute farmhouse that has a large dining room with a closet for his treasures. He has album after album of historic material on the shelves of his closet. Behind the dining room table is a fire engine hose box with a glass top and Knox memorabilia inside. I asked about his car museum on Mill Street and he said he sank more than $5,000 into it but people don't seem to have much interest so attendance is pretty much dead. I gave him a copy of the Chicopee church history and he gave me a postcard of the German Toy Department in Smith's Baby Shop at 374 Main Street in Springfield.

Hess has a daughter somewhere and a son who is a truck driver for Friendlys. We sat at the dining room table where I admired his shelf of multi-colored bottles, especially cobalt blue, and his crockery jug collection. The place belongs on a house tour. Not a speck of dust anywhere, Sheila must indeed be a wonderful wife. She collects glass bells and horses. When I left I promised Hess some pictures of Monarch and he gave me a biographical sketch of William Daniel McKensie, the builder of Wesley Church.

Sen. Linda Melconian has announced that she will not seek re-election. She said she wants to practice law, teach, write and campaign for John Kerry. In other words, she's looking for a job. TV news showed Ryan's 100th day in office party at City Hall. I spotted Tom Devine talking with Sheila McElwaine and insurance guy Christopher Collins. Mayor Ryan said the city's finances are "grim."

April 16, 2004


40 degrees at 9:32am. Pouring at 10am.

Today is the anniversary of Danny Croteau being found in the Chicopee River.

There were nine pieces of litter on my lawn today, a saw was buzzing down to Powers, and Kelly put an old workbench out on the treebelt and someone carried it off. Watched the last Trump "You're Fired" show. It had a tone of reconciliation with all the fired people onstage in camaraderie. Karen Brown on WFCR gave as an argument against a women's jail in Chicopee that jails discourage economic development because people don't want to be near them. Westbank has been giving 5% stock dividends.

Francis Gagnon of the Historical Commission is speaking at the Springfield Armory Museum on April 24th. Larry R. Slezak is Chairman of the Art Department at Springfield Technical Community College. 1346-50 Parker Street is a complex of buildings with an old millstone standing up in the middle of the yard. Building belongs to Richard Greenberg and his wife Jeanette. Must tell Hess this may be from the 16 Acres Mill. Eamon said he wrote a letter to the paper critical of the police but it wasn't printed.

Headed downtown today and stopped at the St. Luke tag sale to raise money for the homeless. Aykanian and daughter were there and we chatted a bit. I bought a postcard of the Kimball Hotel and a swizzle stick from the Highland for $6. The Springfield Newspapers appear to have an all new fleet of delivery trucks. I went to A.G. Edwards and met with the always cheerful Guizonis, who told me he turned down a small harp for $200 at the Stanton Auction.

Next I passed through City Hall and just getting off the elevator was a beaming Peter Picknelly. We politely said hello to one another. In the hallway I saw Judy Matt walking by and she waved. She is friendly to me now. All the doors by Ryan's office were closed except the public waiting area. The oil paintings from the Quadrangle that were hanging there are all gone, maybe pulled by the Quad in retaliation against Ryan or sent back by Ryan himself in anger. In any case cheap prints are now all that's up.

Poked my head into Tower Square where a couple of kids from Commerce were assembling a display about the International Baccalaureate Program. Their flyer was filled with errors. Stopped at the Sullivan tourist info center and saw there were no more of those brochures puffing up the restoration of Symphony Hall. That reminded me that I never received any feedback from the Symphony for the postcards and copy of my article I sent them. Going past the Quadrangle there were buses lurking out back from Holyoke and Hadley. Then I spotted the Bishop, yes the Bishop, quickly waddling across his back lot to greet two ladies coming toward him from the parking lot.

April 18, 2004


77 degrees at 10:19am. Yesterday and today were lovely days. Bought gas for too much at Shell for $1.75.

Wayne Budd's father Joseph Budd was the first black on the Springfield Police Department. My WNEC friend and Efrem Gordon alumnus Atty. Terry Scott Nagel got his picture in the paper for defending Robert P. Jarvis in an arson case. On TV Lynn Barry was plugging Earth Day at the Quadrangle. Six Flags has opened its gates for the season.

Since I was headed out towards Agawam I drove past Maria Giroux's at 170 Poplar and saw that the back chicken house has been demolished and there is junk all around the yard. Norton Reed's little building near the abandoned Ames and Food Mart says Penfield Productions. Mish Silversmith is still there looking like it always has, but surely Mish can't still be alive. At the Maven Antique-A-Rama Show I had to pay $3 to park and then $6 to get in the door. A thin show with wider aisles to hide that there were fewer booths. I bought some postcard sleeves, 2000 for $18. Schimke was there selling old matchbooks but I bought none. I asked Schimke whether any Stusick letters have appeared in ephemera sales and he said no correspondence but two boxes of sheet music which he said wasn't very good.

Out at 11:45 and then headed to the Valley Flea Market. It was crowded. Ran into Robillard who told me that business is so good that the guy running the
Valley Flea Market is buying the building! Someone was selling old Springfield City Directories for $75 apiece. Then I saw Ronald Labrie had a bowl of political buttons. I bought the whole bowl of 86 of them for $30. Mostly junk but a few made it worthwhile: a George Wallace, a Ted Kennedy, a John Lindsey and two McGovern for Presidents. I can sell those five buttons for more than the $30 I paid for all 86!

I paid Brown $10 for D'Amato's pictorial history of Springfield. I found inserted in it was a picture of Mayor Frank Freedman and Dr. Seuss, who was in town in 1971 for a commencement at AIC. Chimney Corner was there selling low end stuff. Then I left and went to Arby's where I tendered a coupon for two roast beef sandwiches for $5 and shelled out $1.69 for a small order of fries. When I got home I called Larry McDermott and left the message that his paper has too much stuffing in it and that there was nothing scholastic about their All Scholastic insert. I ended my message by complaining that whenever I leave him a message he never calls me back.

Then I read my mail. Isn't this a wonderful response from Rev. Scahill to my anti-Catholic letter? He is an enlightened gentleman:

Dear Mr. Miller,

I have looked over the materials you provided and I wanted to acknowledge them although as you would expect, I do not agree with their content.

I wish you well,

The Rev. James J. Scahill
Pastor


April 20, 2004


Dry and not humid. Saw a magnolia budding on the corner of Bradley and Plumtree.

Six in ten say the U.S. is bogged down in Iraq, but majority think we should stay. The final cost of the Giroux lawsuit was $51,374.69. It's the Grand Opening of the new library in Chicopee, the librarian is Nancy Contois, which is the same last name as the librarian in Palmer. An article in the paper says that The Friends of the Springfield Libraries is having a fund drive. The paper says, "The group has existed since 1984, but has been dormant in recent years." That's a lie, it has not been dormant, I attended some of their annual meetings.

Really cleaned up the bathroom today. I have slowly cleaned everything I can think of, but there are lots of things to think of! A pretty white squirt bottle of Dove, Mother's favorite, cracked open in my hand when I picked it up. The bottle was saved by Mother, and was maybe fifteen or twenty years old, but who would imagine the squirt bottle would disintegrate?

Called Friendlys and spoke to Debbie Burns who said they will consolidate my stock accounts. The stockholder's meeting is out in Wilbraham and they have no plans for a plant tour. I told her they should. Then I called Belle Rita Novak inviting her to the piano concert at First Church but she cheerfully declined, saying she will be at a women's conference in Washington that day. I said bring me back some posters and literature from the conference if she can.

Carol A. Leary, President of Bay Path College in Longmeadow, has been named to the Board of Directors of Mass Mutual. State Representative Gale Candaras is having a "Campaign Kick-Off Breakfast" on Island Pond Road with featured speakers Congressman Neal and Sheriff Ashe. Listed as supporters are Dominic Sarno, Kateri Walsh, David Barry, Timothy Rooke, Jim Driscoll, Jose Tosado and Jim Thompson.

I drove down to the A-Plus MimiMart and was surprised to see tending the store Cindy, the longtime Lewis & Clark employee. The driveway of the house on Breckwood where Tom Devine used to live was always unpaved (which was odd actually) but now I see that the new owner has paved the driveway.

Next I went to Stop & Shop in East Longmeadow and bought key-lime pie, four eclairs and grapefruit at 99 cents per pound. Then I went to Staples and bought a box of plain envelopes and asked if they had typewriter ribbons. They said they no longer carry it, but said maybe the Boston Road store does. I informed them they do not.

When I got home I saw Irving Cohn sitting outside so I asked him down to the house. He sat in one of the Eastlake chairs in the breezeway and we talked. I showed him my Diamond Match sampler book and some Springfield Beer promotional items. He can't drink alcohol so I served him some cranberry juice and an eclair. I showed him the watercolor by Peggy Starr and told him I never got a reply from the letter I sent her. He said Larry Gormally of BusinessWest is a friend of his, so I told him about Gormally slighting my research on Buckingham Jr. High. Cohn went home at 1:21.

Today is Patriot's Day, so I called Eamon to wish him a Happy Terrorist's Day. There was a little article in the paper today reporting that an unnamed School Department employee in Springfield has resigned for embezzlement. However Eamon discovered that the name of the mysterious embezzler is Hilda Rooney, who worked in the Finance Department on the 2nd floor. With Superintendent Joseph Burke acting as judge and jury, she was allowed to use up three weeks of paid vacation time and then resigned without Burke filing any criminal charges as long as she repaid the money. Eamon called to inform TV22 and TV40 and Jim Gillen at the newspaper about what he knew. Eamon also told me that he has gotten hold of some newspaper articles from Miami critical of Burke when he worked down there. Eamon says Burke is "the same as Negroni - corrupt."

After Eamon hung up I called Larry McDermott at the paper and left a message saying that they tried to hide the name but Eamon has spread it everywhere and that this is the way Eamon handles things, and he only does it for the good of the city. For fun I then called the School Department and asked for Hilda Rooney. I was transferred to payroll where a woman said, "Rooney? She's not here." When I asked when she would be returning she replied, "Ms. Rooney no longer works in this department."

April 22, 2004


57 degrees at 9am and overcast.

Janet Edwards, the downtown bookseller who treated me dishonorably will be crowned Woman of the Year by the Chamber's Women's Partnership. Got an absolutely beautiful thank you card from Mildred McIntosh. Watercooler had Chris Collins on from the Greenfield Recorder with Atty. Rick Hurst and the Valley Advocate's Stephanie Kraft looking surprisingly aged.

I called Gary Plant and got a recording of flute music by Mary Alice on his answering machine and left a message expressing interest in acquiring her correspondence, if any. Later in the afternoon his sister called back and said Gary will be away until next week but they have a pile of letters I can look at. I also called Valley Advocate photographer Bob Robinson and told the woman who answered that I have some postcards for him.

Hampden Superior Court Clerk Marie G. Mazza, mother of City Councilor Rosemarie Mazza-Moriarty, was hit with a million dollar judgement that she tormented and humiliated former employee Thomas J. Cosmos, a supporter of her political opponent Buddy Martin. I have no love of Mazza, going back to when she destroyed all those court documents so gleefully.

Then I drove out to buy the paper and cashed a $100 check at United, where I was served by James Talbot, a friendly little fellow with perfect English. Then I headed to Hillcrest Cemetery where I got a good sunlight shot of the Mausoleum with the magnolias in front of it. Next I headed to the Eastfield Mall and bought a thin and crispy slice of pepperoni pizza at Villa Pizza for $2.89.

President Harry Courniotes of American International College has a doctorate from Harvard in business administration. He also went to Boston University. Disgraced AIC Professor Salvatore Anzalotti, who was found guilty recently of committing crimes with Cornell Lewis, was also tight with Morris Kirby, who did three years at Allenwood. They worked together on an array of projects including a lot of work for Springfield City Hall agencies. CPA's have to take courses to keep their credentials but the rumor is that Kirby enrolled and passed Anzalotti's AIC courses but never actually attended. Kirby also did work for Berducci of the Mardi Gras and served on the License Board with alleged mobster Anthony Delevo. So how clean can Courniotes be?

April 24, 2004


The day dawned overcast and misty but opened up into a beautiful spring day. Everybody along Sumner Avenue wanted $1.74 for gas.

The event in Washington D.C. that Belle Rita Novak is headed to is billed as an overall anti-Bush weekend and anti-World Bank. Massachusetts 2004 Teacher of the Year Melinda A. Pellerin-Duck met recently with President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the White House. Eamon says the International Baccalaureate Program at Commerce started out with ten students and only has two left.

Big Y is selling "Photo Cakes" that have a photographic image sprayed on the frosting. House on the corner of 1248 Plumtree Road has had the stockyard fence around the backyard pulled down. Sort of looks like an elderly person lives there who can't keep the place up, as the fence was collapsing.

Went to the Trinity Church tag sale. Saw that Melinda M's car was the only one there, but locked so I couldn't put my bag of goodies in it. When I got inside I gave Melinda her bag and she brought it outside to her car. I asked Melinda if she wanted to go to lunch but she said she had to go to work. It was a big tag sale with lots of stuff but nothing I wanted.

Trinity's large framed photo of H. Hughes Wagner on the stair landing gets too much direct lighting and is fading. I told them years ago that would happen. Anita Mackey recognized me and asked if I was the famous J. Wesley Miller. I replied that yes I am and she smiled. I remarked to her that the Horace Moses picture is deteriorating and in need of conservation. She replied in a friendly way that they are having trouble raising money to conserve the church.

Left Trinity at 10:27. I noticed that Fancy That now parks their large truck in the back of their store. Dropped off some stuff to a smiling lady at the Chancery for the Bishop, and then I dropped off stuff for Zajac at the newspaper. The tiny house at 48 David is for sale by Park Square Realty. Also delivered stuff to Eamon, which I left on the back door handle because he wasn't home.

Next down to Springfield Cemetery where I sized up photo possibilities for the Chapin Chapel. A once beautiful Richardsonian Romanesque building, it originally had a basement with a crematory in it. Then they modernized it and spoiled some of the windows and took the chapel balcony for storage. There are now vents in the windows and pipes sticking up. I took a couple of pictures of the antique part in back and of the spire while trying to cut out the offensive features. On the way home I decided to photograph the Rod and Gun Club in Carlisle Dingle because the sunlight was right. It was the headquarters of the Springfield Revolver Club for more than 80 years. When I was a kid that dingle was where the bad boys played and where a good boy like me kept away from.

While driving past 1346 Parker Street I spotted Richard Greenberg standing on his lawn so I pulled into the side street next to Dean Chiropractic. I walked over and introduced myself, saying I was interested in finding out more about the 16 Acres Mill that burned down in 1914. He was very cordial and took me for a walk around his property. He showed me an immense millstone in the middle of his dooryard and said the original 16 Acres Mill used to be at the back of his property down in the ravine. He said there were two mills, saw and grist. We walked over to the brook and he showed me the stone foundation of a bridge that was once there.

Greenberg said that Bass Pond used to be called Bath Pond because that is where the farmers used to go to bathe at the end of winter. We walked along a trail heading toward Parker. He said the old house close to the road dates back to the 1700's and said the trampoline now in the backyard is where a barn used to be. I said I would like to come back with my friend Jack Hess and he was agreeable, especially when I said I would show him Hess' photo of the mill. Greenberg said he has some photos, one showing cows grazing by the mill, but they are of lousy quality.

April 26, 2004


48 degrees at 6:30am. Violets are appearing.

On WSPR this morning Cokie Roberts said good-bye to Bob Edwards. The Armory Quadrangle Civic Association will hold a tour of the Springfield Cemetery with historian Linda Levister of the High School of Commerce. Got a "Dear Constituent" letter from Rep. Asselin claiming credit for getting money for Greenleaf Park.

Springfield is rated number seven on the top ten list of "Allergy Capitols" for those suffering from spring allergies. St. Michael's is celebrating the 75th anniversary of their organ with a concert by Robert Shaw. Real to Reel had shots of the Second Annual Men's Conference at Cathedral with keynote speaker George Weigel, a biographer of the Pope. They showed the audience and the auditorium did not look filled.

Angelo's has a lot of flowers for sale. Went back to Trinity Church and took photos of the John Wesley window with sunlight shining through it. The plaque reads: "By Wilbur A. Burnham - Boston 1929. In memory of Daughter Ruth Marion Tomlinson." Leaving Trinity I pulled down a poster on Hancock and another on the corner of Byers. The house on the corner opposite the Conservatory/Merriam House has always been yellow. Someone should research whether houses tend to stay the color they are originally painted.

I went to the Valley Flea Market. For $105 I bought a metal statue of the Goddess of Agriculture. It is a lovely period piece. The Valley Flea Market back room has a large section of AVON products as well as Watkins Flavorings and other products. Not AVON calling, no Watkins by mail, but a shop for the two of them! Across the river there was a line of cars waiting to drive into the Riverdale Shopping Center. There are wonderful stores in West Springfield but nothing in downtown Springfield. Now they want to increase Springfield's parking tickets from $5 to $25 and further drive people away. It is ludicrous.

Went to Arby's and had two chicken sandwiches for five dollars with a coupon. They charged me 30 cents extra for a slice of tomato on the two, I also mentioned onion but got none. Arby's sandwiches have plenty in them but are not overstuffed like in their advertisements. They now have plastic models of overstuffed sandwiches on display, but they don't really look like that. When I got home I left a message with Melinda McIntosh about the Faith Church sale and asked if she wanted me to help carry things to her car.

Edwards Bookstore opened in 1974. Janet M. Edwards was recently appointed to the Library Commission by Mayor Charles V. Ryan. Tom Shea's wife Suzanne has a book out called "Shelf Life" about working for Edward's Bookstore. She also used to work for the Springfield Newspapers for a dozen years. I called Edward's Bookstore in Tower Square and Pat answered so I asked for Janet. After a long pause I got Janet on the line and she was polite. I asked for a signed copy of Shea's book and she agreed to mail it to me. I said I saw the stories about her in the paper and recalled how her mother did special orders for me years ago.

Landers is down in Dallas, Texas for a week of computer training. He went by train because he dislikes flying. A picture of Mayor Ryan in the paper has him in a good looking suit so maybe he took Eamon's sartorial advice. Eamon says Springfield is getting plenty of money but we're wasting it. He said Mayor Ryan wants to push the blame onto Governor Romney so he doesn't have to punish the locals and can blame a Republican and non-Catholic for the mess.

Eamon said he was down to Feinstein Leather this morning and water leaked in so there were no lights in the whole building. Eamon told me that when James Michael Curley was Mayor of Boston, he used to call the banks whenever he needed money and say that the city would be digging near their property and he hoped nothing would happen that might flood their bank. He got his money promptly.

April 29, 2004


Overcast, 53 degrees, sun tried to come out but lots of clouds. Gas is $1.75 at the Pond.

Nobody has ever thanked Eamon for all he's done and nobody's ever thanked me. I am happy to leave my money to the Community Foundation. Thus control of my money after my death by the inexperienced, arrogant or dishonest are defeated.

Big Y says their Golden Rewards program ends May 26 and unused points expire on that day. You can still get coins by playing the game at the checkout. The new Texas Roadhouse restaurant out to Five Town Mall is completed and they have Now Hiring signs up. Attorney James F. Eagan had an office in Springfield's Court Square Building in 1940. Fred R. O'Donnell was a real estate consultant in Westfield in 1964. Susan P. Davison of the Springfield Museums was featured in the Local Spotlight section of the paper today. Helen Koziol, mother of Steve Koziol whom I knew from the violin section of the Junior Symphony, has died at 85.

Google is expected to go public. The WFCR fund drive continues, and at one point they announced that a David and Peggy of Longmeadow (the word Starr was never uttered) would give a thousand dollars if they could raise another thousand from new members by 9am. At 8:44 they announced the goal was met. Bob Edwards is speaking at Western New England College on June 15 and has a new book out on Murrow. In return for pledges WFCR was offering free tickets to hear Edwards, an autographed copy of his book plus dinner for two at the Hoffbrau House in West Springfield.

Dave Madsen appeared on TV tonight wearing glasses that were stylish, short and wide. Channel 40 also had Thomas Martin on who was abused by Father Lavigne as a boy and said that Lavigne used "intimidation and anger" to get his way. It is disgraceful that TV40 will not be airing the Nightline segment with Ted Koppel reading the names of more than 500 servicemen and women killed in action in Iraq because "it is a political statement." I will send them an Orange Manifesto postcard!

There are four million World War II vets still alive. My neighbor Lucius says that WWII was a good war but none of the ones since have been and Iraq is the worst of all. He has the American and USMC flags hanging on either side of his front portico. Called Hess and told him about my encounter with Greenberg. Asked him to come over but his wife has the car because she volunteers at the hospital Thursday afternoons. I told Hess I wanted to inspect his 1899 city atlas that shows the exact location of the 16 Acres Mill on Mill Pond.


1899 map showing the 16 Acres Grist Mill
(click to enlarge)

No more ants in the driveway. Coming up Wilbraham Road I turned into Reeds Landing. It looks real nice except for the fancy metal and oak benches that are falling apart. Between the Reeds Landing entrance and Monticello there is a dingle I always thought was part of the Springfield College Day Camp. But I see that a new street called Pocantico Avenue is being constructed in the dingle so there goes even more woods.

No sign of life at The Twig Painter. Went to see Mrs. Staniski, who gave me a Thanksgiving picture. It was taken by Mrs. Staniski in 1953 in her basement on 90 Elijah Street. Mother reciprocated by having them to dinner the next year. Mrs. Staniski's sister Evelyn is standing with her tall husband Sylvan W. Law, Mother is in the middle, the shortest of the bunch. Father is to the right with his white hearing aid earpiece in the right ear showing, standing beside Mr. Staniski. The picture is a treasured momento from a long friendship.

Outside in front of Walmart young women were collecting signatures supporting Timothy Rooke for Governor's Council. Walmart, which did some old black and white negatives for me when I made the Fernbank album, no longer makes prints from black and white. In a Flash wants $1.60 to make slides into prints. Russell's 60 Minute Photo wants six dollars to do black and white. Fortunately Lewis & Clark still does black and white, but getting old photo work done is becoming difficult and expensive.

I visited Kitchens by Curio on Boston Road by Walmart. They have a million counter tops, including Formica. They had a Bethel White counter top on display, and a blue granite that is really expensive. Came through Hillcrest and saw that Gary Plant has installed a gravestone for himself and Mary Alice (Stusick in parenthesis on it) with Melha and Masonic emblems and a notation that he is a Vietnam vet. Plant was born in 1948. He has done his duty and gotten Mary Alice a stone. I photographed it.

Went to the Faith Church tag sale. Mrs. Jackson and sweet Melinda were chatting. The sale itself was blah. Came by the Springfield Cemetery and saw the Thomas P. Ryland Landscape Company spraying the grass. Went to the organ recital tonight featuring Robert Shaw at the 75th anniversary of the St. Michael's organ. I sat five rows back and could hear pretty well. It was about 90% full, but very few blacks and mostly elderly. It was a real nice event but I cut out when the last number started to avoid the rush. Home at 9:08.

No comments:

Post a Comment