June 2002

June 1, 2002

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who has faced accusations of plagiarism over her 1987 book The Fitzgerald's and the Kennedy's has resigned from the Pulitzer Prize Board. So the bright eyed and bushy tailed Doris Goodwin is now a dowdy has-been. That will not stop her new book on Lincoln from becoming a bestseller or her reputation gradually being resurrected after sufficient apologies and tears over past mistakes.

The two owners of Curran-Jones Funeral Parlor in Agawam are Joseph Curran and Timothy O'Brien. Cal's Deli and Variety is located at 576 Newbury Street in Springfield. Their motto is, "Where Everything is Made With Love." The motto of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Elementary School at 52 Rosewell Avenue in Springfield is "We Are Family."

The City Library has a fund for purchasing books that was donated by Thaddeus Martowksi in memory of his mother Elizabeth Martowski. Dr. Elinor Hartshorn has donated books to the John D. Churchill Library at Western New England College. Jim Landers needs to return a book I lent him and so does Mary Alice Stusick.

Some prominent figures at the Springfield School Department are retiring as of July 1st: Barbara Jefferson, principal at DeBerry, Brian J. McCook, labor attorney, Mary A. Mushak, principal at Balliet, Lorraine A. Plasse, director of English, Teresa A. Regina, assistant superintendent and William Thayer, grants manager.

Table Talk never responded to my complaints about their pumpkin pies. A couple of years ago I proposed to The Reminder that they start printing the honor rolls of local schools and now they do. Larry Gormally was never able to find a picture of the Acres Hotel for me. In the Acres the tattoo parlor is the only tenant in the back lot of the former hardware/pizza shop building. The Acres Burger King is covered in plywood and a real eyesore.

The Boston Road Walmart is all messed up by remodeling. The photo section used to be in its own little alcove to the right of the front door. Now they are over with the electronics in the middle of the store in a smaller space. I left four rolls of film for developing. Then I headed downtown and parked on Dwight and headed over to Edwards Books in Tower Square. I bought the book Holy Terror - Andy Warhol Close-up by Bob Colacello.

Then I drove back to Walmart to pick up my pictures of the Seuss statues dedication and I am simply delighted with them. For the first time I even got a card included with a miniature of each photo. I sat for a long time in the shoe department looking the pictures over. For four rolls I paid $38.66. Then I went to Eastfield Mall and had lunch at Gyros. About twenty kids were having a birthday party in the food court wearing pointed birthday hats. At one point someone dressed as Ronald McDonald came to entertain them. On my way home I stopped in front of Hillcrest Cemetery and took a picture of their front gate.

When I got home a note was in my mailbox from someone named Kym Studirant, a student at WNEC and captain of their football team who is starting a painting business and looking for work. Eamon called tonight and said that Springfield's politicians "are like a horse's neck, not a straight bone in them. They drive the nail that goes the easiest and would steal a dog's dinner while hiding behind a corkscrew."

June 3, 2002

Overcast and 69 degrees at 10am.

Patriot = a terrorist who works for us.
Terrorist = a patriot who works for them.

I went to bed early and then got up at 11:30pm and stayed up until 3:30am reading all the stuff people gave me at the Seuss statue dedication. Then back to bed and I got up at 7am. I put some old linoleum and a green rug from Crest Street out for the trash pickup. I hope they take it.

The paper says that Spagetti Warehouse is closing. Mother and I dined there once on a free coupon and I thought it was real nice with genuine antique furnishings. Driving down Boston Road yesterday afternoon I saw Doyle the Twig Painter, his hair very grey now, leaving his gallery and walking towards the liquor store wearing a paint-splattered sleeveless black t-shirt.

Dan Elias on TV22 said of the Seuss statues, "Kids are encouraged to climb all over them." Went to Louis & Clark and mailed out some of my Seuss dedication photos to Tom Vannah and Maureen Turner at the Valley Advocate. I also sent Andre Martin a copy of my library article. I stopped at Hillcrest Cemetery hoping to take pictures of the mausoleum window but I found a notice on the door saying "Due to recent occurrences in which the security of the Mausoleum was threatened, visiting hours are now restricted" and it listed the hours which showed it to be currently closed.

Therefore I went to McDonald's on Pasco Road and read the paper. I paused at Taylor Rental where they had pinatas for $10. I never saw pinatas for sale around here before. I was waited on by Dina Lord, a cute little thing in jean shorts and Georgia Boots she said she bought online. Then I stopped at the Sixteen Acres Big Y at 1941 Wilbraham Road and as I was walking in the automatic door a little black girl came out going through the door the wrong way with a basket of meat and cheese in it. I saw her meet a woman in the parking lot and they walked away. I told Paul the Assistant Manager what happened and that I thought the little girl was stealing for her mother. He checked the lot but they were gone. Paul said that's an old trick people try all the time, having their children shoplift for them.

I returned to the cemetery since it was supposed to be open according to their new hours. It was so I went to the office and chatted with L. Bergeron and his secretary. I told him I wanted to take pictures to make postcards and he liked that idea. He told me the carillon was put up by E.J. Pinney about 1931 but he didn't know the architect. There are 25 bells in it that came from John Tyler of England.

I called Friendly Ice Cream Corp. today and spoke with District Manager Donna Brunton about the importance of adding fruit to their breakfast menu. I said fruit is more nutritious then other things they have for breakfast like eggs, bacon, sausage, fries, toast drenched in butter - all are grease. She thanked me for calling and said the issue would be addressed.

Eamon called and said he got an invitation in the mail to the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of former Mayor Charles V. Ryan and his wife Joan, to be held at Elms College in Chicopee on June 23rd. It asks for "Your presence, not your presents."

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Eamon and I agreed that it is too bad that the paper no longer has its old-fashioned rotogravure section since it would have been wonderful for covering the Seuss dedication. Eamon recalled again how Brian King used to assemble the roto section each week on the first floor of an old house around the corner from the newspaper office. The photography darkrooms were on the second floor.

Eamon also recalled how his mother always gave $2 per week to the Catholic Church, and even when she was sick she would have a friend deliver it for her. Whenever a priest visited she would given him $5 or $10. "They liked that." he said. "They kept coming!"

Eamon says that Springfield has one of the largest police departments in the nation for a small city and one of the highest violent crime rates. Springfield has 650 cops for 150,000 people. Worcester has 173,000 people and 450 cops. He says Springfield shows that simply enlarging the police force does not reduce the crime rate.

June 5, 2002

Lovely sunny day. 57 degrees at 6:30am.

Why should the word "Internet" be capitalized?

I hate computers, they are junk. The Unabomber was right about modern technology. Mitt Romney is in danger of being kicked off the ballot for governor because his primary residence is in Utah. He says it is a bookkeeping mistake. Romney strikes me as an opportunist.

The Ring Nursing Home has been sold for $5.4 million dollars. The Annual Catholic Appeal has fallen $300,000 short of its fundraising goal. It's apparent that sexual misbehavior by priests in the Catholic Church goes back to the medieval monasteries and may have been one of the major reasons for the Reformation. Sexual misconduct is a tradition in the Catholic Church and claiming no one knew about it is nonsense. Protestants have made the problem worse by assisting in the cover up by remaining silent, they are silent even in the current controversy. The paper tells of a Father Scahill out in East Longmeadow who is telling his parishioners to write to Bishop Dupre and urge him to defrock Fr. R. Lavigne. Scahill was formerly at Lavigne's church, St. Mary's in East Springfield for fourteen years.

The 17th Annual Taste of Springfield is coming up, the oldest running taste festival in Massachusetts. WFCR reports that anti-Semitic graffiti was sprayed in Worcester. Congressman Richard Neal was evoking patriotism on the news on behalf of the Union Station renovation project, recalling how soldiers left via Union Station for the wars in Korea and Vietnam. He said, "This project has a grip on the hearts of the people of Western and Central Massachusetts." Nonsense, Central Mass has never heard of Union Station, an ugly building that has always been a dump. The paint was peeling even in the years when it was open.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank B. Wilson donated books to the Wilbraham Public Library in 1966. The Edward S. Fiske Fund provides books to the Agawam Center Library Association. Mrs. Staniski's favorite song is Count Your Blessings by Rev. Johnson Oatman. I lack a good picture of Mr. Staniski except for one taken at Ann's wedding. I recall that on one of my early Christmases I got an awful lot of presents because during World War II my parents could afford only a few and wanted to make up for it.

The Reminder has a feature this week on Marcie Williams and Peter Ablondi being honored for their work with the Wilbraham Atheneum Society. I will send them a congratulatory note and some postcards. I didn't attend the recent Atheneum Society meeting because of the road repairs, because I don't like to drive at night, because they didn't plant any hollyhocks and because they never listen to my advice.

The trashmen took the old rug and linoleum. Northern Tree Service called and said they will be coming tomorrow to trim the tree branches away from my electrical wires. I called Spirit of Springfield but Amy told me that Judy Matt "has gone to the golf tournament." Yesterday I saw a PVTA bus #1111 go through a red light heading westward on Wilbraham Road at the end of Plumtree. Dined this evening on Callender Roasted Chicken Breast. These Callender dinners are superb.

Eamon called and said he spoke with Nader the Hatter who told him that the selling off of items from his family business has been "very profitable" and he intends to buy a new car. Nader is working on a manuscript about how to make panama hats. Eamon was on the phone with Karen Powell who told him that Tom Devine sent her an email from Texas saying that a picture from the Seuss statue dedication appeared in the Houston Chronicle.

Eamon recalled how Carlo Marchetti retired with a full municipal pension even though Springfield Central was never an official city agency. Eamon said that the Springfield School System's administrators, principals and teachers just go through the motions and try to keep the lid on so that the public doesn't realize the real drop out, suspension and truancy rates and what an inferior educational product they are producing.

June 7, 2002

69 degrees at 10am and pouring out. Gas at Pride is $1.27 per gallon. Blackberries in full bloom.

Anxiety is unending - if you achieve one goal you quickly create another to be anxious about attaining.

Leela John is a customer service representative at the Sixteen Acres branch of United Cooperative Bank. Bob Paquette is the local newsman on WFCR. I have decided to donate the books in my personal library to Colby and Harvard.

I'm having yogurt for breakfast most days recently. I like raspberry and blueberry especially. Called Judy Matt at Spirit of Springfield and got Marge who said Matt was in a meeting. Called the PVTA and got Gary Shepard's secretary Tina and told her about the bus I saw running a red light the other day. She was very polite and thanked me. Spoke on the phone with Timothy Hawley and told him about the Seuss sculpture dedication ceremony.

Went down to the Quadrangle today to check out the plaque of Seuss donors to see if I'm on it. Parked on School Street at 12:55 and the rain was lightening up. The violin exhibit is still up and the Dr. Seuss ephemera collection is super. Some of the things on display I also own as part of my personal Seuss collection, such as the Lady Godiva book and some stuff from the 1930's.

The lady at the ticket desk didn't know anything about a Seuss donors plaque, and neither did the museum guard. I asked them to call Sue Davison, but she wasn't around. Finally Heather Haskell, who was coming down the stairs reported that the plaque is opposite the entrance to the rotating gallery. So up I went and inside the gallery was a really nice exhibit about the life of Seuss and a sixteen minute video about the sculptures.

The donor plaque had a nice Seuss design on it and I was pleased. However there was a conspicuous lack of big donors listed. In that sense their fund drive was a flop. Apparently the national feature in Parade Magazine didn't help very much. I was listed as the 75th highest donor out of 340. Now I understand why they weren't anxious to publish their list of donors. Considering how high I am on the list I wonder why they didn't invite me to the VIP donor's luncheon? Perhaps they didn't want the Seuss widow to be unnerved by someone in a black motorcycle jacket and orange jumpsuit. To think I almost donated $1,500 more to get my name on a bench, but I couldn't pin them down as to whether the bench would be made of wood or granite.

Before leaving I trotted over to the G.W.V. Smith museum where they are still painting the long 2nd floor gallery. Meantime the number of Samurai blades on display continue to shrink. Where are they going? People don't do what they're supposed to do in Springfield.

Ray Herschel on TV40 said that on any given day 700 students are truant from the Springfield public schools. Another story by Kathryn Shepardson had Holyoke's Chief Scott saying that "judges don't care about our community" because they won't lock up habitual offenders. The June issue of Chamber Channels is out with a raspberry masthead and Carol Leary named as the 2002 Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year. They make her sound like Miss Integrity.

Eamon called and said he went to see Dr. Frank who told him he is healing fine. Eamon talked a little about his girlfriends, saying that you can't be overly nice to women or they'll think you're a sucker and will see how far you'll go. He said he's nice but not too nice, and if they become too demanding after sex he bails out of the relationship. Sort of like Father's advice of "find 'em, fuck 'em and forget 'em" which I never did.

Eamon says he doesn't see how any corporate executive or relocation company consultant would choose Springfield over Boston. He complained that his career in education was held back because he's a whistleblower and "whistleblowers always get screwed. They isolate you. They don't invite you to meetings. They refuse to promote you."

Eamon spoke to Art Gingras today who told him that some new computers were stolen from Commerce recently and suspicion is focusing on the cops assigned to the school! Computers and cameras were also stolen from SciTech and one of the suspects is a police sergeant with an electronics business on the side. District Attorney Bennett has been informed but he never does anything about crime related to local government.

June 8, 2002

Beautiful at dawn, 56 degrees at 6:40am.

Everyone should take a course in drawing.

Paula M. Colby-Clemente is Director of Admissions at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover. Fujicolor Processing is in New Britain, Connecticut and Alan McGlory is the Operations Manager. The Friendly Ice Cream Corporation is at 1855 Boston Road in Wilbraham. On the southwest corner of Frank Street, sort of opposite the Sixteen Acres library, a house is going into what was a vacant lot. The other day I counted eleven motorcycles parked in front of Thirty-Something on Boston Road.

Went to Camp Norwich today, 25 minutes from Northampton on Route 66, and it is an awful mess. Back on May 7th I received an invitation to a Camp Norwich Work Day on May 18th. There were also notices posted around Springfield College. However on the 18th the weather was ghastly with a steady rain in Springfield and snow up Huntington/Norwich way. So I was told it was rescheduled for today, which was one of those fabled perfect days of June.

Going down State Street I noticed that the Friendly's in the Square has been quickly demolished to make way for an Auto Zone. Too bad, that Friendly's was an important posting place. I saw the blind man and his little old lady mother standing at the bus stop by the Oxford/Masonic Temple on State. In West Springfield their taste festival was quite lively on the common. A sign in front of the historic Day House said they are having a Strawberry Festival and Open House on June 15th. I rode into Westfield behind a sporty little red Jaguar convertible driven by an elderly man.

In Huntington there were flags hanging from the telephone poles. Arrived at Camp Norwich about 8:15 but the place was dead and a bar gate was across the entrance. So I stood around taking photographs after parking my car opposite the entrance. Then I just stepped over the gate, which was only designed to block cars, and walked in. The road into the camp was not bad, although there were serious ruts. It could use a good grading. I could hear the babbling of the Norwich Brook. I continued down an incline until at last it opened at the side of the dining hall.

When I was there Moses Hall had been the dining hall. It had a little apartment for Norm and Mrs. Waldron. Norm Waldron was an oldtimer who did things the old fashioned way. He made a lot of enemies for bawling people out and got demoted to operations manager. Mrs. Waldron, a meek lady to go with her surly husband, made floral design draperies for each and every window. I got my job at the camp through Leslie Johnson of Wesley Church. I had no athletic ability but the camp could still benefit from an egghead so I taught handicrafts and nature lore.

We did projects like aluminum ash trays, popsicle stick baskets, woven pot holders and plaster of paris figurines. Also in the camp Olympics my kids did rather well, they said because of the way I coached them. I was only four years short at that point of starting college teaching. I remember the camp encouraged teamwork and I detest teamwork. Great things are generally the result of a single great mind that impels their vision into reality. I have no use for teamwork.

Chuck Hansen was a gentleman jock with brains who was a superb camp director. Don Kinderfater, the director of the waterfront, was finishing up his doctorate at Springfield College. His wife was up in the Quonset hut breast feeding their baby and he invited us in once to see it. He ran a safe, no monkey business waterfront but not by screaming at people. Kinderfater and I had shared responsibilities, one of which was raising and lowering the flag each day. Another was telling a story at supper. Once I took one of Chaucer's Tales and made it into a cowboy story which went over very well. Kinderfater came over later and congratulated me, remarking that he recognized my story as based on Chaucer's Tenth Tale. I was amazed because you don't expect a jock to remember much of Shakespeare, not to mention Chaucer.

I have a 1905 promotional card that shows the camp as an open field but now it is all overgrown. Branches are on the ground along with soda cans, the forest floor should have nothing on it be needles and cones. The old paths are overgrown. Horace Moses! God Bless Him! He always had money to help out good causes, an exemplary Methodist in the spirit of John Wesley, and it was right to name one of the buildings after him.

Today the Hall is quite beat up and the medic is in where the Waldron's were. All the buildings are now brown. Forest green was the color when I was there and the dining hall was natural wood finish. Who decided to paint everything brown? A funeral director? There is a little building that used to be a library and the waterfront office, brightly lit and cheerful inside, but now it is boarded up. I didn't go to the Point where the Pioneers camped. In one cabin down in the woods toward the pond a light was burning, but mostly things were boarded up and plastered with No Trespassing signs. The latrine looks the same as does the Ranger unit. The Quonset house now has plywood over the windows from the inside and the windows have all been shattered from the outside!

I finally concluded that no one besides me was going to show up and started walking back to the car. Before I left I went down to Norwich Pond and took a panorama of shots of the far shore. The water was nice and clear. On the way home I stopped and bought a danish at the General Store by the state police barracks. Passing through the center of Westfield again I noticed that the storefront of the Union-News/Sunday Republican office is all boarded up. In downtown Springfield they have colorful new banners on the light poles. Once I got home I stayed in and spent the rest of the day reading. Then I went to bed early, as it felt like a long day.

June 11, 2002

61 degrees and overcast at 6am. Red clover in full bloom.

Our foreign policy is flawed and too anti-Arab. If there is a war with the Arabs, then sorry....if it's America for the Americans than Arabia for the Arabs!

Atty. F. Lee Bailey is 69. John Gotti has died in prison. John Cobb Sphrit became a Mason in West Springfield in 1972. Our neighbor Nicole Abernathy was accepted into the Bridgewater State College Hall of Black Achievers in 1993. Howard E. Brent lived behind us at 37 Crest Street, but we had little communication with him as my parents were not the gregarious sort. Lily Ernst was a violin player in my childhood. Was she any relation to the great violinist Heinrich William Ernst?

Brattleboro, Vermont has an annual Parade of Cows with a Dairy Godmother. Fewer students than expected are enrolling in UMass this year. Toll increases have been announced on the turnpike to pay for the Big Dig, making it the most expensive road in the Northeast. William J. Metzger Jr. of Wilbraham has been appointed to the legislative staff of State Rep. Gale Candaras. Candaras is married to WNEC Professor Arthur Wolfe and there is a professor named Metzger who also teaches at WNEC. Cronyism?

Tufts Health Plan has an annoying new television ad. On the TV news they said in connection with a new Vietnam Memorial in Worcester that 1536 Massachusetts men and one woman were killed in Vietnam with 44 still listed as missing in action. Also on the news was the dedication of the new control tower at Westover. The ribbon cutting was performed by Congressman Richard Neal who said this shows how important the base is. I say it also makes us more of a target for incoming missles!

A busload of seniors from Western Mass are going to Boston to protest the price of prescription drugs. Bishop Dupre will arrive tomorrow at the 2002 Council of Trent convening in Dallas. TV40 news reports that Father Scahill told his local congregation that "church officials must get honest" about the sex scandals. Since Scahill is standing up to the Catholic Church that makes him a Protestant! After all, Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic even as John Wesley was an Anglican.

Kelly left her backyard party lights on all night. I went to a tag sale at the home of David Galanis at 1177 Bradley Road where I bought a wooden piano jewel box made in 1936 that I will give to Ann Staniski. There are now four new homes going in on Lemnos Lane in that cul de sac opposite 16 Acres Gardens. Prices start at $170,000 with construction by Campagnari and Moltenbrey Builders. Went to Food Mart but their specials were unexciting. Stopped at Mrs. Staniski's with the jewel box for Ann but she wasn't there.

Then to the Pine Point Library and got The History of the American Library Association 1876-1972. I was surprised to see that the book was checked out only once before, in September of 1979. Apparently not even the librarians cared to read it. Leaving I found two orange electric meter seals in the middle of the library parking lot. Swung by Fleet where I was waited on by Sheila. Former District Attorney Matty Ryan was coming in as I was leaving. I said hello and we shook hands although he didn't seem to recognize who I was.

Got a wrong number from someone looking for the Storrowton Tavern; I hung up in his ear. Called Nader the Hatter at his brother in law's and discussed his hat making manuscript with him. I told him to avoid passive voice constructions and a telegraphic style. I wrote Father's boss at Monarch Bruce Yarber a letter thanking him for his kindness to our family, calling him a fine gentleman and included some postcards. Someone from Harvard called asking for donations and I told him that the fruits of my labors as an independent scholar are my donations both to Harvard and to the world.

June 14, 2002

68 degrees at 8:59am. Rained briefly at 9:17am.

Given the politics of the Quadrangle I am afraid to donate this diary to them as I fear that most if not all of it would end up in their paper shredder.

TV's Martha Stewart is in some kind of mess regarding insider trading. Richard B. Collins is the President and Chief Executive Officer at United Cooperative Bank. Robert E. Gard (1910-1992) was the professor I sued and got a judgement against at the University of Wisconsin. Greenfield has voted to change from being a town into a city.

Russ Peotter and Roy Scott were on WFCR this morning begging for contributions. If you make a donation they'll give you a one year subscription to Newsweek. The Pynchon Awards were announced today and went to people I've never heard of. Meanwhile the city's true heroes continue to be ignored.

The mail brought my Bank of Boston check and a discount card from Jiffy Lube #177 at 1130 Boston Road. When I went out I noticed that my tire was almost flat so I called Welker's Sixteen Acres Mobil Service at 1830 Wilbraham Road and they said they had time to look at it. I stopped by and they fixed the leak. While I was waiting I bought a slice of Michael's Gourmet Plain Pound Cake which is baked in Chicopee. It was thick and good but overpriced.

Went downtown to drop off my Camp Norwich photos for Stephen Clay with Kim. Stopped at the Chamber of Commerce and Beralla came in, chubby as ever, and cheerfully said, "Hello, Attorney Miller." I was wearing my orange jumpsuit with logger's boots and spiked collar. Strolled over to the Taste of Springfield where I ran into Bruce Johnson on Court Square. He said he's not doing his tag sale this year as it is too much work. I also ran into Raymond Berry who gave me a big smile and said hi. Other than Berry and Johnson I didn't see anyone I knew. A silver Mercedes was parked in front of Ravosa's.

First Church was selling strawberry shortcake and I bought some although the portion size was only adequate. I also bought an apple square from Gus & Paul's which was quite large although I wished I had a glass of milk to go with it. The best deal at the whole Taste was the Philly Cheese Steak grinder with peppers and onions from Carmella's. There were no freebies or coupons being given away by anyone except Peter Pan buslines, who were giving away balloons. In all it was a routine event with no special activities.

Coming home I saw that in the old Pederzoli/Dickinson's Market row of stores there is now a hair place called Ethics. There was a little carnival set up in front of what used to be Spag's. When I got home I tightened the bolts on the kitchen table. I also found a couple of tablecloth covers in a drawer, the one on the table has been there since before Mother got ill so I dumped the old and put on the new. Punderson Oil called and they'll be coming over on Friday to deliver heating oil at $1.08 per gallon.

On TV22 news tonight Drew Bailey was shown going up to Father R. Lavigne's house in Chicopee and knocking on the door. Soon three police cars arrived and told the reporter to get away from Lavigne's house as he had called and complained that the media was trespassing on his property. Eamon called and said his back is getting better and his sister is looking after him. He said he is going out of town at the end of the month and won't be able to attend Charlie and Joan Ryan's anniversary party.

Eamon says it was widely known around Hungry Hill that Father Lavigne was abusing boys and Eamon said that he once said something about it to Matty Ryan who replied, "Well you know you can't prosecute a Catholic priest." Eamon said he called Bill Zajac at the paper and they had a good chat. Zajac told him he used to park by Lavigne's house and watch it for hours at a time but never saw any suspicious activity. Zajac said he has also interviewed Matty Ryan but he only makes ass-covering comments. Eamon and I both agreed that Bishop Marshall was a good guy but Bishops Maguire and Dupre are a different matter.

Eamon said he spoke recently with with his old friend Deputy Chief Spellacy, who told him that his brother is about to retire from the State Police. Spellacy's brother is good friends with FBI agent Cliff Hedges. Spellacy also told Eamon that "Soco Catjakis has been getting away with stuff for years" but when Eamon pressed him for specifics Spellacy grunted, "I can't comment."

June 16, 2002

59 degrees and heavily overcast at 11:15. Gas is $1.27 at Pride, which is lower than anybody else.

There's a big story in the paper today about the new Dr. Seuss statues at the Quadrangle being vandalized! Welders will have to be brought in from Pennsylvania to repair them. The flower is gone from the mouth of the moose and other critters were nicked and scratched. The paper said 10,000 people have visited the sculptures so far. A picture showed yellow Do Not Cross tape around the area of the sculptures. Joe Carvalho is quoted as saying he can't believe anyone would do such a thing, but people like Carvalho are in denial about how overrun by barbarians Springfield has become.

Mrs. Staniski's last gift to her best friend my Mother was a lovely butterfly light catcher we put in the picture window. I came across my old Longfellow Birthday Book that was originally given to Mother by Mrs. Guy Wilson. Mother then gave it to me and I had my childhood friends write in it. I should resume circulating it among my current friends.

Arthur Anderson was found guilty of Obstruction of Justice. Hooray! Katherine Fletcher of Longmeadow has graduated from Western New England College School of Law. The motto of the YMCA of Greater Springfield is "We build strong kids, strong families, strong communities." Stephen Clay responded to the material I sent him about my recent visit to Camp Norwich without saying thank you. There was perhaps much in my critique of the current degraded state of Camp Norwich he might not have liked. All I said was factual and with details, but people often don't like facts.

I frankly informed Clay that Camp Norwich is a mess, that I hate teamwork and then told him about the time we councilors revolted against Ernie Bates. I complained about their failure to keep their clean-up date appointments and how removing Lincoln Hall was a mistake. I also made fun of all their No Trespassing signs.

I went to Louis & Clark today but they had no out of town papers so I had to go to Shell to buy the New York Times. Coming out of Louis & Clark I ran into Gary Plant, the husband of my childhood friend Mary Alice Stusick. He was wearing a pull-on winter cap. Plant said Mary Alice has been sick with "a galloping tumor" in her ovaries that had to be removed and required two weeks of hospitalization. He said she nearly died but is now recovering nicely and won't need chemotherapy.

Then I drove out to Fancy That where Kevin Thomas Cochran told me that Kathryn Pohner-Cochran's mother, who is 96, had a stroke and no longer recognizes anyone. I bought a vase and told him to come by and see my collections anytime, just call in advance. I swung by Burger King and dined using a 99 cents off coupon and read the Springfield paper. When I got home I watched Antique Roadshow which was followed by a documentary about Colt. Why have I never heard these things about Hartford before?

Nader the Hatter says he won't be going back to Florida until another two weeks. Eamon called and said he received a certificate of appreciation from David Keene, National Chairman of the American Conservative Union, for his financial contributions. Eamon recalled how back when he ran for City Council a couple of men from Mass Mutual came over and offered him an envelope of cash right there in his living room, which he refused.

Eamon said Mass Mutual still has two PR people responsible for keeping politicians happy, one for local offices, one for higher up. Charlie Kingston, who is close to Albano, used to pick up envelopes of cash from Mass Mutual for political purposes that were always unmarked. Eamon said that his friend Chief Spellacy ran into Mayor Albano recently and Eamon's name came up. Of course Albano doesn't like Eamon but Spellacy defended him saying that Eamon is a good source of political information. Albano surprisingly agreed with Spellacy saying, "You can depend on him. He's reliable."

June 17, 2002

Bunker Hill Day. Sunny and 63 degrees at 11:30am.

In life you let things slide and never tidy up and then you slip on a banana peel and things never get finished and are sent away to the dump. Next customer!

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in. In Boston the Cardinal's Appeal fundraising drive is lagging and there will be a 40% cut in the programs they are funding. Sunday collections are down as well. WFCR is offering a two and a half inch Josh Simpson glass planet with a gift of $360.

As a child I delivered the now defunct Springfield Shopping News. Today I came across maternal grandmother Blanche Simpson Gleason Wilson's Bible, a small Oxford leather New Testament. Inside I found a clipping of a poem "The Blue" by Floyd D. Raze. I also found some of my childhood books: A 1946 edition of Winnie the Pooh, Three Prayers for Children (1947) with pictures by Pelagie Doane and A Child's Book of Hymns (1945). The pictures are beautiful. I also found A Child's Book About Jesus in perfect condition and inscribed, "To Cappy from Grandma Southworth and Aunt Francis, Christmas 1944." That would be Mrs. Frank B. Southworth.

Eamon called and complained that Orr Cadillac charges awful prices to fix things. He said the mechanics alone charge $45 per hour. I called Spirit of Springfield at 10:14am and got Sarah who told me Judy Matt is in the middle of a meeting. I continue to make good faith calls to Matt as a reminder to return my photos but so far they have yielded nothing. I found out that Judy Matt is in room 220 at 1200 Main Street.

I went downtown and parked on Eliot Street by the Bishop's house under a shade tree. I walked over to the Quadrangle and talked with the security guard. I asked him what had been broken on the statues and he said the flower on the moose, the antlers off the critter by Seuss' chair and minor damage to the Cat in the Hat. From there I walked down to the courthouse and filed some papers with Beth. I told her that I am a lawyer specializing in antiquarian legal research and I do not normally practice law. Outside on Main Street the Christian Science Reading Room had a closed sign on the door. Overall downtown is dead.

Then I walked back to the car and drove over to Agawam. Gardeners were doing the lawn at the Hall of Fame and it looks like the new Pizzeria Uno is open. At Aunt Maria's the light is still on with a red van parked next door. Then I went down to the cemetery to get the exact dates of Uncle George: George A. Giroux December 13, 1905 - August 23, 1966. Next I went down to Atty. Ray Gendron's office which is in a nice brick ranch house with the breezeway as the waiting room and left some papers with his secretary.

On the way home I ran into a mess of traffic on State and Wilbraham Road. The Dunbar Community Center is all finished. Then over to Stop & Shop where their avocados were really rotten, they should be ashamed to put out such garbage. I bought some sardines, lemon drops (Mother loved lemon drops), Viva towels, sour cream and frozen veggies.

Clyde W. Young was the President of Monarch Life Insurance Company in 1948. Father got a certificate of Fellowship in Home Office Life Management in 1948. I wonder if Monarch dished out payments to politicians like Mass Mutual? Wouldn't it be interesting if they didn't?

June 18, 2002

I don't make mistakes intentionally in this diary, but I don't mind when I do make them because they will provide work for this diary's future editors.

Disgraced Mount Holyoke College Professor Joseph Ellis is still appearing in a History Channel documentary despite the scandal over his phony Vietnam War record. My parents first purchased land in Wilbraham in 1935. A picture in the paper shows Fran Gagnon with her father (who died in 1988) in 1945 when she was just two years old.

Today my neighbor Jozephczyk returned my book on how to outsmart squirrels. Nader the Hatter came by to go to lunch around one o'clock. He showed me his hat making manuscript and it is much improved. Nader said that his relative LaRose, who wants to be a writer, laughed at Nader for spending an hour editing a single paragraph. We discussed hats and I told Nader that in the end it's not what's on the head that matters but what's in the head. Then we left to have lunch at the new Pizzeria Uno by the Basketball Hall of Fame.

There were a lot of cars in the parking lot and we got a booth with a window facing Columbus Avenue. Our waiter's name was Pete and I asked for some of their complementary peanuts. Pete told me that they now want a dollar donation for peanuts with the profits going to charity. I asked to see the manager, a chubby man who was not Hurwitz, and told him about how the peanuts are always free at the Uno by Eastfield Mall and that I have always considered free peanuts to be a regular part of my Uno experience. I also said that free munchies go with expensive drinks and always have. He gave me some for free.

Nader and I both had personal pizza specials. The salad that came with it had plenty of lettuce but just a tiny wedge of tomato, a single slice of cucumber and four toast croissants. The pizza seemed skimpy. We also ordered two pina coladas, one non-alcoholic for me and one with vodka for the Hatter. It was simply delicious! I walked around the restaurant a little and saw that out back there is a lovely patio with a music shell of brick and metal. I bet on certain nights this place swings!

Peter the waiter told us that this is the largest Pizzeria Uno in the chain, to which I said, " This Pizzeria Uno is numbero uno!" He laughed. There is historical memorabilia on the walls, but it is disappointing and boring. Ruby Tueday's did an absolutely superb job of assembling the memorabilia and Spaghetti Warehouse also had a suberb assortment of memorabilia. In all I would describe the new Uno as lackluster and second rate. When we left I paid with a $100 bill, giving Pete a five dollar tip on a $19.91 bill. He wrote on our receipt, "Thanks guys!"

Before we left I went to the restroom which is new and state of the art. No doubt this new Uno will be a money machine but it is not really a quality dining place for those who are into ambiance, though the multitudes are coarse and won't sense these things. I will continue to prefer the Uno on Boston Road, unless they too start charging for peanuts, in which case I will quit them forever in favor of Ruby Tuesday's, which has a better salad bar anyway.

From the Uno we drove over to the Quad so the Hatter could see the Seuss sculptures. As we arrived Guy McLain happened to come walking by and paused to talk with Nader about obtaining some memorabilia from Nader's family hat business for their upcoming exhibit about Springfield in the 1920's to be called Factories and Flappers. I asked McLain whether David Starr or his flunky Fran Gagnon would be involved with the exhibit and he said no.

After McLain left we chatted with Security Guard #4. He told us that the hands for the statue of Dr. Seuss had been cast while he was still alive so the veins and everything is just like in real life. He said they just installed security cameras with infrared capability and they already apprehended some kids from the towers across the street trying to sneak in with spray cans of paint. The guard said that because the Seuss Memorial is a National/Federal park vandalism is a federal offense.

We discussed the cost of the statues and the guard said the Quad is trying to get Peter Picknelly as one of their sponsors and while he hasn't yet given anything they expect he will "come onboard" eventually. Nader wondered whether Dr. Seuss had any cats and I said that it is obvious from his work that Dr. Seuss loved cats. The guard then showed us how a puddle has formed on the ground beneath the elephant and said they have had to drill holes in the ground in several places to drain water away. While the Hatter and I were coming home through Mason Square we saw A.I.C. President Harry J. Courniotes pulling out of his private parking spot onto Wilbraham Road in his big red Cadillac.

There is a little article in the Union-News today saying that former local talk show host Dan Yorke won't have to pay damages to 15 Springfield school teachers who sued him for slander over his attacks on their union. Superior Court Judge Peter A. Velis said that Yorke's comments, made in 1996 on WHYN radio and TV40 in which he referred to the teachers as "neo-Nazis" and "blockheads" were merely "expressions of opinion and not actionable as slander."

It is outrageous how that case lingered since 1996 since it is obvious that the sole intent of the lawsuit was to intimidate Yorke and discourage him from criticizing the public schools. The Springfield Newspapers should have been all over that lawsuit on 1st Amendment grounds but did nothing to crusade on Yorke's behalf. Yorke now works at WPRO-AM in Providence, Rhode Island. Is it any wonder that all the best media talent leaves Springfield?

June 19, 2002

Today is Juneteenth. 84 degrees at 2:48pm according to the digital sign on Peter Picknelly's Sheraton Hotel.

There is a chipmunk living in the stump out front. There is a Cal Thomas column in the paper called "Sexual Sins More Cultural Than Personal." Thomas said that there is a lurking sexual scandal in the Protestant Churches and cites a 1993 book Moral Formation for Church Leaders by Joseph E. Trull.

Herbert P. Almgren was Chairman of the Board of Baystate Medical Center on Chestnut Street in 1979. There used to be a wonderful photo shop called Valley Cinema opposite A.I.C. at 958 State Street back when I was young. We used to do all our photo stuff there and our barber Mr. VanValkenberg was not far up the street. Paul Picknelly runs Monarch Enterprises for his dad, which includes Monarch Place, Harrison Place and property on Taylor Street. The Pioneer Valley Optimist no longer exists, V-Mag has also disappeared. These wonderful periodicals spring up, bloom and then die.

It was such a beautiful day I decided to call and invite Mrs. Staniski and see if she wanted to go to the new Pizzeria Uno and then see the Seuss statues, just like I did with Nader the Hatter yesterday. She said her daughter Carol said she would take her sometime but they hadn't set a date so she would be glad to come. She said when she spoke with Carol her 19 year old grandson was still in bed although it was 10am. When I left to get her I dropped off a large bag of magazines at the Cohn's with their housekeeper who was cleaning the kitchen. Leaving I saw that the Penniman's, he in his wheelchair, were sitting in their garage and I chatted with them a bit. I picked Mrs. Staniski up at 1:30, and when we got there she was impressed to see how the new Hall of Fame is coming along. She said it reminded her of something from the 1939 World's Fair.

The Uno's parking lot was almost full and there were five people in line ahead of us waiting to be seated. The hostess said there would be a ten minute wait but it was less than that. By luck I got exactly the same booth as yesterday. I hoped to get the same waiter Peter but no such luck. Mrs. Staniski said she didn't want to eat much and ended up ordering the American Apple Crisp with ice cream. I ordered the same plus my customary personal pizza. Our waitress said the place was so crowded because a group of 25 teachers had unexpectedly come in after work.

Alas our silverware was badly spotted from the dishwasher so I told the waitress when she came back with our water and she promised to replace them. I told her I don't have this problem when I go to Burger King! The manager Jeannette came over and apologized profusely. After she left Mrs. Staniski praised me for telling it like it is but doing so politely. Mrs. Staniski ate nearly all of her apple crisp and loved it and she also tried one slice of my pizza and said it was very good. We walked around and she especially liked the Chicago mural in the other wing.

Then we left and I drove her up to the Quadrangle to see the Seuss sculptures. On the way she told me about how after graduating from business school in Boston her first job in Springfield was for a fine black gentleman Mr. Scott who ran a laundry on State Street called Scott's Parisian Laundry. She was hired as the bookkeeper. Moreover her mother Anne Richter worked as a seamstress for Mr. Scott. She also said her daughter Ann will be taking her up to Maine this weekend. At the Quad Mrs. Staniski had her camera and took some pictures including one of me. She thinks the statues are really nice. We left at 3:25 and I'm sure she'll be sending me one of her thank you notes in the mail in a couple of days.

When I got back I called Judy Matt at 733-3800 to once again request the return of the negatives I generously loaned her. Amy answered the phone again and said she'd give Judy my message. But Matt did not call back. Eamon called and described the Springfield Police Department as "a personnel mismanagement basketcase." He also recalled how for a brief time he was a health inspector under Mayor Thomas O'Connor before he got transferred to Civil Defense. He said there was a bakery that left the dough out overnight and a mouse sunk in it and suffocated so that a lady found the mouse in her brownie. Another time they caught a fish market staining their stale fish with dye to make it look fresh.

June 20, 2002

Last day of Spring. Sunny, 71 degrees at 10:13am. Gas is $1.32 at the Pond.

This has been the fifth straight week of losses on Wall Street. WFCR says it takes $1,000 a day to bring All Things Considered and Morning Edition to listeners. C.J. Peterson is the new Director of the local Better Business Bureau. Perhaps I'll bring to him my longstanding complaint against the Half Moon Bookshop in Northampton which sold me a book the Boston Athenaeum says they never discarded.

The mail brought a note from John Rixon postmarked May 29th! The Campus Legal Monthly for June came with the lead story "Consequences of Faculty Plagiarism." Mrs. Staniski sent me a thank you note that said, "You have done more for me than all of my grandsons combined. If only there was a way to adequately express my gratitude." I'm glad to be able to provide her with some bright moments in her final days. The other day I spoke to Ginger Grey the Customer Service Manager at Stop & Shop and suggested they upgrade the toilets in their new superstore and cited Food Mart. Food Mart at Five Town Mall takes the grand prize for best Men's Room. Sensor toilet, sensor latrine, sensor faucet, paper towels, hand blower and a push out door. A+!

Boston Road is being prepared for repavement in the Parkway/Home Depot/dry bridge area out beyond the post office. Went to breakfast at Wendy's on Boston Road which doesn't open until 10:30 and didn't open on time. Finally a handicapped van arrived and dropped off the retarded lady who wipes off the tables too conscientiously. Then they opened the door to let me plus three other waiting customers inside.

After leaving Wendy's I decided to pop in at the Pizzeria Uno by Eastfield Mall. At the Parker Street intersection a sexy red Grand AM with two white woman inside threw a cigarette out the window. I honked my horn and one of the women looked back at me and frowned. At the Uno I asked the fellow at the bar whether they are charging for peanuts now and he said they do not. I saw the manager and told him they were charging for peanuts at the Uno by the Hall of Fame and he said his restaurant "will never charge for peanuts." I know Ruby Tuesday does not provide munchies at the bar or elsewhere but they give away so much at their salad bar that I forgive them.

I went across to the Eastfield Mall where they are tiling over the wishing well outside Filene's (formerly Steiger's) where they had the poinsettia tree for years and collected money for the Shriner's. The Ninety-Nine restaurant at Eastfield gives away popcorn while Donovan's Irish Pub on the Food Court provides an assortment of munchies. Smokey Bones on Boston Road does not serve anything with drinks but they have great cable TV. Country Inn Tavern and Grill in Pine Point is newly renovated with mixed munchies at the bar, flickering candles on the tables and supper specials starting at only thirteen dollars.

I wanted to buy a rug to fit my bedroom and knew what I wanted. Unfortunately all I could find were dark, dismal and ugly mock oriental styles in Penney's and Filene's. Fortunately I found what I was looking for in Sears (whose carpeting section has been downgraded to a small slot next to the mattresses just inside the back door by the hardware stuff) for only $54. I especially liked one that was of a lovely ivory with pretty flowers on it, but it would get dirty easily and I hope to expire without ever getting into professional carpet cleaning.

Next I headed downtown to the Quadrangle and parked in the back lot. At the Museum of Fine Art I was surprised to learn that they allow picture taking there, as most museums do not. I took a picture of the Seuss donor list and noted that Hurwitz was not on it but the Ruggles girls were. Major donors included Mrs. Audrey Geisel, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Springfield. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Carvalho are there, and the Hasbro Charitable Trust. And of course Floppy, Ambrose and Dumbo Miller.

When I got home I called Tom Scott the manager at the Feeding Hills Stop & Shop and told him about the rotten pears and avocados they had for sale the other day. He apologized and said he would send me a $5 gift card. Chatted only briefly with Eamon today. Eamon said he loves Maureen Turner's latest article in the Valley Advocate about how the Civic Center in Boston is having a hard time getting customers. So what chance does the expanded Springfield Civic Center have to succeed? Eamon also recalled that Francis Keough's cousin Attorney Roy Anderson was acquitted of tax evasion at the same time Charlie Kingston was convicted.

Eamon's latest message says. "With an absentee ladies auxiliary public relations Chief of Police and a District Attorney drug czar giving the green light to organized crime and political corruption, it's too bad there are not more local whistleblowers to co-operate with state and federal investigators."

June 22, 2002

A gentle rain. 83 degrees at 3:55pm.

Linda Yarber is a paraprofessional at Putnam High. The Wilbraham Atheneum Society will have an Open House on July 7th. I called Judith Matt today about my pictures and got Amy who said, "I gave her the message." I said that Judy should contact me soon or I will have to deem her discourteous. "I will put your message on her desk," Amy said and I thanked her and told her to have a good day.

Eamon called and said he had some repairs made at Orr Cadillac but fortunately they were all covered by his warranty. Eamon said he spoke with an FBI agent who wanted to know everything Eamon could tell him about the Asselins. The agent told Eamon that the Asselins own a house on Cape Cod worth several million dollars which was completely renovated by contractors who work for the Springfield Housing Authority. There is an inner circle of contractors who pay a 10% kickback to the Asselins to insure they get the work and no one who is not part of this inner circle has any chance to get the contracts.

In addition SHA taxpayer money is known to have been illegally spent on Chris Asselin's political campaigns. The FBI agent also told Eamon that the corruption investigation "is going very well" and described the Asselin family as "scam artists" and said that Papa Ray Asselin is "a no good bastard." The FBI agent also listened with interest to Eamon's stories about Charles Kingston and his role in the Mass Mutual payoffs to local politicians, but said that regrettably the statute of limitations has long since expired on those incidents.

Today I went to the Spaghetti Warehouse going out of business auction at 60 Congress Street, downtown off 91 and Liberty Street. I wonder if the whole chain is in trouble or is this failure unique to Springfield? To the auction I wore my orange jumpsuit, logger boots and my spiked collar. Driving into the city there was a dead raccoon in the middle of Wilbraham Road opposite Reed's Landing. A crew of men were raking and picking up around the long abandoned so-called professional building across from Duggan.

When I arrived Springfield police cruiser #28 was parked out front and the cop inside greeted me as "Mr. Miller" and said he liked my costume. Inside I was assigned the bidding number 132. There was a good crowd that was mostly male and white. Examining the merchandise up close I could see that much of it were not originals but reproductions made in the 1960's and '70's. Of the real antiques some of it was junky and damaged by use, with very little offered that would be taken seriously by a professional antique dealer. For a restaurant they made a good attempt at acquiring memorabilia but seldom got museum quality stuff.

They had some really nice postcards of the event which instantly became worth two dollars apiece when the the auction ended so I picked up several. The kitchen is big with stainless steel furnishings and a pool of grease on the floor. The dining room still had the trolley car in the middle (which Mother and I once sat in) and with the old fashioned furniture and antique signs it was once really special. I considered buying the "Dewey, Cheatam and Howe, Attorneys at Law" sign but ultimately declined. It was educational to see what some of the things sold for.

They had a Singer sewing machine for sale which reminded me of the year I was a truck driver's helper with Roger Lewis for Forbes & Wallace and the time we dumped about twenty used Singer machines at the Expo grounds that couldn't be resold. Now they would be quite valuable. They had an old press for sale, a piece of junk that someone bought for $50. They also had an old bubblegum machine that was only worth about $200 but that some fool bought for $800. An old ironside stove sold for $500 which was a fair price. A genuine 7UP sign from the '60's went for $200.

Food was being sold at the event by Poppies's Concessions "Since 1968." French Fries were $3 which is too much and too fattening. I looked around and didn't see much I wanted. In the end I bought a tin Ambrosia Chocolate and Cocoa sign for $10 and a genuine local history item consisting of a Fisk sign featuring their icon of the tire pajamaboy and candles. Eamon's father was a foreman at Fisk for 37 years. I saw a round Miller High Life sign and I loved it. A fat woman in a white top was also interested in the Miller sign and I told her that I wanted it because my name is Miller. She very pleasantly withdrew her intention to bid on it and asked me if I thought it was a reproduction. I said probably so but even a copy has value and besides it is always wise to buy what you want if you really like it. She agreed.

I'm surprised I didn't see Hurwitz there, he should have bought some things for his places. At one point I spotted standing back by the trolley none other than Peter Picknelly chatting with Vincent Robillard of Cat's Paw. Picknelly appeared to be interested in a gothic chandelier. When Picknelly walked away I approached Robillard and asked him what the Miller High Life sign was worth. He said it was a reproduction and wasn't worth more than $2 although bidding started at $25. I thanked him and then asked what he had been talking to Picknelly about. He said Picknelly was asking him the value of things and showed eccentric taste in what he was interested in. I said I thought Picknelly has always shown good taste, although I agreed that sometimes money without taste can produce disappointing results. Vince also said Picknelly told him he intends to put a casino referendum on the ballot again in 2004.

Overall the auction was well organized. I wonder if one of the reasons Spaghetti Warehouse failed is because they had no room for entertainment. A night club needs to have entertainment to liven things up. Robillard told me he thought the place was badly managed. In any case Spaghetti Warehouse had the best memorabilia collection of any restaurant in the city. They talk about Springfield coming back, but this is an example of another fine building becoming empty. Springfield has lost something major once again.

June 24, 2002

71 degrees at 9:30am. Tiger Lilies coming out.

Advice columnist Ann Landers has died at 83. Barbara M. Adams is Governor of The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Maine. Doris Mittasch is Assistant to the President of Old Sturbridge Village. The Richard Salter Storrs Library is located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

The Cat's Paw Antiques Shop run by my friends the Robillards was robbed yesterday just hours after I saw Vince Robillard talking with Peter Picknelly at the the Spaghetti Warehouse auction! According to the paper: "Two men robbed Cat's Paw's Antiques at 45 Parker Street in the Indian Orchard section yesterday afternoon, police said. Police received a call at 2:05pm that the clerk had been held up by two men who handcuffed but did not injure him. One of the robbers brandished a silver pistol, police said." They stole a lot of coins (probably out of the safe) worth about $5,000. I phoned Cat's Paw and left a message saying what fine people I think they are and urged them to keep their chins up.

Walter Andrews appears to have closed up his Clock Mill next to the Forest Park Post Office at 389 Belmont Avenue. A piece of mail from BJ's Wholesale Club for Carol A. Dana of 22 Jeffrey Road was misdelivered to me today. I will take it over there. Tucker Carlson has an outrageous column in the June Reader's Digest on academic dishonesty entitled, Reading, Cheating and 'Rithmatic. I never cheated and my academic record shows it!

As I went to the car this morning there was a grey helicopter overhead going towards Westover. Drove out at 10:15 to the McDonald's on Allen Street. First I left off a plumbing magazine with a very gracious Mrs. Cressotti who invited me in but I declined. McDonald's no longer has bargain Egg McMuffins so I had hotcakes without sausage and read the morning paper. There was a picture in it of the Spaghetti Warehouse auction. Next I headed to United Cooperative Bank to put some bonds in my safety deposit box and was waited on by Leila John the Indian woman.

Then I drove out to Stop & Shop where there was a yellow Volkswagen Beetle parked in front with signs promoting the state Lotto game. Inside they had free samples of Swiss cheese and crackers. The manager Mr. Grogan was there in a suit so I suggested to him that they have push out doors on the toilets in their new store. He said if they push out they might hit somebody, so I replied that if they push in they might hit somebody! I informed him about the excellent restrooms at Food Mart but he said unfortunately the plans for the new store have already been finalized. We parted on amiable terms.

Eamon called and said Mayor Albano's pal Buddy Cianci has been convicted of corruption charges and the Governor of Rhode Island has called on him to resign. We discussed the Cat's Paw robbery and Eamon said the guy who robbed Quick Cleaners three times was caught Friday breaking into ABC Glass on Liberty. He appears to be a heroin addict.

Eamon told me he is getting almost 200 calls a day now for his telephone answering machine editorials. Eamon says his caller ID shows that a Wilfred Roy of 1015 Liberty Street called his editorial four times today, but he doesn't know who that is. He said he gets regular calls from patrons of John Bonavita's Tavern Restaurant, especially on Friday and Saturdays. Eamon said it was wrong for Albano to push the Tavern out of its riverfront location, and I agreed that it was.

Art Gingras of Commerce called Eamon today and said the public needs to be made aware of what's happening in the public schools but he is afraid to go to the media. He fears they will not report what he tells them, but word of anything he says will get back to Superintendent Burke who will then retaliate. Eamon promised Gingras that he will do whatever he can behind the scenes to "bring the incompetent educationists to justice!"

June 25, 2002

79 degrees at 2:40pm.

Homer J. Hagedom is Chairman of the Graduate School Fund at Harvard. The YMCA of Greater Springfield and Springfield College have been working on an agreement that will enable the Y to repurchase Camp Norwich.

Drove to Lewis & Clark to get the papers. The Boston Globe says the Hines Convention Center is struggling, so what chance has the Springfield Civic Center? Another Globe article by Shawn Pogatchnik titled "Bias Begins Young in N. Ireland" talks about religious bias being taught in the schools. That is why I oppose all religious schools, Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, whatever. All young people should share a common educational program for their role in the common destiny of the nation. Religious schools brainwash and bigotize.

When I got home I called Mrs. Staniski. I brought up her longtime next door neighbors the Morgans and she said there were three girls. I knew the middle one Martha. The oldest girl once told Ann Staniski that she was no good because she is a Protestant, although Ann is a sweet and wonderful person and always was.

Dr. John Rixon, my classmate from the Classical Class of 1959 arrived today in a forest green Chrysler Voyager van. I had him sign my recently revived Longfellow Birthday Book and showed him my Diamond Match collection. He said his father collected matchbooks. Then we left and I took him of a little tour of the city. John has occasionally returned to Springfield from Connecticut to visit his parent's grave but never really just looked around the city.

When we got to the Acres in the left turn lane was a bunch of trash someone dumped in the middle of the intersection. I parked the car by the curb and walked out an picked up the mess. Two ladies drove by smiling and waving in appreciation but some guy honked and yelled at me to get out of the road. Opinions vary, but somebody had to pick it up. We looked at the stores on Boston Road and John said he used to like Bradlees for clothes and Caldors for durables.

We headed down Sumner Avenue and John said he used to deliver mail in that area while attending American International College (his dad was a mailman and helped him get the job). He was surprised to learn of the closing of Lederer's Bakery. He also recalled that he once studied piano briefly at the Springfield Conservatory of Music. He had never seen the present Holy Name Church. The old one he said was a Tudor stucco with brown beams and designed like "the early churches" namely a building with peak in the middle and that's it. He said a priest at the old Holy Name amassed the money for a new church and when the district was split up into seven parishes Holy name got half the money for their new church and the Bishop took the rest. Holy name was one of the first of the new churches after the breakup, St. Patrick's is another.

The we drove by Watershops and I told him about the 80's chlorine fire and I pointed out the Waterfront Club. We drove through Springfield College and I pointed out the Social Science Building, the new dorms, the president's house, the athletic complex, the Linkletter Nanatorium, the original Basketball Hall of Fame and the football field. Then I drove down King to Massachusetts Avenue where we parked and walked across to the A.I.C. campus. President Courniotes' red Cadillac was in its spot. John said that what is now the Administration Building was Admissions when he was there. We went into the library and he liked the periodical reading room which is the nicest such room of the local colleges. We went into the Student Union where the snackbar is being completely remodeled. The Arts Center was locked up so we went back to the car.

Next we drove up Roosevelt by the A.I.C. gym and down the little street between Putnam and Sci-Tech (John didn't know Trade High had been renamed Putnam) and then behind Springfield Hospital and past Central High. Then went down Bay over to show him the former site of Buckingham Junior High and then over to STCC which he didn't know much about. We drove past the empty Technical High School with the broken windows in back and I showed him the site of the new courthouse.

I parked at the Quadrangle and joked I hope they are ready for a visit from the Great Wesley Miller and his distinguished guest! John says he likes the Seuss sculptures overall but is not that impressed. I took several pictures of John posing by the statue of Dr. Seuss. We then left the Quad and walked down the hill. John asked about the old Y building and and I said it is condos now. We visited the former site of Johnson's Bookstore, now a clothing store, and looked at the vacant Steiger's site. We walked across to Baystate West/Tower Square and took the elevator to the top where John admired the view. We also looked in at the Colony Club which seemed rather lifeless. John recalled how there used to be airwalks connecting Baystate West to Steiger's and Forbes.

We went over to Monarch Place and went down the stairs to see the tablet for the worker who was killed putting in the elevators. Then we stopped at Fleet Bank and admired the tapestry and then cut through the atrium in the Sovereign Building. We walked across Court Square and John said that during World War II they set up a Quonset hut on the Square but someone pointed out a clause in the deed of gift that said no permanent structure was ever to placed there so they took it down. John was therefore surprised they permitted the music shell and the shelter because they are permanent structures.

We walked up State to Classical and peeked in the doors. Across the street on Elliot we found the door to the Marshall Center open but John wouldn't enter the chapel because he was wearing shorts. We got back in the car and headed to the new Pizzeria Uno. The parking lot was full. Inside we sat in the last booth on the Columbus Avenue side and I ordered the chicken and John got the sirloin. This time the silverware was clean.

As we ate John said he has no cable TV, he prefers reading and gardening. His son is studying optometry in Philadelphia. We discussed foreign policy and John said the situation in the Mideast is hopeless because the Palestinians are unreliable and the Jews are expansionist. John said he never goes to downtown Hartford because there's nothing there. He said he thinks the Adrien Landing development is overblown and that "they wasted a lot of money on it." I paid our bill of $26.21. On the way out I showed John the Chicago mural and the bandstand. Then we left and drove back to my house. As he got into his van John shook my hand twice and promised to treat me to lunch next time.

When I got home Eamon called and we discussed the importance of a good diet. Eamon recalled how his friend Joe Calibrese, who loved French Fries and ate them all the time, ended up dying at age 50.

June 27, 2002

Black-eyed Susans are budding by the back door. Heavy overcast, 87 degrees at 4:30pm.

Monarch went out of business in part because of the crooked practices of other insurance companies they were dealing with. Gordon N. Oakes was President of the Chamber of Commerce the very year that Monarch collapsed. Now Tom Burton is the Chamber head, so what does that mean for Hampden Savings? WFCR said writing about stress is medically beneficial, which is part of why I keep a diary.

An awful lot of important American law books were written in the 1830's, such as Elliot's Corn Law Rhymes. Latinos are ten percent of Connecticut's population. Keith R. Schiff is the General Manager of the Holyoke Mall. In a record high turnout Longmeadow voters approved a tax increase. Tom Bevaqua the top weatherman on TV40 is 57 today. He is a good guy. Called Judy Matt but was told she is in a meeting. Is she avoiding me?

Mrs. Staniski sent me a pretty postcard of the Bush compound in Kennebunkport. She said while in Maine it was so cold at night she had to sleep under two blankets. Some salesman called and asked "Is this Wesley Miller?" I told her that she called in the middle of the news and said, "Madam, go find your favorite priest and give him a blow job," and hung up as she sputtered in protest. Maybe she'll not call again.

The pothole over by Mudry's has been filled but these patches are seldom first rate and don't last. Went to Louis & Clark where I put out the mail via Cindy and bought the Wall Street Journal. Drove to Price-Rite on Boston Road for lettuce, tomatoes, berries, bananas and onions. There weren't many customers, just two registers open and three young Latino women talking to each other in Spanish. Then over to Arnold's Discount Bakery for two loaves of Seven Grain Bread. After I left I saw the young cashier come out and sit on the store's front steps, her legs stretched out in the sun and her sandals kicked off, lonesome and bored on the job.

From Arnold's I peeked into Angelo's and the supply of merchandise is pretty well down. Young Angelo was there and sold me some milk crates for $5 each. I asked how business was and he shrugged and said, "Not bad considering." I asked him if he thought the place would still be open a year from now and he shrugged again.

Next I went to Rocky's and bought an astroturf doormat with a sunflower on it. It was $10 but with a senior citizen discount I got it for $8.49 tax included. Mother's doormats are old and not as good at catching dirt as astroturf mats. Finally to Walmart to pick up some film for my camera. As I was coming home I saw the Cohn's struggling to get into their car, with Mrs. Cohn using a walker. I noticed their dumpster was still in the street so I stopped and brought it in for them. It's sad to see them struggling to keep going but when I mentioned the hardships of getting older Mr. Cohn replied, "There isn't much to do about it but keep smiling."

Eamon called and said his car battery was nearly dead, so he drove to Orr Cadillac and they gave him another one free covered by the seven year guarantee. Eamon gave his mailman a bottle of soda when he came by because it is so hot, a perfect example of Eamon's kindness and hospitality.

Eamon said that Charlie Kingston's mother is a Tranghese and Felix Tranghese was in charge of prostitution under mob boss Scibelli. Eamon said he is still trying to get information on the misuse of the $8 million Safe Schools grant by Grant Manager Dr. William Thayer, Director of Research Dr. John Howell and Carey Sheehan. Eamon speculated on the relationship between Ricard Neal and Soco Catjakis. They served together as members of Billy Sullivan's Administration. He said Soco lives on Melha and to him "everything is for sale." Eamon said Sullivan went into the insurance business with Ed Keating after he left office. Eamon remembered one time during the Sullivan years he was complaining about the undeserved status of Neal and Catjakis and Al Christofori told him, "Sully, why don't you lighten up?"

Eamon says he was chatting with Deputy Chief Spellacy who told him that Mayor Albano is "very nervous" about the conviction of his friend Mayor Cianci. He said Albano may not run for re-election in 2003 in hopes the Feds might have less interest in him if he voluntarily leaves office. Eamon disagreed with Spellacy, saying that Albano is "so bold and arrogant" that he will seek re-election despite having the Feds on his tail.

June 28, 2002

75 degrees at 6am. Cloudy, less humid.

The Archdiocese of Boston has cut its budget by one third. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is opening an outreach office in Springfield. There are currently 70,000 Puerto Ricans living in the Springfield area. Trinity United Methodist Church on Sumner Avenue will have its Carillon Pops Festival on June 26th. The Massachusetts Banker's Association wants sunglasses, hats and hoods banned in all banks.

Mail came today 2:30pm as I was emptying the vacuum cleaner bag. The mailman tooted and I waved, but no substantial mail. It is lots harder getting letters out of people than it once was because of the shifts in modern communication.

The first annual meeting of Westfield Financial, the Westfield Savings Bank, was today at 10am at the Tekoa Country Club in Westfield, on the right hand side of Route 20 going up to Huntington. I left at 8:44 and arrived there at 9:32 wearing logger's boots, orange jumpsuit, doggie collar and because of the contemplated prohibition on headgear at banks I decided not to wear my full leather bondage helmet.

The entrance to the Country Club is almost hidden among urban sprawl and business buildings. Went into the clubhouse at 9:40 where the front lobby has an office on the left, a stone floor and a planter in the middle with white mini-lights on it. I joked that they are all ready for Christmas in July! There was a bar and fireplace. The meeting was in a large space called The Putter Room. Lots of big windows and mirrors around, nice but not Longmeadow.

There was a miniature putting green outside with about ten men playing, several of them extremely fat. There was no check-in table but two tables with a minimum of food - coffee, orange juice, donuts and muffins. I took a half a glass of orange juice and three donuts. I counted 51 people there with the bank's executives all dressed for success. The other people were largely seedy and elderly aristocratic types, some dressed very casual, women in sandals, that sort of crowd.

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Donald Williams and the sound system worked fine. I've been living with this hearing problem for over a decade but it's only a problem when there is an inadequate sound system. The bank officials were introduced including Phillip R. Smith as Clerk. And then a surprise - $1.8 million shares held by brokers were not represented so the meeting was adjourned until July 26th! There was applause and I gathered my stuff. Another free breakfast! Williams came around thanking everyone for coming.

When I drove off I decided to check out the new Stop & Shop. It's the same as the one by Eastfield Mall but with more space. I bought some bananas, tomatoes and radishes. I noticed that the Westfield Dairy Queen in now a Cingular Wireless shop. The Roy Rogers burger place by the river is closed. Are there any Roy Rogers left around here? I liked them.

On the way back I stopped at the Quadrangle and went to the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum. I looked through their scrapbook on local cemeteries for info on Hillcrest. When the carillon tower was built at Hillcrest Park Cemetery in 1936 it was the hightest point in Springfield. The mausoleum was built in 1928. Bergeron at Hillcrest told me that Pinney was the carillon architect but actually it was George R. Barrow. I also looked at some stuff about St. Michael's Cemetery. I checked and saw that they have a file on Dorothy Mozley but nothing on Eamon. On the way out I spoke to M. Humbertson who told me her mother-in-law died in 1999 at age 90.

In a banner headline story James Asselin has resigned as head of the Hampden County Employment and Training unit. James Krzystofik of 235 State Street, the Compliance Officer, has also resigned. Asselin's deputy Patrick Keough, little brother to convicted felon and homeless shelter head Frank Keough, has replaced Asselin as director. How is that an improvement?

June 30, 2002

Sunny, beautiful, unhumid. 72 degrees at 6:15am. Gas at Mutual Ford now Express Mart Texaco on the corner of Berkshire and Bay is $1.32 per gallon.

In the year 2000 Matthew L. Burt was the Pastor of the Evangelical Covenant Church at 915 Plumtree Road. Sherry Petrucci, the longtime Agawam Town Nurse, has retired. The fall of Monarch was especially hard on retirees. A school voucher program may be tried in Massachusetts but I am opposed to vouchers. All kids should go to public schools and private schools should be abolished. There is an article in the Boston Globe today titled, "Urban Renaissance Eludes State's Mid-sized Cities." Of course it mentions Springfield.

No doubt that sexual activity and urinary flow go together. I jerked off around 4am and two hours later had the best urine flow in days. Father didn't do that sort of thing, he thought it was unclean. Before putting out the mail today at Louis & Clark I called Holy Cross and left the question on their answering machine, "Are the kids safe from the priests?" That wasn't nice but they have to get the message.

Whatever happened to Stacia Filipiak? I dropped off some literature about Portugal with Mudry. Then to the Easfield Mall where I parked in back and saw several women with shopping carriages cutting through a walkway thru the fence towards the apartment development. Inside I bought some pens with a coupon then went to Food Mart for chicken, potatoes and roast beef.

Joe Roy at Byron's Funeral Home told me after Mother's death in 1999 that it would not be possible to for me to be present at Mother's cremation. Today I called Byron's at 684 State Street and spoke to Bernie Morin who said Joe Roy left a couple years ago for someplace up in the Berkshires and their new director is Duane Goddard. I told Morin that I've since heard that Orientals attend cremations all the time and that I want a letter of apology or I'll complain around. He was very polite and promised to look into it. I also told him how Byron's failed to get the date right on Mother's urn.

I've been reading page for page this diary from Christmas 1998 to July 1999 which is painful because I have to relive the death of Mother as well as the daily irritations of Aunt Maria.

There is an article in the paper about the rising incidents of theft by teachers and staff in the Springfield public schools, a topic Eamon has been begging them to write about for years. Eamon called this morning and told me about a fruit stand at the intersection of Carew and St. James that is loaded with nice fruit that is cheaper than elsewhere. I told him that Angelo's and Price-Rite on Boston Road also have low fruit prices. I told him how I bought a box of strawberries at Angelo's for only $1.50.

Eamon said his back has improved and also informed me that he heard the post office will not increase their prices until 2004. We agreed that their goal is to increase the cost of a stamp to 50 cents. Eamon said his SAT score was 1450. Mine was 1293. We also discussed how it is interesting how rumors line up with reality. Everyone said that Mayor Albano would be driven from office by the corruption probe by July. Cianci is gone, the Asselins are falling but Albano has remarkable staying power due to the loyalty of underlings who are willing to lie or go to prison if necessary to protect him.


July 2002

July 2, 2002

75 degrees at 6:30am. Milkweed now in full bloom.

Imelda Marcos is 73. Russian cosmonauts in the Soviet era wore orange jumpsuits very similar to the one that I have been wearing, including long sleeves and cargo pockets. The Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Traffic Control Tower is at 35 Perimeter Road in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Governor Rowland of Connecticut has announced that he is running for re-election.

The former Town Nurse in Agawam is Sherry Petruccci. The Northampton Welfare Office is closing in August when its lease runs out. Advocates for the poor say that having to take the bus to Westfield or Holyoke or Greenfield is a hardship for the one thousand families that use the Northampton office. WGGB TV40 said tonight that more people recycle than vote. That may actually be a good thing! Maureen Turner has an article in the Valley Advocate about the lack of handicapped accessibility at City Hall.

David Starr, president of the Springfield Newspapers, has been wearing bowties since he got out of the Army after World War II. He has over 120 of them, but he recently received one as a gift from Audrey Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss, that used to belong to her husband who was also a bowtie fan. It was Starr who first came up with the idea for the Seuss Memorial at the Quadrangle in 1986.

I came across an old letter today from from Shirley P. Lucia dated May 5, 2000. It says at one point about Auntie, "Maria speaks more kindly of you lately and we encourage this as life is too short to hold a grudge. When she thinks of your Mother she is upset with you as she feels that she was isolated from her sister in her last illness and death. She is not ready to see you."

Went to Fleet Bank to cash a bond and right behind me in line was a black man who said he recognized me as one of his neighbors. He was a short, friendly man named Charlie Guy of 100 Birchland Avenue. I told him that the vacant Burger King building is a disgrace to the neighborhood and it has become such an eyesore the community should complain about it. He laughed. When I got home I mowed the lawn and saw ex-TV guy Durham Caldwell walking down the street with a good sized red-brown dog. I waved and shouted hello but he nodded only slightly and walked on. Durham is aloof.

Black raspberries are coming in the back patch, I saw several orange butterflies (not Monarchs) hovering nearby. Eamon said FBI man Cliff Hedges, whom Eamon estimates to be around 35, played bagpipes at the 2002 Lacrosse Festival. Eamon thinks he may be Scottish. Eamon read me some of the details of sexual misconduct by Catholic priests in the article "Sex in the Confessional" in the Boston Herald. The Catholic sexual abuse mess has placed aspects of sexuality usually only found in pornography in all the papers. It is ironic that it is the Catholic Church with its history of sexual censorship that has caused this to occur. Eamon said his sister told him that Father Lavigne's house at 39 Haven Avenue in Chicopee is in a nice neighborhood.

I called Keyes & Donnellan and got Melinda Phelps' number at Bulkley, Richardson. I left a message for her saying that I sent them the slide yet never heard a peep in return and informed her that I once held up a gift of $5,000 in rare Irish books to Elms College because of my difficulties with them. Then I called editor L. McDermott and wished him a Happy Fiscal New Year on his answering machine. I said they have been having some good stories lately on the Asselins and on thefts in the schools, but at this rate it will still take them about thirty years to be as good as Maureen Turner at the Valley Advocate.

July 3, 2002

82 degrees at 10am.

Publick House Historic Inn and Country Lounge in Sturbridge is having a Lobster Bake August 23rd. The Hartford Symphony played at Stanley Park tonight with fireworks. Holyoke Catholic High School by Veteran's Park is closing even though the Fire Department gave them permission to remain open. They are going to send the kids to Cathedral and build a $7 million facility in West Springfield on land they already own. The student enrollment at Holyoke Catholic High is only 502.

TV40 said July 21, 1991 was the last 100 degree day in these parts. On Channel 3 at 3am, when there's nothing but junk on TV40 and 22, I watched Martha Stewart's show. She made a cookie of the week with cherry filling, talked with a gardener about plants, fixed a chair and then filled some baby socks with catnip for her cat. Do intelligent people have time for such nonsense? The Connecticut law firm of Trantolo & Trantolo had a commercial on during Stewart's show.

Received a summary in the mail from Social Security saying that if I retire at age 62 I will get $421 per month but I will get $546 per month if I wait until I'm 65. The second phase of the Athenium Society's renovation of the 200 year old Meeting House in Wilbraham is ready for bid. The Hearse House located behind the Meeting House on Mountain Road has already received a new white cedar shale roof. I've met one of the Athenium Society Trustees Robert Swallow and he must be a major contributor to have his position because he seems senile.

Cut my hair today. I called Pioneer Valley Pain Management and without identifying myself said to the receptionist, "The U.S. Marine Corps say a little pain is good, and a lot of pain is better!" then hung up. Today I found a pad of yellow tickets from Bruno's Pizza at 1810 Wilbraham Road on my lawn. I called them at 783-3333 and asked the man who answered whether they send out pizzas with a yellow ticket. When he said yes I told him that one of your workers threw a whole pad of them on my lawn and I don't appreciate it. He replied, "Sorry sir, I didn't know that." "Well now you do," I said and hung up after wishing him a good evening.

Heading to the car this morning Mr. Allard pulled up in a little red Mercury and asked how I was doing in this hot weather. Ahead of me in line at Louis & Clark was a black woman who paid $326 for her phone bill. In celebration of the heatwave I bought a Haagan-Dass Vanilla and Milk Chocolate bar. At the bank I was waited on by old friend Linda Santos whom I've known since she worked at Shawmut across from Duggan.

Because of budget difficulties there is talk of closing down a ladder truck in Springfield's North End. So last night there was a meeting to discuss it with residents who are opposed and a fire broke out across the street from the meeting at 2375 Main Street. It was determined to be an act of arson. Are the two events related?

Eamon called and said the Storrowton Tavern on the Exposition grounds in West Springfield is closing. It follows the closing of the Colosseum down the street a few months back. Eamon said he loved the roast beef dinner at Storrowton and used to bring his sisters there. He said it has been in business since at least the 1920's, but the building itself is much older. Joe Stevens of the Hoffbrauhaus is taking over some of the events that were booked for Storrowton.

Eamon complained that there are no first class eating places left in town except for The Fort/Student Prince. I told him that we are getting old, times change and people today prefer places like Pizzaria Uno. Eamon described the Springfield Police Department as suffering from "hardening of its administrative arteries" and described Paula Meara as a "public relations chief of police" who is more interested in appearances than results.

July 6, 2002

Sunny and nice out. 81 degrees at 6:15am. Phlox is coming into bloom.

Not a hand out but a hand up! - Habitat for Humanity.

The Bush family is assembling in Kennebunkport, Maine to celebrate the President's 56th birthday. The Amy Elizabeth Toyen Memorial Golf Tournament will be held August 24th at St. Annie Country Club in Feeding Hills. Amy Toyen was killed in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001 and had relatives in Longmeadow. The Springfield Falcons hockey team is up for sale and Mayor Albano said if the team should move out of town it would be bad for the Civic Center.

Hartford had its Riverfront 2002 Festival with fireworks on the river watched by thousands. TV40 said that it takes 64 hours to set up Springfield's fireworks. On the 4th I saw a special on TV57 about the history of fireworks and spent the afternoon reading Ebenezer Eliott's The Splendid Village. Later I looked through some old slides and found several of Camp Norwich taken on the lake side of Lincoln Hall. I also found one of Ann Staniski's wedding dated December 29, 1963. That reminded me to call Mrs. Staniski, who said she is fine but too hot. I told her to stand in front of her refrigerator, take a deep breath, open and close the door swiftly and she will feel gusts of cool air.

This was the first 4th of July I can recall when the Nichols lawn was not mowed. I called the Nichols' place and Dickie answered in a groggy (drunken?) voice and I identified myself and wished him a Happy 4th of July. I said if there is anything he would like me to do for him then don't hesitate to ask. He replied, "Oh, thank you" but didn't get my hint about his lawn so I hung up. For lunch on the 4th I had a cup of yogurt, two hot dogs with onions and mustard wrapped in multi-grain bread.

There's a big article in the paper today by Ken Ross on the closing of the Storrowton Tavern. The Tavern is one of nine historical properties brought to the exposition grounds in West Springfield in the 1920's. The Tavern building was built in 1789 and came from Prescott, a town later flooded to create Quabbin Reservoir. West Springfield Mayor Edward J. Gibson said he was not completely surprised by the closing as he had heard rumors for months that it might. It is hoped that it will reopen soon under new management. The current manager is Frederick C. Withee who acquired the facility from longtime owner William F. Kavanaugh. The chef at the Storrowton Tavern is David Sales.

Went to Wilbraham yesterday and the renovation of Springfield Street is still in process. The house on the corner of the intersection of Stony Hill Road is now closer to the road. The house on the other side where the crippled man lives has less of a rolling lawn to mow. No hollyhocks on the Athenium Society. From the intersection of King Drive up to Deer Run is a mess but fine down to Boston Road. I stopped at Walmart to drop off my Camp Norwich and Ann Staniski wedding slides to be made into prints. The manager walked past and I told him what super prints they make. I also asked about the photo section's new location and he said he liked their old spot better but Walmart insisted on the change.

Then on to Price-Rite for tomatoes and bananas and then to Angelo's, which has less variety of items for sale than ever. Continued downtown and parked on Salem Street. The plants in front of Grace Church are dying; don't they know you have to water them? It was a wonderful breezy walk down to City Hall where I paid my taxes. In Court Square I found eleven pennies lying on the ground and a Star Spangled Springfield Sing-Along sheet. Then I walked along Main, through Tower Square and looked in on Antiques on Boland Way which was closed but had a nice little marble stand in the window for $450.

Next I headed up Worthington to the porn shop where they told me that Bear Magazine no longer exists. There is a new manager, a businesslike clean-cut guy in a tie but friendly. The whole shop is all gussied up with sixteen little movie booths with numbers over the doors. Walking back to the car I saw two blacks with motor scooters checking out the apartments across the street from the Grace Church parking lot on that little street that curves around Mattoon. Drove straight back to the Acres and bought gas at Pride. Got my first Louisiana quarter in my change.

When I left today there was a visitor's car over at the Cohn's. Eastern Tree Service of Ludlow was trimming branches at 159 Birchland. Going down Sumner Avenue I was behind a red car with the bumper stickers "So Glad I Voted for Bush" on the left side and "Thank You Florida" on the right. Arrived in Agawam at 8:58 and saw Aunt Maria's lawn is getting long. A flag was hanging in front of Lucia's with a red van parked outside.

Eamon called and said he had a bagel with chive cream cheese this morning. Eamon said he went to a Chinese restaurant in Pine Point on the 4th and had ribs and egg rolls. He also mowed his lawn. Eamon wondered what happened to Hampden Bank's "First at Last" campaign which appears to have ended although they're still doing a lot of advertising. Our conversation was interrupted when it started pouring with a sudden thunderstorm and he had to close the windows. I also heard thunder here and it began to pour.

When he called back he said he has friends who have offered to take him on free trips to Las Vegas, but he says he doesn't like to gamble and Las Vegas is all glitz. He said his brother Ray the fire chief used to go on junkets to Vegas and Atlantic City and was quite good at cards. Eamon has a humorous phone editorial about a charity he calls "The Michael J. Albano Legal Tryst/Trust Fund" with donations to be given "care of Kingston, Keough, Felons & Co., 35 Court Street, Springfield Ma, 01103."

July 8, 2002

71 degrees at 5:30am.

Art Tardy is the manager of the Boston Road Walmart. The Westfield Spanish American Association is having a Scholarship Fundraiser Dinner and Dance July 13th at the East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. Contacts are Gil Rodriguez and Noemi Fernandes. 76 Lincoln is the address of the quaint little high Victorian church which is now a house. It was built in 1885. The mail brought a notice saying my annuity fund has reached $20,138.67. The bracelet I found lying in the hospital parking lot after Mother died has broken but the watch still works and I keep it in the car.

Yesterday I drove out to Westfield to check out their Applebee's, the only one I know of in this area. I recall that Lyman Wood spoke well of them at a Friendly's stockholder meeting a few years ago. They have a big bar in the middle of the restaurant but no peanuts, pretzels or other munchies available. Beer was $3.50 which is way too much. The place is nicely decorated with mostly sports memorabilia and pictures of Stanley Park. No salad bar. I had a side salad, a bacon cheeseburger on a buttered sesame seed bun with fries. They have a narrow choice of desserts, Pizza Uno offers more and of course Friendly's is the best. Overall it is better than Uno but not as good as Ruby Tuesday's. It all came to $9.95, a good place, a good deal, but I won't be going again.

I saw two Cardinals hopping around the back hedge today, I believe they live in it. Drove to the Pride station in the Acres to make copies and buy the New York Times. On the way I was behind a white pick-up truck with racks for Steeple People of Chicopee. Then I went and drove past Bruce Yarber's house on 27 George Street. It is a colonial on the left hand side of this serpentine street, sort of a bronze color like Claudia Koppelman's. There is a two car garage attached to the house by a screened in breezeway. The house was built by George Vadnais, whose homes were well built and no two were exactly alike. Yarber's is one of the larger ones and in every way a distinctive house of excellent proportions perfect for an executive of his stature.

On the way back I stopped at Stop&Shop where I saw a lady employee taking the old bread off the shelves. I asked her what they did with the day old bread and she said they donate it to Rachel's Table, Kate's Kitchen and the Salvation Army. As I was leaving I ran into Salvatore Anzalotti the AIC professor. He was wearing a 16 Acres t-shirt. We exchanged pleasantries and I told him that as a liberal Republican I am not happy with our unelected president and he laughed. Anzalotti can be a fine gentleman on a personal level and he looks good for his age.

I continued on to the mall McDonald's. The Eastfield Mall's Summer Theater will be showing T-Bones Tropical Adventure on July 13th. There was a huge truck unloading supplies at McDonald's and the driver told me he comes out of Enfield where they service 680 McDonald's throughout New England.

When I got home my phone ID showed that Eamon called at 10:45 but of course at that time I was on my way to McDonald's. I went down in the cellar to fetch my copy of Bartlett's Concordance to Shakespeare when I saw that a puddle of water had come in by the hatchway door through my negligence. To soak up the water I put down newspapers but I needed more so I went out to the Breckwood Shops and gathered more papers from the trashcans outside, where I found Valley Advocates, Springfield Journals, Reminders, and Holyoke Community College and UMass extension circulars.

Nader the Hatter called from Suzch and said he has an appointment with Guy Mclain at the Quad to talk about creating an exhibit about the history of his family business. Nader is also almost finished with his hat making manuscript. He hasn't been spending much time in his space in Indian Orchard as the temperature there has been over 100 degrees on hot days. Nader said his sister and her husband are vacationing in Colorado. He said he hasn't heard from Eamon since he got back, which is strange because he used to get calls from Eamon all the time when he was in Florida.

Eamon called and said he likes the Jones Library in Amherst where he was helped by librarian Beth Girshman, a very competent woman. He also went to Santos' new restaurant Chef Paul's Deli & Grill on Exchange Street in Chicopee. Santos used to be the cook at Cal's Variety, which now sells mostly lottery tickets and newspapers. He is living with Kimberly Moore who just had a baby with him. The sister Susan runs Cal's.

Eamon said many restaurants have been in the same location and doubts that this one will make it. He said that Santos paid $160 for an ad in the Valley Advocate saying "Family Prices for the Family Wallet" but Eamon says his prices are high. Santos told him that the new Pizza Uno is not doing all that hot with hardly any customers going to downtown Springfield these days. Eamon said the only things thriving downtown are the strip clubs Mardi Gras, Club 418 and the 5th Alarm.

July 10, 2002

Thunderstorms and high humidity. 84 degrees at 2:30pm.

Be brilliant at the basics and fantastic at the fundamentals. - Vince Lombardi

The Moose, the symbol of the old Progressives, has been revived by the Vermont Progressives. I listened to President Bush's speech today on Wall Street. They carried it on Channel 3 but not on TV22. Bush said "what's fair for the workers is fair for the bosses" to much applause and added "shareholders are a company's most important constituency and they should act like it." After the speech I called the President of Hampden Bank and got the receptionist Beverly who connected me with the president's voicemail where I left a message: "This is J. Wesley Miller. Five minutes ago President Bush said that shareholders are a company's most important constituency, so don't you forget it!"

Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers is located in Auburn, Maine. I heard a commercial on WSPR this morning that said, "The Western Mass Economic Development Council is hoping to attract business and jobs to Western Massachusetts." WSPR also said that Cathedral High School in Springfield is operating at only 25% capacity. The Massachusetts Lottery has the biggest payout in the country and Brian Lees and other Republicans want to trim the percentage by a couple of points in the name of fiscal conservatism. On TV Sen. Lees criticized the "tax and spend culture" in Massachusetts.

Arlo Guthrie is 55 today and David Brinkley is 82. On TV Martha Stewart was cooking New England Clam Chowder. Mass Mutual has offered $5 million for the naming rights to the Springfield Civic Center. My crabgrass is coming in nicely. The Reminder came today and they are fulfilling their promise to start carrying more news. A few years back I proposed they print the local honor rolls, and this week they did Minnechaug. The East Longmeadow Public Library is selling off surplus materials, furniture and equipment. The Pioneer Valley Christian School is putting on an addition to increase their enrollment to 300 students this fall.

I went and got bread at Arnold's today and then over to Angelo's Fruits and Vegetables where Angelo was there in a blue sweatshirt. He said the plant shop is closing soon and that business overall is so bad he is considering closing up the entire store. I swung by Food Mart for the specials, I live quite well buying only the bargains. When I got back I called Hillcrest Cemetery and Leonard W. Bergeron answered so I asked if they have the 1937 obituary of Frederick Swindells. He said maybe way down in their files. I asked if he knew about the materials in the Pynchon Building and he didn't so I told him about that.

Eamon called and said he has a 9am appointment at the VA hospital in Northampton tomorrow. He said the FBI was over and told him that he has been a big help in their investigation. In fact the FBI agent told him, "You deserve a Pynchon Medal for all you have done to help us clean up this dirty little city." The agent promised him that soon "the members of the Albano Administration will be falling like flies."

Karen or Bob Powell came by while I was out and dropped off some material that included a printout from Tommy Devine's Online Journal, the first new post since he returned from staying with relatives in Houston, Texas for most of the year. It shows Tom on the cover smiling and shirtless in what appears to be his kitchen.

Devine compares Massachusetts politics unfavorably with Texas saying, "When politicians are caught doing evil deeds in Texas, they at least have the character to act ashamed of themselves. In Massachusetts the crooked politicians rarely act the least bit sorry and will even try to tell you that while they were ripping you off they were somehow actually doing you a favor."

The best thing though is this juicy anecdote Tom provides:

Springfield sources keep telling me this story, which I've got to share with you, even if libel laws demand that the names be omitted to protect the guilty.

It seems that recently a certain somebody and his wife were being interrogated by the FBI. The agent handed the wife some pages from her husband's expense account and asked her to examine them. "What I would like to know m'am," the agent asked, "is how do you justify taking all these trips with your husband at the taxpayer's expense?"

The wife stared at the documents for several long moments, then quietly began to sob. Her husband slumped forward in his chair, burying his face in his hands. "I'm sorry," the FBI agent said. "But I had to ask that question."

What a way for your wife to find out about your affair!

July 12, 2002

A beautiful day at dawn, 66 degrees at 6am. Gas is $1.38 at the Pond.

Life is a trap into which most people fall through sex.

We are told that poor Dick Cheney with his weak heart was a hands off boss at Haliburton and didn't have any involvement with any wrong doing by the company. Is that how he is working in the White House?

Denise J. Stankovics is the reference librarian at the Rockville Public Library in Vernon, Connecticut. On WSPR they said that new legislation is pointed at Federal protection of whistleblowers. That's me and especially Eamon! Massachusets had to sell a state hospital in Lakeville to raise money to cover the Clean Elections funding of the campaigns of Warren Tolman and eight legislative candidates. Auntie's nurse Whittier Huang owes me pictures of me in my motorcycle jacket and me with Winnie Lowell.

Peter Picknelly's new riverfront hotel opened today with S. Hurwitz on TV saying business is tremendous. The new Hall of Fame will open September 27th. On the TV40 news Joe Carvalho announced a $1.6 million budget shortfall for the Quadrangle. Jobs and hours will be cut back and book purchases reduced by a third. So don't throw any more books away Joe! Bob and Karen Powell were then interviewed and said the Seuss statues were not worth $6 million and that the Quadrangle's priorities are out of whack. Sue Davison was on defending the Library and Museums Association, saying fundraising has been disappointing.

I have the dehumidifier going in the basement. There is a story in the paper about a restaurant Tucker's on College Highway in Southwick that was founded by a guy named Michael Anderson who used to work at Storrowton Tavern under the Kavanaugh regime. He said he learned everything he knows from Kavanaugh and serves the same kind of food. I may go there at some point. Of course the question is how did the current Storrowton Tavern crew take the finest restaurant/banquet operation around and make a failure of it?

I picked one quart of black raspberries out back, and I liberated a green spider that fell into a puddle by the berries. I called Mrs. Staniski and she said Ann is coming next week. We talked about the closing of Storrowton and she recalled that she had her 50th there and how within a year five of those in attendance had died. She said she recently visited a friend in Mercy Hospital and was sorry to see they no longer have a McDonald's there. I told her about the cafeteria in the basement.

A tan car was over to Colleen's today. I decided to check out the East Longmeadow Public Library tag sale and got there around 9am. I was the only person in line for a long time but just before 10 a couple of women arrived. Unfortunately once inside I discovered there wasn't much of anything. I had hoped for another library stepstool. They had a lot of nice standard library furniture from the 1960's, such as book trucks for $15 and an old typewriter that didn't work. They had filmstrips and a projector for them, perhaps I should have taken that. I took a leak and was out at 10:15.

I headed to downtown Springfield for the City Block Lunch Concert and parked in front of the church on Salem Street. Coming by Commerce there were hoards of students getting out at noon. Arriving behind Sovereign Bank the weather was absolutely beautiful, cool, breezy, with the sun filtering down through the leaves. Youssou was performing in pretty, multicolored pants with a keyboard player in a black top hat and another fellow with a red electric guitar and a drummer with bare feet. Tilly's had no outdoor dining area set up, although there were plastic lawn chairs around. Turin was there, I told him, "I miss the used book store over there," and pointed towards Johnson's. He responded, "Look I got you good music."

I drifted around and saw that a newspaper box had been knocked over. There were just 60 people present, 64 including three huddled in the the former Johnson's doorway and a maintenance guy standing in front of Civic Center Convenience across the street. There wasn't a single executive or secretary type in the audience, although the architects across the street were sitting around their immense table in the front window eating their lunches.

Executive types occasionally walked by but did not stop and in some cases didn't even look. Most of the audience consisted of either old people and young fans of the band, a few uniformed delivery people, two people in wheelchairs and a mailman. The music was fine but nothing was really accomplished except the entertainment of a few people. The whole thing was a misapplication of resources. I recall when the City Block concerts first started they had sketches in the paper of a big stage and outdoor screen, none of which ever materialized. Even Tilly's is not involved.

I stopped and bought a sub at Food Mart on the way back, noting that it weighed 1.71 rather than the usual .90 or so. When I got it home I saw there was an extra full inch of ham packed inside but at the usual price. Was it specially made up for a store employee to pick up but I unexpectedly interfered? Nader the Hatter called and said he spoke with Guy McLain for three hours yesterday at the Quadrangle. McLain complained that their funding has been cut way back to the 1989 level and staffing has been cut by half. Nader said he joked that Albano should give them some of the millions in public funds he and his buddies have stolen.

Nader agreed to loan or donate all of the historic material they want relating to his family's business for their upcoming exhibit. Nader then recalled the mysterious fire that struck the family business back in the days of Victoria Square when they were in the same building as Yale's (before their was a Genton). Nader's grandfather had no insurance when the building burned to the ground so he had to rebuild his business from scratch, but the Berman's had insurance on Yale's and so collected. Nader's grandfather always suspected that the Victoria Square fire had been set for the insurance money.

Steve Grossman, probably the best man Democrat or Republican, has dropped out of the governor's race. Eamon called and said that Victoria Block of NBC Channel 7 in Boston called him about the new victims coming forward saying they were abused by Father Lavigne. He also spoke with her assistant Jim Adams. One of the victims is from Springfield, two from North Adams and one in Shelbourne Falls. Eamon said that Victoria Block did not ask him anything about the murder of Danny Croteau.

July 16, 2002

Comfortable 81 degrees at 1:30pm.

Without books the richest man is poor.

Ohio Representative James A. Traficant has been convicted of bribery, racketeering and tax evasion. A world class rogue, he says "hate the government and love America." Father Richard Ahern of the Stigmatine Order in Feeding Hills is in trouble. Six men are alleging they were abused as boys by Ahern or by fellow Stigmatine Joseph E. Flood in Springfield and Agawam.

WSPR says that banks in Boston are asking that their customers wear no sunglasses, hats or hoods in order to discourage robberies. About 4,000 people attend the Mattoon Street Arts Festival each year. Bob McCarroll is the festival chairman.

Queen Anne's Lace coming into full bloom. At 1:10 last night there was a screech in the dark. I think it may have been a cat. Dickie Nichols' lawn still needs mowing. I weighed myself today and was 194 in my underwear, not as bad as I thought. Dined this evening on Banquet's macaroni and cheese.

On my way home from the Boston Road Big Y today I ran into a tag sale at 93 Catalpa, where a woman named Yasmin sold me a handsome Savage Arms pin for three dollars. She insisted on giving me for absolutely nothing a box of radical leaflets and books relating to Marxism, Leninism, Chinese Communism and Cuba. She said she used to be a political science major in the 1970's before she dropped out of school. Then she got into Feminism and went back to school to become an engineer. I offered her money for the stuff but she adamantly refused.

At the corner of Parker and Wilbraham Road I was behind a silver Continental stretch limo registration Massachusetts/O/Bus. Must be one of Picknelly's vehicles, perhaps Picknelly himself was inside. Lots of cars at the Cohn's today. When I got back George Gouzanis from Edwards called and said my check for $1,444.69 should come on Monday. On TV tonight Brian Lapis informed us that "the muggies is on the way." Should of course be ARE.

Eamon called and said Jim Landers took an all day test at the Sheraton to be a baggage checker at Bradley Airport. Landers said there were 250 people at the start, only 150 left at noon and 40 by the end of the day. He said the group "got whiter and whiter" as the day went on. Landers finished one of the three hour exams in 38 minutes! Still Landers might not get the job because of issues related to his health and age.

Eamon is unhappy by the tie in the City Council vote (Tosado was absent) to subpoena the records of Phillips' MCDI. Tim Rooke and Timothy Ryan voted for it, but Mazza-Moriarty and Puppolo did not. I told Eamon I completed my affidavit last night and would come over tomorrow to have it notarized. I asked him how many documents he notarizes a year and he guessed a couple dozen.

Eamon sent a letter to the Union-News critical of District Attorney William Bennett but so much time has passed it is obvious they are not going to print it. Eamon went to see Casey the Barber and he said the customers in the shop were buzzing over the fact that Mayor Albano was not in the front row at the opening of Peter Picknelly's new hotel nor did Albano cut the ribbon. Was that a snub, and if so what is the significance of it? Eamon says there should be a wave of criminal indictments against our local politicos in about a month.

July 17, 2002

Misty with sun at 6am, lots of birds chirping.

Donald A. Williams is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Westfield Financial Inc. on Elm Street in Westfield. Mayor Buddy Cianci of Rhode Island, buddy of Mayor Mike, did not get his conviction overturned and must go to prison. Mount Holyoke historian Joseph J. Ellis, who for years told students of his exploits in Vietnam - a war he never fought in - is writing a new book on the man who never told a lie, George Washington. Ellis was suspended from Mount Holyoke after his repeated claims of military service in Vietnam were proven false.

Charles and Irene Hayward are retiring from the Quad bus tours which are being ended "due to budget constraints." Hurwitz was on the news saying that tourism is down in Boston but not so much here. Sue Davison came on and said that the Seuss statues are attracting around 800 visitors per day. Father Francis Lavelle, the pastor of St. Mary's in Longmeadow, is the latest priest to get in trouble over allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The diocese released a statement saying that Father Lavelle has been with the diocese since 1970 and they have never had a complaint concerning him. Story reported on the news by Ray Herschel.

On my way to Eamon's to have my affidavit notarized, I stopped at Cal's Variety and picked up today's paper and some potato salad for myself and the latest issue of The Irish Echo for Eamon. When I got to his house Eamon's garage door was open and after he notarized my papers I gave him a full text of the affidavit to keep. Eamon has a great collection of books but he doesn't have enough bookshelves to display them. He has four very fine guns mounted on the wall, one of them a make that was a favorite of Teddy Roosevelt. Eamon said he recently made a contribution to the Bosler Humane Society in Baldwinville in honor of his dog Fitzy.

After leaving Eamon's I headed over to Mrs. Staniski's who has fourteen feet high hollyhocks by her front porch. I swept off her back entranceway for her. I then headed to the 2002 Reeds Landing Ice Cream Social. I parked in the lot at Duggan Middle School where there were little buses to bring us over. When we got there we signed in at a mahogany table just inside the door.

Then we were introduced to our guide Clio Stearns, who was delighted when I told her that Clio was the Muse of History in mythology. She said not many people know that and said her dad was a history professor at Wheelock and Smith. We went by their library, which appeared to be mostly paperbacks. We saw some of the rooms of the residents: Barbara Keith, a Colby graduate named Victoria Dulley and Mildred Johnson, who has a den with a corner sunroom. Don Tetrault and Dorothy Beliveau pointed out that Mrs. Forbes has manicured the forest behind her cottage with plants that grow in the shade. Lovely.

Then we were served ice cream in Reeds Landing mugs that we were allowed to keep. I sat and ate mine with Clio and we chatted. She said her husband Morey died last year and she lost her daughter in 9/11. She said she used to sing in the Symphony Chorus going way back to the days of founder Alexander Leslie. She recalled how Robert Gutter could sing Beethoven's 9th in German. I told her how I once sent Gutter a nasty letter for firing Marilyn Crittendon, but Clio said they had to fire her because Crittendon used to show up for rehearsals and concerts drunk. She said it was a tragedy but they had no way to control her drinking. Marion Ruggles and I passed in the hall and she said hi. When I left I could tell from the parking lot that I was one of the last to leave.

On the way home I stopped at Bobby Brown's and dropped off some material including a Colony Club booklet. Eamon's latest answering machine message says that the Springfield School Committee should have known that Superintendents Negroni and Burke were "phony fraud educationists" before they hired them since Peter Negroni came from the last place ranked District 12 in the Bronx and Joe Burke came from the last place ranked Miami school district. Since both were known to be failures in their former districts, why did anyone think they would do any better in Springfield?

July 19, 2002

Gently raining and very humid at 3:31am. Gas is $1.43 at Breckwood Shell.

Losers walk away from their responsibilities, winners stick around to collect fat salaries.

George McGovern is 80. I always preferred Clean Gene McCarthy to McGovern. Van Cort Instruments the telescope company is moving from South Deerfield to a mill complex in Holyoke and will open a retail shop in Northampton. Convention Authority big shots from Boston will be in town today, Barry Krieger says the Springfield Civic Center renovations will be completed in 2005. The budget situation for Springfield's schools has improved slightly but they are still facing 230 layoffs.

Got $4,000 in bonds from Uncle Sam in today's mail. An Edwards check also came for $892.60. Called New England Archives and spoke with Cindy who connected me with David Bein who said my diary will be microfilmed next Wednesday. I said fine, as long as my diary is successfully preserved as it is an alternative history of the Pioneer Valley.

Left some magazines for the Cohn's hanging on their door in a Union-News bag. Two more houses have been framed up on Lemnos Lane, the dangerous new private way. Bellwood is still a private way. I also left historical items for Bergeron at Hillcrest Cemetery, he was just leaving in a maroon Chevy truck 256 DBX. Then I delivered to Stephen Clay at the YMCA at 275 Chestnut Street some Camp Norwich photos of Dan Mancuso, Bill Indermill, Mark Modenski, Robert Scoville and me at my cabin in Case Lodge. Also a picture of Hal Dash and aide Bob Cleary. The chubby blonde Anne left them in the basket on Clay's door which is at the back corner ground floor office at the Liberty Street end of the building. He has two crossed flags in the window.

Then I went downtown and parked on Salem and walked down to the courthouse to file my affidavit with Betty. Then I went to another City Block concert behind Sovereign Bank where four white fellows in jeans were playing music with strong percussion. Turin was there again and I asked him about Tilly's lack of participation in the concert series. Turin said that Tilly's "is in the business of selling beer" and these noon concerts are too early in the day. However he said that thousands have been coming to the night concerts at Stearns Square and that on those nights Tilly's and Pizza Uno have been getting business "beyond their wildest dreams."

Hampden Bank looks ridiculous with their new maroon and white signage. Hampden Bank has become nothing but a plaything and salary machine for Tom Burton. I saw two young black girls with brightly colored cell phones on their waists. When I was their age the thing for a fellow to have was a slide rule in a leather pouch hanging from your belt. Now the status symbol is the cell phone. On the way back I stopped at Food Mart where 25 inventory people in navy blue shirts were inventorying the store. Largely minorities, a few women, almost no white males.

Went to Boston Market with a coupon for a dollar off my dinner. Tonight on TV57 there was a concert by Kurt Maser from the New York Philharmonic. Bolero was the grand finale. The news tonight was saturated with Jim Rappaport for Lieutenant Governor commercials on taxes, saying that the state "doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem." The new Basketball Hall of Fame was described on TV40 as "an interactive marvel" that will create "a thousand new jobs and be the finest sports museum in the world." We shall see.

Eamon called and said he mowed his lawn this morning. He recalled how his mother had breast cancer and had to have one breast removed. Eamon also called Mayor Albano a "pathological liar" who he hopes gets taken down by the FBI. Eamon said that Jake Nettis, the former head of Dreikorn's who lives on Morris Street, is a made man with the mob. Eamon went to Northampton today to check out the Silverscape building and their line of jewelry. He said he was in downtown Northampton at 10am and it was well populated with the stores open, people walking around and conversing on the sidewalk, very congenial, very civilized, very unlike Springfield.

July 23, 2002

Hot and humid, 78 degrees at 5:30am. Full moon tonight.

Management arrogance is a red flag that something is wrong with a company.

The Alpine Press was in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1974. The Pope has arrived in Toronto for World Youth Day. Voice of the Faithful were protesting in Boston today with signs saying, "We Won't Just Pay, Pray and Obey" and "Keep the Faith, Change the Church." One out of two adults in Massachusetts are overweight. The Jehovah's Witnesses are having their convention at the Mullins Center in Amherst. On News 10 abc in Albany I caught Steve Caporizzo giving the weather, and Priscilla Ress the former consumer investigator for TV40 is on that channel now.

Skimmed through my copy of Doonesbury Deluxe (1987) and Uncle John's Great Big Bathroom Reader (1998) that I picked up for 50 cents each at tag sales. I also looked over the radical material I got the other day from Yasmin at 93 Catalpa. It has Marx, Engels, Chairman Mao and a few rare things like The Fat Capitalist's Song on the Death of Che Guevara (1970 Times Changing Press). Many of the books have the name Yasmin in them, no first name but others have the name Jean Fowler. Other names written inside the books include C. Larger, Jane Frey and Phyllis Palmer. One of the radical books "Lenin on the Woman Question" by Clara Zetkin had a paper with exam questions in it. An example: "Lenin called the "new sex life" of young people "purely bourgeois and simply an extension of the old bourgeois brothel." Is this true of the so-called "sexual revolution" of the 1960's?"

Ann Staniski Flentje called and thanked me for sweeping her mother's back entryway. She said her mother wilts in the heat. Ann doesn't write notes, she makes phone calls but archivally speaking a phone call is nothing. I thanked her for all the Harvard periodicals she forwards to me. I also urged her to make a recording of her organ playing before arthritis sets in. She said she has seen pictures of the Seuss statues at the Quadrangle but hasn't been down to see them in person. Ann said she is very busy, her boss is writing a dictionary of education and she is helping to edit it. I didn't have the nerve to tell her that I don't think she has the English skills to edit a book.

I have varicose veins close to the surface of my feet. Someone called soliciting for Solomon Securities and I read him the riot act, shouting that "I am instructing you never to call here again!" Going out for the mail I found a little black turtle that fit in the palm of my hand by the center azalea bush at the back of the garage. I also saw a chipmunk scurrying towards the garage door. I put the turtle in a box and brought him over to Kelly's. Kelly came out the front door in shorts with red nail polish on her toenails and was friendly as always. I told her that I always worked in the literary history field and not in the ecological department so I thought I would turn the turtle over to her. She said, "Neat, he must be from our pond!" I told her that if that's true and the turtle wanted to leave once then surely he will leave again. She said, "Thank you so much," and I departed.

As I was walking back from Kelly's I saw Colleen standing on her front porch so I went over and we chatted. She said she is back in Tucson working for Mutual of Omaha as a district manager. Her son is out of the Air Force. I told her what I was told about M. Crittendon's alcoholism and she said that her drinking was not a serious problem but just a pretext for her enemies at the Symphony to get rid of her. We agreed that the professional decline of Crittendon was a tragedy. Colleen said she has seen the drawings of the new Basketball Hall of Fame and she thinks it looks like a methane tank! Tomorrow morning she is going back to Arizona.

Attorney George Nassar's son Christopher has been charged in a series of home invasions in Longmeadow. Politician Abe Kasparian was arrested for trying to kill his wife with whom he is undergoing an ugly divorce. I called down to the newspaper and left word on Larry McDermott's voicemail that I'm disappointed that he didn't print Eamon's letter attacking District Attorney Bill Bennett. I said they should never censor a commentator of Eamon's status and that he can be sure that Eamon will not leave McDermott's name out of his telephone editorials. Then I wished Larry a Happy Full Moon Day.

Eamon himself called and said he would like to have a collection of his answering machine editorials compiled into a book someday. He said he may ask Bill Putnam the name of the New Hampshire publisher who did a book for him. Eamon has a good editorial today on his machine:

"Springfield is indeed a tale of two cities: One the feelgood glitz and no substance Alice in Wonderland City of Bright Lights, pancake breakfasts and balloon parades; and the other a sick city of reality with fancy new school buildings in a last place ranked school system where the children can't read or write, a high violent crime rating and a mismanaged bad city government under investigation by the FBI for political corruption with a $350 million dollar debt and near junk bond rating."

July 24, 2002

Wonderfully cool, 72 degrees at 7am.

A memory of Aunt Maria: When Dorrene and her husband visited they were entertained at our house because Maria's was such a mess. Later Maria complained that we didn't feed them (they came on short notice) but she didn't offer to chip in.

A power failure in New York City is a reminder of why we may not want to be part of the Con-Edison system. There will be a Mason Square Jazz and Arts Festival at Adams playground in August. ARISE has an activist going around talking about how to get conscientious objector status and will speak at First Church in Northampton in a few weeks.

Employment agency Adecco Technical is located on South Street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Hermina Rodriguez works for the Housing Alliance Project on 135 State Street in Springfield. Business Friends of the Arts Chairman Peter Straley announced the addition of of Thomas R. Burton, CEO of Hampden Bank, to the BFA Board. Nader the Hatter called and said he is searching for a National Geographic from around twenty years ago that was about Montecristi Panama hats. Appropriately Montecristi was a forgotten city and hats are a forgotten art. I gave Nader some advice for how to find it in the library.

Just after the news at noon I heard noises outside and found Northern Tree Service truck 107 with a branch shredder trimming the tree at the back corner of the garden. A large older man was going up in a cherry picker cutting and a smaller young fellow was sticking them in the shredder. The mud flaps on the truck said Aeriel Lift Inc. Milford, Connecticut.

Cracks are developing in the pavement on Birchland Avenue. It has been many years since the street was paved. Plenty of black raspberries wilting on the bushes. I've had all the berries I can eat. Saw goldenrod coming into bloom on the way back from East Longmeadow the other day. In the mail today I received a thank you poem from Clio Stearns for attending the Reeds Landing ice cream social. I decided I would drive by Clio Stearns' house at 1114 Parker Street, and I saw that it is a single Cape Cod on a small lot but a unique house when built, probably one of the earliest Acres houses.

I am reading Romanism and the Republic by Issac J. Lansing which has an introduction by Methodist Leroy M. Vernon (Boston 1890). It is a good collection of arguments why American Protestants didn't like the growing power of Catholicism. I've also started to look over the books that belonged to William T. Russell that I got from his lover Bill Arzuaga. Russell had a fabulous library. I got two Reader's Digest gardening books I'd never seen before, an illustrated book on the Bronx, Lord Rochester's Monkey by Graham Greene, Cousteau on Whales, Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke, three volumes of Joyce's letters, the autobiography of Nelson Doubleday, two books on the Wall Street Journal, Bruce Arnold's Concise History of Irish Art, Thomas Gallagher's Paddy's Lament: Ireland 1846-7, Selected Verses of Rimbaud, Anthology of Modern Poetry (1946), David McCullough's latest on Adams, the very uncommon Robert Mason Myers The Children of Pride (Yale 1972), a life of Sir Richard Burton (a great queer), The Search for Alexander (another great queer), Rumpole on Trial, and The Black Diaries of Roger Casement. Indeed Russell had a wonderful library and a great sense of what books to buy. Several of the books have information in them indicating that they were bought at Johnson's Bookstore.

Eamon called and said the cops tell him that Police Chief Meara seldom comes to the station and when she does come she locks herself in her office. She has four secretaries to help her. Gingras told him that the principal of the High School of Commerce also hides in her office. Eamon said it will be difficult to indict and prosecute politicians like Mayor Michael J. Albano because the kickbacks, payoffs, bribes for community development loans, liquor licenses, rigged bids and sweetheart contracts are usually paid for with cash filled envelopes, often under the guise of campaign contributions.

July 25, 2002

Gas at Breckwood Sunoco is $1.34 per gallon.

Vicky Cullen is Communications Director for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Massachusetts has the third most expensive auto insurance in the country and is tops for property damage claims. Today is the third annual Justice Fair in Northampton for those interested in law enforcement professions. Hampshire County District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel will speak at 11am. The diocese is being sued in the matter of sexual abuse by Father Richard J. Ahern, who died in 2001. Ahern was a priest at Sacred Heart in Feeding Hills.

Saw a noisy ad on TV3 saying that the Railroad Salvage in East Windsor is going out of business. That was the earliest RR Salvage store and had Ruby Vine's train set in the back right corner. The store was always packed with stuff and very messy. The Martha Stewart Show is absurd. She has these cooking projects that take all day to make but she does them in five minutes because all the ingredients have been prepared in advance. In real life nobody has all that stuff lying around already prepared.

On TV22 Anita Wilson told us we should test our drinking water but didn't say how. There was a similar story in the morning paper, and it looked like they gathered no news of their own but just swiped the story from the paper. They also had a story about Union Station which they referred to as "a treasure from the past frozen in time from the 1920's." That is wrong, the station was open well into the 1960's. TV news is shit journalism by talking heads who think they're something special but their bad grammar and lack of details just wastes my time between commercials.

I went to visit Bill Arzuaga on Grayson Drive. When I arrived he was loading boxes into his navy blue truck as he is putting on a tag sale on the main road in Easthampton this weekend. He said he has two old fireman friends who are moving in who are going through divorces. He told me that William T. Russell was not his boyfriend, although they did have sex together a few times. Arzuaga said a guy from STCC is his lover "but he cheats on me all the time." Bill is seeing a psychiatrist who told him that his relationship with the STCC guy is one of "co-dependency." He said that Russell rarely admitted to being gay publicly and had many straight friends. He also had lots of gay friends in New York City. Arzuaga described Bill Russell as "my last true friend."

Next I drove over the Buxton Bridge into Agawam to see the new Veteran's Cemetery. Eamon is considering being buried there instead of at Bourne on the Cape. It really is lovely with rolling fields, wildflower patches and is typographically interesting. Out back there are flags of all branches of the service and behind that there is a three bell electronic carillon (Shumerlich I imagine). Green benches have plaques that say they were donated by the Eastern States Exposition. There is a special section for men for whom they have no remains. The office is a handsome building but with no postcards for sale. The chapel is a nice modern A-frame with glass in front but no stained glass.

When I left I circled back through town (the cemetery is on the road to Riverside/Six Flags) and down the back way to Poplar where the red van was parked at Lucias. What happened to the tan car? Aunt Maria's place looked untouched. I parked on Highland and dropped off my affidavit with Raymond W. Gendron's secretary Jean.

When I got back to Springfield I decided to peek into Bottaro-Skolnick Fine Furniture on Main Street where I've been once before. As I went in I was greeted by Design Assistant Romy Terry, a polished young black woman who is polite and speaks perfect English. I looked at a mahogany music stand priced at over $600, but I told Romy that in my view it was only worth $90. She smiled and said she doesn't do the pricing. There were some antiques that the owner had brought back from France. Their furniture overall was very tasteful and even arty but super-expensive.

I walked around and the second floor had an enormous number of overstuffed sofas and chairs. I spotted a copy of Dumbar's Banking and Its History (1893) sitting on a table and priced at a mere $2.50. It was in fine shape and I know where I can sell it for at least $75. I also bought a figurine of a boy playing the violin that reminded me of the youthful Mozart and Romy placed both that and the book in a very nice bag. As I left I told them not to bother sending me any advertising.

At home I called the Spirit of Springfield and spoke to Karen who told me that Judy Matt was at a meeting. I told her to tell Judy that I am still waiting to know when I can pick up the pictures I lent her.

Eamon called and said that if the local media had done its job in holding Mayor Albano and other public officials accountable in the past then the F.B.I. wouldn't be investigating Springfield. He said Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett let the mob operate illegal poker machines all over Springfield until the state had to come in and clean them out. Eamon also said he got a strange anonymous message on his answering machine today from someone who whispered, "Gerry Phillips will be indicted!" He called the number on his caller ID and a passerby picked up and said it was a phone booth in downtown Springfield.

July 27, 2002

Extensive cloud coverage, 69 degrees at 8am.

May we now assume Osama bin Laden is dead? I think so. Maybe his son can take his place as head of Al Queda. If Bush's son can move up why not Osama's? An invasion of Iraq looks more and more like a done deal. It used to be that we didn't attack unless attacked or invited to help. Have we learned nothing from Vietnam?

Roberta Lord is the Program Director at Edith Wharton's The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts. Stewart Hurwitz is listed in the 1984 Springfield Suburban Directory as living at 30 Elizabeth Circle in Longmeadow. His wife's name is Joan. The Grossman's Discount Store on Pasco Road is one of 32 in the Northeast. Hillcrest Park Cemetery and Mausoleum is located at 895 Parker Street in Springfield. Rail Road Salvage closing ads are all over TV, "Only eight days left!"

In Connecticut the Riverview facility in Middletown has been accused of taking excessive disciplinary measures. Was that where Uncle Ralph Porter worked? Banner Life took over Mother's life insurance policy from Monarch in 1988. Insuranceman Rockwell Keeney of Longmeadow has died at age 85. He was a former President of the Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the YMCA's Camp Norwich. The memorial service will be at First Church of Longmeadow.

My letter to the Agawam Historical Society came back RETURN TO SENDER. I called the Agawam Post Office and spoke to Tom who admitted they probably should have looked up the correct address, but when it comes to wrong addresses they "get so many of them." So I wrote on the envelope "Deliver This You Lazy Bums!" and crossed out my return address and put "Return to Postmaster."

I am pleased by the impeccable service I get from E.G. Edwards. I called TV40 and Susan Goodman gave me the address of their editorial writer Mark Hyman. I also called the Spirit of Springfield again and got Sarah who told me that Judy Matt is "in a meeting" but that Matt left word that she's still in the process of looking for my photos, which apparently disappeared after she lent them to the Planning Department. I thanked Sarah and wished her a nice weekend. I had an enormous temptation this morning to go to Northampton this morning but decided to read Worrall and Brooks' Bibliotheca Legum Angline (1788) instead.

I briefly went out this morning and stopped at Raymour & Flanagan on Boston Road to make comparisons with the stuff I saw the other day at Bottaro-Skolnick. They have good fraternity house furniture but no quality stuff so Bottaro-Skolnick is indeed superior. The Subway at Five Town Mall has no restroom but the one on Boston Road does. I went to Food Mart and got $37 worth of groceries for $17 by using coupons. When I got back a white AT&T truck was in front of Colleen's.

I gave myself a haircut this afternoon. Later I went out to a tag sale at 53 Bacon Street, a cape with a single garage, and bought a Magaziner's Bakery 10 cent token (never seen one before) for $15. Then I went to the Cat's Paw at 45 Parker Street where the Robillards have decided to close up after their robbery. Claudia says they no longer want to be there, but will still do shows for select customers at their secret warehouse. For $25 dollars I bought the Loring-Axtell photo of Court Square in 1874 and for three bucks I got a history of Pine Point's Union Church written in 1948. The closing of the Cat's Paw will lower the quality of life in Indian Orchard because it is a first rate collectibles store. When I left Claudia gave me two brownies. They are hospitable people and the robbery was an affront to their decency.

Holyoke has the highest concentration of Puerto Ricans, Hartford is second and Springfield is third. Eamon called and said he has a lot to do this weekend but the 25th Annual Puerto Rican festival will make it hard to get around town. I told him that Tom Bevacqua said on television that several thousand are expected at the festival. He said it was the work in the valley tobacco fields that first brought the Puerto Ricans to this area. Eamon says his sister has been stopping by nearly every morning.

I told Eamon about my purchases and he said that he remembers Magaziner's Bakery from when he used to be a copyboy for the Springfield Newspapers from 1951-53 and used to bring them proofs of their ads for approval. He recalled how they used to have tokens and said that Johnson's Bakery in Pine Point had them too. Eamon complained that the Springfield Police Department gives out so many commendations to their officers for such small achievements that the system of commendations has lost all meaning because everyone gets them.

July 29, 2002

70 degrees and heavily overcast at 6am.

The Pope is in Guatemala for the first time since 1996. Nine miners were rescued in Pennsylvania. There is a nice article in the Boston Sunday Herald about Mount Washington and the Mountain View House. An auction of some of the stuff from Storrowton Tavern will be held August 13th. Lots of disturbances at the Puerto Rican Festival with drag racing in the North End, shots fired at Carew and Main and pelting of police with rocks.

H. Walpurgis was a salesman at Kelleher & Mixer on St. James Avenue in Springfield in 1971. William T. Russell's dogs were named Gidget and Rambo. In the mail today I got a card from Colleen M. Moynihan in Arizona saying, "What a delight to sit and chat. Thank you for the time. Thank you also for the postcards." The annual report of the ACLU also came in the mail today as did a campaign letter from Mitt Romney that began, "As I travel across Massachusetts one thing is clear - people want a bold change and dramatic reform on Beacon Hill."

I called Springfield Cemetery (established in 1841) and got Barbara. I told her that I had heard that their records had been lost in a fire. She said that there had been a fire twenty years ago but not all their records were lost, just the older ones. She then connected me with with their general manager James Mooney. He had a friendly young voice and he said the old manager McKay had retired in 1999. He said the cemetery was already working with the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum to restore the records, some of which the museum has on microfilm. I said that was good to hear and I also told him about the quote erroneously attributed to Milton on their Titanic monument.

Nader the Hatter will bring over his hat making manuscript tomorrow for me to edit. Picked up the trash on Dickie Nichols' front lawn which really needs mowing. Then I went to Food Mart where they had corn on the cob ten for $1.99. Driving past Fred Whitney's I saw lots of cars parked in front and pink and white balloons outside. Did somebody have a baby?

I went to the Open House at 44 Brooks Street off Wilbraham and Fenwick, the little place behind Maher's diagonally behind my old house at 37 Crest. It was always a dump but the Corcoran's were old people and it was the best they could do. The interior has been fixed up real nice with a new kitchen and modern lighting fixtures. A good bachelor pad for a not very particular bachelor. Built in 1929 it's still a dump. Bill Doyle was the real estate agent for Carlson. When I got home four workers for Michael T. O'Malley Landscaping were over at Colleen's cutting the hedges. Kelly and her baby were sitting on their lawn and I asked her about her kid. She said his full name is Miles Jefferson Simpson and he was born May 25, 2001. When the workers left I saw that they had trampled the elderberry bush by my fence. I watered it but that's all I can do.

Mary Alby Markel, wife of former Mayor Robert T. Markel and a former Springfield school teacher, has died at age 58. She had a sweet smile and was a fine person, but unfortunately she had a Catholic education and therefore was thoroughly brainwashed and not very broad minded.

Quite atypically I've heard nothing from Eamon this weekend so I decided to give him a call. I got his answering machine and listened to his editorial denouncing Springfield Police Chief Meara as totally inferior to Holyoke's Chief Scott. At the beep I said in a high falcetto voice, "This is Paula Meara calling. We've had a missing person report regarding Eamon T. O'Sullivan and his dog Fitzy. Frankly, I've had all I can take of Eamon T. O'Sullivan and I hope he's gone for good. But I am concerned about the dog. So if the dog shows up please give me a call so I can call off the search. The number is 1-800-COP-PAULA."

July 31, 2002

Hot and humid today, 78 degrees at 6:30am.

Father graduated from High School June 5, 1924. The American Bar Association is meeting in San Francisco. Mayor Giordano of Waterbury, Connecticut lost his appeal of sexual abuse charges. CVS, which handles one third of the Medicaid prescriptions in the state is pulling out of the Medicaid program because Governor Jane Swift did not veto an 11% cut in Medicaid reimbursements.

TV40 carried live the destruction of the air traffic control tower at Westover AFB. Built 40 years ago, it has been replaced by a $4 million dollar structure. Also on TV40 last night John Stossel had a story critical of the war on drugs which I totally agreed with! Drew Bailey on TV22 had a story saying that women can be just as violent in relationships as men. Mary Johnson of the local YWCA was on admitting that a stigma prevents most men from reporting spousal abuse. I don't think Uncle George was the violent type, he just laughed at his wife when she nagged him. Father of course wasn't violent either but unlike George he was cowed, Mother was good at making Father and I feel guilty about things that displeased her.

The tax overrides failed to pass in Wilbraham and Hampden. Sister M. Caritas is heading the committee to find a new location for Holyoke Catholic High. Springfield Civic Center General Manager Stuart J. Hurwitz has turned over the operation of his Pizzeria Uno Chicago Bar & Grill restaurants to his sons. He has a 23 foot boat named "Deep Dish." Bishop Thomas Dupre recently spoke at St. Mary's in Longmeadow for 70 minutes on the sex scandal involving their former pastor.

I heard noises this morning and looked out to see a truck from Cislak Paving of Ludlow digging up her driveway to put in a whole new one. Colleen is spending thousands of dollars these days fixing up her house. Went to Louis & Clark to mail some items and was waited on by Cindy, who is red as a lobster from a sunburn. There is a traffic fatality shrine at the corner of Bradley and Plumtree that has been there for some time. Nader the Hatter called at 8:57 and said he would bring over his hat manuscript in half an hour. When Nader arrived I had him sign my Birthday Book: William Charles Nader, 21 March 1946. His manuscript begins, "My grandfather was a hatter for more than fifty years. After his death in the late 1960's I took charge of his business...."

I called the newspaper today to complain about the censoring of Eamon's letters and got Brenda who transferred me to Steve Smith. I told him their paper has a history of ignoring the most intelligent people in town. I criticized David Starr and Richard Garvey but said that Wayne Phaneuf is a good historian. Smith listened politely then said they get many letters and can't print then all, then thanked me for calling.

The Reminder came today with the front page announcement that they have purchased the art paper Bravo and the Springfield Journal. The Springfield Journal was started in 1974 by the late William J. O'Neil and The Reminder was started 40 years ago in 1962. To get more information I decided to call The Reminder and got Chris Buendo, who I know somewhat from seeing him at business fairs. Buendo says he feels the Springfield Journal "needs a rebirth" and he would like to make it "a serious alternative to the Union-News." I told him he should consider soliciting historical articles from Jack Hess, Donald D'Amato and of course Eamon. I told him I like The Reminder but I've had problems with the clique of insiders at the Springfield Journal such as Fran Gagnon.

Eamon called and said his water bill is $17 dollars this month. My bill is usually $12 but Eamon waters his lawn a lot. Eamon said he now sees Tom Devine's number (783-8129) on his caller ID, but not as often as before Tom went to Texas. Eamon says he liked Tom's latest website posting but wishes Tom were more aggressive like himself in attacking the local politicians. He said Devine spends too much time explaining the politics without getting into the personalities involved. "I'm not only making the snowballs," Eamon exclaimed, "I'm throwing them!" A wonderful Eamonish saying.

According to Eamon energy entrepreneur Michael J. Armitage of Agawam has been holding private fundraisers for Mayor Albano at out of town locations. Eamon says, "You can bet he's not doing that for his health." Eamon says he doubts that all the money raised at these invitation only events is properly documented, both where it comes from or where it goes.