December 2002

December 2, 2002

36 degrees in the morning, puffy clouds. Gas is $1.41 at Breckwood.

The kid next door has a Christmas tree with blinking white lights on the glassed in back porch. Miles Jefferson Simpson was born May 25, 2001. A child is the ultimate adult plaything.

The Boston Archdiocese may file for bankruptcy. Why shouldn't financial bankruptcy follow moral bankruptcy? I've always believed that Father Lavigne had something on the church, some knowledge of illegal activity sexual or otherwise, because how else to explain the way the church has protected him over the years? The Catholic Church scandals have been a drain on the psychic energy of the nation and done irreparable harm to the cause of Christianity.

Whatever happened to to the replica of the Liberty Bell that sat on a pedestal in the lobby of the Sixteen Acres Library? Franklin Hardware is the last old fashioned hardware store in the city. Mother used to go up to Haberman's in Holyoke occasionally. Springfield has 827 AIDS cases, Holyoke has 295, Chicopee 96, a total of 1,352 in Hampden County.

Eugene Pianovich retired today after 45 years as pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church. The Rev. Dr. James D Riddle, formerly of First Church on Court Square has died at the age of 69. That's younger than I thought he was. Riddle had a fancy house on Longhill Street when he lived in Springfield. President Caprio of WNEC used to have only a short bio in Who's Who but he has now fluffed it out with all sorts of community service appointments.

Sears wants $37.99 for their 505 style. As usual Sears is asking way too much and is uncompetitive. My atlas of first resort has always been the 1931 Literary Digest Atlas of the World and Gazetteer! The latest issue of The Journal/Bravo has an article on Smith's Billiards by Flavin and no articles by Gagnon.

I heard sprinkles on the air conditioner for maybe a minute about 3am last night. Stephen R. O'Neil was recently named executive director of the Gasoline Alley Foundation in Springfield. He is the son of Bill O'Neil, founder of the Springfield Journal. Channel 57 is having their fund drive. Donate $40 and you get an Old Deerfield membership. Donate $50 and you get a Susan Tilton Pecora print of Old Deerfield. I donated $100.

Went to the Wilbraham Post Office where I ran into Murray who was wearing a bright purple t-shirt. Then to Price-Rite on Boston Road where I bought some onions, oranges and two enormous avocados. Angelo's is selling Xmas trees for $20 each. Sy Becker was interviewing an elderly person on the news who recalled how he used to shop downtown at night in his youth and it was so crowded you couldn't find a place to park.

Senator J.F. Kerry was on TV saying, "We will not be secure until we have a foreign policy that reaches out." Good, I hope he runs for president. A Jack Flynn article in the paper titled "Silence Called Golden in Mob Probe" says, "While serving as Mayor Michael J. Albano's chief of staff, Anthony M. Ardolino told a jailed former city worker he was a "hero" for refusing to testify before a grand jury probing organized crime in Greater Springfield, federal prosecutors claim. "You're a hero back here." Ardolino told Mark A. Pandolfe in a taped phone call from Fort Devens prison, where Pandolfe was locked up for contempt of court....Ardolino is now working as a political consultant."

Eamon sometimes uses the proverbial expression "the best friend of the dandelion next to the rain drop." Mike Albano always held fundraisers even when he had no opponent. No one gives a politician money without knowing where it's going or wanting something in return. Eamon says even Mayor Mike can't keep track of what the likes of Catjakis, Keough, Kingston and Armitage are doing.

It's the bread and circus theory, according to Eamon. "You know your city is in trouble" says Eamon's phone message, "when the dumbed down population is content with bright nights, fireworks, a pancake breakfast and balloon parades while their children attend a last place ranked school system in crime ridden neighborhoods. Yet they don't have a clue about holding corrupt career politicians accountable and voting them out of office."

December 4, 2002

27 degrees in the breezeway, half an inch of snow fell last night.

David Starr has always denied me the publicity I deserve. David Starr is a jerk who has helped make Springfield what it is.

The Hancock Building in Boston is to be sold and the observatory on top closed to the public. Mohegan Sun in Connecticut reports a 50% drop in their gambling profits. The O'Donnell Development Group Inc. is on Hampden Street in Holyoke. Jane A. Wyld is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Springfield College.

The sun through the windows this afternoon was good for my potted plants. On WSPR the publisher of the Concord Review suggested that students should do a book report and term paper on history before graduating from high school. Goodness, we had to do regular book reports starting in junior high school when I was in school. I recall that we also spent an hour on art once a week, where they'd give us a piece of ivory colored paper to draw on. In first grade there was finger painting but we didn't do it very often, probably because the paint, which had a sweet smell, was expensive. The colors were bright and the resulting paintings could be interesting. In 6th grade we did a bit of work in clay. We also sang from a song book once a week or so. Art and music were part of the curriculum and taught by the regular teacher, although sometimes Miss Evans would come and we'd do our marching music with her.

Ex-banker Roy Scott was on 57 tonight presiding with Walter Carroll of WSPR over a show about Irish music. Scott said that WGBY will cover the St. Patrick's Day parade in Holyoke this year, which in the past has been covered by TV22. Later Roy Scott was joined by Erica Broman hosting a Josh Groban concert. Erica speaks fairly well but is a little too bubbly at times.

I called Rep. Paul Caron's office and got Mike who said he didn't know the address of the Massachusetts Insurance Commission but said he would call back with it. He never did. Then I called Rep. Chris Asselin's office and got Matt who also didn't know but called back and gave me the address of Insurance Commissioner Julianne M. Bowler. Then I went down to the Breckwood Shops and there was a G.O.D. overnight delivery truck pulled up. I said to the driver, "There is no God!" and he laughed. At Louis & Clark I ran into Jean Masse of the Acres Civic Association and I asked her about the newsletter. She said her husband's bad health has forced her to curtail her activities. Therefore she hasn't been able to get out a new issue of the Acres Association Newsletter, but she hopes to find time soon.

Then I drove by Eamon's to drop off some reading material and noted a yellow dump truck parked across the street #37261-DPW. Eamon says he sees that truck parked there all the time during working hours. Before Eamon's family bought his house on Tacoma Street they lived on the 2nd floor of a 2-family house across from where Casey the Barber and Tougas Bakery are now on Liberty Street. Eamon was up in Northampton today for a dental exam. He said he had no trouble driving up although there was heavy traffic in downtown Hamp. In the mail today Eamon got an invitation to become a Quadrangle member. He said, "Why the hell did they send it to me? I don't have any relationship with those people."

Eamon said his mother never believed that Fr. Lavigne was guilty. She said, "Don't believe that stuff, they're just trying to bring down the church. " Eamon says his cousin Father Callahan is in the infirmary at Providence in Holyoke on the third floor. He said Fr. Callahan is a friend of Bishop Dupre and Fr. Koonz and they used to dine and vacation together. Eamon said the FBI asked him about Fr. Koonz and Fr. Duquette in regards to Gerald Phillips, which surprised him. The FBI agent did not explain why he was inquiring about Phillip's relationship with local priests.

December 6, 2002

Overcast and 27 degrees at 8:40am. On the news it showed Brian Lapis sticking a ruler into the snow in the parking lot revealing that we got three inches of snow. But wouldn't he have gotten a deeper reading if he did it on the lawn? Snow melts faster on pavement than it does on grass.

Senator Strom Thurmund is 100 years old. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has an enormous head. Former State Treasurer Joe Malone has been on TV a lot lately, Eamon thinks he may be looking for a role in the Romney Administration. Billy Bulger took the fifth today, which looks bad of course and Howie Carr is having a field day!

Peter Pan has bought out the Bonanza Bus Line. A year has passed since the murder of The Rev. Theodore Brown at Van Sickle. Dana Goodfield is a Northampton car dealer who boasts on TV about having the lowest prices for residents of Northampton. He openly mocks Springfield customers for being unable to find similar prices in their city. Saw a cardinal perched on the branch of one of Colleen's trees.

I went to the Pride in the Acres to get some Carnation Instant Breakfast with a coupon but the girl said, "The sale is over." That can hardly be true because the expiration date on the coupon is June 30, 2003. Then I drove to the Eastfield Mall and parked by the Sears entrance. I walked around the Mall noting that Zales has an immense jewelry store and GNC is now in smaller quarters closer to the center court. There is a Santa in the court to have your picture taken with. At Old Navy I bought a nice black belt for $19.50. The Mall itself was passing out promotional items so I got a pair of salt and pepper shakers and a folding umbrella. Someone said Peter Picknelly had been there earlier passing out bus discount coupons but he had left by the time I got there. I also got a free ice cream cone with a coupon at the Orange Julius booth. On the way out I ran into activist Brenda Branchini who was with a kid. She gave me a big grin but we did no more than say hi.

I called Karen Powell and she said she hasn't heard anything from Mitt Romney since the election. Poor Karen is always the hardest campaign worker but is always the first to be forgotten after the victory party. She told me she is quitting the 16 Acres Civic Association because they're not doing anything. She called them "a useless organization." I told her about my plans to be entombed in Hillcrest Cemetery and she told me that she and Bob will probably be buried in Beth-El Cemetery on Wilbraham Road. I told her that a significant number of Jews are buried at Hillcrest.

Eamon called and recounted how he used to visit Bill Putnam at the old Channel 22 station. He said the way to Bill and Kitty's office was up a maze of stairways to a sort of crow's nest with polar bear rugs on the floor. Eamon told me he's sent a report on Ann Henry of Commerce and Lydia Blazquez of Sci-Tech to Don Carbone at the Mass Department of Education, urging him to take action to fire both principals. However Carbone says it is hard to do that without the co-operation of the school superintendent.

Eamon and I talked about the letters in the paper. One was critical of the library at Washington School. There was also a letter from Joseph Napolitan praising Matty Ryan as the best District Attorney ever. Of course Napolitan was paid by Ryan over the years as a political consultant, so Napolitan was simply praising one of his customers. Eamon is tempted to write a rebuttal but doesn't think the paper would print it. If he did write a letter Eamon said he would point out Ryan's failure to prosecute Father Lavigne in the Danny Croteau murder, plus his relationship with the Irish outlaw Ox McCarthy and the Italian mafioso Al Bruno. Eamon said, "Show me a man's friends and I'll tell you a man's character."

December 9, 2002

Weatherman Brian Lapis on the Five O'Clock News said, "18 degrees in 16 Acres." Gas is $1.41 at the gas stations by the St. Michael's Cemetery pond.

Grandmother Miller threw Grandfather Miller's papers in the river after he died. I hope no one does that to this diary!

Anti-war priest The Rev. Philip Berrigan has died at 79. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut has denounced Saddam Hussein's report on his weapons program as "100% lies." Sixty Minutes last night had a segment on corrupt Albano pal Buddy Cianci of Rhode Island. I bought 16 shares of Comcast stock today at $24.50 a share. Two water main breaks in West Springfield, and new advertising slogan on the radio: "Bright Nights at Forest Park - It's Worth a Drive From Anywhere!"

Jeffrey P. Hayden is the director of the Holyoke Office of Economic and Industrial Development. Doug McVey is the brownsfields specialist for Western Mass. People who donate to WFCR today win a chance to have radio personality Priscilla Drucker do the voice on their answering machine. Karen Brown on WFCR mispronounced "Carew" Street. There's been a lot of advertising on for Lisa Daniels: "Experience News40's Lisa Daniels - Coverage from every angle - She's a journalist - She's a lawyer - She's an investigator - She's a member of our community and she's a part of the most dynamic news team in Western Mass."

Went to the memorial service today for The Reverend Doctor James Douglass Riddle (1933-2002) at First Church downtown. I was lucky to find a parking spot in front of the Municipal Auditorium (Symphony Hall if you're David Starr). Around a hundred people attended the memorial service, all white. Rep. Richard Neal was there with a woman I didn't recognize, and I didn't see Huber or Loesch. Johnson was in the choir. Riddle's son Douglass and daughter Mary spoke and words of remembrance were given by Rev. Ruth Brandon of Westfield with the commendation by Rev. Patrick McMahon. There was a vase of yellow flowers on the altar with a color portrait of Riddle and a reception was held later in the Latimer Room but I left.

Driving from Court Square over to State I saw that the lights were on in Efrem Gordon's 4th floor office, he works all the time. Efrem always has me sign documents using an old fashioned fountain pen rather than a ballpoint. I stopped by the Sullivan Visitor's Center and one woman was working there with no customers. I used their men's room, which was nice and clean, and I bought a postcard of the Connecticut River before leaving. I noticed that the parking lot at the Hall of Fame was half-filled and there were also a few cars in the lot of Jeff the framer.

I went over to Food Mart to buy some corned beef on sale and ran into my neighbor Mr. Lucius. He said his wife has Hodgkinson's disease and he has to take her for radiation treatments for the next six weeks. He said he'll return the book I lent him by dropping it off in my newspaper box remarking, "Ramsey Clark isn't exactly my favorite author." There was an item in the paper that Mr. and Mrs. Edmond R. Allard recently celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary at the Sheraton Hotel downtown. They were married in 1952 at St. Michael's Cathedral and have two children, Deborah and Donna. Mr. Allard worked for U.S. Envelope for 48 years. I called to congratulate them and Frances Allard answered and said that not many couples last for 50 years these days.

Eamon called and said Nader the Hatter can't wait to get back to Florida telling Eamon, "Nobody should have to live in this kind of weather." Eamon told me he has several stuffed dolls, including a leprechaun named Sean and and a frog named Mortimer. John Sheehan of Southampton heads a group entitled Association for the Rights of Catholics. He says the members want to "keep our faith and change our church." Police Chief Scott of Holyoke has started a petition campaign to have judges be re-appointed by the voters every six years to stay in office.

December 11, 2002

25 degrees at 7:30am. From my back window I saw a large flock of birds flying Northwest.

Some of the best books don't sell.

Jimmy Carter has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Carter released a statement criticizing war as a tool of foreign policy and said Bush's concept of preventive war will have disastrous consequences. According to the news there were anti-war rallies yesterday in Springfield, Great Barrington, Greenfield and Boston.

This city has a half dozen sixth rate colleges and their sixth rate libraries, but no fine library facility such as a city of this size ought to have. They couldn't even keep Johnson's Bookstore propped up. The Quadrangle has been dumbed down for the delight of the snobby, unlearned wine and cheese party types from the suburbs.

Northampton is considering an ordinance against picking through trash cans. Peter Picknelly was speaking in Holyoke last night in favor of a casino. Samuel's Lounge in Holyoke has the motto, "Food Service at its Best." The Masonic Temple in Springfield is presenting "December Rose" with Taylor Cook Director of Cast.

Edmond R. Hamilton is a bookseller in Falls Village, Connecticut. Artist Carol L. MacLeod lives at 511 Ridge Road in Wilbraham. I collect Victorian landscapes and high hippie fine art. As an artistic property lawyer I especially fancy the business cards of local artists I meet. To the extent that these people are often struggling young artists I provide them with free legal advice about placing a notice of copyright claim on their productions. Donald S. Holland is the finest local copyright lawyer that I know of.

A $2 million project to improve the intersection of Springfield Street and Stony Hill Road and repave Springfield and Faculty Streets has been halted for the winter according to Wilbraham Public Works Superintendent Edmond W. Miga. A WGGB-TV40 poll asks if Cardinal Bernard Law should resign and 100% said yes! WSPR's yearly budget is about two and a half million. I am an enormous collector of cheap ephermera. WGBY acknowledged my on the air my gift of $100 by calling me "one of the great ephermerists of this generation."

I love acorn squash. When we first moved here in the 1950's we had colored lights across the front of the house and a star in the breezeway door plus candles in all the windows. This year my neighbor Kelly has colored lights to create the right environment for their little tyke. I called Mrs. Staniski and wished her Happy Birthday. Ann is taking her to the movies this afternoon and Arthur is up from New York. Later Ann came over with a lovely piece of her mother's white birthday cake with pink frosting. Andrew was tall and businesslike in the back seat, probably bored by it all. The cake was delicious, just the sort of thing you would expect Ann to make.

Eamon called and said that Jim Landers is installing a TV in Eamon's basement. Eamon recalled the late Jack O'Shea, a stonemason trained in Ireland who while he lived was the best stonemason in Springfield. He lived in a two family house on Ledyard and had a daughter who was a nurse and died young. His son Michael owns three dental clinics in Hawaii and is a millionaire. Jack died at the age of 90 a few years ago but at the age of 80 told Eamon, "I'll build you the best looking chimney on Tacoma Street" and he did. He also installed glass bricks in Eamon's basement windows that fit perfectly. Jack O'Shea told Eamon that a lot of the buildings in Ireland were built of stones using no mortar at all but have lasted for hundreds of years.

Reminder Publications, publishers of The Reminder, The Chicopee Herald, Prime Times and The Journal/Bravo have announced the nominees for their first Hometown Hero Award. Among those nominated were Joanne Bagge of East Longmeadow, Maggie Smith of Longmeadow, Theresa Dubois of Hampden, Teresa Sherman of Wilbraham, Jessica Smart of West Springfield, Robert Gentry of Southwick and Eamon T. O'Sullivan of Springfield. Of course Eamon will not win, but it's nice to see him nominated.

December 12, 2002

33 degrees at 7:30. Bright sunshine.

Isn't the world a zoo?

Harvard Law School Dean Robert C. Clark will resign in June after 14 years at the helm. Mayor Albano has called for uniforms in the public schools believing "a strict dress code would be an antidote to discipline problems."

In G. Michael Dobbs column in this week's Reminder he writes in opposition to a casino in Springfield but then admits, "My wife and I are planning a trip to Las Vegas next year for our 25th wedding anniversary." Dobbs then goes on to say, "In Springfield there have been reports that Mayor Michael Albano is looking for an opportunity to promote his city as a casino site....I hope that Mayor Albano and the members of the City Council will think long and hard about the effects of a casino before any of them begins beating the drum for one."

Went downtown to see Efrem Gordon today and parked on Salem. A priest walking by gave me a cheerful hello. When I got to Gordon's he poured me some tea and was very friendly. We discussed Shannon and Gendron and went over the Mercy Hospital records but when I went to make copies Efrem's new copying machine was broken. Therefore I left and as I headed to my car I saw one of those silly fake trolly cars PVTA373 go by with no one on it.

When I got back Eamon called and said Jim Landers has lent him the book Blinded by the Right by David Brock. Eamon was waxing nostalgic about the old days of Hungry Hill and recalled Edward Zades, also known as Zip Zades. He worked for the paper and his brother Nick Zades was composing room foreman. He said Nick was a real SOB who treated people "terribly" and had a nice home on Front Street in Chicopee. Nick didn't mess with Eamon when he worked at the paper because Eamon was close to Mary Gallagher, Sherman Bowles assistant. In addition Eamon's first cousin was Eileen O'Connor, who was a friend of Gallagher. It was through his cousin Eileen that Eamon got his job with the Springfield Newspapers. Once Eamon lost his job because he left to take a summer job cutting brush at the Ludlow Reservoir. When Eamon tried to reclaim his job in the Fall Nick Zades said no, but Eamon spoke to Mary Gallagher who spoke to newspaper president Chuck Myrick and Eamon got his job back.

During this same period Abie Hachadorian was working selling advertisements in Ad Alley. Later he worked in the editorial department and stayed with the paper until retirement. Eamon also mentioned Michael J. Cavanaugh who just died December 7th and whom Eamon says was a significant Irish political figure. He started out in "The Ward" meaning Ward One and was born on Cass Street in 1925. Cavanaugh was an early supporter of John Pierce Lynch when he first ran for the Legislature and was his right hand man ever since. He was also close to ex-mayor Billy Sullivan. Eventually Lynch gave Cavanaugh a job at the Registry of Deeds.

Eamon described John Pierce Lynch as "an old-fashioned politician" with beautiful handwriting he learned from the nuns. In his first campaign Lynch rode around Hungry Hill on horseback with a trail of kids following him. Pierce lived in a residence on Maple Street he purchased for back taxes, a brick building that had been originally built for the president of Third National Bank. He had a brother Jimmy Lynch who was an iron worker. John Pierce married his administrative assistant late in life but they never had any children.

Another Hungry Hill figure Eamon recalled was Arnold Cooley, the brother of Judge Sidney Cooley. In the old Registry Building there was a secret stairway that allowed you to enter John Pierce Lynch's office without having to go past the secretary. Lynch had on his office wall a painting of a little boy speaking on a soapbox and Eamon wonders what became of it. Many times when Eamon entered Lynch's office he found Lynch chatting with Arnold Cooley, who had a sickly wife and nice kids. Cooley's son Michael worked at the Springfield Newspapers for a time. John Pierce Lynch was always pursuing romantic liaisons and when Pierce saw a girl he was interested in Cooley would "follow the girl home to see where she lived" so that Pierce could contact her later. Eamon said "Cooley and Lynch were the best of friends."

December 14, 2002

31 degrees, glowing cloudiness.

Cardinal Bernard Law has resigned, now Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi should resign as well. There is a new coalition of anti-war groups uniting to protest against the possibility of a U.S. invasion of Iraq, representing Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties. Its members are: 5 College Anti-war Coalition, American Friends Service Committee, Arise for Social Justice, Community Conservations, GIRO of Berkshire Community College, Granby and South Hadley Peace Committee, Northampton Committee to Lift the Sanctions and Stop the Bombing of Iraq, Peace and Social Concerns Committee, South Berkshire Friends Meeting, Social Workers for Peace and Justice, Students for a Peaceful Response, The Catholic Worker of Berkshire County, Traprock Peace Center, Tom Mooney Western Mass Local of the Socialist Party, Western Mass IAC and the Western Mass Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice.

Lavene's "Serving Greater Springfield for Over a Century" is at 1163 Main Street in downtown Springfield. Got my first Mississippi quarter today in my change. Activist Karen Powell called and thanked me for the postcards I sent her and said she thinks they're pretty.

When I was going out to my car this morning I noticed that Bradley was walking by on his way to WNEC and we chatted. He told me that the vice-president actually runs the college and President Caprio is just a high-powered public relations man. He said former President Beverly Miller has never been back to visit the campus and he doubts they would ever name a building after her "but maybe a broom closet."

Then I headed downtown to Efrem Gordon's and parked on Salem. When I arrived at Efrem's office he was in a conference so I made copies on the Minolta copier which was fixed. Efrem finally came in and we exchanged pleasantries but there really wasn't much for me to do so I left. I headed over to the Quadrangle to drop off postcards for Ms. Laura Grosman. Then I went into the Museum of Fine Arts where they have a display of photos of women athletes.

Next I walked over to the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum where they were selling Josh Simpson paperweights for $100. They are bluish but have no bubbles or added features so I can't see who would want them. The lady who runs the gift shop told me they are still fighting with the Seuss Estate for the right to sell postcards of the Dr. Seuss memorial.

Finally I went upstairs to see the Springfield 1920's display Factories and Flappers: Springfield in the Roaring Twenties. It wasn't bad, they had pictures of Trinity Church, Fire and Marine, Monarch and even a picture of Nader the Hatter's grandfather Charles making hats. They also had several Nader hats in a glass case. The display was put together by Guy McLain who did a good job.

Went to the Eastfield Mall to get my hair cut by Ciro. The mall was full of shoppers of all sorts. Ciro told me he was at Pearl Harbor aboard the 3,500 man Cleveland Cruiser. He said everybody on board got one haircut per week. Then I went to Filene's and Penny's and on the way out I picked up the current Journal/Bravo which had a rainbow peace symbol on the front and no article by Fran Gagnon.

Eamon says he goes to bed around nine each night and gets up at six. This habit goes back to when he worked in Boston for the Department of Education and had to get up early to commute. Eamon's sister Marion Rogers' husband Charles had a stroke but is doing okay. He lives on Page Boulevard and was a foreman for the gas company. Eamon also has a sister Elinor Haggerty whose husband worked at Monsanto and died about seven years ago. One of their sons runs maintenance at Westfield State and the other just passed the bar exams to become a lawyer.

On TV22 at 5:35 they announced that Tom Devine (they mispronounced his name as "Deveen") had won their photo contest with a picture of an avenue in St. Michael's Cemetery. His prize was free photo supplies from Russell's Photo. Eamon saw it too and called Devine to offer congratulations and Tom told him, "Now I can say I'm an award winning photographer!"

Autumn in St. Michael's by Tom Devine

Tonight I called The Hatter and told him about the display of his grandfather's work at the Quadrangle. He said he hadn't seen it or even heard about it. I said it was impolite of McLain not to inform him. Nader also said he has a cold and he hates New England weather.

December 16, 2002

Overcast at 7:30am. 40 degrees with the snow cover mostly gone.

Jesse Jackson has called on Senator Trent Lott to step down for praising Sen. Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist run for president. Good for him.

The Lawyer's Service Center Inc. is in Norwood, Massachusetts. The Holyoke Inn on Whiting Farms Road has brunch every Sunday from 11-3. The Westover Job Corps graduation is this weekend and a Nativity scene was unveiled at the Forest Park Zoo. Bach's Christmas Oratorio was played on WSPR this morning. Rev. George V. Joyce of Our Lady of Hope Rectory has a letter in the paper titled, "Mary the Mother of Jesus a True Daughter of Israel."

Susan Levine never thanked me for sending a condolence when her father died. Drove out this afternoon at 12:43 and headed downtown to the Bookends porn shop. I parked just above Apremont Triangle and across the street at 34 Pearl the former gas station is now a thriving laundromat filled with minorities. I asked the Oriental proprietor when they opened and she said Labor Day. At Bookends they had a priest themed gay porn magazine with the title Our Trespasses.

After I left there I headed over to Efrem Gordon's office to finish my reading and photocopying of Aunt Maria's medical file. I was shocked to see that on Dec. 7, 1999 Aunt Maria accused me of killing Mother stating, "I'm scared to death of that lawyer, he killed my sister! You've seen him, you've seen Wesley. For God sakes don't leave me alone with him!"

Efrem's receptionist offered me some danish and a bottle of Poland Springs water. She said she lives in Longmeadow and the traffic coming into the city this morning was terrible. There were Christmas cards sent to the firm displayed by Ms. White's desk. Efrem came out of his office and asked me to join him in his law library. He told me that the documents accusing me of murdering Mother both help and hurt the case since it makes Aunt Maria look crazy but also casts me in a bad light as someone who would frighten a woman in her 90's. Still he believes we will walk away with all the money if we just drag the case out until they give up and settle. Gordon is a friendly gentleman who is willing to discuss any legal matter but who has no time for chit-chat. He always cuts through the fat and gets to the essence of things.

When I left Efrem's I stopped at Kyser's Restaurant at the corner of State and Main and paid $3.75 for homefries, sausages and scrambled eggs with buttered white toast. I left a 75 cent tip. I asked if I could use the toilet and they guided me through the back of the kitchen and down the stairs to the basement. There was a 1920's era toilet with old fashioned wooden partitioning and a window that looked out on a courtyard in the middle of the building you would never know was there from the street. Only the 1950's style paper towel dispenser appeared to not be from the original antique furnishings. The basement, the restaurant and the building itself is clean but rundown. Perhaps Peter Picknelly will remodel it all if he ends up buying the building from Ravosa.

When I got home my old high school friend John Rixon called and apologized for not keeping in touch. I told him we must get together this spring and he agreed. I told him about the rising tide of scandal in Springfield and Rixon said he wasn't surprised because "Springfield has always been in the hands of the mafia."

Eamon called and mocked editor McDermott's column in the paper about how wonderful their new press will be. He said the press represents the elevation of form over substance and predicts the paper will be as bad as ever only it will look nicer. Eamon said the Sunday Republican this week was "nothing but a couple pounds of circulars and flyers." He also predicts the unveiling of the press will soon be followed by a price increase.

Eamon said his cousin Father Callahan is well enough to leave the infirmary for lunch sometimes with his priest friends. Eamon told me his sister Marion once told him that Father Richard Lavigne used to come visit her and sit in the kitchen talking and drinking coffee. She said he always wanted to take her three sons out for a ride in his red Ford convertible, but she never allowed it. Now of course her sons are grateful she did not.

December 19, 2002

33 degrees on the breezeway at 7:30, clear blue sky.

David Letterman had a joke about the President tonight: "Bush just had a check-up and is in excellent health and is young for his age. The doctor said he has the body of a 30 year old and the mind of a 10 year old." Yesterday I called the Sisters of Providence and got the voicemail of Alice Lynch. I left a message asking, "If a nun has a baby do they give it to the Brightside orphanage or does the nun leave the religious life and raise it herself?" I never heard back.

W.F. Stigler was a cashier for the Equitable Life Assurance Society at 95 State Street in Springfield in 1967. Attorney Paul Hunter had his offices at 1500 Main Street in Springfield in 1974. Attorney Charles R. Dougherty has his office at One International Plaza in Boston. Jim Doolittle and Sons Landscaping is in South Hadley. Michael Abbate is the membership coordinator for Historic Deerfield. Eagle Leasing Company is on Route Nine in Southboro, Massachusetts. Darren E. Winckel is Director of Annual Giving at WGBY. Marjorie Newmark, formerly of Longmeadow and the widow of my childhood doctor Nelson Newmark, has died at age 92.

I just remembered that Belle-Rita Novak never returned the copy of Alice in Wonderland I lent her. On Channel 24 tonight they had a documentary about J.K. Rowling the author of the Harry Potter books. It reminded me of an editorial in the Union-News recently which began, "Quick! Name the most famous children's author!" Of course they said the answer was Dr. Seuss for the sake of their brainwashed local readership. But what about Mark Twain or Aesop or Eric Carle or Uncle Remus or Hans Christian Anderson? Channel 24 has better shows lately than WGBY-57 although I give 57 credit for their programs about local affairs.

Irving Cohn's granddaughter Rachel the authoress was visiting when I dropped off some magazines today. She has a sweet, jovial personality. Then I swung by Louis & Clark for the Valley Advocate which has a good article on Saviano by Mo Turner. The former Breckwood Professional Building across from Duggan, abandoned for years and with weeds growing all around it, is being demolished. It was a cheap brick Georgian with the city credit union on one side and the telephone company building on the other. Its destruction is no loss, I only regret that I never took a picture of it.

There was a Gateway Hardware commercial on TV40 featuring hockey and skating equipment. Professor Ira Smolowitz of A.I.C. was on TV speaking against casinos. Mayor Albano held a press conference announcing his opposition to an invasion of Iraq saying that a war would consume funds that might otherwise be used for aid to cities. Years ago Springfield would have welcomed war because of all the work it would have brought to the Armory. Assistant to the President James Dowd has retired from STCC after 29 years. Dowd was also a six term Westfield City Councilor. Some say Dowd was the one who actually ran STCC while Andy Scibelli took the credit.

December 21, 2002

45 degrees and raining. Winter arrives at 8:14pm.

Overeating is not the solution.

Lott has resigned as Senate Republican leader and good riddance. In the mail today I got Christmas cards from the President of Elms plus cards from Beck, Myrtle and Anzel Hall.

Attorney Gordon called and we talked about Pam Jendrysik. I asked him about the statue he keeps on his desk and he said it is the original model for the statue by John Quincy Adams Ward, The Hunter, that was erected in 1876 in Central Park, which his father got from a client.

I was surprised to get a call today from my old childhood friend Mary Alice Stusick-Plant. She told me she was operated on for ovarian cancer May 14 and was in the hospital for 18 days. Around Thanksgiving her beloved terrier Penelope died at age eleven. Her husband Gary has not been well either with an polyp on his larynx. Mary Alice has been trying to sell the Stusick Building in Indian Orchard for $410,000 but can't find a buyer. The building is a terrible financial drain and she's had to take out a mortgage on the Stusick estate to cover the costs. She's also been forced to sell some of her musical instruments and historic artifacts. I suggested that she save some of the memorabilia from her musical career and her father's medical practice to donate to the Quadrangle, but she said she doesn't know if she can afford to. I felt bad for her and offered to buy her picture of Jansen's orchestra for $200 and she said she'd get back to me on it.

The other day when I was downtown I stopped at Frigo's for a sesame bagel with cream cheese on it. I noticed the time on the big blue clock they have semi-hidden behind the deli counter, and when I left I wondered if the other clocks around had the time right. The City Hall clock was way off. First Church was just right. Worcester Federal building also way off. The clock in the tower at State and Main was wrong and the former Five Cent Savings clock was long gone.

So when I got home I called the Springfield Business Development Corporation and spoke to Marianne and told her about the problem, asking that she pass the word to Mr. Turin. "You have to call City Hall about that!" she snapped. "We don't take care of the clocks and never have!" Then she hung up the phone in my ear. However about an hour later Lynn Johnson called and apologized for Marianne. She said that Turin was not in but she would refer my information about the clocks to him. She then wished me Happy Holidays.

Eamon called and said Nader the Hatter called him and said he wants get all his stuff out of the Indian Orchard Mill as quickly as possible so he can get back to Florida. Eamon said the FBI was over asking him if knows anything about George R. Shea of Mildred Avenue. They said Shea is close to Soco Catjakis and was formerly with the Springfield Office of the State Department of Revenue. They also asked about William Christofori as well, wondering about liquor license dealings.

Eamon said he told the FBI agent all about Harold Chernock who ran the liquor commission in Springfield for thirty years. He was also tight with Catjakis, who Eamon said may have been Chernock's bagman for delivering bribe money. Eamon said they used to meet in public places to avoid wiretaps. Chernock was first appointed to the Liquor Commission by Mayor Tommy O'Connor who told Eamon he wanted to take advantage of the "suction" meaning political influence of Chernock and Catjakis. It soon became widely known that if you wanted to get anything done in the local liquor and bar industry you had to see Chernock or Catjakis.

Salvatore Cufari, one of the leaders of the local mafia, lived on the corner of Chapin Terrace and Armory in a white house with a two car garage. In 1976 when Eamon shot Mario Stencatto in self defense he went to Cufari for help but he refused, simply advising Eamon, "Watch your back." Eamon said that Cufari used to dine a lot at Grace Nardi's Happyland Restaurant and that Eamon was sometimes hired to sing Italian songs there. He said Mrs. Nardi's brother used to wink and tell him, "Sully, make sure you take care of your hide." Nick Camerota who ran the junkyard on Albany Street also ate at Nardi's a lot and was big in the mob behind the scenes. I told Eamon I went to Buckingham with a bright kid named Ciro Camerota who lived on Wilbraham Road by Pellegrini but Eamon didn't know if he was a relative.

December 23, 2002

35 degrees at 7:30am. Looked out the window at dawn and the sky in the east was cherry red. Gas at Pride in the Acres is $1.45 per gallon.

Time Magazine has named "The Whistleblower" as Man of the Year. It is a generic choice covering all those who take risks to unveil the truth, meaning that Eamon and I are among those included in the honor in spirit. But the local Pynchon Award we shall never receive.

The first game of basketball was played in Springfield in 1891. Boston University has had to forfeit a $3 million dollar gift from philanthropist David G. Mugar for not using the money as he intended. Experts are saying that a casino in Holyoke will flop unless it is built bigger and fancier than Foxwoods. On the way home yesterday there was a speed trap set up on Sunrise Terrace.

Thomas R. Bevivino, Classical class of 1949 and a good bass player, has died in California at age 71. Janlynn is moving to Chicopee from Charles Brush's Indian Orchard Mills. Founded in 1979 they make hobby, craft and needlework kits. The paper described the Indian Orchard Mills as a 12 building complex. TV22 had a sound blackout during the five o'clock news. The frequency of technical failures shows the low level of professionalism of our local TV stations.

A tan sports car was parked on Colleen's lawn today. Went out to Feeding Hills to check on Aunt Maria's place. The front lawn has been raked and a white van was parked over to Joe Lucia's. Then over to the Riverdale Shops where it looks like someone intends to move into the old Bradlees. I stopped to eat at Hometown Buffet where I ran into Mr. Webb. I told him how much I miss the Hometown Buffet at the Springdale Mall but he smiled and said Lowe's "paid us big bucks to get out of there." I had scrambled eggs, sausages and a cup of fruit salad.

Passing through downtown on the way back I saw the BID people picking up litter. On State Street at the site of the former Friendly's Ice Cream shop opposite the Christian Science Church is a brand new AutoZone. There were workmen outside the boarded up Burger King on Boston Road. A fabulous bargain at Big Y - donuts are now only 50 cents! I also bought some cough syrup at CVS. There are two new colonials going up on Arnold Avenue facing the school bus complex. Who would want a new house in such a location? The big plastic Santa is up in the front window of the Devine house on Breckwood.

When I got home Eamon called and said he spoke with his jewelry friend Gerry Block from Agawam on the phone today and then went to the pawn shop in the X to visit his friend Joe Greenberg. He said Greenberg originally worked for Al Hirschorn. Eamon recalled how Tommy O'Connor used to have "a Harvard jackass lawyer" named Arthur Frankel working for him who was so bad that Eamon said that even he could have done a better job representing the city without a law degree. Eamon said his caller ID showed that calls kept coming in today from people at the Union-News to listen to his latest message ridiculing McDermott and Starr.

When Eamon hung up I called the Wilbraham Town Collector and they got me Dianne in Assessors and I explained that I should not have received a tax bill for the land I have donated to the town. She apologized and told me to ignore the bill. I said put the apology in writing and mail it to me and she said she would tell Tom Sullivan the Town Collector. Next I called Larry McDermott at the paper and left a message expressing seasons felicitations from myself, Ambrose, Sweet Pea and Honey Pot. I told him that substance is more important than form and that I hope their new press will not result in a price hike.

December 25, 2002

38 degrees, snow started falling at 1:05pm. It is Christmas Day.

In the middle of the night I heard a noise like an animal screeching and again a couple minutes later, then nothing.

I fear I am coming down with a cold. I'm into a lot of things and want to get on with them. To help the economy they should drop money from helicopters to get it into circulation immediately.

Lillian J. Clad was Assistant Vice-President at Community Savings Bank in 1973. Kozacki Construction and Realty Company was on Brooks Street in Holyoke in 1973. TV22 had a story on saying that mail carriers are not allowed to take Christmas tips of more than $20. Kelly had her Christmas lights on all day.

Efrem Gordon called yesterday to wish me a Merry Christmas and said he got good information from Pam Jendrisik. Efrem mentioned needing plastic wallet sized 2003 calendars. I told him that Hampden Savings usually has them and he said he'd have one of the girls get one when they're out to lunch. Yesterday's mail brought a nicely decorated card from Melissa McIntosh and a card from Minahan. I got a nice letter from Bruce Yarber. Nothing this year from Huang, my twice divorced cousin Dianne Miller or David and Helen Miller of Bethel. Nothing from Mrs. Penniman so I will stop leaving the Herald for her. Nothing from Betty Burnett. No card from Eamon this year!

Eamon called and I told him I have a cold so he told me the cold cure once advised to him by Mrs. Nardi of the Happyland Restaurant in the South End:

Mama Nardi's Cure for the Common Cold

Take a glass of hot water, add three shots of whiskey, add orange peel, apple, lemon and honey. Cool it slightly, drink it slowly, get in bed under the covers. Repeat the treatment as needed for the next 24 hours or until cold is gone.

Eamon said he was told that East Longmeadow played basketball against Commerce in the new Commerce gym recently and when the game was over the East Longmeadow players found their wallets and items of clothing had been stolen from their lockers. Nothing about it has appeared in the media.

I told Eamon that I went to Food Mart yesterday afternoon and the parking lot was filled with Christmas Eve shoppers. Eamon said that he was at the Stop & Shop on Liberty yesterday and the store was packed. "The parking lot was filled," he said. "I couldn't believe it!" Eamon said he has sent a long letter to Mitt Romney telling him about the corruption and waste in the Massachusetts Department of Education. He told Romney that many of the managers are political hires who don't have the degrees they are supposed to and who rarely show up for work. Eamon hopes that Romney will take action and fire people based on the information he sent him.

Was tidying up the dining room and the kitchen today. On the evening news it said travel was treacherous and not to go out. There is a power outage in Forest Park including Bright Nights. For Christmas Dinner I dined on corned beef and cabbage, it was very good. My dollies Sweet Pea and Honey Pot joined me at the dining room table with their legs under a blanket and seated on a pillow, of course.

December 28, 2002

33 degrees on the breezeway at 8am. Sunny, six inches of snow last night, ice on the clothesline and the bushes are bent down with snow.

The old Victoria Square held you in the city, Dwight Street hurries you out. It is absurd to drive five miles to a grocery store, then ten miles to their competitor, buying the bargains at both and thinking you are spending less money when the gas prices wipe out the savings. You leave Big Y on Boston Road, then go two or three miles up the road to Stop & Shop, then maybe five miles down Parker to the 16 Acres Big Y and more miles down Parker and Cooley to Foot Mart. They are all so spread out. The grocer should be right down the street like in the old days. Housing should be built in clusters with essential services within walking distance of home.

Monkeys who eat less live 30% longer. When I was at Colby a photographer once posed me pompously holding my glasses. The Agawam Town Health nurse is Marialyse Rivers of Middlebrook Drive in Springfield. Notary Public Sharon E. Chevannes lives on Sunset Drive in Springfield. Nader the Hatter called and said he is having success selling off the things left from his family's business. He said today that he sold three hat blocks to Canada, Arizona and Paris, France. The sooner he sells off everything the sooner he can head South.

Mother would eat only red salmon, she disliked even pink. There were six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Lynn Barry on TV22 said in a story about Christmas shopping that there were "a lot less people." She should have said "fewer people." Karen Rucks from the Council of Churches was on TV speaking against casinos. Real to Reel had Mike Graziano at World Youth Day in Toronto. Bishop Dupre and Monsignor Sniezyk were on with Director of Vocations Fr. Pacholes and Don Boucher, Director of Youth Ministry. They also showed the Cathedral High Youth Day Assembly held in their auditorium. The show was laced with Catholic School commercials.

I had a can of chicken noodle soup at 2am. Later I cooked up a Mrs. Smith's Apple Pie. Got a late card today from R. Mark Benbow and a postcard of Jerusalem from Belle-Rita Novak. I shoveled out my driveway and while doing so a guy in a green pick-up truck (2098 NP) pulled up looking for the Family Care Medical Center on Allen Street and I directed him. Then I drove down to Louis & Clark to mail court papers to Efrem Gordon and some Waller postcards with a letter to the Bethel Historical Society. There was a WNEC cop car parked in the driveway of Gateway Village. Copycat is now selling color copies for only 69 cents each.

Eamon called and said his next door neighbor shoveled him out. He said the gay couple down the end of his street, one a plumber and the other a steamfitter, came by to admire his Tiffany lamps. Eamon tried to call Larry McDermott at the paper to complain about his recent column but McDermott's answering machine was turned off, so instead he called Marie Grady at the paper and left a critical message with her. McDermott's column gave an email address to respond to but no phone number. Apparently he wants written communication rather than lectures phoned in by Eamon and me.

Mitt Romney is making former Director of Consumer Affairs Jennifer Davis Carey Director of Elder Affairs, replacing Lillian Glickman. Carey has a reputation for being people orientated and favors policies allowing elders to stay at home rather than institutionalizing them. Romney also has a new public safety guy Edward A. Flynn from Arlington, Virginia. Good, heads are starting to roll.

December 30, 2002

29 degrees first thing. Very misty. Gas $1.49 at Mobil.

All scholarship is based upon comparison.

The Attorney General of Massachusetts is Springfield native Thomas F. Reilly. Kelli E. Lawrence is the Assistant Attorney General. There was an article on the business page about the Indian Orchard Mills which was bought by Charles Brush in 1999. David Bowerman is quoted as saying there were eight artists working there when he arrived ten years ago, now there are 41. Also an article by Dianne Liederman on Grace House in Amherst. We have a new TV weatherman named Rick Sluben. Lynn Barry appears to be the regular news anchor on weekends. The new Journal/Bravo is out with a nice article by Flavin about the Bridge Club moving to the mission revival mansion on Sumner Avenue. Josh Shear is the paper's editor.

I dropped off a toy piano/xylophone for Kelly's kid in a bag I placed against the inside chimney wall of their breezeway. I included some Hillcrest postcards. I set out for Old Historic Deerfield today at 10:10. I remembered going out that way with Mother several years ago to see Yankee Candle. When I drove past today the Yankee Candle parking lot was packed. Yankee Candle has built an immense factory on a former cornfield with a drab modern office building to one side. I arrived at Old Deerfield at 11:04 and parked behind the information center. A bumpersticker in the Old Deerfield parking lot: "Just Say No to the New World Order."

A very professional woman gave me my admittance ticked and showed me on a map what was open. I told her it was my first time visiting so I said I'd just look around. I went into the Hall Tavern and at the gift shop I bought a book by Julie Mars on Benjamin Franklin and a postcard of the Flynt Center. The man behind the counter told me he is a retired accounting teacher from Northampton High. Everything I saw at Old Deerfield was done right and displayed professionally, reminding me of what a dumbed down environment the Springfield Quadrangle has become.

On the way back I decided to stop at the Eric Carle Museum of Children's Art by Hampshire College. However the Carle Museum parking lot was full, with parents with little kids walking everywhere, so I decided not to go in. When I got back to Springfield I stopped at the Burger King by Westinghouse for a chicken sandwich. The lettuce was wilted. I also stopped at Red Wing and a chubby fellow with gold rings in both ears cheerfully gave me some boot laces for free.

Peter Nissen is Governor-elect Romney's education advisor and rumors are that he was strongly recommended by David Starr. Romney is facing a serious financial situation with Governor Swift leaving him a six million dollar deficit and a much worse deficit projected for the following year. City Councilor Angleo Puppolo has passed the bar exams to practice in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine. He still owns Puppolo Plumbing and Heating. He is often mentioned as a future a possible future candidate for Mayor, but the Springfield Newspapers would not be supportive. He's too honest for them.

There has been a startling threat made against Eamon! At 7:20 someone called his editorial and left a message threatening, "I'll burn your house down you little prick!" Eamon's latest phone editorial is a sharp condemnation of Albano's downtown entertainment district. It was in part a rebuttal to a letter in the paper praising Mayor Albano and the district written by a local fireman named Stephen F. Burke. Eamon's caller ID revealed that the threatening phone call was made from the Forest Park fire station on Sumner Avenue.

Eamon called his old cop friend Dan Spellacy and played the tape of the threat to him. Spellacy immediately identified the voice as belonging to Burke. Spellacy then told Eamon all about Burke, who lives in the same neighborhood as Spellacy on Glenhan Street in East Springfield. Burke's father Sylvester was a well known local real estate appraiser. Young Burke was in the Marines and Eamon says a lot of Springfield firefighters are ex-Marines. Spellacy said at one point Burke had an internship with Judge Mary Hurley in the Chicopee Court but he messed up and was let go after only three weeks. Spellacy advised Eamon to call Fire Chief Gary Cassinelli and Eamon did so immediately.

Cassinelli told Eamon he dislikes Burke because he once put political pressure on him. Burke wanted a plum assignment at the Forest Park Station but Cassinelli refused, which caused Burke to complain to Soco Catjakis who then called Mayor Albano. Cassinelli was told by the Mayor to give Burke the assignment he wanted, which Cassinelli did resentfully. Eamon told Cassinelli how his brother the late Fire Chief Ray Sullivan used to complain of having to "babysit" certain firemen who got their jobs through politics and affirmative action rather than their qualifications. "You're right," said Cassinelli, "There are some real beauties in this department!"


January 2003

January 1, 2003

37 degrees first thing. Overcast all day long. This is Catholic World Peace Day.

There are rumors that the Wilbraham Grange is disbanding. What is the status of the Grange in Feeding Hills? Granges everywhere seem to be dying. The news is reporting that Mitt Romney and Kerry Healey will give up their salaries and serve as Governor and Lieutenant Governor for free. The 114th Rose Parade started at 11 today hosted by Al Roker and Nancy O'Dell on NBC. They celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Air Flight with a replica of the Wright Brother's plane at the head of the parade. My favorite float this year was sponsored by Dr. Pepper and had a wonderful depiction of a double-headed dragon breathing fire with its wings extended and a long curling tail. I also watched the Vienna concerts. It is time for Walter Cronkite to step down as host as he is getting too old and his voice has gotten gravelly. Attorney and former School Committee member Edward Friedman and his two sons were in the paper about some domestic dispute.

I decided this afternoon to drive out to Bertucci's in Longmeadow for a New Year's dinner with a coupon. The Longmeadow Shoppes parking lot was well filled except at the far western end. I asked for the eggplant dinner and got a large oval plate of eggplant slices with a nice sauce over them. I also got some pizza. The place is nicely furnished with paneling and hanging bowl lighting. The Men's Room has black marble tiles throughout. The meal itself was okay and cost only $13 but I've tasted better eggplant recipes. The service was also on the slow side.

Eamon called and wished me a cordial Happy New Year. Jimmy Bloom, the relative of Attorney Francis Bloom advised Eamon to pursue charges against the fireman who threatened to burn down his house. We talked about Springfield's schools, with Eamon asking "How many more teachers and students have to be assaulted and stabbed or even killed like the late Rev. Brown before Superintendent Burke and the rubber stamp school board will take serious action?" He said the principals of Putnam, Sci-Tech and especially the politically correct but incompetent principal of Commerce Ann Henry should all be fired immediately.

We then discussed the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 which cost $12 billion but which Eamon described as "an unmitigated disaster." He said there is certainly no hiring freeze at the Mass Department of Education and they have over 50 managers, many of whom hardly show up for work yet get astounding salaries. Eamon recalled Dr. Ann Schumer, the relative of a congressman from New York, who was head of art education for the state despite having flimsy credentials. She got her job from Governor Dukakis and she didn't like Eamon once she discovered he was feeding information about the Massachusetts Department of Education to WWLP's Bill Putnam and Deputy Commissioner Tom Curtin. That was when they transferred Eamon out of the Boston office so that he would no longer have as much inside access to the department's highest levels.

January 4, 2003

Over six inches of snow last night.

Frank's Autoplex was on Center Street in Ludlow in 1988. When we first moved to Birchland Avenue in 1956 our phone number was 8-4195. Mother's favorite perfume was "Whisper" by Lucien LeLong, which no longer exists. Red Lobster is airing advertising about "All the Shrimp You Can Eat." What about lobster? I am annoyed by a St. Joseph's Aspirin TV commercial that has a man talking about his dad and he says, "We're competitive about everything." What about collaboration? The subliminal message of that ad is dreadful. Today Kelly put on her Xmas lights at 4:30pm and turned them off at 10pm.

Mrs. Staniski called today and said Carol came over and took her to Stop&Shop to get groceries. Mrs. Staniski's mother was Anne F. Richter from White Temple, Florida. With all the bad weather I've been staying in and going over Mother's extensive medical records about Father and me and herself. Mother made a comprehensive list of every illness and prescription we ever had. There were lots of labels from drug jars and even a Tylenol bottle with Pine Point Pharmacy stamped on it. But no Charkoudion Drugstore labels, not one. Ralph Burke was the Pederzoli druggist who lived at 58 Lakeside. His kids were Ralph, Jerome and cute little Maureen. Mother's first set of false teeth were made by Dr. Mortimer Stone on Main Street in Springfield. Western Mass Hospital in Westfield has always been a quiet, unhurried place with a nice spread of magazines on the table in the waiting room.

I had the measles in April of 1949. In February 1954 I saw Dr. Gabriel Kitchener for a case of athlete's feet I got in the locker room at Buckingham Junior High. In February 1956 I had a hearing test by Dr. S. Segal at Buckingham that found my hearing slightly impaired. Dr. George H. Nieske was a dentist on Burt Lane in Wilbraham in 1959. Father fainted for no apparent reason on September 10, 1960. A mole on my leg was removed by Dr. Stanley Stusick in his office in December 1965. Mother had a thyroid operation at Ludlow Hospital in 1963 with Dr. Stusick. On April 25, 1986 I slashed my arm by putting it through the kitchen door window during one of Mother's tantrums. My arm had to be operated on by Drs. Omar T. Pace and David W. Page.

Called Mudry to thank him for plowing out my driveway. I must send him a thank you card with some money in it. Ex-cop Robert W. Brown called and said his wife had such a bad cold they had to take her to the hospital but she's back home now. We discussed Athan Soco Catjakis and Brown said that in 1995 Soco came up to him at an event at the Greek Cultural Center and put his arm around him and asked him to support Albano for Mayor over Charlie Ryan. Brown said he flatly refused, telling Catjakis that in his opinion "Albano is a fraud." He said that Soco owns land where the Bosch used to be and keeps an office there. Brown said he once ran for State Representative against Rudy Chumura (71 Chauncey Dr., Springfield, 13th Hampden District, Democrat) "a thief who beat me by just 26 votes."

I watched Mitt Romney get sworn in on TV and I thought he spoke well. That hypocrite Tommy Finneran was slapping Romney on the back like an old friend. Eamon called and he has a new phone system that makes better recordings and his voice comes across louder. Eamon says his New Year's resolution is to keep after inept public employees and corrupt politicians. Eamon was talking about his Catholic education and he said the church runs their schools "on deviation and deception." He recalled a nun telling him once that, "It is better to drop your seed on a whore's belly than to drop it on the ground." I told him that I feel that chastity and virginity are just as good as the married state. Eamon says "the despicable villains" behind the failures of the public school system are the teacher's unions who are "opposed to their members being held accountable for their failure to educate our children."

January 5, 2003

33 degrees this morning.

I just looked up the definition of sociopath in Clarence Wilber Taber's Medical Dictionary: Emotional instability, inability to take responsibility, anti-social acts, total lack of conscience, impulsive, lack of emotional maturity, not in contact with reality, refuses to accept help and withdrawn into their own world. That sounds like Aunt Maria!

David Driscoll is the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education. Sunday is the last day of the season for Bright Nights at Forest Park. The Springfield Rod and Gun Club on Wilbraham Road is now listed in the phone book as the Springfield Revolver Club. I just realized that the last time I visited the Museum of Fine Arts at the Quad to see that silly female athletes exhibit there was a supply of pencils but no guestbook to write in. I wonder if they removed the book when they saw me coming?

Eamon recalled how he used to go to Catechism on Tuesdays at Our Lady of Hope. Sometimes he used to skip it and hang out in Van Horn Park until it was time to go home. Eventually he was caught. Eamon mentioned how Harold Whitcomb used to take him camping up in Becket when he was a kid. He also remembered how when he was young he used to sing at the House of Good Shepard every year, accompanied by Roland Joyal on piano. He said Joyal was a very good piano player and his sister Katherine was a dancer. Eamon also sang at the Red Baron in Chicopee Falls where they used to pass the hat and he made out pretty good. He also sang for the vets up in Leeds annually for a number of years.

Eamon has a new mailman that is more predictable than his former postman Randy, a Vietnam vet. You never knew when Randy would arrive with the mail. Eamon also recalled how his brother Ray the Fire Chief told him that Fire Commission member Tommy Sampson of the funeral home used to show up at nearly every fire. He loved to watch fires. Eamon said his caller ID showed that District Attorney Bennett called his message twice yesterday. According to Eamon Mitt Romney is a good guy but will probably end up getting bogged down in the corrupt politics of Massachusetts. Eamon said he spoke on the phone for half an hour on Friday with Rose Marie Coughlin. She told him that she attended the inauguration of Governor Romney and even got to personally wish him congratulations. Karen Powell was invited to attend but didn't want to go. I was sorry to hear that because I recommended to Romney that the Powells be invited.

Rose Marie Coughlin used to be on the Springfield School Committee and City Council; her late husband Francis Coughlin was on the School Committee as well. She used to live on Ardmore Street as a tenant of the Nardi's who lived on the second floor. She later moved to a bungalow on Beach Street and finally moved to East Longmeadow saying that she was glad to "leave all the weirdos in Springfield behind." It turns out that Coughlin knows Stephen Burke, the fireman who threatened Eamon. She told Eamon that Burke used to follow her around and stalk her until she finally rejected him and he responded by smashing the window of her car. She called Burke's father Sylvester who came right over and begged her not to press charges saying, "My son Stephen suffers from some serious problems." Coughlin said that if Eamon wants she would be glad to testify about that incident in court. She said Sylvester Burke was an insurance adjuster and a friend of Matty Ryan. Stephen Burke is friends with Soco Catjakis, who once helped him get assigned to the Forest Park Fire Station.

Eamon complained that there is less and less real news in the Union-News these days. He recalled how Larry McDermott once asked him how he got all his information on Peter Negroni and Eamon replied, "I'm just doing what you ought to be doing - some old fashioned investigative journalism!" He said that in response McDermott angrily slammed down the phone in Eamon's ear. We both agreed that McDermott just can't handle criticism.

January 6, 2003

31 degrees in the breezeway, snow flurries. Lapis on the weather tonight: "Surprise! More of the white stuff on the way!"

The person with the best English usually gets the best job.

Rep. Charles Rangle (D-NY) is introducing legislation to revive the military draft. 25% of people in the military are Black but Blacks make up only 12% of the overall population. Commercials for Nicotrol feature a character like Doonesbury's Mr. Butts. Does Gary Trudeau's lawyer know about this? Attendance at Bright Nights was down 3% from last year.

Simpson was out in a cap and blue jeans putting a satellite dish on his house. Jan at Punderson Oil called and said they will deliver my heating oil tomorrow at $1.32 per gallon. Westfield State wants money for a new library and a Fine Arts Center. The last time I was at their library to shelf read there was lots of room for more books and at most they need an addition rather than a whole new building. Whatever happened to the stuffed birds in the Science Museum at the Quadrangle? Were they sold for profit when the museum was remodeled? I recall they had a male and female of each species and the birds were grouped by the region they came from.

Fire Chief Cassanelli has told Eamon that his complaint against firefighter Stephen Burke has been referred to the State Police and Steve Coen, Fire Marshall of the Commonwealth. Eamon says most cops have a personal agenda and fighting crime is secondary. Eamon got a phone call from retired Deputy Police Chief Daniel W. Spellacy, an old friend of Eamon's who graduated with him from Cathedral in the same class. Eamon says Spellacy was making $90,000 a year as Deputy Chief and is now collecting a $60,000 a year pension. Eamon said the Feds have spoken to him about Spellacy in the past and expressed disappointment that "he didn't seem particularly cooperative" when they pressed him for information about local politicians. The Feds told Eamon they are hoping that Spellacy will be more forthcoming now that he is retired.

Eamon described Spellacy as an honest cop but said he respects the "Blue Wall of Silence" - Look the other way if your buddies are involved in crime. Spellacy said that Burke refers to Eamon as "The Village Idiot." Eamon played for him the tape of Burke threatening him and told Spellacy how the phone ID showed the call came directly from the fire station. He told Spellacy that he is concerned because Burke has a history of violence as revealed yesterday by Rose Marie Coughlin. Spellacy said that Burke "has run up the white flag and now says he was only joking." Eamon said it's hard to know whether to trust Spellacy on this matter because Spellacy was close to both Burke's father and Matty Ryan. Eamon says he is so frustrated with the way things are done in Springfield - everything is always very political and very unprofessional.

January 7, 2003

29 degrees, sun shining brightly at 10:45am but snow last night. John DiPasquale on TV22 says we have had 47 inches of snow so far this year, double the average. Gas is 41 cents higher than it was this time a year ago.

Only the paranoid survive.

Dr. Bernard Rabinovitz had an office at 4 Chestnut Street in 1943. Dr. Howard L. Jackson had an office on Chestnut Street in 1947. Dr. Bernard Bloom had an office on Maple Street in Springfield in 1961. Dr. A.F. Mouchantat and Dr. Albert S. Klautky were in the Cancer Division of Westfield State Sanatorium in 1963. Dr. Lester Frank had an office on Maple Street in 1972. Dr. Robert S. Mandell had an office on Mulberry Street in 1972. Gordon N. Oakes was President and Chairman of Monarch Capital Corporation, the Enron of Springfield, in 1989. Maurice Gibson was Assistant Director of Compensation for Monarch in 1990. Typing this diary takes up a lot of my time, but the information preserved is valuable. Simpson's garage lights were on all night. News says a corpse was discovered in the lot of the former Indian Orchard Mills, a twelve building complex. Got a late Xmas card from Eskowicz today but with no comments at all in it.

Eamon called and told me I have a weak handshake but a distinctive voice. I told him I have always felt that way, but I once heard myself on the radio and thought I sounded silly. Eamon said he wouldn't say that, but my voice is different. Eamon said he was at Stop&Shop and the lady who runs the store Mrs. Kathy Cathro took him to see their security set up. First she took him to her office, then up a somewhat concealed staircase to a security room on the second floor with a guy sitting in front of two dozen security screens showing the outdoors, the rest room hallway and all the aisles of the store. Eamon said he was amazed they had so many cameras watching the place.

People are saying that Belle-Rita Novak should run for office this year but Eamon says "she's too smart for that." Eamon told me that Dan Spellacy the cop calls the roly-poly Lt. William Noonan of the Police Public Relations Department "Doughboy." Eamon recalled a girl named Ann Sullivan whom Spellacy used to date when they were at Cathedral. She later graduated from Elms and became a teacher. Ann Sullivan was married to Mark Shields and Eamon sang at their wedding but the marriage was no good. She is now one of a group of girls that go on trips with Cheryl Rivera and Linda Melconian.

Eamon said that he spoke with Rose Marie Coughlin again and she told him that she stopped into Fiorintino's on Sunday for some Italian treats and Melconian was there so they chatted a bit. Melconian has lost her bid for Speaker of the Senate and is wondering what to do next. Rumors are rampant that she wants to run for Mayor of Springfield if Mayor Albano gets indicted or doesn't run. Melconian said she thinks Albano may quit and take a high-paying do-nothing job with his old boss State Auditor Joe DiNucci. Melconian has already been offered a big job at the UMass Medical Center in Worcester but declined. Billy Bulger promised Melconian that he would hold open the presidency of Westfield State for her until she decides what she wants to do. Melconian told Coughlin that Governor Romney has no respect for Mike Albano and that he doesn't think that Springfield can be turned around until Albano is gone.

January 9, 2003

29 degrees at 8:30am. Heavy overcast, flurries. Elvis was born this day in 1935.

On political correctness: If the facts show something it doesn't matter if people's feelings are hurt.

Albert E. Lerche had a pharmacy opposite Court Square in 1929. A. E. Sunter Drugstore was at 85 Wilbraham Road in 1949. Acres Drug was on the corner of of Parker Street and Wilbraham Road next to A&P in 1965. Attorney David A. Foley had his office on Tremont Street in Boston in 1967. Urologic Associates was at 39 Mulberry Street in Springfield in 1972. Judy Matt was President of the Springfield Unit of the American Cancer Society in 1977. E.J. Hiney and Stuart L. Shapiro were the pharmacists at Louis & Clark in 1986. Dr. Sang Won Rhee was director of the Vascular Lab at Baystate Medical Center in 1988. Pam Anderson was a pharmacist at Louis & Clark in 1991. The Maple Surgery Center was at 298 Carew Street in Springfield in 1995. Ken Howard was the pharmacist at Louis & Clark in 1996. Dr. John W. Shore worked at Baystate Eye Care in Springfield in 1996. Sisters of Providence Health System was on Main Street in Holyoke in 1998. Jerry Shannon's Retirement Pig Roast Barbeque was September 8, 2002 at Plastics Park on Page Boulevard. The Massachusetts School of Law is on Federal Street in Andover, Massachusetts.

Around noon the police pulled over a small black pickup truck in front of my house. The next time I looked a CJ's Towing truck was taking the truck away. The Springfield Day Nursery has lost its funding from the Commonwealth. Scott Buxton (a lawyer and former Sci-Tech political science teacher) and Frederick Gula, called roommates, have been charged with counterfeiting. Went to Copycat and Jim Trelease was there. Then out to the Acres for the Valley Advocate and Boston Globe, where there are giant snow dunes around the Big Y parking lot. Longmeadow Community Market, which opened in 1950, is closing and Big Y is hiring their employees. Health New England has 90,000 members locally. 7,000 residents of Springfield receive fuel assistance.

I discovered today in my phone bill that I was overcharged 74 cents. The phone company is a nickle and dime business, always has been, and they are out to get every penny they can. Today James Levine became the Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I like Levine, a short little Jewish guy with frizzy hair and a bright smile. Called Jeff at TV40 and complained about all the grammar errors they've been making lately. I said that they are in the business of using English and should uphold the highest standards of English usage. He thanked me. Mayor Albano is warning of layoffs and is asking every department to cut their budget by 20%.

Jim Landers, loving dad, a wonderful man, owns three tenements and has to lug his heavy snow blower to all of them each time it snows. Glenn Briere worked as a reporter for the Springfield Newspapers for 25 years covering the statehouse and then took a job with State Auditor Joseph DiNucci. Eamon said Briere told him once that it is impossible to tell if applicants for public housing are where they are supposed to be on the waiting list and said that favoritism and cheating is rampant. Jack Connolly once told Eamon that if Eamon's mother ever needed to get into a public housing complex to just tell him and he would tell Soco Catjakis to call Ray Asselin and he would move Eamon's mother to the top of the list. Soco and Asselin have total control over the lists and have been giving unfair advantage to their family and friends for years. Genuinely poor people wait in vain for housing while those with political connections move straight to the top of the waiting lists. The Springfield Housing Authority has no formal Human Resources department despite having 120 employees and pay raises are given without written evaluations. Contracts are given out year after year without the proper bidding process and seem to always go to the same companies.

January 11, 2003

35 degrees at 7:30am. Blue sky and puffy cumulus clouds. Gas is $1.46 at Watershops Pond.

Governor George Ryan of Illinois has commuted the sentences of all 167 people on death row. Dr. W.B. Adams was my very first doctor. I have a blurry remembrance of a little man in a dark suit and a little old fashioned doctor's bag. Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar (1948) propounds that queers may result from an overbearing mother and an emotionally distant father. That could be me.

WGBY-57 is still promoting its program A Celebration of Historic Deerfield. Each year thousands of visitors come to Deerfield to see its collection of 18th and 19th century houses and the Flynt Center of Early American Life with some of the great decorative art treasures of early America. One of the buildings in the former Johnson's Bookstore complex has been sold, leaving only the bookstore building itself on the market. The Better Business Bureau is useless.

Went out and bought the Union-News, Boston Globe and Hartford Courant at Newsstand in the Acres. Then out to the barber shop at the Eastfield Mall where Ciro was at work on an elderly gentleman so I went with one of the lady barbers. Afterward I went to the food court and bought a gigantic slice of pepperoni pizza and accidentally shook a lot of garlic rather than Parmesan cheese on it. Actually it wasn't that bad and it really cleaned out my sinuses! Then I swung by the Big Y on Boston Road where I bought some lean hamburger on sale.

Then I headed downtown to check out the display for the upcoming art auction at WGBY and parked in their uncrowded lot. The paintings are a real disappointment, it looks like a display of art by a bunch of bored housewives. The featured work by Robert Masla is mechanical. There was an enormous Josh Simpson megaplanet for $3,800, but it didn't have all the special details some of his others do. There were three drawings of bugs by Eric Carle but nothing rare. Peggy Starr, wife of David, donated a perfectly competent painting of flowers in a clear glass vase that was better than almost everything else. I saw a picture I liked by Louise Minks but I already own one by her. The show is packed with Les Campbell photographs selling for about $150 but overall there was not much of high quality. The wonderful variety of previous years is gone, they just don't have the merchandise this year.

Real to Reel had a feature by Steve Kiltonic on a seminary in Boston. The January issue of Chamber Channels has a picture of Dr. Carol Leary, identified as 2002's Woman of the Year. The new issue of Journal/Bravo is out and two Henriette Michaels articles should be enough to kill it! No Flavin or Gagnon on the masthead. It should be said that the Buendo brothers have now all but ruined the former Springfield Journal, but if that had to be done to get rid of Fran Gagnon than it was worth it. Mrs. Pellegrino is in the news again. Her lawyer is Thomas Kiley who lately represented Bulger. His fee is $250 per hour and Councilor Dan Kelly says she should pay him, not the taxpayers. He's right on that one. Rumors are that the Feds are closing in on Ray Asselin and that Soco is desperately trying to distance himself from his old friend. Catjakis is more than willing to let Asselin go down in order to save himself.

Eamon went to his eye doctor John Frangie in West Springfield who told him he has "young eyes" but still needs Lasik surgery in a few weeks. Eamon said Jim Bloom told him there are over 100 Springfield cops out on workman's comp "and in no rush to get back to work." David Percy from the Fire Marshall's Office came to visit Eamon this afternoon about Stephen Burke's threat to burn down his house. Percy told him that D.A. Bennett is interested in the case. Percy made a recording of Burke's threat and told Eamon to take good care of the original. Eamon described Percy as a short guy who told him he knows Dan Spellacy but knows the brother in the State Police better. Percy asked about his telephone editorials and Eamon told him it only takes him about twenty minutes to make each one. Percy admitted it was an original form of political activism.

January 13, 2003

27 degrees at 7:30am, a peachy sunrise.

The Amherst Selectboard voted to oppose an invasion of Iraq. Good for them!

Mother saw Dr. Raymond L. Barrett for nervousness in 1948. There are enormous potholes on Wilbraham Road before the Plumtree Road intersection. Yesterday I got the Sunday Republican and the New York Times at Louis & Clark, which had just inside the door maybe 25 boxes of Christmas merchandise that did not sell all packed up. I saw a rabbit hopping across the lawn when I brought in the mail the other day.

I got up at 6:30 today and watched the 7am news, which said Hooters has opened in the old Spaghetti Warehouse building. Dave Madsen described the girls as wearing "skimpy outfits" of tight tops and shorts. Mark Hyman had an editorial talking about the new book Shakedown: The Real Jesse Jackson. TV40 said "there is a partnership between the FBI and Springfield police that is a model for other police departments around the country." But that is not what the Feds told Eamon, that Chief Meara and Spellacy have not been cooperative in the corruption probe.

I caught the 8am bus into downtown and got off by Jakes eatery on the corner of Worthington. I went inside and paid $3.94 for scrambled eggs, potatoes, two slices of toast and pink lemonade. Then I walked down Main Street to Efrem Gordon's and all along the way the street was badly shoveled. One of those silly bus trolleys went by and as usual no one was on it. Downtown is a mess.

Arrived at Gordon's at 9:08 and he invited me into his library. On the wall of Efrem's by the door he has a framed typewritten letter from Louis Brandeis and another from Felix Frankfurter, both very brief, thanking Efrem's father for sending them an article he had written. Dated 1939. He also has two books by me in his library. We talked about everything about the case with the young stenographer Elaine O'Donnell present. O'Donnell said she likes her job and learns a lot, last week she was on a property case and learned a lot about farming. Afterwards as I left I ran into Atty. Marshall Moriarty who told me he likes his new house which is right on a lake.

On the bus home sitting across from me wearing a brightly colored knit cap was Peter Meltzer, an artist and former teacher at DeBerry Elementary School. He was just coming from looking at the items in the Channel 57 auction. He complained there were too many photographs for sale and not the kind of nice merchandise they had in the old days. He said his wife (now deceased) used to donate a silver bowl every year to the auction but one year they gave a Tiffany tray valued at $750 and it sold for only $100. They concluded either something dishonest was going on or the station didn't know what they were doing and so never gave again. Meltzer is an interesting, artistic type in his seventies and got off the bus at the corner of Bradley and Wilbraham Road.

Superintendent Joseph P. Burke says Springfield is 89% dependent on state aid for education. A bullshit interview in the paper today with the guy running the Basketball Hall of Fame, with Eamon chuckling over every word and declaring "he doesn't know whether he's on foot or on horseback." Eamon likes military cliches. Also an article about Frank Ware Jr. the former Cathedral basketball star who is now under investigation for getting money from all kinds of suspicious political/economic activity.

January 14, 2003

20 degrees, sunny.

Lawyers question everything, yield nothing and talk by the hour.

Julian Bond is 63. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut announced his candidacy for President at his old High School yesterday saying, "Elections are about the future." Mother kept extensive records but didn't organize them which is why it has taken so long to go through her files since she died. Father had a slight shock in 1981 and a stroke in 1982.

Doctors A.G.F. Edgeflow and Robert J. Carpenter shared an office in Springfield in 1956. Dr. Joseph C. Creed had his office on Maple Street in 1964. Doctors Ryan and Berger Inc. were located at 80 Congress Street in Springfield in 1980. K-Mart is closing a lot of their stores, including the one in Westfield. Received a letter today from Norma J. Couture, the Branch Supervisor, about the history of the 16 Acres Library. She said the architects were Lester I. Thomas and S. Dakin Chamberlin and the building was completed on June 22, 1965.

On TV40 Dave Madsen talked about distributing materials "on campus that are not school related." This is a misplaced modifier. It should be material "that are not school related on campus." The electronic media promotes sloppy language with imprecision and inaccuracy that eventually results in lousy journalism, or perhaps a better term is "electronicism."

Went to Efrem Gordon's again for depositions. Today I drove rather than take the bus and saw the city is dumping excess snow in the athletic field behind Duggan. I spotted President Courniotes' Cadillac parked at American International College. I parked at Pro-Park where the Court Square Theater once was and the attendant came right out of his little house with no waiting. When you enter Efrem's from the hallway you are in a dark waiting room that has a couple of leather backed chairs and a long bench with blue velvet seats that would look right at home in a Masonic lodge somewhere. Over this bench is a framed photo of all the members of the Hampden County Bar in 1926. On either side of this on the left is a framed steel engraving of John Marshall and on the right Daniel Webster. Gordon has on the back wall over a leather sofa a framed moonlight painting of a masted sailing vessel. There is a receptionist desk and the room itself is painted maroon. A small framed picture of Efrem's dad Louis is on the wall.

When I entered the office Efrem was sitting at his desk eating one of those little bowls of chicken noodle soup you cook in a microwave. He was on the phone with someone named Pedro and at one point said, "The police report claims it was a whole kilo." Ruth and Edith arrived at 10:54 and Shannon arrived shortly afterward. Ruth Michaud lied like hell but inadvertently spilled information we can use. Afterward Efrem said to forgive Ruth for her lies because, "She's protecting the memory of her friend." When I left Efrem graciously offered me a long black top coat from Yale-Genton he didn't want anymore and I accepted it.

As soon as I got home Eamon called and I told him about my day with Efrem. Eamon says his friend Jim Bloom, a former cop and court clerk in Palmer, has nothing but praise for Gordon, calling him a gentleman, friendly and someone who gets along well with everyone. Bloom likes to say, "In the Halls of Justice the justice is in the halls." Eamon said he may one day compile all of his telephone editorials into a book he would title Your Man on the Doorstep. Eamon says that "most of Springfield's principals and teachers live outside the city and merely use Springfield as a cash cow paycheck while they enjoy a suburban life and send their own kids to far better performing schools."

January 16, 2003

21 degrees, beautiful sun in the living room window all morning.

Oh I wish I were an Oscar Meyer weiner!
That is what I'd truly love to be!
Cause if I were an Oscar Meyer weiner,
Everyone would be in love with me!

Tom Brokaw on the news did a story on a prison camp in North Korea said to be the cruelest in the world. Are they softening us up for a war with North Korea? Ex-Governor Jane Swift is getting a job at the Kennedy School of Government. Horrors!

Attorney Efrem Gordon called and I told him about Aunt Maria's car accident in which Ada P. Darbe of Agawam was killed. Gordon used the word "vignette" in our talk, he is a master of language who often uses words one seldom hears in conversation. A cardinal rule with Gordon is to be friendly to everyone until the axe must be lowered.

Russell Peotter of WGBY sent me a response to the letter I sent him inquiring about his salary. He declined to surrender the information I requested, but I give him credit for his polite and professional reply:

Dear Atty. Miller,

I am writing in response to your request last month regarding my compensation and that of Jerry Franklin of CPTV.... Although your note was very short, I can only infer that you feel Jerry and I have taken an unnecessarily large share of donated dollars in the form of our compensation. Let me speak for myself.

I was first hired as a cameraman in 1976 at WCCB-TV in Lewiston, Maine. My boss at the time told me, "You'll never get rich by working in public broadcasting." He was right. While it has been a truly rewarding experience during these almost 30 years, the progressive increase in my responsibilities and performance would have yielded far greater personal financial benefits in the for-profit sector.... I am happy to take your calls at any time on this or any subject regarding WGBY.


Russell J. Peotter
General Manager

I stopped by my neighbor Irving Cohn's house today to drop off my Tyndall guide to James Joyce. Cohn says Mary Kay is married to the foremost authority on Joyce and so Cohn is reading Ulysses. He said his wife was not home but was out for her dialysis treatments. Then off to Copycat to make copies but Jeff said his copier finally died.

Baystate Medical Center Wesson Unit was located at 140 High Street in Springfield in 1979. Dr. Cuadra was Father's physician at the end of his life and is Eamon's current doctor. Eamon called and said he was down to the registry this morning to renew his license and only three other customers were there besides himself. Eamon said he was up on a ladder today chopping ice off his roof. Jim Landers told him he went to Chef Paul Santo's place up in Chicopee and said his pork chop was so thin you could see through it and the vegetables were so few you could count them.

Eamon said he was talking on the phone earlier with Jim Bloom about Dan Spellacy and Bloom said that Spellacy has "a weird and warped sense of humor." Eamon is complaining that "not a single principal has been fired for ineptitude and academic failure, and that is why Springfield has a last place ranked school system with the highest dropout, suspension and truancy rates and the lowest test scores in Massachusetts."

January 19, 2003

High cloudiness, sunny, 29 degrees at 11:30am.

Minds Over Missles! Negotiations Over Confrontation! Four kids at Yale have died in an SUV accident. TV40 had a reporter on the Yale campus interviewing students and one said, "It's kind of disconcerting when somebody dies at our age." How about the kids your age dying in the Persian Gulf? Why aren't you demonstrating in their behalf?

Dr. William A. Hare had his office on Maple Street in Springfield in 1944. Dr. James F. Haines of Wilbraham was one of Mother's doctors when she had the shingles. The 350th anniversary of Northampton will be celebrated in June 2004. New England Archives had a brief and fast talking commercial on TV40 News tonight. Big water main broke last night closing State Street. Neither Maureen Turner nor Tom Devine ever fully appreciated what I gave them.

Stayed home the past few days but stopped by the Cohn's briefly to drop off some reading material on James Joyce. Irving Cohn greeted me in the kitchen with a big grin and told me he has been thinking a lot about Myra these days. I told him I had to go and he said, "You're the luckiest of men, you're in good health!" I said yes, that's true, for now.

I spoke on the phone with Otto Welker about the history of the 16 Acres Mobil at 1830 Wilbraham Road. He said the person he bought it from was Bill Collins who had owned it since sometime in the 1960's. Welker said he bought it in 1986 and remodeled it in 1991.

Eamon called and said Nader the Hatter is heading back to Florida on the 29th. He said Nader told him that he was married once for seven years and is much happier single. Eamon said he got 145 callers to listen to his answering machine editorial yesterday that began, "With two phony social promotion Superintendents in succession with their records of failure in the Bronx and Miami, the Springfield School System had little chance to succeed and has little hope of recovery."

Eamon is disgusted by plans being announced to create a statue of Congressman Ed Boland downtown across from Monarch Place. He says the person most responsible for the closing of the Springfield Armory should not be so honored. It occurred to me that Boland's successor Richie Neal must be in some way involved so I called Neal's office to find out more. June answered but said all she knew about it was what was in the paper, but she did know that the person in charge was J. David Keany at 785-1337. So I called him and he told me they hope to raise $160,000. They have no definite plans except to hire Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, who did the Dr. Seuss statues, to do the one of Boland. They hope to be able to unveil it on Boland's birthday October 1st. As Tom Devine used to say about Springfield, "The bigger the scoundrel, the higher the honors."

January 20, 2003

20 degrees at 2am, puffy clouds.

Maybe the reason the first George Bush made Dan Quayle his vice-president is that he didn't want anyone who might have become a competitor to his sons.

My cold is mostly gone. Dr. Myles H. Illingsworth had an office on Chestnut Street in 1950. Mother's dermotologist was Dr. Jay A. Hendrix in 1992. The Ploughshares Institute is in Simsbury, Connecticut. The First National Bank Building in Greenfield has been okayed structurally and will be redeveloped.

They took the Xmas lights down over to Kelly's today, but I didn't see them do it. I went out around 10am and made copies at the Pride station in the Acres. A big black cop was in the Pride store looking for a Valley Advocate. I said they probably have them over in the liquor store. When I left to head over to Food Mart there were vigorous flurries in progress and the sky was dark but the squall had passed by the time I got there. They had an information table set up for Homewatch and I got my first Mississippi quarter in my change from buying a Hungry Man All-Day Breakfast.

As I came home there was a squirrel in the street by WNEC that had been run over, gory in blood, his tail lashing up and down. I felt so sorry for the dying critter but there was a heavy line of traffic and there was nothing I could do. When I got back I chatted on the phone with Mother's friend Mrs. Staniski. She said she can't walk to the corner store because of all the ice and I told her to call the PVTA van service.

Susan Christian on Fox61 has had a baby girl. She is a better newscaster than Beth Carroll whom she replaced. Fox61 had a Walmart commercial on bragging about their "good works" helping handicapped children. Walmart is a monopolistic pig corporation airing sentimental tear-jerker commercials to improve their image. On the Lehrer News Hour they had a segment on demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin against going to war with Iraq, and who should I spot but none other than Bob Mulenkamp, an old campus personality, now with grey hair.

Kathy Pellegrino has finally been fired, thank goodness. The family of murdered Springfield guidance councilor Rev. Brown will get his full pension, as is certainly appropriate. Eamon called and said he was in Stop&Shop where he ran into Tommy Crogan, who went to school with Eamon and Spellacy at Glenwood Elementary and Van Sickle. Eamon and Spellacy went to Cathedral while Crogan went to Tech. Crogan said he knows Stephen Burke and said that Fire Chief Cassinelli "despises him" and is glad Eamon is causing trouble for him.

Eamon heard from Percy the state trooper from the Fire Marshall's office and he said he's been busy and unable to do a follow-up investigation on the arson threat against Eamon's home. Percy says he wants to keep the investigation "as narrow as possible" so he doesn't plan to interview Dan Spellacy or R.M. Coughlin. Percy also told him that Kevin Garvey, President of the Fireman's Union, has informed Stephen Burke that he is under investigation. Eamon describes the whole situation as "all fucked up."

There is a wonderfully negative article in the Valley Advocate this week about Mayor Albano and all the scandals in his administration. As usual the enemies of Albano will be stocking up on copies and the mayor's friends will be throwing them in the dumpster. Tonight Karen Powell called and said people are telling her they are having trouble finding Advocates because the Albano backers are driving around stealing all the copies and throwing them away. She said she has several copies and will send one of them to Governor Romney to make sure he reads it. Powell agreed that the Advocate should do a story on Eamon. Karen herself once appeared on the cover of the Valley Advocate with her dog Simon, who ran for mayor against Albano in 1999.

January 22, 2003

19 degrees, bright and sunny, clear blue sky.

Boredom is the cause of a lot more strange behavior than anyone would want to admit.

Senator John F. Kerry jumped all over Donald Rumsfeld for saying that draftees "added no value to the military in Vietnam because they served such a short time." Kerry angrily pointed out that 20,000 draftees died in Vietnam, one third of all deaths.

Barbara G. Lucia is a Financial Consultant for Chittendon Securities at 29 State Street in Springfield. Dr. Adams was my first kid doctor, then Dr. Nelson Newmark, then Dr. Frank J. Jordan, then Dr. Popkin until he died. Dr. Mark J. Mullan took over for Popkin and is my current doctor. Dr. Gabriel H. Kitchener was a Chiropodist in Springfield in 1954. He treated me for a nasty case of athlete's foot I got in the Buckingham Jr. High locker room. I recall that the locker room and showers were primitive but well heated. There was a group latrine, no separate units, and steam pipes around the sides. Everybody had a locker with a padlock on it and long benches to sit on maybe a foot wide.

There were plenty of places to pick up germs. I must have disgusted Coach Peabody because I couldn't do anything athletic and wasn't ashamed of it. Assistant Coach Gerry Foley was cheerful and tried to encourage me by loudly cheering when occasionally I would hit a ball or make a basket. They gave me a B for effort so I could make the honor roll and I behaved well. I see it all now, but I didn't understand then. I was the best little boy in town, but my athletic performance was disgusting.

I had a pretrial hearing this morning so I drove downtown and parked in th P lot over against the Court Square wall. Then I went to use the men's room in Efrem's building which is a perfectly preserved specimen of the architecture of its day. Somehow it has never been remodeled. The whole place has steam radiators. Efrem says they have a lot of heat in the morning, then the building gets chilly until the heat kicks in again after lunch. The men's room has rose marble walls and two white pedestal sinks. Efrem's men's room was built to last a century and it has. I stared out the window at the Campanile for a bit, then went to Efrem's office at five to nine.

The door was open and the lights were on, but the receptionist had not yet arrived. Finally Efrem appeared with his usual smile and asked, "Do we have an appointment?" I replied yes and he said he'd check his calendar. Ms. White came in and started getting some papers together as Efrem said we must leave at once for the courthouse. He said he liked my winter jacket and I told him it was cold outside so he should wear a hat, but Efrem said he never wears one.

And so we left for court, and like everywhere he goes Efrem was stopped every other minute by admirers wanting to shake his hand. At the courthouse lawyers like Efrem and I go through the door on one side and everyone else enters on the other, and there was a long line of mostly minorities waiting to get in. We went to the 4th floor and into the courtroom where we were told that the Judge had to come down from Greenfield so we would have to wait. The Lucias and Gendron were in the back row. At 9:50 the Judge finally arrived and Gordon proposed I move to the front row. "Is anything important going to be said?" I asked. Gordon replied, "Who knows, but at least you'll be able to hear better."

Unfortunately despite my new location I couldn't hear well enough to follow the proceedings. Afterward in the hallway Gordon explained that nothing much had happened, that the issues had been narrowed and that things were moving "consistent with your desires." Efrem said "It is time for them to retire from the field of valor." He thanked me for coming and then headed back to his office.

I went over to Keyser's and had scrambled eggs and toast and then went back to the car where I paid $8 for parking. On the way home I stopped at Stop&Shop and finding a suggestion box in the back of the store I decided to insert a suggestion. However there was no pencil or paper to write on outside or inside the unlocked box. So I went over to the seafood counter and borrowed a pencil and paper and made three suggestions:

Suggestion Number One: Get a pencil and hitch it to the box with a string.
Suggestion Number Two: Lock the box.
Suggestion Number Three: LOWER YOUR PRICES!

On the way out I saw Bill Corrigan the manager and told him to look in his suggestion box! The mail brought a newsletter called The Congressman Richard Neal Report from Washington D.C. and it is riddled with errors. I called Neal's Springfield office and got June and told her that the mailing contained numerous errors including the failure to capitalize the City of Agawam. She politely replied that she would inform the Congressman. Then I called Eamon and told him about my day in court. Eamon says Anthony Ardolino, Charlie Kingston, Frankie Keough, the Asselins and the Pellegrinos are the sort "who have never been gainfully employed in the private sector and who would steal a dog's dinner while hiding behind a corkscrew."

January 24, 2003

Sunny, clear and 20 degrees at 1:30pm.

There is a Wesleyville, Pennsylvania on the shore of Lake Erie. David D. Selleck is Treasurer of the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Maine. Governor Rowland of Connecticut is laying off over a thousand state employees. Fort Pleasant Pharmacy was at 32 Fort Pleasant Avenue in 1949. The Arcade Pharmacy "Strictly Professional" was at 165 State Street in Springfield in 1951.

Hamelin Furniture on King Street in Northampton is going out of business. The cold caused a water main to break on Wilbraham Road in front of Duggan and the Springfield Municipal Credit Union. The Massachusetts Cultural Council is cutting funding to the Quadrangle, forcing them to cut back on the number of art shows this year. It was high-spending David Starr and his New York ways that got the Quadrangle into a lifestyle it really couldn't afford.

I called 1-877-620-2255 and got put on the Do Not Call List for telemarketers although it doesn't take effect until later this year. I gave my number to Pauline who told me that "lots of people are calling" to be put on the list. Then I called William J. Harper the roofer at 9:15 and he sounded like he just got out of bed. He told me he doesn't do standing seam roofing and doesn't know who does. He said he still has the conscientious Frenchman working for him.

Channel 40 is celebrating "50 Years of Coverage You Can Count On!" TV40 suddenly went off the air today at 5:55pm. The other stations were still in service. It didn't come on again until five after seven when Seinfeld was on, so no local news or Peter Jennings. This is not coverage you can count on! During the commercial break at 7:20 Dave Madsen came on apologizing and saying there was a WMECO transformer blowout that caused a fire behind the Springfield Shopping Plaza on Liberty. They had pictures showing trees on fire beside the transformer site.

I watched some of the Channel 57 Auction tonight. Roy Scott was the circus-master and the featured artist was Robert Masla with a pigtail and right earring. Masla spoke about spirituality in art and how art fosters growth and self esteem. However his pictures all look the same and are unexciting. Masla is very articulate but he lacks technique and perhaps tried too hard and failed. Russ Peotter also appeared as did a floppy haired John Simpson. There were also appearances by Gloria Russell, Susan Tilton Pecora and Jack Briggs. No Sally Fuller.

At one point John Simpson introduced an untitled watercolor "by one of my favorite people, Peggy Starr." I called at once and made the winning bid of $215. I am glad to have acquired this piece, a lovely still life of flowers, and of course I also wanted it because it was by Mrs. Starr, wife of David. Let us see what mischief I can cause by obtaining it.

Police Chief Paula Meara was on TV22 and it looks like she's had a facelift and dyed her hair. Eamon called and said all went well with the Lasik operation on his eyes today. He said it cost $2,800 to have it done by Dr. J.P. Frangie at the NorthEast Laser Center in West Springfield, as opposed to Dr. Balin who charges $3,800. Eamon has to take eye drops every day for some weeks. He said the PVTA van came right on time for his 9:30 appointment and he was back home by noon. Eamon also said that Percy from the Fire Marshall's office called and said Steve Burke has hired a lawyer and refuses to talk. Eamon blames Kevin Garvey of the Firefighter's Union for tipping Burke off that he was under investigation.

January 26, 2003

29 degrees, sunny and clear. Start of our January thaw?

Charles Brush of Longmeadow is the owner of the Indian Orchard Mills complex in Springfield. Dr. Norman Popkin was my regular physician for many years, a wonderful gentleman with an office on Mulberry Street that ran all across the front of his fine old residence.

The other day I called Leonard Collamore and told him about seeing The Legacy of Christopher Columbus by Otto Schoenrich (1949) being offered as a rare book in the WGBY-57 Auction. Collamore said he had never heard of the book but would try to acquire it. He seemed grateful for my referral.

I went over to the 16 Acres Library today to make some copies and while I was there I poked around in their computer catalog. They have nothing listed for me, nothing by Guy MacLain but twelve entries for Joseph Carvalho including videos! There were also five items by Fran Gagnon, but didn't have time to check Arthur Curley. So obviously there is preferential treatment for some authors. When I left the library a jeep with the license number 7575DK cut in front of me on Parker Street.

Next I headed downtown to pick up my Peggy Starr painting at 57 and they gave it to me nicely wrapped in brown paper. Then I swung by Eamon's house to show it to him and he liked it. Eamon's license plate number is MI-5. He recalled how there used to be a place downtown called Paramount Clothes run by Hugo Roth and S. Bruce Sheffield. When the store closed John Pierce Lynch gave Sheffield a job at the Registry of Deeds. John Pierce Lynch once told Eamon, "If they build Eastfield Mall you can forget about downtown." Lynch thought the only way to save downtown was to put buildings on the riverfront.

Eamon has been getting reports that the Union-News has been calling around asking people about him, perhaps in order to do a story about the arson threat against his house. Eamon says he would be surprised if that's true because the paper has always been reluctant to print his name or give him any publicity lest it increase the number of callers to his telephone editorials. When I left Eamon gave me some cookies and recent copies of Reader's Digest. On the way back I stopped at the Boston Road Big Y for some Imperial Margarine. It was quite crowded.

For weeks Larry McDermott's answering machine at the paper has been shut off. Today I tried it and it was on so I left the message, "Hello Larry, this is Wesley. Happy New Year!" Then I called Eamon and told him that McDermott's answering machine is working. Eamon soon called back saying that he called and left a message telling McDermott to stop sending his reporters to spy on him and be a man and interview him in person. He then told Jim Landers who got on the phone and left a message telling McDermott to stop covering up for the crooked politicians and the incompetents running the public schools. All of these calls were made within a fifteen minute time span. I wonder how long it will be before McDermott's answering machine is turned off again?

January 28, 2003

13 degrees at 8:21am. Sunny, nice but chilly. Gas at Pride is $1.49 per gallon.

Southbridge Savings Bank now has branches at the Big Y in Amherst and West Springfield. Grace House, a program for homeless women with children in Amherst, has fallen short of their fundraising goals said Catherine A. Bennett, program director. Marcia Williams is the President of the Atheneum Society of Wilbraham, Bob Swallow is the Vice President. UMass Professor Leonard L. Richards delivered a lecture recently on "The Truth About Shay's Rebellion."

A member of the Russell family that owns the restaurants Russell's and Thirtysomething, both on Boston Road, has been killed in a snowmobile accident. The funeral will be at Trinity United Methodist. Ray Herschel had a story on the news that the principal of Van Sickle has been transferred to the troubled Sci-Tech, but parents of Van Sickle students are complaining they want the principal to stay. Weatherman Tom Bevacqua said it was eleven degrees last night at his house in Greenfield.

On WFCR they played the first piece by Mozart I ever played with the Young People's Symphony Orchestra so that was really special and I listened to the whole thing. Also on WFCR UMass English Professor Arnold Silverman gave a strong pro-Israel editorial. He said the Arabs criticize Israel "to deflect attention from their own corruption." He also said that for Israel to allow Yasser Arafat to be head of a Palestinian state would be like making Osama bin Laden head of Canada!

A piece in Cries and Whispers told about how Judith Matt was sitting with Brenda Garton of WNEC at a Springfield Symphony Orchestra lunchtime concert when some construction workers elsewhere in the building starting making a lot of noise: "Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt jumped from her seat, ran outside, flagged down a Springfield patrolman and said, "You have to stop these workers, we are in the middle of a concert here." The patrolman acted quickly, the noise stopped and the concert continued uninterrupted. So much for the extra percussion."

Went to Louis & Clark to send out mail to the Greenfield Public Library and Liberty Methodist Church. Cindy and Joann were working and I bought them each a box of 99 cent chocolates! The new Journal/Bravo is out with nothing in it by Francis Gagnon but a fine piece by Flavin.

Mike Peters' comic Mother Goose and Grimm had a Christopher Columbus theme the other day so I thought I would alert alleged Columbus collector Leonard Collamore. I called and got Mrs. Collamore on the phone who said Leonard was not there because he was teaching at STCC this morning. I said I thought he retired and she said he did but still teaches one class for the extra money. So there you go, these politicians sure know how to take care of themselves! I told her about the cartoon and when I hung up I called Channel 57 and found out that the rare Columbus book I told Collamore about that was offered in their auction went unsold, meaning Collamore never called to bid on it like he said he would. I am becoming more and more convinced that Professor Leonard Collamore is a phony and a faker.

Governor Romney fired thirty plus state public relations people because he said they were a waste of taxpayer's money. Good for him. Travolini and Finneran have both released statements saying they are willing to work with Romney even though he is a Republican. We shall see. Eamon says he now knows for a fact that the newspaper is working on a story about him and that one of the reporters involved is Buffy Spencer. Eamon's latest telephone message says that "Mayor Albano has a distinct tendency to lie." Larry McDermott's answering machine has been turned off again.

January 31, 2003

23 degrees this morning, a dusting of snow overnight. Gas is still $1.49 at Pride.

Mother died of colon cancer on January 23, 1999. About a year earlier she made an appointment to be x-rayed at Baystate Medical Center and they put her through the process and told her there were no problems. She told them it still hurts so they gave her some pain pills. It turned out they should have x-rayed the lower section.

Pat Morrison of the L.A. Times is proposing that polticians be fined for their grammar errors. Latoya Foster of TV22 made a grammar error on the news tonight. WFCR is celebrating Shubert's birthday by playing Symphony Number Five. Ruth B. Loving the distinguished black lady with white hair who works at the Martin Luther King Center in the Square was on TV complaining about cuts in welfare spending proposed by Governor Romney. Later I watched On the Menu on 57 with Roy Scott who had the chef from Chandler's in Deerfield as his guest. I found the show boring and Roy Scott is no Julia Child.

Atty. Herve J. Girard had an office on Main Street in Palmer in 1974. The office of Efrem A. Gordon is at 101 State Street. His father Louis who founded the firm was born in 1898 and died in 1960. Anthony S. Nowak, a life-long resident of Ludlow has died at the age of 79. He was a relative of the gentleman who runs the antique shop in Indian Orchard. A new Kohl's store is to open in West Springfield in April. Hartford has cancelled their Mark Twain Days celebration two years in a row. Greenfield is preparing to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of its founding in 1753.

Cooking up a Mrs. Smith blueberry pie, the mail today brought the Book of the Month Club books. I called Wesley Church and Arlene MacKay answered very professionally and said that Karen Gutowski is the pastor at Liberty Methodist and she and her husband Richard live on Ohio Avenue in West Springfield. I hate the Verizon phone company. They nickle and dime you, are misleading and dealing with them is a waste of time. Fortunately practically the only long distance phone calls I make are to Timothy Hawley and Melinda McIntosh.

Ran into Mrs. Penniman coming out of Louis & Clark. Went to the Newsstand in the Acres for the Boston and Springfield papers, then out to Filene's at the Eastfield Mall, where I was waited on in the China Department by a man with diamond earrings named Scott Newburger. I told him their tureens should have the William & Mary design around the platter and at the edge of the lid. Dr. Scholl's sandals were also for sale in Filene's for $29.95.

Then I drove out to the Whateley Antiquarian Book Center and the friendly Mr. Povirk was in charge. He told me there was an enthusiastic crowd at the Springfield book fair but the promoters did a poor job of advertising. He said business has been slow. When I got back to Springfield I stopped at the McDonald's on Allen and got two Big Macs for the price of one with a coupon.

Chief Scott of Holyoke was on TV tonight calling the local judiciary "too liberal and too lenient." Sy Becker announced on the news that Cory Ramos, who killed the guidance councilor Rev. Ted Brown has been sent to jail for life with the possibility of parole in fifteen years. By then he'll probably have a PHD in social work and be made President of STCC.

Father Lavigne now lives at 86 Haven Avenue in Chicopee. Federal agents yesterday raided the Dickinson Street home of Arthur G. Sotirion of the Springfield Housing Authority looking for "evidence of kickbacks from contractors, stolen power tools and appliances, contract receipts and other business records. A spokesperson for the agency Raymond L. Berry would not comment on the search of Sotirion's home."

Jim Landers is taking real estate classes at STCC for free because he's an employee. Eamon called and said his caller ID showed that four different reporters from the Union-News called today to listen to his message bashing the paper. He said that Stephen Burke the firefighting arsonist has hired Tom Rooke as his lawyer. Eamon hears that Atty. Rooke is nothing but a pompous ass. Percy from the Fire Marshall's office will file an official complaint against Burke next week.

Eamon said his mother told him he could never be a politician because he won't lie. Eamon said he just got off the phone with A. Gingras who told him a Hispanic kid at Commerce named Rocky was hit with a sucker punch and fell backward down a staircase and split his head open and had to be taken away on a stretcher. Eamon is pleased that Governor Romney is appalled that the state employs over 800 lawyers and intends to fire them until there is only 50 or 60. Eamon has been in touch with Romney who instructed him to send any dirt he has on Springfield to his aide Eric Kriss, State House Room 373, Boston 02133.