11/26/12

July 2002

July 2, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 3, 2002

82 degrees at 10am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 6, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 8, 2002

71 degrees at 5:30am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 10, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The best thing though is this juicy anecdote Tom provides:

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

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

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

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


July 12, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 16, 2002

Comfortable 81 degrees at 1:30pm.

Without books the richest man is poor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 17, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 19, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 23, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 24, 2002

Wonderfully cool, 72 degrees at 7am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 25, 2002

Gas at Breckwood Sunoco is $1.34 per gallon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 27, 2002

Extensive cloud coverage, 69 degrees at 8am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 29, 2002

70 degrees and heavily overcast at 6am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 31, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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