7/11/13

November 2001

November 1, 2001

45 degrees at dawn, sun glowing through the clouds. Gas at Pride is $1.23 per gallon.

The motto of the Springfield Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons is "To Serve, not to be Served."

Reggie Wilson, the Supervisor at the Mason Square Library has no library degree but was promoted for her long service at the reference desk. WFCR said that the Library and Museums Association are still negotiating with Question One supporters, so I called Karen Powell. She said that was false, that they had rejected any further negotiations until after the vote. On TV22 I saw a very brief library commercial with a woman saying, "On November 6 please vote to keep our libraries open. Vote no on Question One. That's NO on Question One."

My political signs on the lawn are fine, no one damaged them on Halloween. The Friends of the Library sent me one of their mailings urging me to vote no on Question One. Eamon got one too, and applied his "Bullshit" stamp to it and mailed it to Mrs. Joyal. Ron Lavoie from the Town of Wilbraham called and said they are going to "knock over the shack" at Fernbank tomorrow at 7:30 and I can come watch the demolition if I wish. My neighbor Kelly has raked all her leaves into the middle of her yard around the tree.

I left today at 9:30 to attend the Commerce 2001 Trade Fair. On the way I saw one of those trolleys heading up the Chestnut extension, empty of course. All the libraries have signs in front, white in a field of red, "Save Your Libraries - Vote No on Question One." Saw another large pink sign on the right hand side half way up Wilbraham Road. Commerce 2001 is being held at the Young Building this year since the enhanced military activity at Westover since 9/11 made it unavailable. When I got inside the trade fair Gene LaPierre of Taylor Rental in Holyoke served me some popcorn. DeRenzy Document Solutions was also giving away popcorn. I had a nice fish bisque at the Chateau Provost booth, made with kielbasa and horse radish, and the black chef urged me to take all I wanted.

The Springfield Newspapers had a little cafe serving cinnamon donuts and hot cider. I recognized their advertising manager Joel Morse and said I had nothing against him, but I don't like the policies of David Starr. I saw Sally Fuller walking around. Petlock came over and greeted me as if we were old pals, and I guess we are. He said he can now hear fine since he got his cochlear implant. Petlock looked in good shape. Buendo from The Reminder walked past and greeted me by name. The City of Holyoke had a super economic development display up, whether any of it ever actually happens is another matter. Pond Ekberg Company was there, I'm surprised they're still in business.

At the Basketball Hall of Fame booth they told me that there will not be an L.L. Bean or Nike at the new Hall but there will be five restaurants. The only question is whether they will all be owned by one person or separately. I told him that the politicians will want to give all five to one of the privileged insiders, but the public would be better served by having five different owners competing against each other. Two college kids standing nearby interrupted to say they agreed. There were U.S. flags everywhere, they even had a guy passing out little flags.

On my way home I swung by Walmart to pick up some film to take pictures tomorrow, then to United Bank to deposit some checks. I paused briefly at the Sixteen Acres Library and then headed towards the Caron for Mayor headquarters. On Bradley Road I saw a flag lying in the street of a size I've seen selling for $9.96 at Walmart. I hate all this war profiteering. When I arrived at Caron's there were maybe a dozen people there, none of whom I knew, so I took a bumpersticker and a large apple and left. I noted they had Caron for Mayor t-shirts for sale for $19. On the way home there was a terrible traffic tie-up on Bradley and Plumtree.

When I got home Eamon called and said that somebody threw eggs at his house on Halloween. The new edition of the Valley Advocate is out and Eamon says Maureen Turner's article is excellent. Eamon said that the Albano Administration is worried about the election and he was told that Anthony Ardolino, Frankie Keough and Gerry Phillips were seen together leaving the Mayor's office with grim expressions on their face.

November 2, 2001

67 degrees at 11:30am.

We should never take for granted
That which we hold so dear
Like Liberty and Justice
And prayer without fear.

For all these things were made possible
For people like you and me
By courageous men in history
Like Lincoln and Kennedy.

- Jack Carney 1997

On WFCR this morning they said the fire is still going on the Mt. Holyoke range. 100 firemen are involved and nearly 400 acres have burned. Senator Brian Lees has not formally endorsed any candidate in the Springfield mayoral race. He has friends in both camps.

I left here at 6:30 in order to see the Town of Wilbraham revert my family's land at Fernbank back to its natural state. On my way I noticed that the front doors of the Atheneum Society are now nicely painted. The J.B. McGuire place on Faculty is completely stripped and awaiting painting. The sun was just coming up as I turned left onto Maynard Road and arrived at Fernbank at 7:05. A little grey scoop and a plow were already there, manned by Denis and Mel, whose nickname is Lion. They had already lined up the equipment in front of the garage and were ready to go at it. A blue Ford Town of Wilbraham Maintenance truck was parked on the edge of King Drive, off to the right side going down. Soon an immense dump truck with Mitch in it arrived, followed by another with Don Mason in a white t-shirt. Finally, a few minutes later Ron Lavois arrived in a white Taurus and parked on King Drive ahead of the blue truck. He was wearing an army jacket.

I introduced myself to everybody and took some pictures and everybody was very polite and congenial. I told them I am a lawyer who is too honest to actually practice law and they laughed. State Trooper Flaherty pulled up to see what was going on but was friendly and went on his way. Mitch was something of a goof off and I had the least conversation with him. Lion was cautious at first but became friendlier as the morning went on. Lavois was very friendly and professional, but only stayed for twenty minutes. I talked a bit with Don Mason, who said he is a Minnechaug graduate. He used to live on Glendale and now lives in Hampden. He told me he used to work for Springfield Astro-Chemical. Don said a friend of his had a camp like mine up in Branford, Vermont until it was vandalized beyond repair.

By 7:40 the garage was down and they were ready to move on to the main building. I asked where all the rubble would end up and they said Western Recycling on Old Boston Road. So the rubble from the garage was swiftly taken away, even the cement block foundation. Then they turned to the main camp. First the porch was smashed, then the rest of the building was attacked. As the walls fell I took pictures of the inside, the brown woodwork and trim, the black and white checkerboard linoleum. Denis paused long enough for me to collect the doorknob to the back entrance. I also got one last photo through the kitchen window, where it was always so lovely looking out into the woods and down to the river. I rescued an old fashioned dish drainer in fine condition and a porcelain soap dish from over the sink.

By 11:10 everything was down, leaving only a heap of rubble to be carried off. All that was left was the fireplace, which Denis said was good and solid so since it was to be parkland they were told to leave it standing. As I viewed my family's property now in ruins, I had to walk away a little distance off so the men could not see my tears. When I returned the guys had decided to break for lunch at a nearby deli. Before they left I got the highly professional and illustrious Wilbraham road engineering crew to all pose together for a picture. They said nothing when I brought out Sweet Pea and Honey Pot and posed them on the truck so that they could be in the picture too.

November 4, 2001

Heavily overcast and 61 degrees at 7am. Gas is $1.18 at the St. James intersection.

Since September 11, more Americans are aware of how important it is what goes on in other countries. The return of Michael Jordan is helping the Washington Wizards. Vintage Books is located in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. J. Lawton Booksellers is in Brookline, Massachusetts. "Oberon's Dream" was presented at the Octagon at Amherst College recently. On the latest city census I am listed as a voter registered independent and for my occupation I put "lawyer/intellectual."

There is a new Civic Center commercial starring Stuart Hurwitz. He is shown standing in front of the Civic Center, followed by images of the Falcons, of basketball, a rock singer and the Boston Pops, until at the end Hurwitz exclaims, "Prove to the world that no group will ever control our freedom!" The paper announced that the Springfield police now have a special number to report suspicious activity. I dialed the number and said that I understand that the police have been told by the Mayor to overlook certain activities in the North End so as to not offend the voters there, which I consider to be a suspicious activity by both the Mayor and the police! They said thank you, have a nice day.

This afternoon I cooked up a Sarah Lee Cherry Pie and it came out very nicely. Today was the Antiquarian Book Fair at STCC, put on by the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers. At the same time the Springfield Armory Historic Site was holding an Honoring Veterans Weekend featuring Gene Price, Earl Gregory, George Williams and David Cohen. Later, Dave Cohen was on the TV news saying, "We need a cure for hate." My thousand dollar purchase at the fall sale in Whately got me a free ticket to the book fair from Povirk. Before I left I dropped off some stuff at Lucius, carefully latching the breezeway door so that the cat couldn't get out.

I arrived at Springfield Technical Community College at 10am and the parking was awful, but fortunately I found a spot right opposite the door. I had a chat with Joe Cambrini and met Barbara Verrilli of Trotting Hill Books, who seems like a sweet, librarian like woman. J.K. Rosenthal of Amherst had old Springfield atlases for sale for $290, which is reasonable. Gatley told me that STCC let them have the gym for the event for free. A New Hampshire dealer who knows Sylvia Felix said her husband died recently. Unique Antique of Putney, Vermont had never heard of Mary Waller. Murray the Wilbraham dealer was there. A black man told me he has had business dealings with the Springfield Journal but has never met Francis Gagnon. Marcus Printing of Holyoke was passing out flags. Marcus always has an extra special freebie for these trade shows. Star Press now has a webpage designing service. From Povirk I bought an 1826 book on South America for $100 and Richard Griffin's Bughouse Poetry (1917) for $45.

When I left I swung by Eamon's and he has his Halloween flag still up and a new Celtic Cross in his backyard. He said there was a standout for Albano at Liberty and Carew and on the Brunton Triangle. There was another Albano standout on St. James Avenue. He said the Caron people rented a bus and rode all over the South End, passing out candy and shouting campaign slogans with bullhorns. Eamon said he heard through Brian McLaughlin, an FBI friend, that the Feds are not ready to take action until after the election. McLaughlin said he heard it directly from Cliff Hedges and Jim Scripter. Eamon said that an anonymous letter was sent throughout the South End accusing Councilor Angelo Puppolo of betraying the Italian community by not backing Albano. Eamon called TV reporter Sy Becker about it, but Becker said it would be best to ignore it, since publicity would only draw more attention to the letter and increase its damage. Eamon also called Puppolo who said he was aware of the letter and told Eamon "it shows how rotten my enemies are."

As I was driving back from Eamon's there was a standout in Mason Square for Desiree Parker for School Committee. They were all blacks, impeccably dressed in their Sunday best. Knowing nothing of Desiree I unrolled my window as I waited at the light and inquired about her. A supporter told me she is a teacher at Kennedy Middle School. I promised I would vote for her and as the light changed I tooted my horn and drove off.

When I got home I realized I had a blister on my foot caused by a fold in my sock. I called the Bookstore Building and left a message with Peter Johnson that I heard that Sylvia Felix's husband died. I got a recorded message on the phone today from Paul Caron urging me to vote to "restore a culture of honesty to City Hall." A letter came today in the mail from the Caron for Mayor campaign saying, "This campaign has been about the truth, and the truth is the reason that we need to bring change to City Hall next Tuesday." Paul Caron has a new commercial attacking Albano. It points our how property values are down, debt has soared, the judge said Albano lied in the stadium fiasco, the FBI is in town and ends with the words, "We can't afford another minute of Mayor Mike!"

November 5, 2001

Sunny, calm, 48 degrees at 7am.

Former United States Congressman Edward P. Boland died at Mercy Hospital last night at the age of 90.

A Boston Herald poll says that 51% in Massachusetts favor legalizing casino gambling, with 37% opposed and 12% undecided. That must please Peter Picknelly! The news said there are 700 annulments in the Boston Diocese each year. WFCR played Mozart's Symphony No. 40, such a lovely piece of music. Spoke briefly with Shirley H. on the phone. She said Aunt Maria is doing fine.

I took a picture of my political signs out in front of my house. Did the dishes, housecleaning and a load of wash. Went out to Wilbraham Town Hall today and dropped off some photos of the razing of Fernbank. Tonya was at the counter but Beall was not at her desk. Persall was there so I gave him a picture and we admired a 1920 map of Hampden County. He said he has been talking lately with historian and archivist Coralee Gray. I said he might find more maps and material on Wilbraham at Amherst Antique Maps and I told him I would call and give the number to Fran. He remarked that you seldom hear the term "antiquarian" and said it sounds like a conflation of antique and Aquarius!

Tomorrow is the municipal election. Mayor Albano withdrew from a debate on WHYN 560 at the last minute, so they let Paul Caron come on by himself for an hour. I tuned in and heard during a break a wonderful commercial for Charles Rucks. During his interview with Bo Sullivan Caron said that Albano's sweetheart deals with privileged insiders costs the taxpayers money. Caron also predicted that if elected he will have no problem working with the City Council because he can "work together with anyone." Everyone says that. I got a copy of the letter that was mailed all over the South End this week attacking Councilor Puppolo:

Angelo Puppolo Has Forgotten His Italian Roots

Dear Friend,

I am writing to you to bring a very important matter to your attention. It appears that Springfield City Councilor Angelo Puppolo has forgotten his Italian roots, something we should all remember this election season. Italian Americans have suffered documented prejudice, ranging from Sacco and Vanzetti, Italian Americans executed in Massachusetts for crimes they did not commit, to every day citizens.

Councilor Puppolo's comments in the Valley Advocate, "Italian Americans haven't faced discrimination in America" and that such accusations are "nonsense" shows he needs a history lesson. We all remember being told by our parents some of the disadvantages of having a vowel at the end of our name. We all remember being told by our parents that we had to work twice as hard to become successful.

Next Tuesday, November 6, 2001, send Councilor Puppolo a message; we don't want him to represent us anymore on the City Council. Apparently, he cares more about his political agenda than the history of the Italian people.

Sincerely,

Concerned Italian Citizens of Springfield

P.S. Please protect your heritage and phone a friend!


Eamon called and said that Rosemarie Coughlin has been sick the past few days. Eamon told me he has given some of his archival papers to Amherst College, including his correspondence with John Silber and letters from Reagan, Goldwater, Clinton and others. Someone left an anonymous message on his phone saying that Eamon's telephone editorials are repetitious. I said yes, but they are always timely when they are used since the problems are persistent.

Eamon complained that too much fuss is being made over the death of Boland. Eamon says that Boland was a nobody to his colleagues in the House of Representatives, who used to refer to him as "The House Mouse." His Boland Amendment was "swiss cheese legislation" with so many loopholes it couldn't restrain President Reagan in any way. Eamon says Boland did much to encourage the culture of corruption in Springfield and was tied to some sleazy real estate deals. On the news Sy Becker said that Boland never lost an election, so Eamon called TV22 and left the message that "Boland may never have lost an election, but he lost the Springfield Armory."

November 6, 2001

Sunny, 45 degrees at 7am. Slightly breezy. Gas is $1.19 at Watershops Pond.

!!!CARON DEFEATED!!!

Rep. Paul Caron was crushed by Mayor Michael Albano 56% to 44%. The library question was also defeated by 60% to 40%. The first election results coming in at 8:29 on TV22 had Albano ahead by 2 to 1. I tried calling Caron headquarters tonight to offer my condolences but no one answered the phone. Carol Lewis-Caulton was also defeated, and at 10:08 I called her house. I told her how sorry I was and to stay in touch and she replied, "Thank you so much for calling." On the 11:00 news Albano was boasting about his victory, saying it was a nice 51st birthday present from the electorate. When asked why he won he said it was because he had assembled "a rainbow coalition." How terrible that Springfield has failed to free itself from the curse of Albano!

President Bush is comparing the Taliban to Nazis, but the Nazis were not a religious movement. Religion of whatever kind is bad because it makes people feel they are better than other people. Massachusetts and California are not signing off on the Microsoft settlement. The Myrick Building was the first steel re-enforced cement building constructed in Springfield. It occurred to me today that banker Tom Burton has been keeping a low profile lately. They are now accepting nominations for this year's William Pynchon Award, Springfield's highest honor, but I will not bother submitting any names. Those who most deserve a Pynchon never get it. The first Pynchon Award was given in 1915.

I took a nap late in the afternoon. I was voter number 109 when I voted at Glickman Elementary this morning. It was a mild, pleasant, sunny morning which no doubt helped with voter turnout. There were a dozen Albano sign holders outside and only one person holding a sign for Caron. The Allards were just leaving the polls and Mrs. Allard said she will be very disappointed if Albano is re-elected. I voted for Ken Shea, Tim Ryan, Parker and all my regular people. Afterwards I drove over to the A.I.C. library to read the Chronicle of Higher Education. Coming back by Boston Road I stopped by the Big Y and bought milk. The price is up again. I noticed that the Big Y had "Vote No on One" handouts at every cash register. Of course Donald D'Amour is President of the Library Association. There was also a yellow "Vote NO" flyer in today's newspaper. Then I went across the street to McDonald's where I had two fish sandwiches for the price of one with a coupon. There was a lot of trash blowing around their parking lot.

Eamon called and said he had a colonoscopy today with Dr. Bernard and they saw no problems. He said he hated the stuff they made him drink beforehand. Eamon was saddened but not surprised by Caron's defeat. Eamon complained that Caron "never listened to me" and that Leon Gaumond was "off doing his own thing." He reported that Rosemarie Coughlin told him that she was so upset she had to leave Caron's headquarters just fifteen minutes after the results came in. He also spoke to Jim Landers who he described as "despondent" and said that Karen Powell is "totally devastated" by Caron's defeat. Eamon also feels bad about Lewis-Caulton losing, describing her as "the only councilor who voted in the interest of the taxpayers."

Eamon says that new City Councilor RoseMarie Mazza-Moriarty is related to Grimaldi, Scibelli and Albano. She ran on a platform of term limits and ward representation, and Eamon says it will be interesting to see what she actually does on those issues. She also ran on Caron's issues of finances, schools and neighborhood revival, but didn't endorse Caron. Landers told Eamon that Caron barely carried 16 Acres, Indian Orchard and Hungry Hill, areas where he should have won big. Albano swamped Caron in the North End and Mason Square. Landers said he believes Albano had moles planted in the Caron campaign who were telling Albano everything Caron was doing. Eamon predicts that Albano will now take his full vengeance against Caron, probably by remaking his district so it will be impossible for him to win re-election, perhaps even forcing him into a run-off with Chris Asselin. Landers agreed that Albano will settle for nothing less than the total destruction of Caron's political career. Caron tried to overthrow the king and failed, and for that he must now pay a terrible price.

November 8, 2001

Sunny, calm, 49 degrees at 11:35am.

!!!CITY HALL RAIDED!!!

A nearly frantic with excitement Eamon T. O'Sullivan called and told me to turn on the TV because the FBI was raiding City Hall! I ran to the television and turned it on as Ray Herschel was exclaiming, "The FBI is in the midst of conducting a raid on City Hall, just two days after the re-election of Mayor Michael J. Albano." FBI agents were shown rolling filing cabinets out of City Hall from the Office of Community Development, Economic Development and the city Auditor's Office. A similar raid appeared to be taking place elsewhere downtown at the offices of the Hampden County Education and Training Consortium. A nervous and confused looking Mayor Albano came on and said he is not concerned about the documents being seized because "my administration is an open book."

I called Karen Powell later to find out what she knew and she said that she and Rosemarie Coughlin drove downtown as soon as they heard the news of the raid and arrived at City Hall just after the FBI had left. She said that City Hall "was like a morgue" with everyone in a state of shock and sitting at their desks looking down. They went over to the Mayor's Office but were told that Albano had left for the day. They tried to ask questions of the mayor's aides but they refused to say anything. Powell said that when Coughlin got home she got a call from Paul Caron in Boston trying to find out what was going on.

Today is the one month anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan. Since 9/11 70% of Americans have donated money to help New York, although mostly in very small amounts. UMass teaching assistants have joined the UAW Graduate Educators Association. Diane Dubrevil is Director of Volunteer Services at Baystate Medical Center. Dana R. Barrows graduated from Western New England Law School in 1977. There was a picture in the paper of David A. Pepin of Chicopee participating in the John A. Napoli Memorial motorcycle run. Anna M. Lemke, formerly of South Hadley, has died at age 87. Scientist Hendrik C. Nienhuys of Suffield, Connecticut has died at age 89. His daughter Carolyn hosted the Young People's Symphony's Annual Picnic one year in Longmeadow. We played vollyball and had dinner, it's too bad there weren't more of those kinds of activities. I notice that since the Springfield Newspapers started charging for obituaries, some of them have become much more detailed than when they were free.

I was surprised this morning to find my Caron for Mayor sign gone, as well as the one in front of the Allard's. I guess the Caron people are gathering all their signs from all over the city. Maple leaves are still green on Inglewood Avenue and along Boston Road. Shall we call it a late fall? Went to McDonald's on Boston Road for breakfast and read the Valley Advocate. Then I drove out to the Big Y in Longmeadow for a free flu shot. While waiting in line I ran into Saul Finestone of Longmeadow, who is one of the leaders of the Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty, Hampden County Chapter. We recalled having met before years ago at a Court Square rally. He said he didn't care much who won the mayoral race in Springfield, saying he has dealt with both Albano and Caron in the past and hinted he prefers Albano. I agreed that Albano is probably more intelligent than Caron, but added that I don't like the clouds of scandal that are always over the Albano Administration.

I told Finestone that I have no use for David Starr of the Springfield Newspapers, to which he responded with silence. I also told him I admire the work of the Valley Advocate kids and he said that the Longmeadow Democratic Committee invites their editor Tom Vannah to speak once a year. Saul looks to be in his 70's and said he used to be a school teacher. After getting my shot, I left and noted some of the changes in the main mall. Accent Travel is out of business, but Fleet Bank, Friendly's and the CVS Pharmacy are still there. Bertucci's still occupies the old Gilded Lily space and Metro Arts is unchanged. Cock of the Walk is still nice. The Starbucks that opened in 1998 is still selling expensive pastry and a tiny United Co-operative Bank branch is opening soon.

I called Councilor Puppolo's home today and left a message congratulating him on his re-election despite the dirty tricks the Albano people pulled to smear him. The media is saying that the reason Caron lost is because his campaign was too negative, but that isn't so. Eamon said he spoke with Leon G. and he said they sent an entire list of positive things they intended to do to the paper on six separate occasions, but they never printed a word. The Union-News was determined to portray Caron as running a totally negative campaign and ignored anything Caron sent them to the contrary. Leon said that Michael McAuliffe from the paper called this morning for a follow-up response to the election, but he doesn't expect anything he said to appear except in a distorted way meant to sound negative. Eamon told Leon that the Springfield Newspapers don't really care about Springfield since their staff all live in Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Palmer and elsewhere.

Leon said to Eamon that their team of Boston consultants had their whole campaign down to a science and he doesn't understand why it didn't work. Eamon said Jim Landers wife said that she thinks the Boston consultants were partly to blame for the defeat, with too many decisions made "off campus" without enough input from the troops on the ground. Lander's wife worked the phone bank on Stevens Street on Election Day. Eamon said that Jim Landers sounds bitter about Caron's loss, saying he and his wife and son Sean did a lot of work for Caron and now have nothing to show for it. Landers said he wished he'd listened to Eamon when he tried to warn him that the Caron campaign was making a lot of mistakes and probably wouldn't win.

Eamon and I discussed the raid on City Hall and Eamon said he was told that Albano was seen leaving City Hall after the raid with his close friends Frankie Keough and Charlie Kingston. Eamon said that Kingston used to be a bagman for Mass Mutual and Teddy Dimauro and now owns a $700,000 house in Kennebunkport, Maine next to the mob lawyer Bumpy Scibelli. Eamon described today's raid as "the saddest day in Springfield's 365 year history."

November 9, 2001

Sunny, 49 degrees at 7am. Gas is $1.17 in the Acres.

The first President Bush called for "a million points of light" and now his son is calling for "a million acts of responsibility, decency and service." Bullshit. Reaching for Glory is a new book about LBJ's doubts about Vietnam. There are 324 CVS stores in Massachusetts. In Monson the Zero Company, founded in 1908, is closing. Baystate Gas is laying off 50. 25 pink slips are being handed out by the Springfield Parks Department.

First National was at 836 State Street in Springfield in 1960. Albert Carville of the Colby class of '63 now lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Steve Buynicki was the Training Director for Century21 Security Real Estate on Page Boulevard in 1980. The entrance to Buckingham Junior High School was on Eastern Avenue, across from the Strand Theater. Years ago Larry Gormally of the Springfield Journal did an article on Buckingham Jr. High in which he quoted from my letters from Principal Arthur O. Irving at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum without citing me. The Journal's latest issue has another Gormally article on Buckingham.

Today was the major tag sale day of the fall season with sales at both South Congregational Church on Maple Street in Springfield and at St. Cecilia's on Main Street in Wilbraham. When I got to St. Ceci's I saw that Melinda McIntosh was first in line. Second in line reading a bookseller's catalog was Jim Sarantidis in khaki shorts and a grey knit hat over his long hair. I became the third in line and both Melinda and Jim were very friendly. Jim thanked me for the article I sent him on foolish book discarding by the Springfield libraries. This caused Melinda to recall an article she read in The New Yorker about the foolish dumping of books in San Francisco. An old man who was next in line named Walt Erikson said that the books they threw out in Palmer was criminal. He claimed that they threw away regimental histories from the Civil War and some Brady photographs. Then a woman who arrived in a pretty little forest green car spoke up and told us that she gave some material about local Polish history to the Polish Cultural Center and she hopes they will never discard them. Melinda reported that the person who runs the Polish Center used to work at UMass, but the staff treated him badly and he was glad to get a job at Elms.

Melinda inquired as to whether I had given away my family's camp to Wilbraham, and when I responded yes she said she wants to come to the ribbon cutting. Both Koziel fellows showed up and John thanked me for the postcard I sent him. Everyone agreed that the sale at St. Cecilia's is superior to the one at South Congregational. Melinda said that last year she asked one of the workers how much St. Ceci makes off these sales and was told $12,000. When the door opened Melinda went straight for the clothes, Jim for the books and I for the collectibles. I bought a framed and matted print of chrysanthemums.

After leaving I swung by the South Congregational sale, where a tall, very nice black woman with grey hair was running the book section. I bought The Methodist Hymnal (1939) with Beverly Jean Gran stamped on the cover and written inside in Leslie Johnson's handwriting, "Presented to Beverly Jean Gran by Wesley Methodist Church, Springfield, Mass. June 1965." Kenneth Gran was one of the fellows in the group at Wesley's in my day. He was a friendly, regular fellow, what more can I say? I also bought Louis Bromfield's Out of the Earth (1950) because it used to be part of the Steiger's lending library. When I left State Street was blocked off so I went up the Dwight extension and out Allen, getting home just late enough to miss the noon news. On my way home I dropped off the Boston Herald at the Penniman's and some magazines for the Cohn's. Irving Cohn gave me a big smile but said he isn't feeling too well. He always has a good mental attitude.

Today a High Mass was held at St. Michael's Cathedral for Congressman Boland. Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy both attended. Boland's dark haired son spoke and said "the history books will record my father's great deeds" but said that no one knows what a great dad he was. Governor Jane Swift was there and Judge Keyes. Rep. R. Neal spoke and said that all local Democrats of his generation grew up considering themselves "soldiers in Boland's army" and "it was all built on loyalty." Loyalty to what?

Eamon called and said he went to Northampton today to see John Sutter and his Sutter's Mill, the fancy old mahogany jewelry store by the underpass that is going out of business. He was told that last night they had a farewell party and went through eight cases of wine! Eamon was hoping to get some gold rings at bargain prices but he saw nothing he liked. Eamon said he found out that Jim Landers is related by marriage to Dr. James J. Dowd, who many consider to be the brains behind Scibelli at STCC, and we agreed that's probably how Landers got his job at STCC. Eamon says that Councilor Bud Williams, whom Eamon described as "no intellectual heavyweight" has secured the votes to replace Angelo Puppolo as Council President. Eamon says he approves of Marjorie Hurst being made Vice-President of the School Committee since she backed the same candidate for school superintendent that we did, the black guy from Columbia. Eamon scoffed again at all the praise being heaped on Boland, saying he "achieved zero great deeds."

November 10, 2001

Sunny, calm and 43 degrees at 9am.

I don't know why anyone would want to own a cell phone. I don't want to receive stupid calls when I'm home, much less when I'm riding in the car or otherwise out in public.

Sandra Simonelli was aboard the historic Mayflower II in August of 1957. China has been admitted into the World Trade Organization. That is very good. Yesterday was the 500th day since the disappearance of Molly Bish, and sorry, but I'm tired of hearing about her.

President Bush was on TV saying, "The wicked must be opposed early, decisively, collectively." Too bad we didn't do that with Mayor Albano. An independent auditor should be assigned to determine the total cost of all the scandals of the Albano Administration, including the cost of the FBI investigation, the stadium scam and all the other messes. I'll bet it would add up to the millions of dollars. Eamon called to say that Joann Fabrics at the Liberty Plaza is closing. Eamon says he rarely sees many cars parked by the cinema over there.

Eamon's spies have informed him that a couple of weeks ago Dr. Peter Negroni was back in town for the dedication of the Frederick Harris School. Eamon said there are 32 school districts in New York City and all have 60,000 or more students. Negroni ran District 12 and was hired by Springfield despite investigations into corruption involving patronage, fraud, textbook kickbacks and the theft of paper, computers and even auditorium grand pianos. Eamon claimed that an audit conducted after Negroni left showed that over one million dollars in funds could not be accounted for.

Young Sean Landers is in Quebec for two days on a school trip. His father Jim Landers told Eamon that New England Cable News is coming to Springfield on Monday to do a big story on the raid on Springfield City Hall. The local media has largely fallen silent on the subject. Eamon said that Paul Caron called him when he was out and left a long message on his machine thanking him for all the help and information he provided his mayoral campaign. I have received no such phone call.

Eamon has been feeding background information on the corruption probe to Sy Becker, who told Eamon he used to work for radio station WSPR before coming to TV22. Rosemarie Coughlin said she heard directly from Paul Caron that a large number of indictments are being prepared against an array of prominent figures in Springfield. Mayor Albano's closest advisers are not only Keough and Kingston, but also ex-Rep. Soco Catjakis, who was a close buddy of the corrupt former License Commissioner Harold Chernock.

Eamon said that he couldn't believe that TV40 had the corrupt former ex-Rep Dennis Murphy as their political analyst on Election Night. He said he called Kathy Tobin and told her about how he has been told by the FBI that Murphy is a person of interest in their investigation. Tobin replied that she didn't know anything about it. Eamon said the Feds are also interested in Mike Armitage, who has raised large sums of money for Albano. Eamon told me he sent some of the dirt on Albano's fundraising to the Valley Advocate, but doesn't know if they will use it.

Eamon says it was ridiculous to have Richie Neal speak at Boland's funeral the other day, especially since many blame Neal for forcing Boland into an unwanted premature retirement. Eamon observed that "there is no bigger thief" than Judge Daniel Keyes, who also spoke at Boland's funeral. Eamon recalled that Boland's top aide was a fat guy named Bill Donahue who had been with the Springfield Daily News before it merged with the Springfield Union in the 1980's to become the Springfield Union-News. Eamon said that Boland's widow Mary Boland should be indicted in the matter of the Tapley Post Office sale during the Neal Administration for which she got paid a $350,000 commission after setting up a dummy corporation for the exclusive purpose of handling that transaction.

November 11, 2001

Clear blue sky, 39 degrees at 8am.

This morning WFCR played Handel's Music for the Coronation of George the II. I love Handel. My Father was a member of the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters in 1970. Father was also a sustaining member of the Springfield YMCA in 1970, but never used their facilities. I went to the Boston Road McDonald's opposite Big Y today for a Mexican omelet and sausage patty I paid for with a coupon. Then to Angelo's for vegetables, including a bag of spinach I got marked down because the bag was ripped.

Then I headed to the Music at First concert at Old First Church featuring Kevin Rhodes and Friends. Kevin Rhodes is the sixth Director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Also performing was Fredric Cohen, principal oboist with the SSO and a Professor of Music at UMass, Michael Sussman, a New York City native, is principal clarinetist with the SSO, Ray Christensen has been principal cellist since 1988 and Masako Yanagita is concertmaster and faculty member of the Greenwood Chamber Music Camp in Massachusetts.

The place was packed so I was forced to sit in the back right hand section. I told the lady next to me that at least we have the comfort of knowing we aren't depriving anyone else from sitting where they wanted. David Starr walked in and headed straight to a seat in the front row where some friends were waiting for him. I guess that is okay since he and his wife Peggy are the chief benefactors of these concerts so he is entitled to some special respect. Alas, the concert itself turned out to be one of those dismal, dull affairs where everyone sits politely, pretending to enjoy it in order to show how sophisticated they are when acutally they are bored to death with what is being played. The music in the first half by Julius Rontgen and Johanne Brahms was so uninteresting I left at intermission. On the way to my car I noticed that the banner sign along the top of Hampden Savings Bank is a tacky strip of plastic with shit-brown lettering on it. I bet if I told Tom Burton what I thought of it he'd get mad.

Larry McDermott's column today is a comprehensive hatchet job on Paul Caron. He says that Caron deserved to lose the mayoralty because he was too negative. He also accused Caron of being a second rate state representative who never accomplished anything much while in office. It is obvious that the paper is helping Albano to send Caron into political oblivion. Perhaps Caron would be better off voluntarily giving up his seat rather than trying to survive the hell they have in store for him. Eamon called today and said he ran into his friend the retired Clerk of Courts Jim Bloom. Senator William P. Nagle of Northampton will be the new Clerk of Courts. Eamon said it is common for state legislators to eventually get high paid, do little jobs but Rep. Caron is unlikely to get one since Albano will use his influence to block Caron's appointment to any government employment.

Eamon said that Providence, Rhode Island has always been considered the most corrupt city in New England, but now Springfield is emerging as a major contender for the title. Eamon said that the culture of corruption in Springfield goes way back, and recalled the scandal involving former Commerce basketball star Henry Payne, who was indicted for stealing from from a social service agency, and Wiley Hubbard, who was behind the badly constructed Bondi's Island water treatment plant.

Eamon described Mayor Albano as "never really gainfully employed in the private sector and out of his depth in the mayoralty." He accused Albano of having misguided priorities like the "small time, limited use baseball stadium that he should have known from the start required an illegal eminent domain land taking." He said that Albano got "carried away with the brick and mortar doctrine which says if you build it they will come" but then they don't and the public gets stuck with the bills. Eamon predicts that "enlarging the white elephant Civic Center will also fail to revitalize downtown" because there are already equal or superior facilities in Hartford, Providence and Worcester.

November 13, 2001

Overcast and calm, 17 degrees in Amherst at eleven before eight.

American Air Flight 587 has crashed near JFK Airport. At first everyone feared terrorism, but it appears to have been an accident. The Taliban have abandoned Kabul without a fight. President Bush was on TV yesterday with Nelson Mandela. The African President speaks well, but looks frail. Whoopi Goldberg is 46 today. In Middleton, Connecticut the Coalition for Clean Air held a sarcastic birthday party for an old polluting power plant. The MASSPIRG office in the Student Union at UMass had a fire over the weekend.

Since 1996 the last six exits on the Mass Pike have been free thanks to the efforts of Brian Lees and Dan Yorke. Now there is talk of changing the tolls again in order to pay for the Big Dig. Rep. Mary Rogeness, whom I have always considered a dunce, said on TV that "we would be happy to pay for the local roads, but not for the hole in Boston." Wrong Mary. We are NOT willing to pay for the local roads, nor for the Big Dig nor are we willing to pay tolls!

Old Historic Deerfield is advertising on TV to encourage Christmas tourism. They didn't used to advertise until after Thanksgiving. Lincoln/Mercury on Boston Road has been taken over by a Dan Plante who advertises that they are "right before the light." Actually, Boston Market and Ruby Tuesday are located before him and the light. In her column Kaleidoscope in the latest Springfield Journal, Francis Gagnon praises Eileen Griffin as "always positive and never destructive or unkind." A Barnes & Noble is opening in Hadley. It is interesting that there is a Barnes & Noble in Holyoke and Hadley but not in Springfield.

There was a brush fire on the Springfield/Wilbraham town line today. Went to Lewis & Clark for the new Valley Advocate. I went to Food Mart and bought an Italian grinder for $2.99. My old Classical friend John Rixon came by today on his first visit to Springfield in two years. He now lives in West Hartford, Connecticut. John arrived at 10:35 in an grey Dodge Ram van he said he needed to carry his kid's stuff to and from college. Son Andy is in his 3rd year of optometry school in Philadelphia, while son Greg is now a civilian aerospace researcher at an Air Force base in Tennessee. John was an Air Force doctor and his wife Mimi was a nurse in Vietnam. John's mother's maiden name was Crowley and she taught at both the Liberty and Washington schools in Springfield.

John arrived wearing a baseball cap and gave me a box of cookies in a Harrod's tin. We sat at the diningroom table for a bit and he told me that downtown Hartford is dead these days. We left in my car and I drove down Wilbraham Road past A.I.C. which he attended and then showed him the new Health Center in Mason Square. We then went to the Quadrangle and parked in the spaces right behind the library, where John was a page in high school. He recalled how he liked reading the old newspapers dating back to the 1780's. I showed him where the Seuss Memorial will be, then we strolled across the street to Pynchon Park, where I told him how it closed because people used to piss in the elevator and use the park for smoking pot and shooting heroin.

Next we went into the library and looked around Rice Hall. I showed him the free book section and I got a great book by Michael Walsh Graffito (1996). I told him that Springfield is trying to get rid of graffiti, which is probably why the library is discarding this book that makes graffiti look like art. I told him I have preserved Springfield's graffiti by photographing it through the years. After we left the library, we headed down Hillman, where an empty trolly car went by us. John recalled how Penny's used to be where the Sovereign Bank building is now and was puzzled by the fact that the old facade of Forbes & Wallace had been turned sideways. I told him that the only reason that the facade was preserved at all was to shut up the preservationists so they could tear the historic Forbes building down.

John was saddened to see Steiger's gone, the Catholic Center closed and the Hibernian Block gone. It was obvious that John hadn't been downtown in ages. He thought it was bizarre to have all these fake trolleys driving around with no one in them. We went back by the Dwight Street extension and John recognized where the Colony Club had been. John said he rarely comes to Springfield anymore except to visit his parent's grave in St. Jerome. We drove through the X and John recalled how the Goodwill used to be Blake's. Going through 16 Acres John said that when he was small most of the Acres was woods and farmland. I took him to Pizzeria Uno on Boston Road for lunch and it was dead. We both had chili and I told him about Mother's final decline. We chatted about our days at Classical, and he recalled our classmate Ed Dramin. Then I drove back to my house and we parted, having taken a rather grand tour of Springfield.

Eamon called and expressed surprise when I told him that Kevin Rhodes of the Symphony is from Evansville, Indiana. Eamon said he used to work with a man named Tom Hutchinson at the Massachusetts Department of Education who used to play the piano very well. He was promoted to be in charge of Special Ed but since they said it was "a Boston job" they refused to pay him a stipend for the gas it took to get from Springfield to Boston every day. So Eamon made a call to Maurice Donahue in the State Senate and explained the situation, after which Donahue made a phone call and Hutchinson got the money. Eamon said he used to drink with Hutchinson at a restaurant on Apremont Triangle in Springfield that had a piano in back, and after a few martinis they would entertain the diners with Eamon singing and Hutchinson on piano.

November 15, 2001

All clouded up, 53 degrees at 1pm. Gas at the Alden Citgo is $1.14 per gallon.

There's no reason why doing business shouldn't be fun.

The liberation of Afghanistan has sent the stock market up. The September terrorist attack was on 9/11/2001, and the emergency number is 911, a further high hip aspect of this disaster. At 89, Julia Child is leaving Cambridge for a retirement home in California. Her stove is being donated to the Smithsonian. A public discussion of the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision on nursing homes will be held at Western Mass Hospital in Westfield. Francis Keough was on the news in a blue pinstripe suit asking for donations to his homeless shelter, which has seen a 33% increase in demand since 9/11. Mayor Albano was on the news blabbing about boosting safety by hiring additional police and firefighters. With what money?

Robert O'Hearn is the General Manager of the Mountain View Grand Hotel in New Hampshire, located 20 miles north of Franconia Notch in the historic town of Whitefield. The Yankee Pedlar Inn is on Northampton Street in Holyoke. Birchland Avenue is 2/5ths of a mile long. Camp Norwich, which closed in 1989, is scheduled to partially reopen this summer with a $300,000 federal grant through Richie Neal. David Burgess is Chairman of the Camp Norwich Alumni Association. He attended the camp in the 1970's. I remember from my days at Norwich in the early 60's people like Ernie Bates, whom I greatly irritated, Norm and Mrs. Waldron, Don and Kathy Kinderfather, Chuck Hansen and Waldo Goodermote.

I called historian Larry Gormally of Newton Road today and identified myself. I told him I have a picture of the old inn that used to be in the Acres and he was delighted, saying he could never find one. I brought up his recent article on Buckingham and said it was unprofessional of him to have quoted from my correspondence with Arthur P. Irving without citing me. I said, "I have been treated shabbily by you, Frances Gagnon and the Springfield Journal in general" and said I hope they will strive to be more professional in the future. He replied "ok" and then I wished him a good day.

Went to make copies at CopyCat this morning and picked up the Valley Advocate at Louis & Clark. Then I went downtown and parked on Salem, then walked over to the Better Business Bureau on Bridge Street to check out my complaint against Half Moon Books in Northampton. I spoke to Kim in their 4th floor office overlooking a parking lot, but there were no new developments. Over the years I have never had any satisfaction on a Better Business complaint, but it is always fun to see what excuse they come up with for rendering no relief. Next I went to Tower Square and saw that the old Valley Bank space has become a photo gallery run by Valley Portfolio. They are offering the use of a subscription lounge to those who pay a $10 yearly fee. Then to Edwards Books where I bought a Spanish dictionary, and finally I made a withdrawal at Westfield Bank.

On the way home I paused at Angelo's for some fruit. I had intended to dine at McDonald's with a coupon, but at the last moment on a whim I decided to stop at the Boston Road Wendy's. I bought a baked potato with sour cream, a small chili and a thin cheeseburger. Overall, Wendy's is a tad more civilized than McDonald's, although their dining area is not as nice and they had no free newspapers.

Eamon called and said that over 40 federal agents were involved in the raid on Springfield's City Hall. Eamon said he called Worcester City Hall today and found out that they have fewer city departments than we do. Eamon said that Rep. T. Petrolati and Paul Caron had a falling out years ago (was his aide at the start) and they are no longer friends. Petro is a close friend of Speaker Finneran. Eamon said that the F.B.I. told him they have been recording his phone editorials for several years. They told him they were also alerted to corruption in Springfield by articles in the Valley Advocate, programs by Dan Yorke, essays by Tom Devine, the Ogulewicz memoirs and anonymous tipsters.

November 17, 2001

Sunny, 53 degrees at 9am. Gas at Liberty and Carew is $1.17.

Wars produce losers, not winners. The news says Osama bin Laden is believed to have escaped from Afghanistan. Smith & Wesson is reporting booming gun sales since 9/11. The motto of the Holyoke Office of Economic and Industrial Development is "Holyoke - Your Business Address." The Harry Potter film The Sorcerer's Stone opened today to good reviews but I'm not going. Magic is not real and we should not be celebrating it.

Lisa Loncazk is a Customer Service Rep at Westfield Bank. My Woronoco stock can't seem to get above 16.40. Vermont is planning to close the Woodstock jail by mid-March. Moody's has downgraded the Mass Pike from stable to negative. Mayor Albano was on TV22 urging people to make donations so they can keep the libraries open more hours. Why doesn't Don D'Amour donate some of his Big Y millions? Weatherman Nick Morganelli was playing reporter by interviewing Mayor Albano and Peter Picknelly about Bright Nights at Forest Park. Of course Picknelly makes a fortune on all the buses that go through there. Picknelly is the sponsor of a new patriotic light display and Albano said, "There is no greater corporate family in Springfield than the Picknelly's."

Today I swung by the Caron for Mayor headquarters and offered my condolences to John Mansfield. I noticed that Leon's van has a Maryland sticker on it. Then I drove down to the Richard Salter Storrs Library in Longmeadow. They had a Time/Life geography book they were discarding that hadn't been stamped. I spoke with Susan E. Bosman of Adult Services and told her it is unprofessional to discard books without stamping them. I said that improper book discarding is a pan-librarianship problem that all librarians must address seriously. Then I headed over to the Connecticut Valley Tobacconist in the Hazardville section of Enfield and parked in an immense lot behind the Methodist Church. There's a mansion directly across from the gothic brick church with lovely stained glass windows and next to the mansion is the tobacco shop, located in an old house. They had lots of cigars and lighters in fancy cases. I bought two Excalibur cigars made in Spanish Honduras. Down the street is the handsome gothic brick Hazardville Institute building all boarded up.

I took the interstate north and went up William and home by White. The water level seems low on the Chicopee River and Watershops. There seems to be a drought around here this fall. I went to Cat's Paw collectibles and got two rare postcards of Hooker Street School and Bridge Street for $12 each. I also bought Thomas P. Stewart's A Tribute to Golf for five bucks which originally sold for $50. As I left I told Claudia and Vince they should make a postcard of their shop. On the way back there was traffic congestion by the Parker Street underpass. Lincoln/Mercury, formerly Harvey Clay's, advertises that it is "right before the light." I checked today and actually it is right before Boston Market which is right before Auto Zone which is right before Circuit City which is right before Ruby Tuesday which is right before the light at the corner of Parker and Boston Road. I stopped at Walmart for some camera film and they are now putting red, white and blue stickers on everything saying "USA - Together We Stand - Walmart." When I got home the Union-News Extra was sitting by my mailbox in a purple bag.

Eamon called and said he went to Randall's today for cider and cinnamon donuts. Eamon said that City Solicitor Peter Fenton is a WNEC Law School graduate whose nickname is "Mudface." Eamon says the FBI is looking into the affairs of A.I.C. Professor Sal Anzalotti, who is "always on the edge of things" and is suspected of cooking the books for corrupt politicians. They are also looking at Donna Williams and $25 million in Water Department Trusts which may have been spent by other departments without Water & Sewer Commission approval. They are also investigating some local cops who bought abandoned properties for a dollar under a special program to get cops to live in the city. Yet some are renting the properties out while still residing out of town, with some cops having purchased two or three of the dollar houses! The Feds are trying to get Mass Attorney General Thomas Reilly involved in the corruption investigation but they say that "Tommy Reilly doesn't like to go after his fellow Democrats."

Eamon is mad because he heard from Landers that there was a potluck supper for the campaign insiders at Caron's headquarters and he wasn't invited. Karen Powell told him that Landers received rousing cheers when he came through the door, and there was lots of pizza and free beer. The Boston Globe is reporting that Mayor Albano has hired John Cardinali as his lawyer in the wake of the City Hall raid. Attorney Cardinali has previously worked for mobsters Cadillac Frank Salemme and John Gotti. No mention of this in the local media.

November 18, 2001

Sunny and calm. 43 degrees at 10:30am. Gas is $1.13 at the Acres.

If you don't have the guts
to admit you are nuts,
Folks will ignore your baloney
because they know you are phony!

Larry McDermott has a column today in which he claims that he regards all criticism of the newspaper as constructive. There is also a story in the paper about how there are corruption investigations underway in numerous American cities. It is an obvious attempt to downplay the importance of the raid on Springfield's City Hall by implying that this sort of thing happens all over.

Got an Egg McMuffin at the Allen McDonald's, then to Food Mart for a pound of ground sirloin and a bottle of milk. Spag's, which is closing up locally, had a black man standing at the corner of Wilbraham Road and Bradley by Duggan holding a sign saying 30-50% off all items. They also had people holding similar signs on Parker and the Bicentennial Highway.

I drove downtown and parked on Chestnut in front of Hong Kong Island to attend the mid-afternoon luncheon at the bar The Judge's Chambers. There were a lot of cars in the Mardi Gras parking lot when I arrived at 1:40pm. A deliveryman was bringing in some bottled water as I approached. The Judge's Chambers is provisioned out of The Club Taboo, the art deco gay bar downstairs. As I entered I picked up a free copy of Capitalmen the gay publication out of Albany, New York which had an article about a gay bashing incident at Colby.

I counted 17 people present when I arrived, most of them sitting at the bar. Someone said that 300 people had shown up at their last event. The place soon began to fill up and the next time I counted there were 49 present. The last count I made before I left there were 86. I did not wear my collar or black and blue hankies, but I did wear my leather jacket. The bar has a crystal chandelier with red bulbs in it, casting a satanic glow and the music was throbbing. There are several video game terminals. The Judge himself was there, a fat man of about 70, with white hair and carrying a big flashlight. He was standing before the bar like a captain at the helm of a ship, with young guys occasionally coming up and kissing him.

I sat by myself and observed the scene. Six men came running up from Club Taboo with pans of hot food. Some of the men who were present were impeccably clean cut, but not many, most were rather grungy. Three wore slave collars, one a plain chain, another of leather and the third of gold. One couple wore matching denim outfits. The crowd was mostly a bunch of regular guys drinking beer with some occasional hugging and kissing. One guy had so many holes in his pants it was hard to see how they held together.

I really liked the looks of one Latino guy who was wearing polished black combat boots with white socks and tight black shorts. He wore suspenders that crossed in back and was otherwise shirtless and wore a bright, white sailor cap tilted on his head. Now that's what I call dressing gay! Quite hesitantly I went up to him and asked him where he got his shorts. He replied, "P-town, down on the Cape." I said he really looked good but then he turned away to kiss another young man who had just arrived. I noticed for the first time that there was an odor of sweat in the place, so I said I was going to step out for some air. Someone made a sarcastic remark about not coming back, so I just walked out to my car and drove home.

November 20, 2001

A lovely, mild day. 46 degrees at 8am. The AAA says the average price of gas in Mass is $1.17.

The 9/11 attack appears to have brought the American people to their senses and brought a lot of petty bickering and whining to an end.

Former Classical High Science teacher Stanley J. Mulak has died at age 82. He came to Classical from Commerce while I was there, as the successor to Howard Lynch. I remember Lynch always wore a light grey suit. As a child at 37 Crest Street I sat by the 2nd floor window and played endlessly with my building blocks. My dolls Floppy and Ambrose sat on my bed during the daytime and at night were put in a box bed covered with a pink and white plaid blanket. I also had a set of American Logs, building things with them over and over. Father was always dreaming of things, saving for things, but once he bought them he only used them for a bit and that was the end of it.

Senator Robert Byrd in 84. Former President Bill Clinton will be speaking in Hartford next month. Lots of Haydn this morning on WFCR. When I left this morning Daniel Pelletier's lawn care service was raking the leaves at the Cohn's. I picked up the Valley Advocate at the Pride station this morning and then went into the Goodwill. I found a 1920's vase with no price tag on it and took it to the lady in charge, whom I recognized from a South Hadley tag sale. She took the vase to the main counter, got a price tag, wrote on it and then handed it to me marked $35. I said that was a bit much and left, and while doing so noticed that they still had some Albano campaign literature by their entrance.

Next I drove to the new United Cooperative Bank at the Longmeadow Shops where I was waited on by Ms. Foy Miller. She was very professional and when I asked her where she got the paperweight on her desk she said Johnson's Bookstore. She gave me some coupons for a free breakfast at Friendly's, $3 off at Starbucks and $5 off Bertucci's. I told her I would send her a copy of my Johnson's Bookstore Funeral Ode. I took the Friendly's coupon to the Wilbraham store and got a breakfast of rubbery scrambled eggs, two strips of bacon and some home fries. I couldn't believe a glass of orange juice costs $1.89! The service was okay, but there wasn't much business.

I drove past the Caron for Mayor headquarters today and it appears abandoned and closed up tight. Mayor Albano is carrying out his first acts of retribution against Paul Caron's supporters, starting with Leon Gaumond who has been summarily dismissed from his position on the Parking Commission. Albano justified the dismissal on the news by stating that he wants people "who share my philosophy" in his administration, although somehow that was not an issue until they backed Caron for mayor.

Eamon called and said he cleaned the leaves out of his gutters today. Educator Art Gingras called him and said that Dr. Dennis Fogle, Director of Alternative Education, told him that the official school system attendance and dropout figures "are full of lies." Gingras said he has heard the same from Dr. John Howell, who said he was so disgusted by the dishonesty in the system that he was tempted to quit. Gingras told Eamon that monkeying around with statistics has become such an entrenched practice during the Negroni years that it has automatically continued under Burke.

Eamon says that a second Grand Jury has been convened in the corruption probe. Eamon laughed at Albano's comment about wanting people in City Hall who "reflect his philosophy." He said that he must mean "gangsters, thieves and convicted felons." Eamon is mad that the local media is making so little of the FBI raid on City Hall. He said the Springfield Newspapers "should be embarrassed" by their poor coverage. He said he and Jim Landers have called both Larry McDermott and David Starr to demand that they stop minimizing the raid through lack of coverage. Eamon said he told Starr to tell his reporters "to go out and do some objective journalism for a change." Eamon claimed that he ended his last call to McDermott with a jeering, "How's the circulation going these days, Larry?" Eamon says we should purposely try to clutter up McDermott's answering machine with insulting messages, so after Eamon hung up I called Starr at 747-0283 but the line was busy. Then I called McDermott and got his answering machine. I told him he should start putting Eamon's phone editorials on page two next to the weather report and told him that it might help boost circulation.

November 22, 2001

Thanksgiving. Sunny with lots of clouds. 39 degrees at 7:15 and 45 degrees at 5pm.

Learning is the most wonderful thing on Earth and the only hope of the world.

In 1978 Edwards Jones was the Assistant Editor of the Milton Quarterly. Lingua Franca, a magazine of which I thought highly, has gone out of business. Steve Sobel the self-promoter was on TV22 tonight talking about stress. There was a fire today in an abandoned building at 54 Byers Street. I called Larry McDermott today and wished him a Happy Thanksgiving on his answering machine. I told him that I noticed that the print of the New York Times is a point smaller than the Springfield Newspapers. I said if they used smaller type, they could print more things including all the news they now leave out of their paper. I said, "It's just a small point Larry, but you think about it."

Wonderful music on the radio today by Brahms. On the news TV40 said that Richard Lavigne is back in Western Mass living with his mother on a quiet street in Chicopee. Today is the 38th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy and M. Albano, R. Neal, D. Sarno and others were shown at the annual observance at Forest Park. On TV40 the newslady went over the headlines for tomorrow's newspaper and ended with "read it in tomorrow's paper!" So I called TV40 News and got Shawana who connected me with the voicemail of station manager Kathy Tobin. I told her I think TV40 has the best news and weather, but I think with all the corruption investigations going on that the station should distance itself from the newspaper so they will be able to criticize the paper at any time should their coverage prove biased, inaccurate or incomplete. I said having Tom Bevaqua's weather forecast everyday on page 2 and then having someone read the headlines at night is too snug a relationship.

Someone from Fair Lanes in Chicopee called today asking, "Is this Storrowtown?" I replied, "No, this is not Storrowtown," and she said sorry and hung up. Stayed home most of the holiday, reading books except for this afternoon when I went to Food Mart and bought a Hungry Man Turkey Dinner and a Mrs. Smith's Pumpkin Pie. Mrs. Smith's pies are delicious, nothing like those silly TableTalk pies. I asked at the bakery department about plum pudding and Bobbie the manager led me to the overpriced puddings. I thanked her warmly and bought the pudding for $7.49. They were almost sold out.

Eamon called and said Jim Landers gave him an apple pie he baked himself. Eamon said he visited the big sports shop in West Springfield yesterday for the first time. Eamon recalled how Charlie Corelli had a sports shop up on Liberty in the old days that sold guns. Yesterday he also went to Bernadino's Bakery on Exchange in Chicopee where they have great Portuguese and Russian bread. Eamon recalled how Johnson's Bakery across from St. Michael's in Pine Point used to be the best bakery in the city. Eamon was invited to supper with his two sisters. Whenever he goes he brings a bottle of wine. Eamon said he got an invitation today to a post-victory fundraiser for Angelo Puppolo but he is neither going nor giving. Eamon says the whole corruption investigation "is mushrooming" and there could be over 60 indictments.

Eamon is thinking of calling for a boycott of the Springfield Newspapers if they continue to whitewash the corruption probe. He said that David Starr and Bill Putnam of TV22 disliked each other, with Putnam often referring to the paper as "our so-called newspaper of record." Eamon says that City Clerk William Metzger and his assistant Mary Constance Powers know "where all the bodies are buried" in Springfield, but they survive by "sucking up to everybody in the establishment" and making it clear that they will never talk.

November 23, 2001

Sunny, 39 degrees.

Father was born 95 years ago today in 1906. C. Norman Peacor was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Western New England College in 1980 when Beverly Miller was selected as President. The Precinct One polling place in Chicopee is at the Bellamy School on Pendleton Avenue. There are complaints of abuse at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown where Uncle Ralph worked as an industrial arts teacher. Hartford is claiming that arrests are up 30% and crime is down considerably. The Tuesday Morning Music Club will give a performance in December by Novi Cantori, directed by Allan Taylor and Charles Page. Saw a picture today of the new Milwaukee Art Museum overlooking Lake Michigan. It is a unique, ultra-modern structure, something like Springfield should strive for instead of the "banal in the extreme" structures we have built in recent years.

The Balloon Parade is downtown today. For the first time TV22 didn't carry it live, perhaps because they lost their sponsor Mercy Hospital. This morning I went to Louis & Clark and mailed letters to Harvard, Puppolo, Landers, Mudry and Penniman. When I left Cresotti was picking up leaves in his yard. Mr. Cohn was out so I paused to chat and he said his life is "changing rapidly" for the worse as he ages, but at least he can enjoy his family. He said he had twelve guests last weekend. From Louis & Clark I went to the Wilbraham Town Offices to the Town Clerk's Office and looked up the address of Larry and Linda McDermott. I found out Larry and his wife live on Chilson Road, so I drove by there. It is on property high up facing the city with a 500 foot sloping driveway. It's a white house barely visible from the street due to the trees. From McDermott's I went to the Eastfield Mall, passing sign holders for the Spag's closing sale standing across the street from Walgreens in the Acres. At Eastfield there were a lot of shoppers, but I got nothing except some little flags they were giving away. Picked up the new Valley Advocate but there was nothing in it at all about Springfield politics. When I was coming home the mailman was parked on Jeffrey taking a break.

Eamon called and said his Aunt Eileen O'Connor who lives on Ledyard used to run the linotype machine at the newspaper for years. She was a close friend of Mary Gallagher who was the assistant to Sherman Bowles. Everybody was afraid of Sherman Bowles and when Eamon once told him that he laughed and said, "I like it like that!" Tony and Eddie Landers ran the Ludlow machine at the paper. John Tillotson, the brother of the Chicopee Alderman James K. Tillotson, was a wonderful advertising manager but was demoted by the Newhouses to their Pittsfield bureau and then died of a stroke. Jim Osbourne was a great sports writer but the Newhouses forced him into retirement. Robert Sullivan, Eamon's brother and the dad of the current Park Commissioner, was the head pressman but developed back trouble from lifting printing plates. Eamon's brother Raymond the Fire Chief also worked in the paper's mailroom in 1941. Sidney Cook sold the Bowles family and the workers down the tubes by selling the paper to the Newhouses.

Eamon is disgusted with Mayor Albano's hiring of Edward J. Keating at $546 per week plus benefits to run security at City Hall. Eamon says Keating has gotten all kinds of jobs in the past because his dad was formerly head of the Police Commission and a partner with ex-Mayor Billy Sullivan in Sullivan & Keating, which is located in an office by where Eamon lives. Young Keating used to work for the state lottery, then as a toll collector on the Mass Pike, then did security for the Springfield Civic Center and MCDI and even worked briefly for the Water Department. Eamon says Keating has been in trouble with the law for domestic disturbances and had to take court ordered anger management classes. Despite his record Albano is quoted in the paper as saying Keating "deserves a second chance." Eamon decided to call Jack Flynn, the reporter who wrote the Keating article, and informed Flynn of Keating's real background. Flynn said he had heard some of those stories before but when he tried to check Keating's criminal records he found that they had all been expunged so there was no way to document Keating's past.

November 25, 2001

Rainy but mild. 57 degrees at 2:01pm. Gas is $1.15 at Sunoco.

The Salvation Army says their collections are down 25% since 9/11. I sent some letters of complaint to a variety of businesses today. To Stop&Shop, whose headquarters are in Boston, I wrote: "Your in-house pastries are overpriced and your in-house donuts taste like dinner rolls with sugar on the outside. The dough is too coarse and not moist enough. The recipe is lousy. Fire the Chief Chef and hire someone who agrees with me. Time for action! Go!"

I also wrote to Progresso Soups and told them their Hearty Tomato Soup is too watery. I wrote to Table Talk pies in Worcester and told them: "I was extremely disappointed by a pumpkin pie I bought. It had a nice crust, but the filling lacked the look, feel, texture and even taste of a pumpkin pie - too custardy, too puddingly, not solid enough, not like a pumpkin pie at all. Like a lemon pie, maybe. Mrs. Smith's Pumpkin Pie is much better. Your pumpkin pie simply cannot compete."

To Friendly's I wrote: "The other day I came into your Wilbraham shop next to your headquarters for breakfast and overall things were just fine, but I do want to make a point. The menu shows, in a picture located beside the breakfast I ordered, a large chuck of watermelon, lettuce, and a smaller piece of muskmelon. With my actual breakfast I got two very thin slices of muskmellon and that was it. When I asked about it, I was told that the fruit is just supposed to be a garnish, not really part of the meal. But a lot of people eat fruit chunks for breakfast. You should try to EXCEED people's expectations! So now you have something to think about."

The two bronze tablets have been placed back on the front of the Atheneum Society in Wilbraham. Eamon called and said he sent a letter to Larry McDermott demanding that his paper stop littering people's lawns with the Union-News Extras. He said in the past he has taken the flyers, put them in an envelope and mailed them to David Starr. Eamon says he is hearing strange sounds on his phone, and he wonders whether it might be tapped.

I called Shirley who said Aunt Maria got the new postcards I made of Sweet Pea, Honey Pot and my other dolls in various poses. Shirley said Aunt Maria said, "I know those critters." She said they don't take Aunt Maria out to dinner anymore because she requires feeding. Jim Landers stopped by briefly today. I apologized for having no desert besides the lousy Table Talk pumpkin pie which he declined. I showed him his neighborhood in the 1920 Springfield Atlas. He located Frank Faulkner's mansion in it but not his own house which wasn't built until 1925.

Landers looked at my book of historic presses and when he saw the Peerless he said he used to run one like it up in Hadley. Landers said that he thinks Paul Caron will not try to keep his seat against Chris Asselin, because his district is being redistricted in Asselin's favor. He feels Caron would not want to give Albano the satisfaction of seeing his career end with a humiliating defeat. When he left I gave him a copy of my Johnson's Bookstore Funeral Ode. Landers is a very candid and frank man who is on the right side of progressive change, a right thinking Irishman. I think that deep down there is a lot of fun in Mr. Landers.

November 27, 2001

Sunny at noon, 60 degrees.

As a counter to the Pynchon Medal, I may start the "Pinch 'Em Medals" to be awarded to local troublemakers.

The National Bureau of Economic Research says that 9/11 has put the United States into "a full scale recession." Unemployment continues to rise and there has been a decrease in economic activity. The Connecticut Department of Corrections recently got 4000 applications for 161 available positions. Greenfield Tap & Die has been closed for fifteen years and they want to tear down the buildings and put up elderly housing. The Glass Castle of Northampton on Damon Road is the largest retail stained glass store in New England.

Fifty dollars is the largest denomination that can be issued of a Holyoke Mall gift certificate. Gale Candaras and Mike Albano were on the news talking about getting more funding for the Springfield Libraries by having them declared by the state "the library of last resort for the citizens of Western Mass." I called Representative Candaras' office and spoke with her aide Candice and said I am an expert on the Springfield Library and Museums Association and promised I would send her some of my writings about them.

When I left today there was a cop car parked at WNEC talking to a bicyclist. I gave some postcards to Jeff and Dick in CopyCat. I greeted ex-TV man Durham Caldwell, who was leaving as I entered Louis & Clark. Inside I ran into Myers the antique dealer. He was walking with a crutch but otherwise seemed in good health. Then I went to Food Mart for a ham grinder and some cans of Campbell's soup. I said hello to Bob the manager who was talking to Patty. From there I drove out to Wilbraham and saw a female cop parked at the end of Springfield Street in front of the Civil War monument. The Atheneum Society has their Christmas flag up but not their green shutters. I stopped at Town Hall and asked the clerk if anyone named Carvalho lived in Wilbraham and she checked and said she had "no record of anyone with that name residing in town." Driving past Gale Candaras' law office I saw a white van parked outside with Caron stickers galore on it and a University of Maryland sticker. Does that belong to Leon Gaumond? I drove up Route 20 to the saltshaker house at 3157. A young man named Matthew Patrie is there now, he restores and sells metal antiques.

I'm reading Galbraith on Financial Euphoria, part of the Larger Agenda series of thought provoking books. Dined tonight on Stouffer's Homestyle Pork Dinner. There were more green than red peppers in the corn, lots of little pieces of pork (16) as opposed to the seven big chunks in the picture on the box, and only 22 mostly little chips of potato as opposed to the inch sized chunks in the photo. Bottom line: You always get less than in the picture.

Jim Landers is 57 years old. Karen Powell called and and said she liked the doll postcards I sent her. I will send her more of Dumbo. She said that she and Rosemarie Coughlin ran into Eamon recently at City Hall. Eamon hasn't called me yesterday or today. There is a big picture of Guy McLain on page B4 of this morning's paper. Over the past twenty years David Starr has promoted the careers of Guy McLain and Joe Carvalho as their reward for playing the game by his rules.

November 28, 2001

Sunny, 59 degrees at 9am. Gas is $1.05 at Pride in the Acres.

On the Lehrer News Hour tonight Prime Minister Mubarek of Egypt said that Israel is "the one who is responsible for terrorism." Enron, the Houston energy trader, is imploding and creating one of the largest business failures in history. Friendly's stock is now only $3.27 per share while Woronoco is firm at $16.50. Mass Mutual is laying off 100 workers, including 20 in Hartford. Mercy Hospital has new TV ads trumpeting their cancer treatments. The Big E is going to start charging a $3 parking fee. I called and left a message with Carol Pederzani, the secretary to Big E Director Wayne McCary, saying that the quality of the Big E has declined and that if I should ask for a refund in the future they should also refund the parking ticket price.

Today I drove to Walgreens in the Acres for some brown shoe polish to use on book bindings. Then I went to the post office at Eastfield Mall and sent letters to Caprio, Burton, Rivera and Hawley. Next I crossed the street to Stop&Shop where I bought only the specials and then headed to McDonald's for two burgers for the price of one with a coupon. Then I went to Jeff the Framer's where I was the only customer. He did have a picture he was working on and as usual is always smiling. I gave him some of my new postcards and he said his wife will love them because she likes stuffed animals.

From Jeff's I headed to the Quadrangle. There was a bum sitting on one of the fancy new Quad benches with someone reading on another. On a third bench it looked like two old Jews were arguing. A white van was parked by the Science Musuem with a bumper sticker on it saying, "Let's Feast on the Middle East." I asked the man behind the wheel if it was a Quad truck and he said no. A city truck? No. I said well if it's a private truck you can do what you want but I said, "I am pro-Arab and I don't like your bumper sticker." He muttered something obscene under his breath and I walked away. Inside the library I went to the discarded books section and among them was Reminiscences of Amherst College by Edward Hitchcock (1867) marked Copy Two. Where is Copy One? The Connecticut Valley History Museum?

Eamon called and said he is having macaroni and cheese this evening. Eamon said that Jim Landers got off work at STCC at noon today so he could devote the afternoon to his printing business. Eamon starting reminiscing about his days at the Springfield Newspapers, where he worked from 1951-1958. He recalled the Cypress Street plant which had a central doorway and steps that went down to the printing presses and then up to the editorial offices. There were about 70 employees in the composing room. Now with automation there are maybe five or six people in paste-up.

Both Editor Samuel Bowles and his aide Mary Gallagher had offices that were always cluttered with paper. Next door to the plant was an old house that served as the photographer's darkrooms. Bowles had a lot of business investments, including Longchamps Chocolate from New York, which is why every Christmas everyone at the paper received a five pound box of chocolates! Nearly 6 feet five and an ex-marine, Bowles had an intense interest in in small aircraft. He had two sons, Frank and John, and maybe a daughter. Bowles lived in a house at the top of Central and used to like to swim in the Connecticut River. Eamon asked him once if he was concerned that the river was polluted and he said no.

In 1941 there was a terrible strike at the paper, during which Bowles personally drove a truck and delivered newspapers. The strike got ugly and a newspaper delivery truck was set on fire. Yet, in the end Bowles prevailed and beat the union. Bowles made lots of personal loans to his employees. He wrote the terms on a paper bag or other scrap and handed it to Mary Gallagher to write up formally. Virtually every newspaper employee was indebted to him for their house and car, so no one complained that they were underpaid. In the summer their kids got little jobs at the paper. Eamon worked there 32 hours a week while he was in college and never did much homework. His job was to run proofs to the advertisers for approval. He got to know all the businesses in the city that way and knew every alleyway downtown.

Eamon said his boss Walter Graham was a pompous ass, but Paul Craig was even worse. Bowles didn't like conversation, you either got right to the point or he shut you off. Eamon said he used to read the old newspapers in their archives but never saw the original Acorn press, maybe it was already in the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum by the 1950's. I told Eamon about how I drove past the Caron headquarters and saw it is empty and all locked up. We agreed that it is sad that the Caron for Mayor campaign is officially no more.

November 30, 2001

Overcast and drippy this morning, 47 degrees at 5pm.

Incompetents don't know they're not doing the job because they are blithely unaware of their incompetence.

The Bush Administration is admitting that due to 9/11 the U.S. will be running deficits for the next three years at least. George Harrison the guitar player for the Beatles has died of cancer at age 58. Enron appears to have done the same thing that was done at Monarch Life, made the employees put their pension funds in company stock so that the retirees lost everything when the company folded but the executives got out with a fortune.

Leon Gaumond lives at 204 Center Street in Indian Orchard. The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley advertises that they have "A Unique and Distinctive Selection of New, Used and Antiquarian Books." For years Manny's has been running a commercial where they say, "Manny's has to be better, we live here!" Pieroway's is a furniture store that has commercials that for years wind up with a tall man 55 or 60 saying, "Hey, it's your money!" He never seems to age. But the Bernie's appliance spokesperson has gotten fatter with white hair and seems old.

Jim Polito had a story on tonight about Michael O'Reilly speaking at the Rotary Club about the corruption investigation. He said that Springfield has been "tough to penetrate" because no one wants to talk. The newspaper usually has an article about who is speaking at the Rotary Club but not this time. The news also showed the lighting of the Christmas tree at Monarch Place today with Bob Carroll of the SPCA Animal Center presiding and thanking the Picknelly family. Supt. Burke was on promoting Family Reading Night and they showed a shot of Mayor Albano reading to his kids.

Worthington Street merchants who received facade grants from Albano are complaining that the FBI is harassing them over misuse of the program. Al Bruno's son Victor was shown on the news saying that he received $10,000 to fix up Caffeine's and spent an additional $20,000 of his own money and complained that the Feds won't leave him alone. Kimberly Gaughan from the Better Business Bureau sent me a letter acknowledging receiving my complaint. The Better Business Bureau continues to be completely ineffective regarding my complaint about Half Moon books in Northampton selling me a book stolen from the Boston Atheneum.

Woke up troubled by stuffiness and ringing in my ears, it cleared up as the day passed. The mail brought a thank you note from Rep. Gale Candaras and Art Wolfe for the library info and postcards I sent. I also got a letter from Jennifer Kotilaine at Harvard thanking me for nominating John Silber for an Honorary Degree. Mailed some stuff to Baker in England (costs $2.40 in stamps) at Louis & Clark where I was waited on by Joanne. She said the new postcards of my dolls were "real cute." It seems everyone likes them! Next I left a hefty bag of New York Times Magazines for Mrs. Staniski. Her birthday is coming up. Then to Fancy That where the interior decorator lady Mary Donnellan Strout of East Longmeadow was just leaving.

The St. Lawrence String Quartet has a violinist who wears a leather jacket. I also play the violin and wear a leather jacket. I dislike unidentified calls. A reputable person or business will say who they are. Called Larry McDermott and left a message that Guy McLain is someone I like and respect but he is not fit to be head of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum. I suggested they get someone not currently involved with the SLMA. I also called Mayor Michael Sullivan of Holyoke and got his aide Jenny. I identified myself and said I'm from Springfield but I just wanted to say that it would have been the easiest thing in the world for Mayor Sullivan to hire another Irishman for police chief, so he is to be greatly commended for having hired such a fine individual as Anthony R. Scott. I told Jenny that Scott has my admiration and respect and I wish we had someone like him in Springfield.

Eamon called and said he agrees with Daniel O'Connor who said, "I'm a Catholic, but not a Papist." Eamon said he ran into Milt Fromer, former owner of Highland Novelty, who praised Stefano's in West Springfield for their fish and chips. Eamon also told me there is a little memorial in Rocky's Hardware store for a wonderful young manager they had who died at age 36. He said Rocky's has barrels set up in parts of the store to catch water from leaks in the roof. Eamon insists that you can't place all the blame on Springfield voters for electing and re-electing inept, dishonest career politicians when they have been misinformed for years by the monopoly rag Union-News which fails to hold them accountable. UMass played Oregon at the Civic Center Tuesday and Jim Landers was there and told Eamon that there were only about 3,000 people present although the paper said 4200. Landers said he spoke to one of the UMass guys who told him they will not come to the Civic Center again because they could have sold 8,000 tickets at the Mullins Center.

I told Eamon about my calling McDermott about McLain at the Quad, and Eamon recalled how back in the 1980's the city's leaders realized that they could make money off of Dr. Seuss and wanted him to come to Springfield, even though Seuss had never lived in the city as an adult and never visited Springfield after his parents died. They managed to get Seuss to come to Springfield in 1986 when he was very elderly. Eamon said there were so many local politicians trying to share the spotlight that Seuss got mad when they visited his old grammar school on Sumner Avenue and ordered everyone out of the classroom. No one is sure what Seuss said to the students, but being alone for a few minutes with the Springfield school children seemed to be the only part of the visit Seuss enjoyed. Later, some dignitaries took Seuss on a limousine tour of the town and Seuss expressed dismay about his inability to find the landmarks of his youth because so many had been torn down.

"What have you done to my city?" Dr. Seuss exclaimed to Mayor Neal. "This is not my home!"

Dr. Seuss in Springfield 1986

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