October 2001

October 2, 2001

Misty this morning, 51 degrees at 9am. Gas at the pond is $1.31.

Excellence is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle

You don't flush civil liberties in times of crisis, a crisis is when you have to be most vigilant. 64% of Americans say that Israel and the Arabs will never be able to settle their differences and live in peace. Hurwitz was on TV saying that the decrease in flying since 9/11 should help local tourism. Mara Reilly and Richard Boucher are presenting a Post Terrorist Attack Trauma Seminar on October 25th in Enfield. Bill Clinton was suspended from being able to practice before the Supreme Court today. WNEC is having Mario Cuomo as a guest speaker on the subject of excellence. Attendance at the Big E this year was 1,135,480, which is good. There was an anti-racism rally in Amherst yesterday. The Museum of Modern Art in North Adams had a fire in a storage building but no art was damaged.

At Apremont Triangle the other day a white stretch limo passed me on the left and went through a red light and turned onto Dwight. Nader the Hatter called and said he will be in town until the 23rd. He said his round trip from Aventura, Florida was $145 and the plane was only 70% full. I told him about the mayoral campaign and Nader said he had heard that Caron has mob connections just like Albano, but when I said I had never heard that he dropped the topic. Nader said he stopped by the Goodwill at the X and saw a Burt Brownie book for sale for a quarter. He knew it was valuable so he bought it and now sees online that it is worth $45.

101 Birchland has sold for $120,000. My Puppolo for City Council sign was vandalized last night. I will call and get another one, as I am determined that his sign will remain up. Made some copies at Pride in the Acres where the young couple ahead of me were copying a Maine State Police Incident Report. Then I left some postcards for President Caprio at WNEC and noticed they now have a dispenser for their newspaper The Westerner on the front pillar of the building. I went into Hampden Savings today and dropped off some material for Tom Burton with Customer Service Representative Barbara Arena. Then I went to the Insurance Center in West Springfield and gave Jane the receptionist some papers for U. Francis Florian. She said he isn't in today and asked what the papers were about. I said it is a complaint about how I was treated by this company when they were associated with Hampden Savings Bank. She went in back and I could see her talking with the chubby woman Joanne and a man in a white shirt. Finally the man came out and introduced himself as Dean Florian and said his father has retired. I told him I wanted to point out your firm's bad business practices and he replied, "I want you to leave right now!" I asked may I have your card and he said NO and pointed towards the door. I told him I would be writing about this to the Insurance Commission. The latest Reminder was in a purple plastic bag by the mailbox when I got home.

Laurie Saunders the nature reporter on WFCR said there are over 300 species of crayfish in the United States. When I was a child I had two crayfish in a fishbowl on the front porch and one night they got frozen solid, but when the day warmed up they came back alive. I also kept pollywogs at some point. My parents were old fashioned Protestants and tight lipped about anything as private as fooling with one's "water works." My father was a patient of Dr. Mandell but the word cancer was never used. I recently came across an essay Father wrote in 1982 about his prostate operation. At one point he writes, "Dr. Mandell called my wife Blanche soon after the operation was over. That afternoon she and Wesley and his dolls Floppy and Ambrose came to see me and it was very good to see them." Father died of heart failure in 1985, aged 79.

East Longmeadow has gone to market selling $22 million in general obligation bonds. East Longmeadow has an Aaa rating while Springfield is Baa3, just one grade above junk bonds. Guy McLain no doubt got his new job as Director of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum with the help of David Starr. McLain replaces retiring Director John Hamilton, who is best known for putting together the exhibit The Political Dr. Seuss. Eamon called and said that Springfield lacks the vitality, density and diversity of attractions needed to make downtown work. He claims that the situation has gotten worse with WWLP TV22 and Budweiser/Williams Distributors moving to Chicopee, plus Absorbine Junior going to East Longmeadow and the businesses forced out by Mayor Albano's baseball stadium fiasco. Eamon said he thinks the Caron campaign is not properly utilizing the talents of Jim Landers and says they treat him like an errand boy when he is capable of so much more. Eamon says he never gets any feedback on all the dirt on Albano he's been feeding their campaign.

October 3, 2001

A lovely fall day in the seventies.

Today is my 60th birthday. I got birthday cards from Mrs. Staniski and Ann S. Flentje. Did some housework, washed the dishes, pushed around the vac, did a load of laundry and took a bath. I cooked up some parsnips, squash and three potatoes. I celebrated my birthday by going to Food Mart and buying a DiGiorno Frozen Pizza that was just covered with stuff and tasted wonderful. Sweet Pea and Honey Pot joined me.

The news says there was a half a billion dollars in gold and silver stored in the basement of the World Trade Center. The median age of the U.S. population is 35. Artist Sabra Field has unveiled her latest print "Eastern Mountains" at the Red Roof Gallery in New Hampshire. The Grateful Dead tribute band Shakedown, a reggae band called The Black Rebels and modern rockers Kind Intent are performing at the Powder Mill Barn in Enfield. Psychedelic Breakfast is playing on Vernon Street in Holyoke on November 2nd.

George Guizonis from A.G. Edwards called and said GE is a good buy now so I bought twenty shares. Playing with money is like playing with fire. I called Mrs. Joyal today and left a message telling her about my volcano painting by artist Oswaldo Moncayo. I said the Museum of Fine Arts may have the best waterfall painting but I have the best volcano. I invited her to come see it and suggested she bring Mrs. Boyle but I hope I don't hear from them. I tried to call Leonard Collamore but when I identified myself the woman who answered suspiciously said she was only the maid and that the Collamore's were out. The mail also brought a note from Fred Whitney thanking me for working the polls at Ward 1a. He also thanked me for agreeing to have a sign on my lawn for Charles Rucks, the black Republican running for City Council.

Eamon called and said he got a call from Nader the Hatter, who says there is a woman in Florida chasing him but he wants no part of matrimony. Nader says she invites him over and then comes to the door in scanty clothes. Eamon says he wishes the TV stations or the Valley Advocate would do an investigative report on Valerie Barsom. He said Rosemarie Coughlin has called Geoffrey Kaufman at Moody's for more info on Springfield's finances. Eamon claims it almost makes no difference who the next mayor will be because Springfield has been permanently damaged by corruption and inattention to longstanding problems.

Paul Caron is pleased by an article in the Boston Globe regarding a 20% decline in property values in Springfield under Albano. Eamon says he can't believe such sleazy characters as Keough, the Ardolino brothers and the alleged sexual deviant Gerald Phillips are so influential in the Albano Administration. He said Ardolino is teaching a sham course in government at Holyoke Community College for the easy money. Eamon would love to hear what Ardolino tells his students about ethics and corruption.

Eamon says he was over to the campaign headquarters and neither Caron, Rosemarie or Landers was there and Leon was on the phone. Bartender Jones and Treasurer Joe Walsh from the John Boyle O'Reilly Club were there. He spoke to Katie and told her he has twice heard the rumor that Caron has mafia ties just like Albano and that they have to do something about the spread of this disinformation. He suggested that the campaign do a press release drawing attention to the Globe article but doesn't know if they will do so. Caron doesn't usually take Eamon's suggestions.

Eamon said he is getting threatening and obscene calls from Frankie Keough and Anthony Ardolino. They try to disguise their voices but Eamon can still recognize them. The Union-News has printed a letter from Rosemarie Coughlin complaining that their coverage of the Caron for Mayor campaign has been negative and inadequate. She told Eamon that all day she has been receiving threatening phone calls from anonymous Albano supporters, one of whom called her "a piece of shit." I said that if it is Keough or Ardolino who is calling her that, then she should wear the designation as a badge of honor.

October 4, 2001

65 degrees and sunny at 7:30am.

Reagan Airport has reopened. Tuesday night TV40 had a forum on 9/11 featuring Jim Controvich of the Springfield Local Emergency Planning Committee, Ann Hamilton of the Chamber of Commerce and Daniel Walsh, the city's Vets Agent with a son on active duty. Hamilton I recall once spoke at a Renaissance Group gathering. The current property tax rate in Springfield is $20.35 per thousand for residential, $35.65 for businesses.

Mary Lou Mort-Irvine of AAA called about renewing my registration. Nader the Hatter called and said he was up in Southbridge which he called "a messy town." He said his troubled niece Meagan is having problems with an abusive boyfriend who won't stay away despite a restraining order. He also recommended I see the movie Misery starring James Caan and Kathy Bates about a writer who is tortured by a fan. Went to Fleet to cash some dividend checks and was waited on by Sheila who is involved with the Wilbraham towing firm and I told her about her husband and Lizzie Liberation Day.

Then I drove over to Caron for Mayor headquarters where Katie was the receptionist. She told me that Eamon O'Sullivan had just called and told her he was driving by Albano's headquarters and saw Charlie Kingston and a woman he didn't recognize inside. Besides Katie, Rosemarie Coughlin and Jim Landers were at Caron's HQ. Coughlin said she thinks Albano will be indicted before the election because if re-elected it would be harder for the Feds to take him down. Rosemarie also said she ran into Charlie Ryan and his daughter recently. Landers told us about his early printing career, when his wages were so low he had to take a part time job at Charkoudian's Drug Store in the North End. He started out in the Beaulieu Chevrolet building and then they moved up to 1250 State where Angus Scott Phillips was a real tyrant.

From Caron's I went to the Goodwill at the X where Nader the Hatter said he found a valuable book selling for 25 cents. There was nothing but junk there but I did get a copy of the World War II novel Red Beach which I dropped off for Lucius when I got home. He says he is 77 and doesn't know what to make of 9/11 but fears an Age of Anarchy has arrived. He said his children gave him a Barnes & Noble gift certificate but I told him their prices are too high. Lucius said he reads three papers per day, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and "that thing they publish here, the Union-News." He said he wished he had more time for reading but I said he spends a lot of time keeping his place looking nice which we neighbors appreciate.

Eamon called and said one of his spies is a waitress at the Student Prince who told him that business executives and lawyers are the cheapest tippers while blue collar workers tip the best. He said he also heard that Jack O'Neill has gotten a job in Admissions at either WNEC or STCC. Eamon ran into a friend of his who is an executive at American Saw who told him he hopes that Campagnari, Ardolino and Barsom all get indicted. Eamon was also talking to a cop who patrols the North End who told Eamon "we were told to back off" on restraining the late night illegal drag racing so as not alienate the Latino voters. The police aren't too happy, but the cop said it was made clear "that's the way Mike wants it." Eamon said he hasn't spoken with top cop Daniel Spellacy in ages, who he says now only works a couple days a week. He said Spellacy's wife once told her husband that she doesn't like Eamon's telephone editorials.

Rosemarie Coughlin is still gathering information on Springfield's finances for Caron. Eamon said Rosemarie's late husband Francis Coughlin was a member of the School Committee but didn't accomplish much. Eamon said that everyone liked Rosemarie more than they liked her husband and when Francis died people were happy that Rosemarie was free of him. Rosemarie has a fancy home in East Longmeadow. She started out as a bookkeeper for a credit union and then worked for a brokerage place called Davis & Daggett. Eamon says Peter Picknelly is totally behind Caron this time. They are old friends going back to when Caron was head of the House Safety Committee which regulates buses.

October 6, 2001

President Bush says that over 300,000 jobs have been lost as the result of 9/11 and the country is falling into a recession. Governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania will be the cabinet Secretary for Homeland Security. WFCR news says that "inattention to detail" is a problem at Logan Airport. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was also on the radio talking about ways to close the income inequality gap in America. Former Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana has died. Today is the Enshrinement Ceremony for the new inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities has moved from South Hadley to 66 Bridge Street in Northampton. The scholars at the National Association of City and State Governments have concluded that Massachusetts' bureaucracy is the most costly in the nation.

Most commercials are directed at women. Only the commercials on during the news and sports are directed towards men. The leaves are starting to change with the Maples already in full color and shedding. When I went out today I left some papers for the Penniman's and some Harpers for Mrs. Cohn. Mr. Cresotti was working in his yard and told me that he has two kids and is afraid that 9/11 will mean they will have a worse life in the future. He said today he will water all the plants on his back porch. I went to the Boston Road Big Y to buy various Ocean Spray brand juices on sale. Going down Breckwood I saw that Tom Devine has a Rucks for Council sign on his lawn. So does Marshall Moriarty on Lumae. I dropped off some things for Mrs. Staniski, including a bottle of cranberry juice. She said she only drives her car now when she absolutely has to. She told me Ann is coming tomorrow to take her to Maine for a few days.

I drove downtown and parked on Salem Street. Walking through the SIS Plaza I saw that Burati Travel is still in the Bookstore Building with the clothing store on the first floor. I stopped at A.G. Edwards to pay for my GE stock and then passed through City Hall but saw no one I knew. Then back to the car where the sporty black car in front of me had a ticket for parking too close to the driveway. It had a bumpersticker, "Irish Temper, German Stubbornness." I saw one of the fake trollies headed east on Hillman and it was empty.

Then over to the Quadrangle where I had no trouble parking. The man next to me was getting into one of those silly Chrysler Limited Editions. I asked him what he thought of it and he said, "It's alright for a company car, but I wouldn't own one." I looked at the violin exhibit "Violin Makers and Inventors in the Pioneer Valley" put together by Ron Midgett of the Easthampton Violin Company and admired a Rickard violin. Mary Alice Stusick always praised Rickard stuff. There was a nice furniture exhibition in the back gallery including a workbench loaned by William Myers. At the Museum of Fine Arts they have two donor obelisks, weren't they formerly in the library? There were six people in the Quad Cafe when I walked by.

Today I went to the Trinity Lutheran Church tag sale on Wilbraham Road. Old Mr. Koziol was not there but his two sons were. They said their father is 81 years old and has cancer. He is in the Riverdale Gardens Nursing Home where Aunt Maria was. The sale was a disappointment, the only things I bought were two silver nut bowls, one a souvenir from the White House and the other from the Chicago Planetarium. The Fitzgerald's at 122 Maebeth were also having a sale but they had nothing good besides some books about Egypt. When I got home all my campaign signs were knocked over, probably by kids walking home from Duggan. I put them all back up.

The mail brought a nice letter from Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont thanking me for the postcard I sent him of Grandfather Miller. Leahy recalled how his family worked in the Vermont granite industry. Also received a birthday card from Chittenden for having an account with them. My $85 check for working at the polls also came, much faster than usual. Perhaps Mayor Albano is trying to win favor with the poll workers.

Ex-Rep. Fred Whitney has a letter in the paper today supporting ward representation and it is very good, absolutely right. Among the things he said, "While I have respect for every City Councilor now serving us, and consider them basically honest, I wouldn't give a "plugged nickle" for what I consider to be the political integrity of some of them. They are more interested in their council seat than in seeing democracy in action."

Tonight I had a Hungry Man Chicken and Rice Dinner. Eamon called tonight and informed me that Dr. Mullan, who failed to spot Mother's cancer in time, is also the physician for Jim Landers and Congressman R.E. Neal. Eamon said that Paul Caron called him today and thanked him for the money he contributed to the campaign. Eamon called up Fred Whitney to congratulate him on his letter in the paper, but they couldn't talk long because he was just leaving to visit his wife in the hospital. Eamon claims that the 29,000 outstanding arrest warrants in Springield shows the incompetence of the Springfield Police Department. Eamon believes that Springfield's bottom line problem is that its politicians are a bunch of inept, go along to get along hacks, more interested in self promotion and getting re-elected than public service.

October 8, 2001

Sunny and 53 degrees at 7:30am.

Lack of money is the root of all evil.

Osama bin Laden has released a statement declaring that America "will know no peace until every Israeli is out of the Palestinian territory." Bin Laden hates the Jews and he hates America for backing the Jews. Judith Miller of the New York Times said of Bin Laden, "We underestimate him at our peril." The Pioneer Valley Students for a Peaceful Response is planning a walkout at UMass this Wednesday. Political cartoonist Herblock has died at 91, I have an autographed book by him. It looks like the MLA's Phyllis Franklin Fund hasn't done as well as it should have. Liberals are often finks and of course conservatives hate Phyllis. Mary Lee Saunders is the Editor of the Pine Cone Pilgrim out of Augusta, Maine.

There have been snow flurries in Boston, some of the earliest on record. Turned on the furnace, did two loads of wash, took a bath, cooked a ham in the oven. Sprayed termite killer all around. Last night while I was relaxing in my leather I tried to remember all the kids in my Sunday School class at Wesley Church in the Square. Of course there was Ann Staniski and Eleanor Thompson. Frank Smith was soft on Ann for a while and so was Eddie Stubbs, a hard working regular guy. Carl Modig became an Eagle Scout. Ronald Macaulay once stole a bird card from Mother's complete set, a real cut-up, his sister Linda was giggly with braces. Barbara Ruddock was a plain but competent girl and her sister Judy was somewhat deranged.

Roger Smith and Donald Trice went into the Air Force. Donald Hastings was a mild mannered fellow who got his doctorate in psychology but died young. His tall, older brother Steve Hastings is still around and a school teacher. Dave Collins was tall, thin and studious and I think he went to college in Wisconsin. The slightly unpolished George Goehlert was a competent fellow. Jean Norton used to dance with Donald Hastings at parties. Girls go around in twos and giggly Nancy Britain was always with the sensible Beverly Bauman. Natalie Herman and her brother used to come to church but not Sunday School. We had another youth group called the Crusaders, a bad name now that you think of it. Richard Pond and Kenneth Gran were regular fellows. Richard Boyden and Arthur Gray were in scouts and DeMolay, but they mostly went to Hope Church. Robert Sanger was my best friend until his father killed him in a family murder-suicide because of his dishonesty at Brooks Banknote. Mr. Sanger was our scoutmaster!

In 1999 I was a charter member of the Irish Cultural Center at Elms College. I still use my parent's 1931 Literary Digest, Atlas and World Gazetteer, which I keep behind the left cabinet door of the white painted bookcase Father made. Father got his first Social Security card on December 1, 1936. His number was 016-10-08245. Mother got hers on December 16, 1936 and her number was 017-01-2334.

I called the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum to ask them what the middle initial is of retiring Director John Hamilton. At first the Quad switchboard mistakenly connected me with Emily Bader's office, then to Carvalho's secretary Joanne, who gave me his full name as John D. Hamilton. I suspect he may be the same John D. Hamilton who did a book on the Freemasons in 1994. Then I called Barnes & Noble and ordered the 1999 book Closing the Door by Merton M. Sealte. There are Stone Soul Festival posters around, though with no mention of Taj Mahal on them. I got one off of the old Anderson-Little building that had ARISE in the back. A dollar store has just moved in.

Raymour & Flanagan the furniture store has a jingle for their Columbus Day sale that goes, "Make your day off pay off...." More likely they will make your day off a rip off! Eamon called and told me he took his awnings down today and washed the windows. Eamon said that when he was Director of Emergency Management for the City of Springfield during the O'Connor Administration, they put up warning horns on all the schools, radio towers by the fire stations and electrical generators at City Hall and Mercy Hospital.

Eamon said he called Spellacy the cop yesterday but his wife, a teacher at Bowles, was snappy with him when she told him her husband was not at home. Eamon says that Paul Caron is the strongest candidate that could have run against Mayor Albano, but he thinks Caron's name recognition alone will not be enough to stop Albano from being re-elected. Caron has simply been an inside player himself for too long to be convincing in the role of a reformer. Why was he silent during Albano's first five years in office? Eamon said Albano talks a good game as he plans, promises and programs, but he fails to deliver.

October 10, 2001

60 degrees at 10:54am.

The Pilgrims were brave people who made a courageous journey and suffered many hardships in their quest for freedom. They created the Mayflower Compact, which was the first declaration of American freedom, and they began the celebration of what is now a national holiday, Thanksgiving. - Jesica Olsson, Baileyville, Maine.

Father was a member of the Republican Club of Massachusetts in 1971. M.P. Thurber was a Springfield Symphony Orchestra volunteer in 1974. Max Page was on WFCR today talking about New York City. Where the now being remodeled Winchester/Mason Square Library is in Springfield there used to be two wonderful old Victorian houses with a gas station next door. The gas station was torn down, but the cement in front was allowed to remain as a rough parking lot for the library. Now it is being torn up and replaced to make a nice, new lot for the library.

Friendly's is closing 133 shops, 25% of the chain, but Jim Vinnick on TV says Friendly's is in "a classic turnaround situation" and not having a bad year overall. Drove over to Caron's headquarters today and saw Caron's car outside but he must have been in the private office in back because I didn't see him inside. Leon G. was at the table with two men, I inquired about Landers and Coughlin but they were not around. Leon was very friendly and said they are encountering delays with their printer but are not concerned. I left a copy of my memo on terrorism for him and one for Rosemarie Coughlin, warning Leon that "it will horrify her." Then I drove over to Angelo's for veggies and Arnold's for donuts.

Headed down State Street and just below Roosevelt on the right hand side a pub run by blacks is being beautifully painted with green trim and and yellow and orange panels. I shouted to the painters as I drove past, "I love those colors!" Got on the highway and then got off at the Ingleside Mall where I parked in spot L42. It was not crowded, but the car next to me was parked too close. Inside, Wilson's Leather had lots of stuff 50% off with biker jackets marked down to $149 from $199. The shoe place in the basement DSW had nothing but ridiculous boots for women. Riding on the escalator I saw that the Eddie Bauer store has carved letters that stick out from the front and they were covered with dust, so I went inside and told the manager. I went to Wendy's for lunch and their fries are about the same as Burger King. Keith Silver, the long-time reporter and news director for WWLP-TV, Channel 22 was sitting with friends in the next booth, so when I left I paused and said, "Hey, you're Keith Silver!" He laughed. I was back at my car at 11:55, where I left a nasty note on the windshield of the car next to me telling them to do a better job of parking.

I continued up the highway to Northampton, where I parked by the railroad station. Parking was only 15 cents per hour, a real deal. Northampton has so much to offer by way of dining and shopping, but my real goal was getting anti-war posters if I could find any. First I stopped at Half Moon Books. I saw Ms. Ford and confronted her about selling the book stolen from Boston and she said that since the book was old and not from a local library, she didn't feel obligated to check if it was stolen. I left quietly, but I will pursue this.

As I arrived on Main Street I saw a wonderful sight: About 30 activists with an enormous white canvas dove with wings outstretched marching towards Smith College. I followed them, looking for posters the whole way, but saw only ones for the Northampton Music Festival and the Mobius Band. I could see where posters had been ripped down, someone said they think they got taken down by the police or Chamber of Commerce types. I couldn't find anyone else who could confirm this. Fortunately, I was still able to find five anti-war posters by the time we reached Nielsen Library.

From the protest I headed to the Better Yet shop on Market where I saw Mrs. Ayakanian standing in front of her daughter's store, which is a crowded shop of pretty things like art deco glassware, lamps, fine clothing and jewelry. I came and went without speaking to either mother or daughter. I went along Main to Thornes, and asked in the bookstore about something by Wally Swist but they had never heard of him. There was a Ninja Turtles painting in the basement hallway and they were stripping the ornate Victorian stairway in Thornes for refinishing. When I got home I found a card on my door saying that Baystate Gas had come wanting to read my meter.

October 11, 2001

UMass Peace Protest October 11, 2001

55 degrees at 9:55am. Gas is $1.27 at Pride on Sumner Avenue.

WFCR says the 9/11 hijackers took test drives out of Boston. The TV says Osama bin Laden has become a folk hero in the Middle East. They showed youths wearing t-shirts with his picture on it and the message beneath is "Jihad is Our Mission." I'd love to get one of those and wear it to public events! The Tuesday Morning Music Club presents Mozart by Moonlight on October 14th at the South Congregational Church on Maple Street. The evening news said that Spag's is closing and I'm not surprised. It has always seemed a crummy store. The one in Shrewsbury will remain open, it has been there 68 years. They will have a closing sale starting October 18th that will run through Christmas.

Called my aunt and Bonnie Hopkins answered, cheerful and sweet but sounding older, and said Maria is fine. She is alert but needs help with basic things like dressing. Bonnie says Aunt Maria thinks that 9/11 "was awful" and she doesn't watch the news much because it depresses her. Bonnie said she herself is worried about what the future holds for her grandchildren. Cousin Shirley is up in Vermont to "winterize" her mom. I thanked her for all that she and Shirley have done for my Aunt. Then I called Caron headquarters and got Rosemarie Coughlin. I asked if she got my memo on terrorism and she said, "Yes, have a nice day," and hung up!

I was going to go to Amherst today but went to the Yankee Pedlar Inn instead. On the way down Wilbraham Road I was behind a tan Cadillac full of old ladies that turned into Reeds Landing. I had to wait for a long train over by the old Strathmore Mill site. Then I drove up Route 5, the same way we used to go when I was a child on our way to Vermont. The Moutain Park tract that Monarch was going to buy has been made into a Stop & Shop. When I got near the Yankee Pedlar on a whim I decided to forego Amherst and stop for lunch if it could be had for less than ten dollars. The parking lot pavement is all cracked up and there is a tacky little house next door. The front of the building is kept up but the total effect is of fading elegance.

Inside, the restaurant ranges from luxurious to nice, but the carpeting was worn and rather dirty. The crystal chandelier of which they are so proud needs cleaning. There were no valuable paintings, the two big ones in the Opera House are reproductions. There were photos of the former Chapin Mansion but there was no real memorabilia from there. The service by my waitress B. Convery was impeccable. I bought a burger on a toasted bun with lettuce and tomato and lots of fries for only $7.95. The meal was just fine and I tipped adequately. I'd never been there before and I'll never go again. In fact, when I got home I called Belle-Rita Novak and told her mother to tell Belle-Rita I can't take her there like we had discussed I might.

Eamon called and is annoyed because the IRS sent him a notice that he owes $83 in additional taxes. Eamon said some 200 million has been spent downtown in the last 25 years on government economic development projects with nothing to show for it. Spending over 100 million more on the Hall of Fame and Civic Center won't revive the dead downtown. Eamon says everyday the Albano Administration looks more and more like the administrations of Mayor Cianci of Providence and Mayor Giordano of Waterbury.

Radio host and Boston Herald writer Howie Carr has been dumping all over Richie Neal lately and his Washington roommate Rep. Marty Meehan. Eamon has gotten in touch with Carr and passed along to him a lot of dirt on Neal. Carr said he was surprised to see how Neal was in the news recently lecturing school children at the Champions of Character awards program. Eamon explained to Howie the ways in which Neal is in no way qualified to give such a talk.

October 12, 2001

Today is the real Columbus Day. 59 degrees and very misty this morning. Gas is $1.29 at Pride in the Acres.

Doctors practice preventive medicine; lawyers practice preventive law.

RightWatch, the United Auto Worker's and the Action Awareness Committee for LGBT Concerns of the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence held a seminar on Social Justice and Same Sex Marriage - A United Response to the Right's Agenda featuring Diane Paladino, James Shaw, Gary Buseck, Frederick Clarkson, Johnathan Lee and Ellen Koteen. Sponsors include the Everywoman's Center, Green Street Cafe, the Western New England Writer's Union Local 5, Pride and Joy, The Stonewall Center and Rabbi Sheila Weinberg. Just as I got fed up hearing about O.J. Simpson and the Clinton scandals, all this media jabber about terrorism is getting to be more than I can take. Must the media belabor things so much? Single issue coverage is boring in the extreme. I hope Larry McDermott and David Starr were listening this morning when Marvin Kalb said on WFCR, "Journalists show their patriotism best by telling the truth."

Was Sam Adams a terrorist?

WFCR is having a fund drive again, they said listener's support brings in half their budget. They don't have one big big fund drive, but hold several little ones throughout the year. There's a new patriotic Chevy commercial on TV that says, "The best thing you can do today is buy a new American car or truck." We're in the middle of a mayoral campaign and nobody is thinking about the implications of 11 September for Springfield. I'm reading Rex Applegate's Riot Control Techniques, Manhandling and Close Combat for Police and Military (1976). It is brimful of things troublemakers should know for dealing with cops, including a section on organizing riots. Timothy McVeigh lived and died for the proposition that some Federal agencies have their heads up their asses, and now we know it for certain.

The present Basketball Hall of Fame is a lovely structure, all it needed was a new wing added to it, not a whole new building. Tom Brennan has announced that The Judge's Chambers is putting on a benefit show downtown for Hospice Life Care on October 21st. A few days before graduation one of the smartest kids in my class at Classical High and his buddy took a bust of Shakespeare and dropped it out the second story window where it shattered below. They were white and well connected so it was dismissed as a boyish prank. They graduated and went to elite colleges and got good jobs.

Cooked up the rest of the squash. Most of the trees have not started to turn color yet. Mrs. Staniski called and said that she and Ann spent most of their time in Maine sitting by the hotel fireplace. I also called Marshall Moriarty and told him how the Duggan kids attacked the Rucks and Puppolo signs on my lawn but reassured him that everything is now fine. Next I called Nader the Hatter and told him about the Autumn Book Sale at the Whately Antiquarian Book Center in the Red Brook Schoolhouse on Rte. 5. I drove to Bank of Boston and cashed a check, then went over to Caron's HQ. Karen Powell was there and she said people have worn their t-shirts supporting the library question to the library branches and were not asked to leave. I told her how Eamon has been helping Howie Carr to attack Richard Neal and she laughed.

Jim Landers was there and made me some free copies on their machine. He showed me the latest mailing from Athan "Socco" Catjakis endorsing Mike Albano: "As a former State Representative and Mayoral Executive Assistant, I know first hand the workings of government. In my opinion, Mike Albano has proven to the residents of our city that he has the knowledge and ability to lead our fine city in a proud and positive manner." The mailing features a photograph of Catjakis and Albano standing in front of City Hall. Landers pointed to the photo and said, "Those two belong in jail."

From Caron's I went to Food Mart and bought the specials. When I got home Eamon called and said his old friend Tom Hutcheson, who used to dine at Lido's regularly, advised him to buy stock in Harley-Davidson because motorcycles will be used a lot in an Afghan ground war. Eamon prefers Silvano's up the street from Lido's, because the chef John Parker made his dishes a special way provided Eamon sent a free drink back to him in the kitchen. Eamon says that most chefs he has known were serious drinkers.

Eamon complained that it is hard for him to stay in touch with Gingras the teacher because his phone line is always tied up by his kids using the computer. Gingras also uses the computer sometimes and his wife uses it for her architectural work. Eamon said the last he heard Gingras was having prostate trouble and teaching at A.I.C. on Thursday nights. Eamon's latest phone message describes Albano, Hurwitz, Picknelly and Starr as "downtown Springfield's economic development disaster foursome."

October 13, 2001

59 degrees at 8:15am.

I was watching the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night. At one point they scanned the audience and it was completely white, I could spot no blacks anywhere. Richard Wendorf is the Director of the Boston Athenaeum. Honkey Dorey and Monson's Skarmy of Darkness are performing at Pearl Street in Northampton tonight. I called Bonnie Hopkins this morning who said that Aunt Maria didn't go to church this week, but she curled her hair today. She said she hasn't seen Ruth for a few days. Went to Mrs. Staniski's and Ann was just walking back from getting the morning paper. Her car was parked out front. Ann told me she thinks it will be hard to capture Osama bin Laden, as she read he sometimes goes around disguised in female Islamic robes. I gave her mother some reading material and she gave me a big box of Goldenrod Kisses which are real nice.

From there I went to the Orchard and Cat's Paw where a man in raspberry pants was buying a model railroad car. On the way I passed a combined Caron and Rucks standout at the intersection of Boston Road and Parker. On Breckwood I noticed that Tom Devine's Rucks sign is missing from his front lawn. I wonder if the Duggan kids attacked his sign like they did mine, or could it be that someone is targeting Rucks signs? The legislative offices of Brian Lees and Paul Caron in the Orchard were both closed. Caron's has no outward indication that he is running for mayor.

Peter P. Nowak was in and told me he has a brother Paul who also lives in Ludlow. He told me that Peter Flannery of East Longmeadow did the artwork on the Diamond Match book he sold me. He also told me about Rudy Banks, a black man and retired plumber who has an enormous collection of artifacts relating to local black history. Nowak also informed me that Stanley Karpowsky died five years ago of cancer. Stanley used to hang around Peter's "helping" and talking a lot about military things.

Pulaski Hall was open for a "gigantic" tag sale that really wasn't all that big, but never having been there before I went in. There is a big hall with a small stage and a kitchen. It has an ornate old fashioned metal ceiling. There is also a basement room with a bar. Pulaski Hall is a somewhat run down but otherwise lovely 1900 period ethnic hall. Then I stopped at McDonald's for a fishwich and fries. On the way home I spotted a tag sale in front of Church of the Acres, where I stopped and bought a few books. Mrs. Balch was not there, but the big burly man who uses a walker and lives on the corner of Pineview was there. As I left Durham Caldwell and his sandaled wife were just arriving. I told him he was too late, I had already bought all the good books! He smiled and muttered something I didn't catch, but at least I got him to acknowledge me.

The Union-News had the wrong header on October 12th, saying it was a Thursday when it was Friday. Eamon called and said he has changed his voter registration from Democrat to independent because he doesn't want anyone to think he is supportive of the local Democratic Party machine. He told me that Jim Landers has the contract to print the ward and precinct signs for all the polling places in Springfield. He told Eamon the city always pays him promptly. The name of his business is J L Printing, located at 430 Springfield Street up by the Chicopee line. It is in a cluster of buildings that include the City Line Cafe and the Glenwood Cafe and his shop is at the far end of the row. Landers' wife used to be an accountant for the PVTA, but now works for the public schools.

Eamon said that the new McDonald's on Liberty is a big success with long lines of people waiting to be served. Eamon described the Springfield Civic Center as "a deficit ridden white elephant failure." He also said the planned renovations won't help because it will still have "less seating capacity and a lot less convention exhibition space than the centers in Hartford, Worcester and Providence." Eamon predicted the only results will be "more debt and deficits for the taxpayers."

October 14, 2001

Misty rain. Gas is $1.22 at the Hess station in Chicopee.

Today there was an anti-war protest in Copley Square in Boston. The Zen Center on Main Street in Northampton is having Practicing Peace sessions put on by the Peacemaker Community on Saturday mornings. A fundraiser was held October 11th at the Peking Garden in Hadley to raise money for the 9/11 victims. Michael Klare and Andrea Ayvazian will chair a Respond to Terrorism seminar at the Crocker Farm School in Amherst. The Flywheel in Easthampton is having a meeting October 16th on the terrorist attack sponsored by Students for a Peaceful Response. Erwin Staub, a professor of psychology at UMass, is speaking out against the war on terror. Susan L. DeFeo is Vice President of Retail Banking at Woronoco Savings Bank. Robert W. Brown, President of the 836 member Springfield Retired Police and Firefighters Union, testified in Boston recently with Mayor Albano at the Statehouse before the Public Safety Committee on behalf of higher benefits for retirees. I noticed recently that Officer Brown has a Tim Rooke sign on his lawn. I am reading John A. Stormer's book None Dare Call It Education.

Today I drove north to gather anti-war posters. There are a lot of signs around Springfield promoting the Spag's going out of business sale. Passing through Chicopee, I saw a crowd holding United We Stand signs across from the Hu Ke Lau. The rain was heavy enough when I passed through Hadley that I had to briefly turn my windshield wipers on. I arrived at 10am at Mount Holyoke College, but I found only one anti-war poster in the whole square so I continued on towards Amherst.

At the main intersection in Amherst by the bank, a group of about fifteen mostly older adults were waving signs in favor of bombing Afghanistan. They were not passing out any printed literature. The sidewalks in Amherst are in poor condition. The increasing use of wide tape makes removing posters without damaging them increasingly difficult. Bus shelters remain wonderful places to gather posters. At one point I passed three young women who were wearing biker jackets and boots, with one wearing a heavy chain necklace and the word "Feminist" painted in red on the back of her jacket. The Traprock Peace Center was holding a walk for peace that started at the UMass campus pond and ended at the Common under the slogan, "Star Wars Won't Protect Us - Keep Space for Peace."

I swung by Hampshire College and got some posters off of their enclosed bus shelter by the entrance. A lot of their posters were actually Spring Break ads, but I did get some anti-war posters that were unavailable anywhere else. The only spot with a better variety of posters was the Student Union at UMass. I got a good Five College Student Walkout poster, of which I found none in downtown Amherst. When I got back home there was a tan car over Colleen's and I chatted briefly with Mr. Lucius. He said he is reading a book about Islam entitled The Great Awakening and said he is going to New Hampshire tomorrow. Lucius recalled that A.I.C. Professor and World War II veteran Dr. Lee Holt was very prominent locally as an anti-war activist in the Vietnam years.

Eamon called and said he has a new ADT security system for his home at $25 per month. He also said my postcards of Sweet Pea and Honey Pot are "real cute." Eamon has never admitted he has a Teddy Bear, but I have seen such a creature on visits to his house, so I told him he should put the bear in the new large airplane model from the 1950's he bought and currently has in the garage. I told him the plane is worth $800 and he said he paid $750 for it. Eamon got the latest issue of The Irish Echo and said it has a 9/11 memorial section of victims of Irish descent.

I went to the memorial service today for my Classical High music teacher Warren Ammerman. It was held at Christ Church Cathedral and I parked on Edwards Street. There appeared to be about 60 cars over at the Mozart concert at South Church. The Ammerman affair had an attendance of 107, including clergy and choir. Rev. James Munroe was the celebrant and Raymond Drury was the Choir Director. The music was unfamiliar and no attempt was made to connect it to the tastes of Ammerman. The eulogy was focused on what a gentle person he was, but it was too short and routine. I signed the guest book for both me and Ann Staniski. The reception was in a room with heavy Victorian furniture and they served cider and cookies. When I left it was lightly raining.

October 16, 2001

61 degrees, sun came out at 10am.

"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." - Mahatma Gandhi

The American flag is the symbol of a nation-state responsible for a massive loss of human life through its economic and military policies.

President Bush says "We know Bin Laden is guilty." Well, sentencing people to death without a trial is counter to the entire concept of Western jurisprudence. The Northampton Committee to Lift the Sanctions and Stop the Bombing in Iraq is holding a vigil every Saturday in front of the old courthouse on Main Street. There is also a peace vigil in Amherst every Sunday on the Amherst Common. The International Socialist Organization meets in Room 905 in the UMass Campus Center. The Rockin Horse Music Class for children under 4 years old is held at the Munson Library in Amherst and taught by Nora Laudani. Baldwin Piano, which has a plant in Conway, Massachusetts, is in Chapter Eleven after 139 years in business.

The Big Dig contractor Bechtel has raised the price $400 million to $14.5 billion. There is talk of firing them, but that would just add billions to the cost. On the news they say there was a stabbing at Picknelly's Peter Pan Bus Terminal. TV22 is doing online polls again, but if you don't have a computer you can't participate. Erin Green is the sexy new anchor on 22, what happened to Brenda Garton? WFCR raised $2,500 this morning in one hour. They said that 7:30 to 8:30 in the morning is their period of highest listeners. They are also giving away J. Simpson paperweights for a donation of $365.

Police Chief Meara has not been in the news much lately. I got an invite in the mail today to a golf fundraiser for Mayor Albano. That's the first invitation I've gotten from him since his spaghetti and meatball dinner. He never invites me to anything I want to go to. There is a big ad for Hampden Savings in The Reminder featuring Carol Hodges. Champions of Character, the show Howie Carr ridiculed Richie Neal for being on, is aired on TV40 every Monday and the nominations are printed in the paper.

Dickie Nichols' green dodge seldom leaves his driveway and I wonder if it is still registered. He has a two car garage but never puts the vehicle in it. Dick Nichols can be strange. Today I called Belle Rita Novak and apologized for not attending her birthday party. Then I called Caron for Mayor headquarters and told Leon Gaumond that he should hire Eamon as a speechwriter and me to correct the English on his campaign releases. He thanked me for my suggestion. I called Leonard Collamore and told him about the Columbus song I discovered in Richard C. Berg's Music for Young Americans (1959). Berg came from Yonkers to run the music program in Springfield and his son Charlie Berg was one of my best friends in Room 203 in Buckingham. His dad soon got another job so our friendship was brief. I wonder whether the Quadrangle has his book, but I doubt it because they have done nothing to preserve the textbooks written by other Springfield teachers.

I called Karen Powell tonight and she said she tried to call Maureen Turner at the Valley Advocate, but Tom Vannah told her that Mo is on vacation. She said she recently went to a mayoral debate hosted by the Springfield Republican Party City Committee and Mayor Albano didn't attend but sent his aide Candice Lopes instead. She said Tom Devine was there, and he told her that he has mixed feelings about the Albano/Caron race. Devine said he has never been a Caron supporter, but considers him better than Albano. We recalled how Tom used to call him "Caron the Tax Baron" in his newsletter.

The leaves are now in full color and will come falling down the minute we have a frost. I made copies today at Mailboxes of my Lympus Church 1920 photo and my joke photo of Monarch Place in flames. I will send copies to Atty. Berman. Kamberg & Berman is located on the 20th floor of Monarch Place. Then I drove over to the new McDonald's on Liberty Street by the rotary. It is large with subdued Irish green colors predominating. I had a burger and I think the place is nice. I went home by way of Armory Street, where I saw two Caron signs and one for Cortes. Stopping off at Walmart to leave off some film for developing, I saw a black security man telling some black signature collectors they had to leave.

Eamon called and said that his caller ID shows that Tom Devine still calls to listen to his messages regularly. Eamon said that fifteen people left comments today on his answering machine editorial blasting Albano, Hurwitz, Picknelly and Starr as "inept centralized planners." One call was from Tony Ravosa, another was from former City Councilor Mitch Ogulewicz. Mitch said that Paul Caron should be promoting Eamon's number on his campaign literature. Jim Landers told Eamon that he thinks Leon is jealous of Eamon because Eamon can say things more concisely than him. Landers also said that he is confident Caron will win, but Eamon isn't so sure. Eamon complained that Springfield suffers from the James Michael Curley syndrome, where breaking the law is no deterrent to getting re-elected. He said it's a terrible shame that Springfield's voters can't seem to recognize the corruption and mismanagement in the Albano Administration. Or maybe they can, as Eamon is suspicious of the the validity of the election returns that come from the North End and Mason Square where Albano has always won big.

October 17, 2001

Slight breeze, 59 degrees at 3:20pm.

The truth can set you free, but first it might make you miserable.

Alan Greenspan says that U.S. consumers and businesses have cut back on spending since 9/11. Westover is activating 335 reservists to operate cargo planes. Sam Epinceno of the Amherst Police Department is holding a raffle to benefit the victims, families and rescue workers involved in the September 11 tragedy. The winner will get an American flag embossed denim jacket. Benjamin Franklin Jones, retired CEO of Monarch Life, was among the EMT's responding to the attack on the World Trade Center. At 79, he is believed to have been the oldest paramedic on the scene. Financial strategist Mary Farrell is speaking downtown at the Public Forum. At the Goodlife Senior Center on East Columbus Avenue there are workshops on surfing the web and how to take better pictures. Ernie Falvo is teaching the computer class.

A tan car with Connecticut registration was on Colleen's lawn today. I put my red registration sticker on my plate Sunday before I went up to Amherst. The old sticker was orange. Called Tourtelotte today but his secretary Joanne said he is on vacation for three weeks. Today I spoke again with Dorothy Larson, who worked for J. Resler Shultz, who helped raise the money to build the first six buildings at WNEC and then became their first Development Officer. She said her father died in her childhood and she and her mother lived with her maternal grandparents. She went to the St. James Methodist Episcopal Church and they lived on Silver Street off of Armory. The congregation was mostly wealthy people from Atwater Terrace and Round Hill. Since leveled, it was a lovely church with a big window of Jesus the Shepard with other decorative windows. It had a very conspicuous communion railing and the organ was to the left. She remembered a Rev. Leach. Sometimes they served chicken pie suppers in the basement. I also asked her about her autographed Edwin Markham poems and she said she took them to Stanton's who appraised them at $150. I invited her to make an appointment sometime to see my art collection.

Eamon called and wanted to know where to buy a tarp. I told him Ocean State Job Lot. Eamon said that he doesn't plan to go to the new Hungry Hill McDonald's because he's never felt that McDonald's makes a quality burger. Eamon recalled how in 1991 he received a letter from Secretary of Defense William Cohen thanking him for his service in the naval reserves. Eamon also noted how cynical it was for Veteran's Affairs Director Daniel Walsh to appoint District Attorney Benentt the Grand Marshall of the Veteran's Day Parade, since by doing so he is simply appointing his wife Kateri's brother.

Eamon said that yesterday he had to take his dog to the vet, then he and Jim Landers drove over to Caron headquarters. Landers needed a ride because his car is being repaired by Teta Automotive. The Teta family was once prominent in local Republican Party circles. Eamon says that Landers is putting an awful lot of free work into Caron's campaign and is presently printing the invitations to a big Caron fundraiser in Boston. The parking lot at Caron's was full of the cars of campaign workers, but Eamon thinks they should be told to park elsewhere so that the lot is available to the public. Rosemarie Coughlin was not there, nor was Leon, just a lot of elderly white women making phone calls. There were no blacks or Puerto Ricans there, Eamon feels that the headquarters is located in the wrong neighborhood. The campaign workers were expressing disappointment that Peter Picknelly and Linda Melconian haven't done very much for Caron yet.

Eamon said he told Caron recently that he should make a brochure that on one side has Albano's claims and then have refutations of them on the other side. For example, Albano boasts of hiring more cops, but Caron can point to the thousands of unserved warrants and rising crime. Albano brags about building new schools, but the test scores are down. Eamon told Caron he has to be a fighter like Al Smith or John Kennedy, because you have to fight your opponent so that your supporters can see how you will fight for them. Eamon says the crowds showing up for the mayoral debates are dominated by Caron supporters. Eamon claims that Albano gets visibly upset when he is challenged with facts and figures. He says Albano doesn't know how to handle issues unless he is asked the kind of softball questions he gets from the Union-News.

October 18, 2001

Clear blue sky, 61 degrees at 3:51pm.

Freedom's twin is responsibility.

Mary Ellen Waller was born in 1855 and died in 1938. Plymouth Plantation has been hit by the downturn in tourism since 9/11 and may have to cut staff. The Gypsy Wranglers, winners of the 2001 Valley Advocate Grand Slam Band Award played at the Book Mill in Montague last week to raise money for 9/11 victims. Last time I was at the library's free book section I got Quotations From Chairman Bill (1970) by William Buckley.

Florence A. Center, a former President of the Woman's Division of the Springfield Symphony and the Tuesday Morning Music Club, has died at age 94. The Connecticut Valley Historical Museum will feature a program Words in Motion - From Postcards to E-mail. Postcards were used to send the same sort of short messages that email is used for today, according to Museum Programmer Claire O'Brien in today's paper. On Sunday Francis Gagnon will speak at the Quad about the history of postcards and show off her own collection.

I am an artistic property lawyer publishing in law and the humanities, legal antiquarianism and street literature. Artistic property law covers copyright, entertainment, charitable gifts and advertising. I am a member of the American Philological Association, Modern Language Association, Milton Society, Vermont Historical Society and The New England Historic Genealogical Society. I own a a 15,000 book library, substantially antiquarian. I never put WNEC Law School on my resume because a professor there gave me a failing grade on a paper I wrote which was published in a professional journal six months after I graduated. I do not have an e-mail address. I do not own a "computer" although I do have an abacus.

I had a waffle with syrup on it, milk and baked beans for breakfast. The mail brought the latest copy of the Western Mass Law Tribune. I called Arthur Wolf and left a message saying that his invitation came too late for me to attend. I also told him that his phone mail recording is muddy and should be redone. Mrs. Staniski called and thanked me for the pictures I sent her. I asked her how she is handling all the stress from 9/11 and she replied, "One day at a time." I'm bringing in the plants and turning on the furnace, as it is supposed to go below freezing tonight.

Today I went to the grand reopening of the Mason Square Library after a $1.2 million dollar renovation. I was wearing my raspberry "More library Hours" t-shirt, my maroon cap from the old days and boots. When I arrived at 11:45 I parked in the street and there was a crowd in front of the entrance way and all the politicians were lined up in front. Paul Caron was there and so was Congressman Neal, looking aged and with an angry frown on his face. J. Michael Wallace spoke, followed by Emily Bader and then Neal, who spoke so softly I could hardly hear him. I did catch something about John Kennedy dedicating the Robert Frost Library in Amherst. Then Albano came on and said, "I'm proud we have one of the best library systems in the United States right here in Springfield, Massachusetts."

The DeBerry Chorus sang a song. Marjorie Hurst was there with the contractor Bob Edwards, Councilor Foley came by and shook my hand. Karen Lee was there looking somewhat sophisticated with a purple folder with a detailed schedule of Caron's activities. Fran Gagnon and her husband Victor were buzzing about. The Ed Mari Jazz Ensemble featuring Billy Arnold was playing. Reggie Wilson was there with a deep blue pinstripe suit and a yellow rose in his lapel. He is the manager and I am happy for him. He's a good man who worked for a long time at the Rice Hall desk. The library isn't much changed. They have added some ugly new easy chairs and eight computer terminals.

Eamon called when I got back and said his mother used to use the saying, "Empty vessels make loud noises." Eamon said a reporter for the Boston Globe came into Caron's headquarters yesterday and wanted exact figures on Springfield's finances that Caron did not have to give him. So Eamon went down to City Hall today trying to get the most recent numbers on Springfield's financial situation but Donna Williams gave him the runaround, even though it's supposed to be public information.

Rosemarie Coughlin told Eamon that there is a tendency for Caron's professional consultants to crowd out the advice of the campaign workers in the streets. Eamon says that Springfield's downtown revitalization attempts can best be described as the pathology of government urban planning, with by-pass roadways, a barrier-ridden riverfront and badly designed white elephant buildings. He said current revitalization efforts will fail just like previous plans like Greener Pastures, It's Time for Springfield and Visions 89.

October 20, 2001

Heavy frost last night, reached 23 degrees in Ludlow. Gas at Pride is $1.27 per gallon.

War is necessary to clear the ground for new growth. If history holds any lesson, it is that we never learn anything from history. History is a bunch of lies to begin with. Nobody wants to study or memorize it, even when it is studied it is often misinterpreted. Whatever will be, will be and there's no pounding sense into anybody.

In Amherst a patriotic group had set up some flags on the town common and some anti-warriors doused the flags with lighter fluid and set them afire. State budget shortfalls are causing the state colleges and UMass to suffer budget cuts to their libraries. Today was Induction Day at the Basketball Hall of Fame. Friendly's stock is selling for 4.25. WFCR's fund drive ends on Tuesday. With the addition of John Dipasquale, TV22 now has four staff meteorologists. Isn't that absurd?

I went to the Trinity Church tag sale today. Melinda M. was at the the head of the line and said she would have to head to work at the library after the sale. Everyone was talking about how old Mr. Koziol died and his obituary is in the paper. Mr. Koziol was a tag sale friend, judicious, modest and a wonderful citizen with impeccable English. He worked for the Springfield Armory and then for Monsanto in Indian Orchard. I will send condolences. Nader the Hatter arrived late and had to wait at the end of the line. It was a big sale, but there were no surprises and no good books. Nader bought some hat display stands he said dated back to the 1950's. He said he is heading back to Florida on the 23rd. I saw a young woman I recognized from the Friendly's stockholder meetings. From there I headed up to Barnes & Noble. They already have their Christmas merchandise out and no longer have free literature in their entryway.

Back on I-91, I noticed that the pavement was new as I got towards Hatfield. I arrived at the Antiquarian Book Center at 1:05pm and Eugene Povirk was on duty, walking with a crutch. He's having trouble with his right knee and has to go to Boston for treatment. There were a lot of customers, mostly professor types. I told him about the stolen book I got at Half Moon in Northampton and he said their behavior was "clearly unethical." He suggested I report them to the Bookseller's Association. Povirk then showed me some books that came in from the Springfield Library without a discard stamp, but he checked and they are not stolen. He also had a 1934 copy of Theater Arts Monthly that came from the Forbes Library that was discarded but not stamped. I told him that our local libraries have failed miserably at following professional procedures in discarding materials and have also been throwing out old books that should be saved. He agreed and showed me a 1911 copy of Bostonian Society that Springfield had given away without a discard stamp. Povirk said it is a burden for dealers and collectors to have to check these items to make sure they are not stolen. I ended up buying the City Library discard of John Campbell's Lives of the Lord Chancellors, a steal at $260 for seven volumes. It was in perfect leather bound shape, but it is the American version with no plates.

On the way home, I swung by the new Hall of Fame and the blue insulation layer is done and they are covering it with silver panels. Heading up State Street, a fake trolly passed me with no one on it. At the intersection of Wilbraham Road and Parker there were three standouts underway at once for Paul Caron, Charles Rucks and Dom Sarno. Albano doesn't seem to be campaigning much in the Acres. I honked as I passed and then went to the Bank of Western Mass and cashed a check. At the intersection of Boston Road and Parker there was a standout for Marjorie Hurst. Then I got some fabulous veggies at Angelo's and some nice pastries at Arnold's. When I got home I saw on my caller ID that a Gregory D. Clark had called from 566-8502. I called back and got a kid, then a woman came on so I asked if she had called my number. She replied, "I got the wrong number." I said to her, "Good, then you'll want to apologize for bothering me. This is your opportunity." She hurriedly blurted, "Sorry!" and then hung up.

Eamon called and said that Art Gingras told him that his wife Iris attended the library dedication the other day accompanied by the architect Schenkelberg. Gingras said his wife "has no use for the Gagnons" whom he said are politically connected and "have their noses into everything." He added, "If you're not politically connected in this city, forget it." Eamon said there was a big standout for Albano at the corner of Carew and Liberty. Eamon complained that Caron doesn't have a clear enough message or detailed enough platform. Eamon heard that Mayor Albano is using his influence with redistricting to carve up Rep. Caron's legislative district so that if Caron loses the mayoral race, he will be immediately plunged into a fight for his political survival. Leon told Eamon that they are not concerned because they have the mayoral campaign figured out down to a science and Caron cannot lose.

October 21, 2001

72 degrees was the high for today.

The war comes home when the coffin does.

There will be an anti-war demonstration in Springfield in front of the Federal Building in Springfield on October 27th. Fuzz Bunny and the Michael Barrit Project performed at a World Trade Center Benefit Show in the Cierpial Funeral Home parking lot on East Street in Chicopee. The Levi E. Coe Library Association is in Middlefield, Connecticut. The architect for the First Church renovations is Stephen Jablonski. The Hadley Antique Mall on Russell Street has over 10,000 square feed of antiques and collectibles. Mt. Holyoke College had a Buck a Beer Rugby Party last week, two forms of ID required.

At the end of Utz, Bruce Chatwin's novel about a reclusive Czech collector of Meissen porcelain, the man destroys his collection before his death to keep it out of Communist hands. In the 1992 screen version, the collector's housekeeper is shown smashing hundreds of intricate figures as the dying Utz observes with a satisfied smile.

I called Fred Whitney today because driving by his house the other day I noticed that his Charles Rucks for Council sign was missing. I told him about how my Rucks sign was attacked and how Tom Devine's is completely missing. He said someone took his sign and he hopes the Democrats aren't targeting Rucks' for vandalism. He said that Rucks was 24 years in the Marines and is a candidate that the local Republicans have high hopes for. Whitney told me that he was flattered that Eamon called to praise his ward representation letter. He said he also received congratulations from "the far-out leftists" at Arise for Social Justice, which he said is an example of "politics making strange bedfellows." Mrs. Whitney is doing better, although she still needs a walker. She is not so bad in the morning, but she fades as the day goes by.

Drove out to UMass for another poster hunting safari. At the Calvin Coolidge bridge they have half the lanes closed while they do repairs. There was a lot of traffic, although it was 9:30 in the morning. The foliage was beautiful, and there were lots of vegetable stands, but they were selling mostly pumpkins rather than squash. I arrived at UMass at 10:30 and parked for free on Haigis Mall by Herter Hall. I was surprised to find Herter unlocked, in Madison you needed keys to get into the buildings on Sundays. There were not many posters on the Herter Hall main board. I peeked into a classroom and it had an overhead projector and all the routine supplies. Next I walked over to Bartlett Hall, which is where I found a good many posters. By the English Department entrance they have made a study lounge with a computer somebody could walk off with. The lounge has two bookcases full of old books and encyclopedias, nothing special. They did have nice study lamps with green shades on the table. The English Office main hallway was open with the faculty mailboxes exposed to any sort of mischief.

Then onward past the library tower, with its black metal railing around it. I decided not to go in and headed straight for the Student Union, where things were pretty much the same, except that the Mini Store is being remodeled. There was a security fellow roaming around with a walkie-talkie, but he made no trouble for me even though he saw me tearing down posters. The Cape Cod Lounge was locked. I went past the campus pond on my way back to the car. Then I stopped at the Amherst Big Y, which is pretty snazzy, and with the students they have a captive customer base. The traffic going back on Route 9 was pretty heavy, with cars bumper to bumper at the Coolidge bridge. There were lots of cars parked by the entrance to the bike path. It was a wonderful day that felt almost like summer and everyone was out. When I got back Irving Cohn was looking into his mailbox, so I paused to ask how he is. He said he's fine, but his wife Lenore has to go to dialysis four times per week. He thanked me for the Reader's Digests I dropped off because Lenore likes them. Someone put a Hurst sign on my treebelt, as I told Marjorie she could.

Paul Caron is planning on having a news conference on Tuesday about the city's debt, which is close to $400 million with a debt service of $30 million. The State Revenue Department told Eamon that Springfield is one of 22 cities out of 351 in the Commonwealth on a "watch list" for fiscal mismanagement. An article in the paper today points out that Paul Caron used to be a supporter of the baseball stadium scam. The article is an attempt to reinforce Mayor Albano's charge that Caron never opposed Albano's policies until he decided he wanted his job. Caron defended his change of heart, saying the fact that the stadium project was killed by the courts showed that "the emperor had no clothes."

October 23, 2001

Heavy clouds, 60 degrees at 7am. Most of the leaves are still up.

At Franklin Patterson Auditorium at Hampshire College there will be a panel discussion with Michael Albert and Noel Ignatiev on the topic "Current Crisis on the Left: What the Fuck do we do Now?" Jaggi Singh will be giving a talk on "Anarchy, War and Globalization" at the New England Anarchist Book Fair. The UMass Campus Crusade for Christ reports that more students have turned to God since 9/11. Indian Activist John "Splitting the Sky" Hill will speak at UMass on "Indigenous Sovereignty and Awareness" put on by the Josephine White Eagle Cultural Center and the Every Woman's Center. John Leavitt of the Jill Stein for Governor campaign will speak on "The History of the Green Party" at the UMass Campus Center. Filmmaker Jose Palafox will show his new video "Politics of Immigration, Human Rights and the Militarization of the Border" at UMass on October 25th. Mario Cuomo's appearance at Western New England College has been put off until March.

On my way up State Street yesterday I saw Andrew Scibelli turn into STCC in a shiny, black trans-am convertible. Nader the Hatter called today to say good bye. He'll be back in the area in late December. My big project today was to get out the mail, so I drove over to Mailboxes and then over to Food Mart for the morning paper. I ran into Nancy from Glickman School and she said that she thinks the mayoral race is "a vote for the lesser of two evils." She said that for the first time in her 51 years in Springfield, she is thinking of moving out of the city.

On my way back I drove discreetly past Albano's headquarters. There I saw the girl who used to make-out with cops by the Goodwill kneeling by cop car #106 and talking to the officer through the window. I parked and then walked over to say hi and ask her about some of the Goodwill employees. She said they are all doing fine and the young officer was very friendly. I saw nothing of interest going on at Albano's, although the lights were on. Arriving home I was dismayed to see someone had swiped my Caron sign.

This morning I called Caron headquarters looking for Karen Powell, but James McGowan, a friendly fellow who does field work for Paul, said she wasn't there. I called the Giroux house and reiterated my invitation to cousin Shirley to come over sometime. She said she recently took Aunt Maria to Stanley Park. A pompous ass schoolmarm on TV22 complained that Evel Knieval's motorcycle should not be placed in the Smithsonian Institute. On WFCR this morning they were talking about Speaker Finneran's redistricting plan and the devastating effect it is expected to have on Paul Caron's district. It will force him into a runoff and they even removed from Caron's district the area where his district office has been for many years.

Eamon called and told me he is reading Moby Dick. He also said that Jack O'Neil is a Putnam/Trade graduate and may also have a degree from STCC. Eamon said Jim Landers is now working 8 to 3 four days a week as a computer technician at STCC. Eamon claims that Landers can fix anything. I told him how I saw President Scibelli yesterday and Eamon said a trans-am fully loaded goes for around $30,000. Eamon says someone told him that Scibelli has been divorced twice. Eamon told me that the discovery that Springfield is $400 million in debt is even worse than he thought. Eamon's own estimate had been $350 million.

Eamon said that Leon Gaumond said something strange to him when Eamon told him that Jim Johnson was the person they should contact at the Department of Revenue for Springfield's stats. Leon asked, "What's the connection between Johnson and Albano?" Eamon was confused, but later he remembered that Albano used to work in the state auditor's office. Eamon said that he told Leon early in the campaign to get the numbers on the city's finances but Leon dismissed him by saying, "The voters aren't smart enough to know what the numbers mean." Now suddenly they're calling all over the place trying to get numbers.

Caron's positions on education have been released and Eamon is disappointed that Caron never consulted him on it. Eamon recalled how the other day at Caron's HQ everyone was standing around gossiping. He said one person reported that they had heard that Albano was desperately trying to convince his wife not to walk out on him before the election. Another person claimed that the reason no one has seen Richie Neal out with his wife in years is because she had a complete nervous breakdown and is now so heavily medicated that she can't go out in public. Everybody wondered what it was about living with Richie that made her go insane.

October 24, 2001

64 degrees on the breezeway at 11:10am. Gas is $1.29 on Liberty opposite Brunton Triangle.

Hampshire College President Gregory Smith Prince was on TV today saying that "the world has not changed in any significant way with respect to violence." He said that 9/11 merely extended the bloody 20th century into the 21st. For today's kids, September 11 was their first real national tragedy. Ilan Stavans of the Amherst College Spanish Department will speak this week at UMass on Jewish Latino relations in Mexico.

I sent a letter of condolence today to the family of Mr. Koziol. It read: "Edward A. Koziol was a learned, observant, thoughtful and articulate voice in our valley, much concerned about its situation and prospects. I enjoyed chatting with him at tag sales, which I always attended as much for the good fellowship as for the things I might buy, and Mr. Koziol was one whom I especially looked forward to chatting with each time because I valued his wisdom on current developments. He will always be remembered as an impeccable old school gentleman."

I drove downtown today to Baystate and left a complaint telling them that I'm in the process of dumping my primary care physician, who is possibly guilty of malpractice in the death of Mother, even though she was 92 and ready to die anyway. I included a copy of the Donor's Bill of Rights which says that a complaint is a gift and should be appreciated as such. Afterwards I decided to drive around the North End a little. I drove up toward Chicopee and saw the tiny storefront of Lander's JL Printing. There were a few Caron signs around but dozens of Albano signs, including many in storefront windows. Albano has the whole North End postered.

I continued up North Main into Chicopee and then drove around back into Springfield, finally ending up at Bickford's on Boston Road. I had two scrambled eggs, three sausage links and some fried potato cubes. It came to $5.29 and I gave the waitress a dollar tip. When I got back the mail brought a nice letter from Aunt Martha. A newsletter also came from Congressman Neal, featuring his remarks on the House floor on 9/11 in which he said, "Not even air should stand between the two political parties on this issue" of terrorism. Howie Carr could have some more fun with that line! I called Matthew Donnellan at City Hall and told his assistant Maria that I wanted to buy a city bond. She said they come in $5,000 denominations, so I asked where I could get one. She said she wasn't sure, so I said, "Madam, that information should be right on your desk or on the tip of your tongue!" She told me to contact my broker and hung up.

Eamon says that the Caron campaign is failing to take full advantage of all its resources. Jim Johnson of the D.O.R. told Eamon that he received calls today from reporters at the Union-News and Boston Globe. Eamon doesn't know to what extent he should trust the state auditor's office. He recalled how false sex accusations were brought against city auditor Jerry Danielle, probably because Albano feared Danielle might do some real auditing and find out what was going on. Albano punished an honest city auditor, so who knows how honest the state auditors are? A person named Ray Warren, who is working on Caron's campaign, told Eamon that he used to work for the state auditor and saw nothing improper.

Yesterday mayoral candidate Rep. Paul Caron held a press conference detailing the sad shape of the city's finances, using figures that Rosmarie and Eamon got him. The coverage on TV22 was terrible, with only one, short, vague soundbite from Caron followed by a much longer segment showing a furious Albano denouncing Caron's charges and saying that he couldn't wait to go "toe to toe" with Caron on tonight's TV40 debate. None of the figures Caron gave regarding the city's finances were heard in the news coverage.

I called Caron's HQ this morning before it opened and Paul himself answered. I wished him luck in the debate and said he should bring a bond prospectus with him and wave it in Albano's face when the subject of debt comes up. I also warned him that Albano may come on tough after yesterday's news conference and he should be prepared for that. I told him about the invitation I got to Albano's fundraiser at the Greek Cultural Center and he laughed and said, "Leon got one too!"

The debate came on at five, but at 5:16 the sound went on the fritz and it looked like it would kill the debate. They printed "Audio Difficulties" at the bottom of the screen and the debate remained soundless until 5:30, by which time most of the audience had no doubt already turned to another program. What a howl! They are always saying "Coverage You Can Count On" but sorry TV40, not tonight. Caron was more aggressive against Albano than usual, but he simply isn't the speaker that Albano is. At the end of the night Albano had won on style, but Caron won on the issues. After the debate I called Caron headquarters where I told assistant campaign manager Bobby Jakes that Caron did "splendidly." Eamon told me later that he called Caron's house and spoke with Caron's mother who said she was "delighted" with her son's performance. However, Eamon was angered by the after debate commentary in which it was said that "Anthony Cignoli helped prepare Caron with the city's latest financial figures," completely failing to give any credit to Eamon and Rosemarie Coughlin.

October 26, 2001

Wonderful, mild day. 72 degrees at 3:15pm.

Father was a yearly blood donor between 1949 and 1954. The motto of Northeast Savings in 1986 was "A Great Way to Bank." 162 Birchland is a Cape Cod for sale by Carlson. Home sales have dipped by 32% in the last month. There was a discount coupon in the Union-News this morning for the Antique Show at the Big E grounds this weekend. A brush fire in South Hadley is out of control. State Representative Cheryl Rivera is the honorary chairperson of Mayor Albano's re-election campaign. The actual campaign is being run by Charlie Kingston. Half of all Springfield students flunked the MCAST English test, two-thirds flunked the math test.

Up until the middle of the night, so I slept until 8:30. I keep saying that I'm going to straighten out the kitchen table, but there s always a new mess. I drove out at 10:40 and picked up some Valley Advocates at Pride before heading over to Big Y for some milk. I was wearing my head harness and the black manager came up to me and asked, "Can you hear?" I nodded. He asked, "Is that medical?" I mumbled something indecipherable and he departed. Then I went to Food Mart and with the head harness still on I bought 10 cans of chicken soup on special and went in and out without incident or comment.

Swinging by Mrs. Stanisnki without the head harness, I saw that she has put some kind of goo in the cracks in her driveway. She is a very conscientious old lady. Mrs. Staniski also repainted her basement screens with silver paint, they were drying by the back entry. She asked me to change the storm window in the kitchen which was easily done. Back home, the Cohn's have new energy efficient windows, and their nice aluminum windows are leaning against the tree in the middle of their front lawn. Over at the Penniman's two cute little boys were running around. I chatted briefly with the lady who lives in the old Petzold house and she said she loves the place but intends to redo the basement this winter.

There was an obituary in the paper today for Edith Michaud's husband. Al Michaud was an electronics engineer for the former F.W. Sickles Company of Chicopee, retiring in 1973 after 30 years. I called cousin Shirley to find out if she had seen it and she said no. I suggested that if Aunt Maria could make an appearance, even in a wheelchair, it would be nice in view of all the mean things Maria did to Edith early on. Shirley insisted that Edith and Maria have an excellent relationship and Edith was one of the first to come visit Maria. I replied that Edith once warned me to not to get too close to Aunt Maria. Anyway, Shirley said that Edith "is also my friend" and she will contact her. She said she may come see me and asked for directions again as she does not know Springfield very well except for the train station where she sometimes picks up Bonnie.

Eamon called and said his neighbor has a new Outback wagon in the garage. He said his nephew in North Adams got laid off because business has been so terrible since 9/11. He'll get 26 weeks of unemployment. Eamon has finished reading John A. Stormer's None Dare Call It Education and was not impressed. He said it was "replete with errors, poorly researched and not worthy of publication." He was especially displeased with the negative comments about John Silber. Eamon's latest phone editorial urges people to call Donna Williams at City Hall and demand the truth about the city's debt. He said several callers left messages saying that they would. In the message Eamon refers to Albano as "Springfield's Pasta Sauce Mayor of America!"

Eamon said that the new Valley Advocate has a "tremendous" article praising Paul Caron. Eamon says that Bill Putnam hopes that Caron will win. Eamon feels it is too bad that Putnam doesn't still own Channel 22, because that would give Caron a broadcast supporter to match their print support from the Advocate. Eamon called the article this morning in the Union-News by Chris Hamel on Springfield's debate "a study in selective amnesia" as it said nothing about the new figures on the city's finances Caron spoke about. The article described the candidates as staying "on familiar turf" when discussing the issues, but didn't say what the issues were or say what their "familiar" views were. Fortunately, Caron has a big paid ad in Section B of the paper today about the city's finances. Caron now has twelve telephone lines set up with people calling each night between 5 and 7. Jim Landers was making calls and one was picked up by former Judge Pellegrino, the father of Raipher. He scolded Landers asking, "What are you doing to our wonderful mayor?"

October 28, 2001

Sunny, clear, 43 degrees at 7:30 am. Gas at Breckwood is $1.29.

I have come down with the sniffles. Today I found a flag sticker on a banana. Everybody is displaying flags. On this day in 1938 Dupont introduced nylon. The new fourth weatherman on TV22 is the son of Ray DiPasquale from STCC. Hurwitz was on TV giving a hospitality award to Six Flags. It's supposed to go down to 25 degrees tonight and that will bring the last of the leaves down. Dined tonight on Swanson's Fish and Chips Dinner with parsnips and fruit juice.

Mother was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1979. The DAR Creed by Anne Rogers Minor includes passages such as, "We believe in a loyalty to the American government which leaves no room for socialism or communism....We believe in a living God that leaves no room for atheism." Two black, polite and extremely articulate Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door today and we chatted for a few minutes before I sent them on their way. I walked over to chat with Mudry who was out in his yard, and he said that he's glad we're in Afghanistan. I asked whether he sees a light at the end of this tunnel and he said he doesn't think it will turn into a quagmire. Mudry also said he is considering cutting down the small maple in his backyard. All my leaves are down so I took out three tarps and raked my leaves onto them.

When I went inside Eamon called and said an old friend from 182 Tremont, who is now with the Justice Department, told him "I think your mayor may be indicted." He said that Albano is currently under investigation for funneling money from his pasta sauce, which is supposed to go to scholarships and charities, to personal uses. The Boston Globe today has a full page story on the FBI's Springfield investigation, which includes information never made public in the Springfield media. Eamon says that Caron has sent out letters to registered Republicans asking for their support. I doubt they put any of those little donkeys that say Caron on them on the envelopes of that mailing! The Valley Advocate also gave them 3,400 copies of the Caron segment in their September 20th issue in order to pass out. Caron is accusing Mayor Albano of misusing the cable public access channel for political ends and getting the city a bad overall cable deal. Cable in Springfield is $37 per month, $32 for seniors. I could buy a lot of books with $400 a year, which is why I will not be getting cable.

Then I did the dishes and the mail came with the new issue of the WMass Law Tribune. On page 14 there is an ad for Two Mattoon Street, for sale at $299,000, so that is another vacant business front. My cousin Shirley Whittier Huang arrived today at 1:40pm. She says the only thing that Aunt Maria can do by herself is walk short distances with the aid of a walker. Her memory is not good. Shirley drove over here in Maria's car, but I drove her over to the Wilbraham center. Shirley admired the color in the leaves, especially one beautiful maple by the RR tracks/underpass in Wilbraham. I showed her the Meetinghouse, now freshly painted, although the commemorative tablets have not been repositioned. Then I drove to Rich Hall so that she could see the statue of Atlas holding up the world, then I drove out to show her the land I donated to Wilbraham. We saw that the plywood is off the windows so we could see into the structure, but no one was around. An old rusted snow shovel was leaning against the tree by the garage. Shirley took a picture through the window of the fireplace.

Next we drove up Deer Run and back onto Boston Road. The Wilbraham Mountain was gorgeous with color. I asked her if she knew of the Friendly's restaurant chain and she said they have them in Ohio but she never went to one. I said we can go for pizza at the Pizzeria Uno or ice cream at Friendly's. She said she hadn't had pizza in a long time, so we pulled into the Uno. We were seated by the window on the Boston Road side of the building, which has been somewhat remodeled. First we had chili, which was wonderful, and the pizza had lots of cheese and other ingredients. The bill came to $25.79 and I gave our high school age waitress a five dollar tip. As we ate Shirley said Fernbank is "beautiful" and Wilbraham is lucky to be getting it as a gift. She asked if I ever practice law and I said I've only been in court three times but won every case. Shirley told me that her husband is from Taiwan and her kids don't speak any Chinese. She said that whenever her kids have a birthday they usually celebrate at a Mexican restaurant.

After Shirley left, I went to the Antique Show at the Big E. The leaves are still up all around Court Square. There was a respectable afternoon crowd at the show, but Chimney Corner of Newburyport was not there and I saw no posters around for the STCC sale. A dealer from Gloversville told me he was a fraternity brother of David Starr, and that Starr's family owned a glove factory that is long gone. He said the population of Gloversville is about 20,000. I bought a bronze bell with a nice oriental tone and ten Wilbraham post cards I've never seen before for $55 from Donald Schimke of South Hadley who specializes in rare postcards. Schimke said he will go to the STCC sale but as a buyer, not a seller. My friend Povirk was chatting with the owner of Murphy's Old Books of Hartford. I told them about my run-in with Half Moon Books in Northampton and Povirk told me he once had "a disturbing conversation" with them about an item he suspected was stolen. He said booksellers have an obligation to be ethical and recalled an incident at the Boston Public Library where some rare books by Darwin were stolen but were eventually recovered by an honest bookseller. Povirk joked that no one will take my complaint seriously because they see me as "a crackpot" so I put my thumbs under my lapel and grinned and said, "I try my best!"

On my way back from the show I swung by Albano's headquarters, and as I was approaching the door Charlie Kingston came out and blocked my way. Folding his arms he said, "The last time you was (sic) here I gave you some material and you took it and beelined it right over to Paul Caron's headquarters."

"I did?"

"Yes, I took down your license plate and your car was spotted over there."

"Is there anything wrong with that?"

"No, but we're not going to give you anymore campaign material."

So I left, and made a beeline right to Caron's headquarters. The whole gang was there. Landers and Powell were outside, Jim was wearing a Caron t-shirt and Karen was smoking a cigarette. I told them what happened and they both laughed, with Karen saying that just shows they are getting nervous about the election. I went inside with Karen and helped her reset their clock for the end of Daylight Savings. The volunteers were all talking about the article in the Globe. Eamon was there and when I told him about my encounter with Kingston, Eamon said they think someone is spying on the headquarters from across the street. He also said that they suspect that a spy has infiltrated the campaign, which would explain how Albano is able to respond to everything Caron does almost before he does it.

October 30, 2001

Being powerful is not a license for gloating in self-importance.

This period of history should be called The Great Disruption. WFCR says that the most popular Halloween costumes this year are firefighters, police and military uniforms. There has also been a surge in the buying of patriotic music. How disgusting! Kelly has some pumpkins on her front porch, gone is the flag she had up for awhile. One of the sponsors of WFCR is the Holyoke Community College Teleconferencing Center. I'm currently reading a book Lucius loaned me The Great Reckoning: Protect Yourself in the Coming Great Depression (1993). It anticipated some of the problems coming to the forefront now.

Cooked pork chops today in the broiler, they came out very well. I also cooked a Table Talk pumpkin pie. Received a letter today marked "Enclosed is an important letter from your Congressman." It was yet another missive from Richard E. Neal expressing his support for the President as he tries "to bring to justice the perpetrators of these heinous acts of terror." Boy, Richie must be really worried about Howie Carr's media attacks on himself and Meehan. I also got a complimentary Antiquarian Book Fair ticket from Povirk in the mail today and a thank you note from Mrs. Staniski for putting up her storm window.

Gena calling from Revere on behalf of Community Newsdealers offered me the Boston Globe for $1.50 per week. I told her I admire her paper and look at it everyday on the newsstand, but I don't want to subscribe. I called cousin Shirley and she said she went to the funeral service for Michaud and said it would not have been appropriate for Aunt Maria to attend "under any circumstances." She said she made a gift in Maria's name to the hospice where Al Michaud stayed at the end. She said Aunt Maria is having a good day today, but some days she doesn't say anything. I said I miss not being able to ask Aunt Maria questions about the family's past and Shirley replied that "it's too late for that for sure."

I then called the Better Business Bureau and asked Ann if they cover Northampton and she said yes, their full name is the Better Business Bureau of Western Mass. I told her about Half Moon Books and the stolen item and she said she would send me a formal complaint form. She also suggested that since I live in Springfield I should contact the Mayor's Office of Consumer Information in the back of the old Worcester Federal, but I told her that is a useless political patronage nest and not a consumer protection agency. I have never had any satisfaction from the BBB and here we go again. Serio-ludicrous.

Neither the Burger King in the Acres or the one on Boston Road by the Big Y have ever reopened. I went and mailed my condolence cards to Michaud and Koziol. In my Michaud card I addressed Edith as "a wonderful church lady." Parked in front of Lewis & Clark was a sporty little Taurus XL with a Chris Asselin and a Michael Rogers sticker on it. The car had a House 108 plate, but I did not see Asselin inside. When I got back Frank Tourtelotte of Robinson-Donovan called to tell me that the Thomas More Society meets every month at the Bishop Marshall Center and I am welcome to attend. Finally, I called Sheila McElwaine and told her I have the city's annual report for 1978-79 and she can borrow it if she wishes.

The picture of Paul Caron in this week's Reminder is the same one they used in the Union-News recently, but it looks much better in the Reminder. The version in the Union-News was darker, which made Caron appear to have Dracula-like teeth and splotchy skin. Did the Union-News tamper with Caron's photo to produce that undesirable look? There is a great Mike Dobbs column dumping on Albano for the way he treats the neighborhoods. Albano was interviewed on WFCR this morning and said there is "no evidence of major wrong-doing at City Hall, no major problems." Caron was on after Albano and said he would "sit down and talk" with people from the neighborhoods before approving any needle exchange program. Caron described himself as "a consensus builder." Karen Powell and Joe Carvalho were on TV22 tonight arguing for and against the library referendum.

A strange story appeared in the paper today saying that Belle Rita Novak has had a complaint filed against her by a library employee who was passing out flyers against the library hours referendum at the X Farmer's Market. She claimed that Belle-Rita "grabbed her wrist and snatched the flyers away from her." Belle-Rita is quoted as saying the woman never asked permission to pass out the flyers. I called Belle-Rita to find out what it was all about. She said she simply asked the woman what she was doing passing out political messages at the market and the woman immediately began to scream "Free Speech!" The woman then slapped Belle-Rita in the face with a flyer so she grabbed it, crumpled it up and threw it on the ground. Rick Davis, a retired cop, stepped forward and put a stop to the altercation and advised the woman to file a formal complaint. Belle-Rita thinks it was all a trap to embarrass the library hours supporters and she said, "I fell right into it."

The Union-News has endorsed all the incumbents except those who endorsed Caron - Puppolo, Lewis-Caulton and Ken Shea. Of course they endorsed Albano. I called Angelo Puppolo and expressed my condolences on his tape for having received "the Starr Treatment." I also called Mrs. Joyal and expressed my disappointment that the Friends of the Library have not supported the library referendum. Then I called Larry McDermott and told his secretary Anita that I think it was petty for the paper to single out the Caron supporters for defeat.

Eamon called and said his caller ID shows that people from the Jewish Community Center call his phone editorials daily. Eamon reported there were 35-40 people working at Caron's headquarters today. Leon told Eamon that they may have printed more signs then they'll need, but they want to be sure they have enough to replace any that are damaged on Halloween. Eamon said he is glad the Feds are doing an investigation into what he called "the mayor's pasta sauce scam."

Albano the liar did better than Caron in tonight's debate. In discussing his qualifications, Albano lied and said he had a degree in "history and government" but it was actually in "community education" which has since been discontinued as a bogus major lacking in academic rigor. Caron was more at ease than in the last debate, but still made a major blunder. When discussing city finances, Caron appeared to be confused about the difference between a debt and a deficit. Caron made a similar error at the press conference last week, which was largely dismissed as an inadvertent slip of speech, but to have repeated the same mistake tonight made Caron look terrible.

The city's poor financial condition is Caron's biggest issue, but his confusion over simple terms makes him look like he doesn't understand even the most basic economic terms. Albano pounced on him immediately saying, "Sorry Paul, but you got it wrong again." That became the soundbite of the debate, which was repeated endlessly in all the TV and radio coverage. Eamon went ballistic, asking, "Who the hell was coaching Caron?" Eamon claims that many Democrats are "economic illiterates" who have never been gainfully employed in the private sector, so little is accomplished when you have "one dumb Democrat coaching another." Eamon says this is every campaign's worst nightmare - a major blunder in the home stretch.

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