Overcast, misty, 76 degrees at 7:30am. Gas at Pride in the Acres is $1.34.
Arrogance and Ignorance are twins.
Out about 8am to buy a paper at the Acres Newsstand. I also picked up the Valley Advocate while I was there and the guy behind the counter told me that he's a Republican, and he is amazed at the number of customers who tell him that they rely on the Advocate to give them a different slant on the news. He's noticed that some stories are not picked up by the Union-News until after they appear in the Advocate. He told me he met writer Maureen Turner once at a political event. After leaving I noticed that the Goodwill store has been all rearranged and that they no longer sell papers. There was a long line at Fleet Bank when I cashed a $50 check. Then over to Angelo's Fruit Mart for some avocados and then to Arnold's Bread for a dozen donuts. When I got back, I realized I had picked up two Vermont quarters in my change so I gave one each to my dolls Sweet Pea and Honey Pot.
I received a letter from Carol Varsano, Secretary of the Save Old Main Committee in Northampton, who invited me to their meetings at Seelyle Hall on Smith College. She described the old mental hospital as "a rare and magnificent example of Elizabethan Gothic Revival architecture." Shirley Whittier Huang sent me an old photo in a Snoopy card showing Mother in Agawam with Aunt Maria Giroux, Agnes Healy Raisin, (Thelma Kerr's mom), Alice Healy Waugh (Thelma's Aunt) and town librarian Helen Fuller. I decided today to try and call around to try and determine what the status of the mayoral race is. First I called Mayor Albano himself at his private number at 788-4461, but I was told that his number has been changed. I then called Newspaper President David Starr at his home, but a woman answered and when I very politely introduced myself she immediately hung up on me upon hearing my name!
In the afternoon I went to the Stone Cold Picnic, sometimes called the Black Harambee, which was held this year in Blunt Park. It was a bigger and more airy location than their former location by A.I.C. and it was a beautiful day. The scene was not so grungy and crowded as in the past. There didn't seem to be as many rides and food venders, but there were lots of booths selling African merchandise and the music was supplied by Springfield native Taj Mahal. Elsewhere in the park the Central High football team was working out, and the team members appeared to be mostly black. On the way home I swung by the Boston Road Big Y and then to a tag sale on the corner of Talbot.
Albano has rented a campaign headquarters two doors down from the Breckwood Cinemas. It's not open yet, but there is a desk with a phone and campaign signs inside. There appears to be a meeting area in back with chairs arranged in a circle. Eamon called today and said Springfield should change its motto to "The City of Suckers" and gave as examples the former Tapley Post Office, the most expensive public works garage in the nation with Boland's wife getting a $300,000 commission, and the old Monarch building, which was sold to the city for Sci-tech High but was in bad repair and needed a new roof.
Eamon talked a little about the 1968 congressional primary campaign between Eddie Boland and Charlie Ryan, a contest he said bitterly divided the Irish community. He said Ryan's family drugstore business caused him to be perceived as "lace curtain Irish" while Boland promoted himself as having come from poor "shanty Irish." Eamon can't understand how Boland won despite having been responsible for the loss of the Springfield Armory. According to Eamon, the Irish voters are "trapped by the Hungry Hill mentality" that causes them to see themselves as victims even when they are running City Hall. Eamon described Boland as having been in office for 36 years and accomplished so little that the Boston Globe called him "a non-entity and a cipher" in 1972.
Eamon said his spies tell him that Mayor Albano, Anthony Ardolino and Gerald Phillips have been spending a lot of time lately at the Tavern Restaurant and Bar located on Mill Street beneath the Duryea Transportation Museum. Eamon has also heard that Peter Picknelly is supporting Caron, but will have his son give money to Albano in order to guarantee that he will have leverage no matter who wins. Eamon told me he is not impressed with Leon Gaumond, whom he described as "a hanger on" who is in over his head. If Eamon were running the campaign he said he would assign Gaumond to only a minor role.
Jim Landers told Eamon that hundreds of people have signed up to volunteer for Caron and they are going to try to organize right down to the street level. Eamon says Springfield needs a mayor who is not part of the "old fogie Democratic Party machine of Boland, Neal and Ashe." He said that Caron doesn't fall into the reformer category, having been the first state rep to endorse Mike Albano in 1995. Yet Caron may win, with Eamon claiming that a "100% reliable source" told him that Albano's own polling shows Caron comfortably ahead. Therefore there are persistent rumors that Albano may withdraw from the race.
A lovely, cool day. 66 degrees at 10am. Labor Day.
"Reverse the Curse" is the motto of the Boston Red Sox.
Spent most of the day reading books. Data Destruction Services is located in Windham, New Hampshire. The TV news tonight reported that a new born Latino baby was left in a back pew of St. Catherine of Sienna on Parker Street. The pastor was on saying that the baby is being well cared for and was probably not born in a hospital. The Goodwill in the Acres seems to have all new staff. Why? Lynn Nolan who used to work at the Sumner Avenue store is also gone. I'll have to inquire around.
I received a letter today from Shirley Lucia of 189 Poplar Street in Feeding Hills. She said that her husband Joe is 80 years old and she is not much younger, and for years they have looked after Aunt Maria. Now she is being cared for by my cousin Shirley W. Huang, who is a registered nurse with 30 years experience. Maria must have 24 hour a day care because she cannot walk without assistance. Mrs. Lucia wrote, "Maria speaks more kindly of you lately and we encourage this as life is too short to hold a grudge. When she thinks of her sister she is upset with you as she feels that she was isolated from her in her last illness and death. She is not ready to see you."
The Cresotti's waved hi to me as they drove past today. They are lovely people. I went to a tag sale that was supposed to be on Bellwood. When I got there I saw a Caron sign on the lawn and a couple of men standing outside. They turned out to be Leon Gaumond and an older man, both casually dressed, with Leon wearing a blue NYPD cap and a white t-shirt. The older guy had a beer and Leon had a Coke. We shook hands and I asked what became of the tag sale. They said it had closed up early due to lack of business. I asked Leon if he had seen Albano's new headquarters by the cinemas and he smiled and said no one is ever seen inside there. As I left I noticed that there were several men seated at a picnic table in back, so perhaps there was some kind of Caron strategy session going on.
Next I drove out to the Wilbraham Atheneum Society and they are still closed for renovations. They have a red plastic ribbon all around the place reading DANGER LEAD HAZARD. Going to the drugstore I got a flyer for the Foster Memorial Nursery School. What is interesting is that I never see these Foster flyers in Springfield, not even in 16 Acres. That is because they are only interested in the lily white Wilbraham kids. Obviously, their promotion policies are a subtle form of racism. Started in 1959, Linda McCarthy is the current director. Their motto is, "Over 42 Years of Doing Big Things for Little People." I then copied the tablets on the front of the Meetinghouse. It is the oldest Methodist Meeting House in New England, dating back to 1794. Back in Springfield, I saw that 228 Peekskill has signs for Caron, Lewis-Caulton and Puppolo. Coming home, I saw a brown rabbit down at 8 Bellamy. When I got to the house, I saw that someone had kicked down my Puppolo sign and damaged it. Kelly's umbrella has been up all day.
For fun I called the Riverfront Information Center and asked the girl, "How do I get to the Julia Sanderson Theater?" She replied, "That's a good question," and then went to confer with someone who told her "it hasn't been around for a long time, maybe twenty years." I haven't seen any Albano TV commercials lately. Eamon called and said he had a large sourdough muffin for breakfast today. He thinks he is overweight, but I said I am worse than he is. He said he is considering eating only every other day, and has mostly given up chips and ice cream.
Eamon claims that it now takes so long for the City Library to get a book for you by inter-library loan that you would be better off buying the book. Eamon feels that the coverage on TV22 of the rat infestation problem downtown only adds to Springfield's bad reputation and image. Eamon said that a teacher he knows told him that at the School Department back to school convocation the other day, Mayor Albano gave a very short speech and "looked despondent, totally out of it" and then left immediately afterwards as if "he couldn't wait to get the hell out of there."
Eamon noted how remarkable it is how many city schools are built on dumps. He said Central High is built on a dump that Eamon's brother the late fire chief told him used to have recurring underground fires. Part of New North was once a dump and so was Duggan, plus there's an old dump behind the new Boland School in Liberty Heights. Eamon wondered whether with the rotary there will be a problem with kids crossing the street to the new McDonald's they are building on Liberty where the Friendly's was. Eamon says that one of the reasons that District Attorney Bennett has been so reluctant to pursue local corruption cases is because he has so many relatives on the government payroll.
Ex-politico Holyoke Community College President David Bartley has gotten step raises bringing his salary to $228,190. Andy Scibelli, the playboy President of STCC, gets only $115,291. College presidents are allowed to retire with 80% of their salary. Since at least 20% of their pay used to go to taxes anyway, getting 80% means they essentially continue to collect full pay after they retire for as long as they live. Eamon said he was talking to Charlie Ryan about the outrageous pay and benefits public college presidents get, and Ryan told him he thinks it's ridiculous to hire politicians as college presidents. What does Bulger get at UMass? Ryan also told him about a Peter L. Smith in Longmeadow who is a legal council to over a dozen school districts. What kind of political connections must he have?
Beautiful day, 66 degrees at 8am.
The basis of racism is largely economic. Wavelian Synergism is the wonderful black boutique on Alden Street near A.I.C. that closed at the end of the month. The autobiography by the late Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas has recently been made into a movie. Clone by Roger Edmonson is a biography of gay pornography pioneer Al Parker. Scott Caplette was the guy in radiators who helped snake the Ford out of the garage at Fernbank, but I never got adequate identification on him so I phoned around. Acme Radiator never heard of him, but Jim O'Neil at Able Auto by the 291-Armory rotary said Caplette used to work for him but is presently in Florida on vacation. He said Caplette lives on Cuff Avenue but he doesn't know the number.
I finished my critique last night of the Columbus Avenue Visitor Information Center and spent the day delivering it around town. First I made copies and then went across the street to Dunkin Donuts with a Coolata Coin to try one and they are nice, sort of like a milkshake. Next I went over to Caron's headquarters where Karen Lee was there in high heel sandals and five elderly people were stuffing envelopes. Two younger people were sitting in the corner watching TV. Karen Powell was there and I told her I am shocked by the bad English in Caron's releases and they should let me correct them beforehand. Karen appeared to agree but it is hard for me to understand her with her soft, high pitched voice.
Jim Landers and his son Sean arrived and Jim asked me to look over a letter he wrote. I was shocked by how stupid it was and when I said so Landers burst out laughing and said he purposely wrote it that way. The letter supports Albano's positions on the issues and is made to make Albano supporters look like ignorant boobs. He is going to mail it to the paper as a letter to the editor under a false name. I told him he should consult Eamon T. O'Sullivan, who is an expert on the tricks and techniques for getting a fake letter published. Councilor Puppolo was there and I told him about his sign being vandalized and he told me he would send someone by with a replacement.
From there I delivered a copy of my critique to the Visitor Center itself, which Steve accepted with a grim smile saying, "Thank you, Attorney Miller." I told him not to worry, I didn't say anything bad about him. Then I danced down Main Street delivering stuff. First I stopped at the Springfield Newspapers and left a critique for both Starr and McDermott with the black receptionist. As I passed the Federal Building I noticed there were potential recruits waiting in the Army Recruitment Center. Then I stopped at Monarch Place hoping to give a critique to Peter Picknelly, but Officer Reyes very politely reminded me of the trespass notice against me.
Then I left some pictures with Ted at Elegant Affair and headed over to City Hall. Going in at the same time as me was white haired Jim Controvich and I asked him what he thought of the Sullivan Public Safety Complex and he said he likes it very much. Then I dropped off a critique with Candice Lopes at the Mayor's Office and with a white haired man in Community Development on the third floor. I stopped at the Treasurer's Office and they said that bond prospectuses will be ready next week. Finally, I dropped off a critique at TV57 and with the friendly people who work with Hurwitz. Eamon told me recently that Caron complained to him that Hurwitz is putting on events like concerts in the North End that Albano shows up at and turns into taxpayer funded campaign rallies. On the way home I dropped off a critique for Mrs. Joyal by her backdoor.
Eamon called and said that there's no question that book learning with scholarly guidance is useful, but academic degrees do not necessarily mean that someone thinks rationally or has commonsense. He said some of the most impractical people he knows have advanced degrees. Eamon recalled how when he was ten years old he sang at a political rally for John L. Sullivan's brother Thomas Sullivan, who was running for County Commissioner. John Sullivan was famous for giving kids sports equipment, and in return for singing at his brother's rally Sullivan promised Eamon a brand new baseball glove. However, Sullivan didn't want his wife to know how much money he was spending on sports equipment for poor kids, so he told Eamon not to come to his house to get it. Instead, Sullivan left the glove behind the counter of Hurley's Lunch on the corner of Liberty and Chestnut and when Eamon came in Mr. Hurley gave him the glove. I told Eamon what a wonderful story of one man's quiet efforts to help the children of Hungry Hill.
Eamon said that downtown Springfield stopped being a successful shopping center when the anchor stores Forbes & Wallace and Steiger's closed after they found that they could no longer compete with the many surrounding malls and destination go-to cities like Northampton. Eamon called the Visitor's Center to see if they knew the location of Bottle Park in Hungry Hill. Bottle Park is the old name for what is now Brunton Triangle. It used to be called Bottle Park because that was where all the old Irish bums used to lie about all day getting drunk. Of course they had no idea what he was talking about. Eamon says he doesn't think that Leon Gaumond is very competent. I said that at least when Leon makes a mistake he admits it, but Eamon said what is more important is to have someone in charge who won't make those mistakes in the first place. Eamon's latest phone editorial says it should be fairly easy to get rid of the four-legged rats downtown, but what about the two-legged ones that infect City Hall?
Wonderful day, 62 degrees at 7am.
People say summer is over, but of course Labor Day is not the end of summer, the 21st is. The paper says that global warming has lengthened the growing season by twelve days in the last twenty years. Northampton wants their bars to stay open until 2am because Springfield lets their bars stay open until then and it hurts their nightlife. Serv-U is closing in Northampton and Enfield, but Steve Rosencranz says they will keep their locksmith and decorating business open in Springfield. Their motto is, "And Where Have You Seen That Lately?" The news said that the baby abandoned at St. Catherine's has been named Sienna Catherine Parker, after the church and the street it is located on.
Blue Line Shredding is in Westfield Industrial Park. The Census Bureau says that 50% of all homes now have the internet, but only 28% of those with incomes below $25,000. I watched Lost and Fear Factor last night. They are better than the sitcoms, but not much. Home Depot always seems to have more business than Lowe's. That's odd, because Home Depot is dusty and messy like a hardware store, whole Lowe's is always tidy and clean.
There was an article in the paper today about possibly renaming some of the city's schools, so I wrote a memo suggesting that in honor of Flora Bacon, Homer Street School be renamed Homer-Bacon. I also suggested that Kensington Avenue School be called the Eamon T. O'Sullivan School. Let's see what they say after I deliver that memo around town! Then Eamon called and told me that Jim Landers worked briefly at Monarch Life in their printing department. I read to Eamon what I had written and he said he was flattered that I had suggested that Kensington be renamed in his honor. He said that Kensington is one of the schools under a cloud of suspicion for cheating on the MCAS tests. Eamon reported that Karen Lee called him and asked him to attend a Ward 2 organizational meeting, but it was too short notice. Eamon says he heard that Albano has formed a vigilante squad to attack Caron campaign signs, and that politics in Springfield is just a dirty game conducted at the taxpayer's expense.
I drove downtown and parked by St. Michael's rectory, then headed down the hill to the School Department, where Rosemary Shea took my memo recommending the school renamings. Rosemary was friendly, but I think Superintendent Burke has brought a more serious tone to the place. I saw that Burke was in his office, standing behind his desk. Then I headed down to the courthouse where I dropped off some papers, walking past a lazy security guard seated by the door.
Then to City Hall and the Mayor's Office, but my friend Candice Lopes wasn't there, so I gave my name change memo to a petite black woman named Wanda. Also there was a black man and the chunky Frenchman Breault. I stopped at Veteran's Affairs to pick up the newsletter regarding the new Agawam cemetery and I got on the elevator with Director Daniel Walsh, who was just getting back from lunch and greeted me cheerfully. I saw a small puddle outside the door to the Retirement Board, so I told the older woman inside that it was a slip and fall hazard. She just stared at me and said "okay" so I said, "Madam, thank you is what you should be saying because you are being paid to deal with me, but I am not being paid for doing you the good deed of informing you of this hazard." She replied, "Um, thank you," and I departed.
Next, I went to drop off some papers for Atty. Berman with his regular secretary, where I noticed there was a bowl of M&M's on the table. Then I dropped off some papers with Hurwitz's secretary while saying, "Mr. Hurwitz must be pretty important," and she asked pleasantly, "Why's that?" I replied, "Because someone as important as me comes here so often!" Finally I paused at Edward's Books to get Rose Lee Goldberg's Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (2001) and was thanked for my patronage. On my way home I stopped at Angelo's Fruit Mart for squash, grapes and tomatoes. While in Angleo's a nun in full religious habit waved to me. Perhaps her sight is defective and she mistook my doggie collar for a priest's? Then I went next door to Arnold's for some brownies. From there I headed down Breckwood to Albano's headquarters and there was finally someone inside - the balding political operative Charlie Kingston. I parked and went inside and asked him if he had any campaign literature, but he said there wouldn't be any until next week. As I departed he thanked me very nicely for stopping by.
After I left there, I decided to swing by Caron's headquarters, where Karen Powell was supervising five or six old ladies stuffing envelopes. I gave her two pictures I took of her and Bob collecting library referendum signatures. Jim and Sean Landers were there, chatting with City Councilor Puppolo. Soon Leon arrived, followed shortly thereafter by Bill Valliere. I chatted with Bill, who said that he is 78 and attributes his long life to the fact that he has gone on a good, long walk every day for the past 40 years. He said that he is amazed at the variety of people backing Caron, ranging from the super-conservative Powells to the ultra-liberal Valley Advocate. I said that politics makes strange bedfellows, and he said that what unites the factions is not so much enthusiasm for Caron as the determination to get rid of Mayor Albano. He said he doubts that Caron appreciates what he's got in terms of talent working for him. Valliere said, "I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is an election between the lesser of two evils, but...." and he shrugged.
Misty and overcast, 63 degrees at 7am.
President Bush is attending the National Book Festival at the Library of Congress this evening. A national survey ranks Amherst and Swarthmore as tied for the best school in the country. Williams is third, Smith is 13 and Mount Holyoke 24. UFCWI Local 459 now has a website. Bob McCarroll is in charge of the Matoon Street Festival this year. I never get any of the colorful coins passed out by the Big Y because I buy only the specials. However, I do know that with a red coin you can get any kind of pizza slice for free. My doll Floppy's allowance is a quarter a week, whereas Ambrose's is a nickle because being good never pays as well as being bad.
Evangelist Robert Schuller was on TV saying saying that his is the longest running positive thinking religious program. Really? What about Norman Vincent Peale? Tanglewood had their third best season ever this year and the Berkshire Theater Festival also did unusually well. Mayor Albano was on TV tonight saying that it was not the city that the FBI was investigating but "the vendors" with which it does business. He said, "This is a difficult time at City Hall, but I'm comfortable I'll be cleared when all the facts come out."
The morning glories next door are wonderful. I called Robinson-Donovan and left word with Joanne to have James Tourtelotte send me information on the St. Thomas More Society. I tried to call Frank Faulkner but his daughter said he wasn't there and she doesn't know when he'll be back. Next I called Ehrenberg at the Tuesday Morning Music Club and asked what she is doing about preparing a history of the club. She said Jean Turner and Jean Webster are involved and I should contact them if I wanted to contribute. I told her I had neither time nor the interest in doing so. I did not add that I am writing a letter designed to sever all ties to the club.
Today I went to Louis & Clark to mail letters to Vannah, Aunt Martha and Belle-Rita. Then I drove to Food Mart where I bought a sub and a container of macaroni salad. The subs at Food Mart are far superior to Stop&Shop's because Food Mart puts some serious meat in theirs. When I got to the checkout they realized that the macaroni salad had no price or expiration date on it. The cashier called the manager and after some wait Bernadette came and said it usually sells for $1.69 but is on sale for 99 cents. I asked if I could have it for free because it was mislabeled and she said no because it is on sale and already "a fabulous deal." As I left I looked at the pictures they have up of all the store managers and Bernadette was not there. I asked at customer service for a manager and Tom Vatrin came along. He gave me the macaroni salad for free and said, "I'll have to speak to Bernadette" without me having to demand he do so.
Eamon called and remembered how when he went to Cathedral there were two old houses behind where the parking lot is now. Sophomore classes were in one and junior classes in the other and the students called the buildings Doghouse #1 and Doghouse #2. Senior classes were in the brick structure across from the Bishop's called the Bevan Building, which was made into the Catholic Social Services offices in recent years. He said the architect John Parker once told him that he did his best work at 4am in the morning sipping sherry. Eamon noted that District Attorney W. Bennett has never prosecuted a politician. Eamon says the Big Dig is the biggest planning disaster in history, and he also recalled that many people opposed building the Springfield Civic Center from the beginning.
Commerce's Gingras told Eamon he has heard Superintendent Burke speak on three occasions and Gingras said he now dismisses Burke as "a mere educationist." Gingras also complained that he thinks someone is intercepting his mail at Commerce. Eamon said that Gingras is in his mid-fifties and was never in the service. Eamon complained that he has sent Burke all the dirt he has on Commerce but never received a reply. He said that former superintendents Dr. Deady and T. Joseph McCook both came out of New Britain, Connecticut. Eamon says that the FBI has subpoenaed a large volume of records from City Hall and also claimed that Karen Powell is feeding the FBI dirt about Raipher Pellegrino. Eamon said that he sent the FBI some stuff this week about certain people, but wouldn't say who or about what.
I stopped by Caron's campaign headquarters today and saw that they have placed flowers by the front door. There is a Caron sign on the corner of the building but the Puppolo sign by the fence has been vandalized. Leon Gaumond was there and told me has never been to the Sullivan Visitor Center. Jim Landers arrived and told me that that he heard that various business people are testifying to the grand jury that they paid bribes to participate in the city's facade improvement program. Puppolo arrived and called Albano "a tap dancer." I told him how Eamon has expressed doubts over whether Caron is qualified to be mayor and Puppolo said that he wished Caron's campaign had more focus instead of "going in ten different directions at once." I mentioned seeing Kingston at Albano's HQ and Landers described him as "a shady character going back to Ted Dimauro's Administration."
69 degrees at 6:45am.
This morning I went out to get some premium gas for the lawnmower, and when I got back at 8:40 I turned on WFCR. I soon heard a report that there had been some kind of serious plane crash in New York City, so I switched off the radio and turned on the TV. I was shocked to see that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were in flames! An American Airlines flight between Boston and California was hijacked in midair and run into the Pentagon. They said one side of the Pentagon had collapsed. Two planes were also flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The attack on the Trade Center was at 8:42. Will tall buildings now become a thing of the past? President Bush is ordering a "full scale investigation" into what happened.
I immediately called Aunt Maria's and told Shirley to turn on the TV. Peter Jennings at 11:01 called the attack "a desperate failure of intelligence." Dave Madsen cut into the coverage to say that First Church of Longmeadow has opened for special services and that he's sure that churches of all denominations will soon do the same. He said nothing of synagogues. Senator John McCain came on and said, "I don't think our lives will ever be the same again." At 12:58pm Congressman Neal came on, and talking more eloquently than I recall him ever speaking before, he called this "an awful day by any standard." We were told that Governor Jane Swift was briefly held in the Emergency Management Bunker in Framingham. Gordon Newell of Westover said they "are ready for anything" but that probably isn't true. Marc Dawson, the Chairman of the History Department at WNEC, was on shaking his head and sounding like a pompous ass. On TV40 the good Catholic Jerry Gretzinger said, "Bless the souls of those who died, damn the souls of those who did it."
I called Mrs. Staniski and was amazed to learn that her grandson works on the 70th floor of the World Trade Center, and she is so relieved to hear that he is still alive. He would normally have been at work at that time, but was delayed by a long line at a coffee shop, so he hadn't even arrived at work when the first plane hit. Eamon called at 11:38 and said he tried to call me twice about the attack when it first happened, but I told him I was ignoring the phone as I was glued to the TV. We agreed that this is a new kind of war and our generals better adapt to it quick. Eamon said this will probably lead to major changes in our foreign policy. James Baker III was on TV tonight saying, "This is a success by the radical elements at the highest levels." That is correct, but they are wrong to call them terrorists. They were men of uncommon courage and commitment, only on the wrong side.
Day after Arab Victory Day. 63 degrees at 8:04am.
Give me thy grace good Lord
to set the world at naught,
to set my mind fast upon thee
and not to hang upon the blast
of men's mouths.
To be content to be solitary.
Not to long for worldly company,
but utterly to cast off the world,
and rid my mind of the business thereof.
-St. Thomas More.
President Bush says we are engaged in "a mammoth struggle between good and evil." It turns out that Springfield was one of the places where one of the hijackers rented a car, thereby making a number of trips to Springfield. Police Chief Meara and Mayor Albano held a press conference saying that they have been working closely with the FBI and state police and believe that Springfield is safe and not a haven for terrorist activity. Wouldn't you know that Springfield would be somehow involved in this catastrophe. Among New York City's best gay bars are The Gaiety, Splash and Blue. James F. Bloom lives on Nassau Drive in Springfield. Paul Caron's legislative office is 535 Main Street in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield. His statehouse office is Room 275. I have several paintings of babbling brooks and they occupy a special place in my imagination. Every child should have a brook to play in.
In October I will turn 60. I bought a new anthology of erotic tales Flesh and Fantasy by John Patrick. Went out at 7am and got a complete set of morning papers. I bought an extra New York Post and later left it on a table in Lucius' breezeway, with a note saying that this is the anarchy he warned long ago was on its way. I drove over to the Acres Mobil and made an appointment with Tom with the mustache to bring the car in for inspection at 8 on Monday. When I got back I called Elegant Affair and got the black lady Nancy, who told me her boss Peg got the pictures I sent. I asked that they send me a thank you note and she said, "It is unusual to be requesting a thank you note." I replied, "Well, some people don't know enough to send them."
Eamon called and said he was down to the FBI office today and it was "crawling with agents." He was talking with Nader the Hatter about the terrorist attacks and they were both wondering why the doors to airplane cockpits don't have locks on them. He also said he called the circulation department down at the Springfield Newspapers and asked them for their latest subscription numbers but was told they don't give them out anymore. Eamon said Springfield must hold the all time record for the number of downtown master plans complete with glossy brochures, and every one of them a failure. He said the latest $250,000 master plan looks like it was simply lifted from all the previous plans. Eamon read me a note he sent to the Valley Advocate urging them to focus more on Springfield's finances. It read, "What happened to your coverage of Springfield's corrupt, mismanaged, bad city government? Springfield went to the bond market on July 17th selling some $62 million in general obligation bonds. Not a word about it in the Union-Snooze."
Springfield School Superintendent Joseph Burke was interviewed by Eric Goldschneider in the Sunday Boston Globe. Burke admits in it that "the fact is the public schools have done a less than stellar job in some instances." No fooling! Eamon says Superintendent Burke is just another educationist fraud, not significantly different from Negroni, but not as slick. Eamon says he is becoming increasingly concerned about Paul Caron's qualifications to be mayor and questions the competence of the people advising him. He said Caron's latest campaign mailing "is riddled with errors with poor choice of words, bad phraseology and grammar errors too numerous to count." He also said they are wasting money on postage by doing things like sending three copies of the same letter to Jim Landers - one for Jim, one for his wife and one for son Sean. I told Eamon that if I were an English teacher grading that mailing I would give it a D-minus.
I saw Mrs. Boyle the other day wearing a baseball cap. Today I cruised past Albano's headquarters and saw it was open with Charlie Kingston in the office with a thin young woman. I went inside and took copies of all their campaign materials, including the ones in Spanish. I then drove directly to Paul Caron's campaign headquarters in Forest Park, where Caron himself was there talking on the phone. I chatted with Karen Powell, who was furious about a tidbit about her that appeared in Cries & Whispers titled "A Little Needling Called For":
Karen Powell, the woman who boasts of being the 10th member of Springfield's nine member City Council, likes to be the center of attention. With a room full of City Councilors, city employees and citizens watching recently at City Hall, Powell pulled down her jeans to show off her new butterfly tattoo. How's this for irony? Powell, head of Citizens Against Needle Exchange, paid, presumably, someone to use needles to carve a butterfly onto her skin. Now that's turning the other cheek.
The items in Cries & Whispers are uncredited, but Karen said she heard from a reliable source that the author of that piece was Larry McDermott. She claims she never pulled her jeans down but merely lowered the waist a little in back to show her tattoo to just a few people, not the whole room. She said she has written a blistering reply, but instead of wasting her time sending it to "that so-called paper" which would never print it, she sent it instead to Tom Devine who promised he would.
Then Leon Gaumond appeared so I gave him the Albano campaign literature, and he seemed very pleased. When I left I noticed that the LA Lakers is the basketball plate Leon has on his white van. Then over to Angelo's for veggies and donuts at Arnold's. Finally, I went to the Boston Road Big Y, where I ran into the shady accountant Prof. S. Anzalotti. He greeted me cheerfully and said he is now semi-retired. I urged him to vote for Caron and was surprised when he replied, "Oh, I have one of his signs on my lawn." You would think that someone with his mixed reputation would be a strong supporter of Albano. Does Caron also have friends in the Italian underworld?
65 degrees at 7am.
WFCR reports that there has been a sudden surge in military recruiting. Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly was on TV saying that the reason they might not have been able to catch the hijackers at the Boston airport was because their border watch lists had not been updated. I think that lackadaisical employees are a bigger cause of the problem. American airspace reopens today at 11am. I called the FBI office in Springfield today and suggested to the man who answered (and never gave his name) that they put locked steel doors and steel partitions between the cockpit and the passengers on planes. He said nothing and hung up.
Robert W. Carr is President of Mobile Shredding Services of Bloomfield, Connecticut. The Paper Pound Paper Store is opening across from Friendly's in Enfield, Connecticut. Although it was only 11:20 in the morning, Mary Ann Ward of TV22 came on in a 30 second newsbreak and said, "Good afternoon!" There was an article in the paper today by Buffy Spencer about a Buckingham monument dedication to which I was not invited. Special guest alumnus Richard Neal spoke, as did Marjorie Hurst. More than 100 people attended, including Frances Gagnon, who brought a 1944 yearbook. Accompanying the article was a photograph of graduates David Montgomery, Belinda Hall, Ruth Malone and Elaine A. Scott.
I went to Walmart to drop off some photo film and ran into photographer Fred Krug of St. James Avenue in Springfield. He was there getting a Latino wedding picture printed. It was lovely, but Krug himself is a bit of a character. In a rumpled, dark navy blue suit with a light blue cloth flower in his buttonhole, a white straw hat, black tassled slip-on loafers and a black fanny pack around his waist, he almost looks like the living stereotype of a photographer.
I went to the Carrie Kourkoumelis harp concert today at the Wilbraham United Church. I wore my collar and leather jacket and since I arrived early I admired some of the paintings. I was looking at the legend of the painting of Frances Asbury and remarked to a woman that the language was ambiguous and inadvertently suggested that Methodism had been founded in Wilbraham. She agreed that I was right and retreated. The concert was lovely but attended mostly by old women, I was one of only three men. Afterwards there were no refreshments served.
I thought the event would have been better if there had been sound amplification, so I spoke to Parish Administrator Judy Brown, who said the church Woman's Club sponsored the show and hadn't asked for sound equipment. However, I told her it's a handicap accessibility issue because bad hearing is a handicap and there were probably several old ladies there who are hard of hearing but were too embarrassed to say so. On my way out I stopped outside the door to the Associate Pastor Rev. Lynn M. Dolan and said hi. She looked up and seeing me in my leather she let out a little scream and covered her mouth with her hand. I politely asked her what became of the former pastor with the doctorate. She stammered, "Robert Stewart....There was (pause) an issue with the church and he's gone." I silently departed.
When I got back there were two telephone trucks parked around but not blocking my driveway. I parked, walked over and saw two guys working and some white and purple wires lying on the ground. I said, "Hi there! I'm gay, yep, a real queer, and I don't like a lot of wires dropped on the ground around here." One guy laughed, but the other said dryly, "Hello, Attorney Miller, is your phone working okay?" I replied yes and he bent over and picked up the wires so I just walked away.
Kateri Walsh and Ray Jordan are holding coffee hours to raise money for Mayor Albano's re-election campaign. Eamon called and said he was able to track down the latest circulation figures for the Springfield Newspapers. The last figures he saw had the Union-News circulation at just under 100,000. Now it is 89,000. The Sunday paper used to have around 150,000 subscribers, but now it is down to 136,000. Eamon says that Caron needs to focus his campaign on pointing out the incompetence and financial mismanagement of the Albano Administration. Rosemarie Coughlin is furious because she was falsely listed as a supporter of the mayor on Albano's latest circular. She wants to go up to Albano's headquarters and demand that they pay to put an ad in the paper announcing that listing her as a supporter was a mistake. Eamon said that Coughlin came into Caron's HQ very upset and had to be calmed down by Tony Cignoli.
Thunder and lightning last night, 65 degrees at 7am.
The white Mitsubishi rented by one of the 9/11 terrorists in Springfield was tied to four Arabs living at 192 Pearl Street, which was searched by the FBI today. The Arabs were no longer living there and the mail was piling up. I guess you can say that Springfield has finally become a destination city - for international terrorists! Good old Jimmy Carter warned today that "we must not lash out at the Arab people." Doris Kearns Goodwin was on, looking like she has false teeth, and sounded like a hardline hawk. Tim Russett of NBC is a super hawk and I can't stand him.
Even President Bush has found an eloquence in recent days that he never seemed to have before. Bush declared he wants to "rid the world of the evil of terrorism." Dream on, Georgie! Billy Graham was on TV saying that the 9/11 victims "are in heaven now and it is so glorious they wouldn't want to come back." Why is Billy Graham called upon so frequently in times of national crisis? I think it is unfair to other religions, I really do. Graham seems in poor health and struggled to walk back to his chair after the speech. 79 year old William Manchester, the historian who grew up in Springfield and a UMass grad, is in too poor health to complete his popular trilogy on Winston Churchill. He now lives in Middleton, Connecticut.
Because of 9/11, the big WHYN debate between Caron and Albano has been called off. Mailboxes are a good posting place, but the mailmen tear them down. The new grass in front of Petzold's is coming up fast. Went to Louis & Clark this morning but they had no new Valley Advocates so I got one at the Acres Newsstand. The leaves are just starting to turn, the bush at the corner of Aldrew and Nichol's Forest are all yellow. Tonight I dined on Weight Watcher's Smart Ones Caribbean Chicken and Veggies.
Former State Senator Alan D. Sisitsky is working as a lawyer for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, hired by former Springfield resident Dorca L. Gomez. Sisitsky had some famous battles in the 1970's with Billy Bulger and Matty Ryan. Eamon said that "Michael the Magnificent the Mayor of America" has a serious problem of misplaced priorities. Eamon thinks that the Hurwitz and Picknelly families are too involved with public policy, such as the renovation of the Springfield Civic Center. Hurwitz is the manager of the Civic Center and Picknelly is on the State Convention Center Authority, which should constitute a conflict of interest for both of them. If the newly refurbished Civic Center flops as badly as the old one, will Hurwitz and Picknelly be held accountable?
I stopped by Caron's headquarters and had an interesting conversation with Karen Lee. We talked about Coughlin and the list of Albano supporters, and she noted how odd it was that Albano's best friend Gerald Phillips wasn't on the list. Francis Keough, another close friend of the mayor, was listed but supposedly didn't like it because as head of a social service agency he's supposed to be apolitical. I noted that all the key people in Congressman Neal's camp were listed, which caused Karen to bring up the old gossip about Neal having gotten his secretary pregnant and then paid for her abortion even though he claims to be personally a pro-life Catholic. I told her I've heard versions of that rumor where the "secretary" was Melinda Phelps. Karen Lee said she heard that Neal's wife once got so upset over Neal's philandering that she threw him out of the house and started dumping his belongings on the front lawn until the police arrived and restrained her. She said Neal's wife is no longer seen in public because she has serious psychiatric problems.
Karen told me that Jim Landers told her that Neal once ordered $800 worth of printing from him for one of his campaigns and then wouldn't pay until Landers got Attorney Fallon to go after him. She said that Neal has a reputation as a cheapskate and a deadbeat. We then discussed the Mayor and she said that Albano was spotted going into the Sheraton downtown late the other night with Carmen Rosa, Dennis Murphy and Valerie Barsom. She said that Albano often stays at the Sheraton when he's not getting along with his wife. We also talked about Charlie Kingston, and she recalled that when Kingston was indicted over a decade ago on an array of felony charges, everyone was surprised that former Mayor Teddy Dimauro wasn't indicted as well.
Beautiful day, 56 degrees at 10am. Gas is up to $1.37 at Watershops Pond.
There is a lovely rainbow from the crystal in the window reflecting on this paper as I type. President George W. Bush now has an 86% approval rating. In Boston, John Hancock has announced that they are permanently closing their 60th floor observation deck which attracted 400,000 visitors per year. I was up in the Prudential Center but never the John Hancock. They charged a fee and I figured it was something I could always do someday, but it turns out I was wrong. This morning I went to the Acres Newsstand to try to get the Newsweek Special Edition on 9/11, but was told it sold out almost at once. Tried at the Pride convenience store, but they didn't have it either.
Dorothy P. Larson down the street called to tell me the church is having an auction on October 20th, and she has two poems by Edwin Markham, water stained, signed and dated by him, that she got from her former boss at WNEC. She wanted to know what they are worth. I said I was delighted to hear from her and wanted to talk to her about St. James Church sometime, but not now. She thinks the poems are worth at least $200 and I said that the condition of them is the all important factor. I told her that his "Lincoln, The Man of the People" and "Man With a Hoe" are great poems, but Markham is not a poet currently in fashion, so I would start bidding at $100 and hope to get $250. I also suggested she get in touch with New England Book Auctions of Sunderland for further guidance. She thanked me warmly.
I attended the talk today at the National Armory Historic Site on the STCC campus. It was a really fine lecture, very professional, on the restoration of their famous clock. They took people up in the tower if they wanted to go, but I cut out at 2:45. I headed over to Caron's headquarters, where I told Leon Gaumond that I would go to Albano's headquarters regularly and see what I could find out. He responded with a big smile and a wink. I noticed that a pile of copies of ex-rep Jack Keough's letter endorsing Caron is now being distributed with the campaign literature. On my way home I saw a deep red Lincoln Town Car pull out of the Trinity Lutheran parking lot and saw the driver throw a cigarette butt out the window. There was a blond haired person seated on the passenger side, license plate 6193 SV. Some sins can be forgiven, but not throwing cigarette butts out the window. Stealing silverware from restaurants is also unforgivable.
Today I received a letter from Elegant Affairs catering on Main Street in response to my pictures and request for a thank you note. It read, "Dear J. Wesley Miller, Esq. - Thank you for your time and effort taking these pictures. Unfortunately, if you feel the need to harass my staff looking for a thank you for something you did on your own, I am returning the pictures and business card as we did not ask for these and so do not feel a thank you is in order. - Sincerely, Peg Boxold." That is wonderful and the only response of that kind I have ever received for my kindness. I wonder if the basis for their sour response is political, as they are Albano people.
I chatted with my mailman today, he says he is 47 and never been in the military. Called cousin Shirley about Aunt Maria and she said that Maria "often recognizes things but can't verbalize about them." But she said that Aunt Maria can still talk sometimes and they took her for a drive up to Vermont a few weeks ago. Spoke to Otto Welker of the Mobil station and I told him about the picture I have of the Inn that used to stand on his property. I said I would give him a copy if he promised to send me a thank you note. He sent me one before when I gave him a postcard showing his station as it originally looked. Otto wouldn't dream of responding with the rude sass of Elegant Affairs.
The paper appears to have a new format for printing obituaries, shorter but with pictures of the deceased. Eamon called and said I should go to Caron's headquarters regularly for the latest campaign gossip. Eamon said Jim Landers complained to him that Karen Lee doesn't seem to like answering the phone and doesn't do so with enough cheerfulness or ask to take a message. Eamon claims he can't help but question Paul Caron's motives for running, since he supported Mayor Albano right up until he decided to run against him. He's afraid that Caron is less a reformer and more of an opportunist. In fact, Eamon has repeatedly been told that Albano once considered Caron to be a confidant, adviser and friend. The Springfield Newspapers today endorsed Mayor Albano in the primary, to no one's surprise.
Calm, 57 degrees at 6:45am.
You'll never forget your first leather jacket.
Supreme Court Justice David Souter is 62 today. The stock exchange has resumed trading after their longest closure in history. I watched the reopening on television and the balcony was full of dignitaries, including Senator Hillary and police and fire officers. In a commercial Stephen Schwartz and Peter Marcotte said, "buying is our patriotic duty." Tom Finneran was on saying that 9/11 has hurt the Massachusetts tourist industry. Most of Quabbin Resevoir has been closed to the public since 9/11. Later President Bush was on the noon news with Rumsfeld and Rice talking like someone out of a cowboy movie saying, "We are fighting for freedom! We will not allow ourselves to be terrorized! I want justice!" My neighbor Kelly has put up a flag.
The Christian Life Center is on Sumner Avenue in Springfield. WFCR warned that if you're flying out of Bradley then you better get there early for long security checks. Obviously, air travel is not going to be as much of a time saver as it used to be. Connecticut has just built a $37 million dollar parking garage at Bradley, but it is too close to the terminal so a lot of the parking spots can't be rented for security reasons. There was a fire today on the 32nd floor of the Prudential Center in Boston, but it was not an act of terrorism. Apostle Landscaping was at the Penniman's giving their lawn the works. Today I found the corpse of a little chipmunk that had been run over two feet from the curb on Birchland Avenue near the bridal wreath. We shall hear him scampering around no more.
The Eastern States Exposition isn't getting as much free publicity as it has in past years. I brought my car down to Alex at the Acres Mobil to change the oil and check all the fluids. I left the car there and on my walk back I noted that the trash can by the bus shelter in front of Courniotes' place is overflowing with trash. Why isn't it emptied? There was litter all over. When I got home I watched TV and saw some interesting commercials. One showed Mayor Albano making pasta sauce as his son looked on. Another showed a somber Paul Caron saying that in light of the recent tragedy, the most American thing to do is to go and vote in the September 25th primary. I called Caron's headquarters and told the always polite Karen Lee that I think the new commercial is splendid. When the noon news ended, I called Acres Mobil and the car was ready with the bill coming to $33.20. I walked up there and while paying O. Welker walked by and said hi.
From there I headed over to Lyndale Garage to get my car inspection sticker. The whole garage has been painted a lovely sky blue with white doors. There are planters on either side of the main entrance. The inspection door was rolled up and there were two cars inside, including an East Longmeadow police cruiser. My car passed inspection but it was very close. Lyndale owners Robert and David Vedovelli are nice people. From there I stopped by Mrs. Stansiki's with some cement crack filler for her driveway. Mrs. Staniski said her grandson was on the 78th floor of the World Trade center and that when his father called and told her he was alright he was very impersonal about it all. When I left Mrs. Staniski gave me some of the honey granola she's been making, which I would like to refuse but it would hurt her feelings.
Next I swung by Eamon's to drop off some reading material but he wasn't home so I left it on the chair on his porch. I drove slowly around the block once and saw that my stuff was still on the chair, so I guess he really wasn't home. I went by Albano's headquarters and took copies of their latest campaign literature. Charlie Kingston was in back and peeked out briefly to see who came in. Then I drove directly over to Caron's, where Caron himself was parked outside and seated in his sporty little Ford Taurus talking on the phone. Inside his wife was standing there hugging her baby and smiled when I saluted her. Then I handed the Albano material to Leon who responded with a broad grin.
Finally, I drove over to the Armory Historic Site at STCC to drop off some reading material for J. Douglas Cuillard, Superintendent of the Armory, with the friendly and professional museum staff. I noticed that the Commandant's House had lights on in the kitchen, but the main house and annex appeared all closed up. I walked around the campus a little, admiring the historic buildings and ancient trees, and I told a kid sitting and reading under a tree that this is a beautiful campus. He smiled and replied, "Yeah, it really is."
Sunny with clear blue sky, 65 degrees at 11:19. Gas at Pride is $1.32.
Once warned, twice armed.
The War on Terror will join the War on Drugs as a drain of resources, a venue for hack government jobs and the cause of further erosion of our rights and freedom. Arizona Senator John McCain was on Jay Leno last night. Amtrak travel is up 75% since 9/11. Acting Governor Jane Swift was at the Big E today. Clinical psychologist Dr. Harold D. Jester has been in business since 1967. He was the last pastor of Asbury Methodist Church before it burned. I wouldn't trust anyone who is both a minister and a psychologist.
Lessons on the Irish fiddle with Master Fiddler Randall Bays is being offered "in a comfortable home setting in the Pioneer Valley, handy to Northampton, Amherst, Greenfield and Brattleboro, and close to I-91." The Western Mass Law Tribune wants $20 for a subscription. Monson has opened their new high school. Belchertown had its first football game today. UMass is dropping its academically bogus major in "Consumer Studies." Good idea! The Deerfield Inn is now only used as a restaurant.
Burger King has a special on burgers. Cooked up some corn I had yesterday and am making some succotash. I love succotash. I spoke on the phone with Jackie, the head cashier at Angelo's Fruit Mart, about an incident that occurred there recently. She said she recognized my voice and said "you're in here all the time." I told her that around 4pm I was at the checkout buying brussels sprouts for $3.12 and I gave cashier 6512 a five and all she gave me back was some coins. After some pecking about on the machine she got it right, but I warned Jackie that while it may have been a simple mistake, that is also a classic way of stealing while working as a cashier. She thanked me.
Mayor Albano has a new re-election commercial that has a summary of his resume, but doesn't say what he graduated in from Springfield College but shows his A.I.C. Masters degree. It says that Albano "knows the value of an education." Boston is sending their excess homeless people to Springfield to be housed at the Rivers Inn, a slummy place in Mason Square that used to be owned by T. Dimuaro.
Went out this morning to the Acres Newsstand and picked up the latest Valley Advocate. It has a wonderful article about corrupt fundraising by the Albano Administration. They say that Albano has given $.7 million in taxpayer funds to his campaign contributors, $377,000 of it to ex-politicians, with $345,000 of it going to Raipher Pellegrino and Socco Catjakis. The Advocate also predicts that war over 9/11 will only lead to more terrorism, which I agree with. Then I left some slides to be developed at Walmart with Donna, who knows me well. On my way back on Rosewell Avenue I was stuck behind a wheelchair van going only 15mph. The mail brought a letter from Eddie Boland endorsing Albano. I must say that Albano's campaign literature has much better English than Caron's.
I appealed the property tax on my residence and was successful, so yesterday I finally got my refund check. Does that have anything to do with the primary election being a week away? Eamon called and said there are two gay couples living on his street, one of each sex. He recalled how at Cathedral there was a tanklike Sister Mary Lidwin who was close to another little nun who did her bidding in all matters and people suspected them of having a lesbian relationship. I told Eamon how when I was in college at Colby we used to put butter pats on a knife to propel it to stick on the ceiling or on the chandelier. I asked whether they ever did things like that at Amherst College and he indignantly replied, "Absolutely not!"
Eamon said that Rosemarie Coughlin was over to Caron's headquarters yesterday afternoon and evening stuffing envelopes. Coughlin told Eamon that Peter Picknelly is supporting Caron but hasn't given him any money. She said that Albano's latest polling shows Caron still ahead with 60%. She said Cignoli told her that Caron needs to win big in wards 6, 7 and 8.
Eamon told me that Jim Landers is an ex-Marine whose father was a city fireman and a drunk. Jim was a real cut-up in his youth but straightened out with the strict discipline of the Marines. Eamon recalled how when Mayor Albano was on the City Council he used to constantly criticize then Mayor Robert Markel. Yet Albano is now mad at Councilor Angelo Puppolo for doing the same thing to him. Eamon recalled the rumor that Anthony Ardolino has made it his "personal mission" to end Pupplo's career. We talked about the Advocate article and Eamon described Albano as "a small time unethical mayor" who makes city employees give to his political campaigns to keep their job. Eamon said sometimes he feels that it really doesn't matter who wins the mayors race, Springfield is just too far gone.
Heavily overcast and 68 degrees at 7am.
There is a memorial concert at the Civic Center tomorrow, ten dollars and the proceeds go to the families of the 9/11 victims. A young guy on TV30 news said, "Our country is the most united it's been since World War II." What does a guy in his 30's know about World War II? Kiley teacher V. Elizabeth Ballas and her husband Frank live at 109 Ravenwood. Strathmore art paper division that employs 113 people up in Westfield is going out of business. There are free screenings being given at Baystate Hospital for Prostate Awareness Week.
Mother used to jokingly mispronounce humidity as "humididity." She also liked the nonsense word "kedodler." I've written a total of 12 poems the past few nights, one a double sonnet. Dined on Weight Watcher's Smart Ones Beef and Vegetable Rice Bowl. For lunch I had soup and two cheese sandwiches. When the Coburn's moved they left a lot of furniture by the road and I took a metal grey pigeonholed office box. I decided to bring it over ARISE and donate it to them. Michaelann B. was there and I praised her most recent appearance on the news speaking on behalf of ward representation. I didn't tell her that I thought she is starting to show her age. When I gave her the office box she was delighted and said it is just what she could use. She told me she is supporting Paul Caron, but can't say so publicly or risk alienating donors. She agreed that corruption is a serious problem in the Albano Administration, but she also wonders whether Caron is really qualified to be mayor. From there I stopped by A.I.C. where I see they have a crude painting of that poor minister who was killed a couple years back, hanging over the table in the Campus Chaplain's outer office.
A new Albano commercial claims he has brought "development, excitement and jobs" to Springfield. A pollster from the Share Group in Somerville named Adam Turner called and asked me who I am voting for mayor and I told him. I then called Caron's headquarters and told them about the call. Eamon then called and said he hopes that 9/11 doesn't cause World War III. He also reported that Carroll Travel is closing their downtown branch in Monarch Place. Eamon recalled how when that office first opened in the 80's Bill and Kitty Putnam put on a snazzy opening day celebration. He also said that the fabric place that Mother loved up to Liberty Plaza is going out of business. Eamon heard that ex-rep Socco Catjakis was doing door to door on Oregon Street on behalf of Albano. Eamon said that Waterbury Mayor Phillip Giordano began co-operating with the authorities when he realized that further evasion was futile. Maybe Albano will do the same. Eamon says that Mike Albano, Buddy Cianci and Phil Giordano have a lot in common, but Giordano's sexual crimes indicate he is a really sick lowlife, even lower than Albano and Cianci.
Caron needs volunteers to address envelopes, so far they have done only 3,000 of the 13,000 that need to go out. Eamon said he talked to Rosemarie Coughlin, who told him she spoke to Wayne Phaneuf at the paper this morning. Coughlin's maiden name is Phaneuf, but Wayne is not a relative. She complained to him that the claim by the paper that 400 people showed up for Mayor Albano's rally at the John Boyle O'Reilly Club was false because the Boyle isn't capable of holding that many people. Coughlin told him that Caron's event at the Boyle drew only 250 and there were people lined up outside who couldn't get in. She said Phaneuf "danced around the issue" and when she accused Larry McDermott of telling the reporter to exaggerate the numbers he insisted, "Larry had nothing to do with it." She replied, "Oh yeah? Then it must have been David Starr!" According to Rosemarie, Phaneuf then told her that Robin Newhouse is McDermott's Administrative Assistant, so maybe she was to blame. Eamon told me that when Rosemarie Coughlin retired, she did so collecting 80% of her $70,000 salary for the rest of her life.
Eamon continues to express disappointment in the new School Superintendent and quoted one of his favorite Amherst College professors, Malcolm D. George. "Quality in education is not something we test for at the end of the process. It is something we build into it from the start." He said he'd like to fling that quote right in Burke's face. The Albano campaign has mailed out a letter endorsing him that is signed by three former mayors - Ted Dimauro, Richie Neal and Billy Sullivan. Together they add up to 17 years of mayoral service. Eamon said he can't believe that Dimauro and Neal were never indicted, although Dimauro probably came close in the Kingston scandal and Neal almost got nailed in the Harshbarger probe.
Overcast/misty, 69 degrees at 7:30am.
The old time Protestants were aspirational in nature, even if they did something wrong, they knew what should have been done and held up the ideal for the future.
Issac Stein died yesterday at age 81. WFCR reported that he once said, "Teaching young artists is like giving water to a flower." Perfect. President Bush says that increased government spending on the War on Terror will stimulate the economy. Someone should write a book about the varieties of terrorism America has used against countries worldwide. Ford is offering zero percent financing for new cars and trucks. The Red Sox have lost 16 of their last 20 games. People pay to watch a performance like that?
I now weigh over 200 pounds and that is not good. Today I came upon Mother's little cranberry perfume bottle and an old picture of the 'Lympus Church. It is now officially Fall, but it is still mild and summerlike. I wore my engineer's boots for the last time today. The strap on the harness over the arch of the right foot busted, but luckily I have that lovely new pair I bought a few years ago. Leaving the house this morning I saw Lucius standing in his driveway and we had a little chat. He said the woman across the street, Anna K. Smith of 152 Birchland, is an old lady with poor eyesight who is still driving and "an accident waiting to happen." Lucius says that containing the spread of Islam is going to be worldwide challenge.
When I reached the heart of the Acres there were about 15 people standing in the intersection on the Mobil side waving Caron signs. I've always called these events stand-outs, but the Caron campaign calls them "a visibility" which is probably a term they picked up from their Boston consultants. I went to the Fleet Bank to cash a check, then to the Acres Newsstand where I got the 9/11 special issue of Time magazine. In the bushes outside I found a Western New England College guest parking permit revealing that Mike Hickey parked by Hampden Hall on September 8th.
Years ago Mother and I used to go down to the malls in Enfield, so I decided to go today for the first time since Mother died. Caldor Plaza was my first stop, but Caldor's itself is gone. There is a big Food Mart at the other end, a Burger King and McDonald's, plus a Bradlees where there was once a large Kohl's store. I stopped at Bradlees briefly to check out some Corelle and Palzgraf tableware. I saw some things I liked but there were no clerks around. On the other side of Shaker Road by the East Longmeadow line an enormous Target is going up. Went into Filene's where a lady said that Corelle tableware is break resistant. The had a beautiful new line with flowers and butterflies on it. Sears was boring and dead. They had lots of flag t-shirts, so I asked if they had any with peace symbols on them and was told no. The Friendly's didn't have many people in it.
I then drove from Enfield Square back to Rte 5 south to Brookside Plaza. They have a Barnes & Noble with a Hometown Buffet right next to it, so I went in for some roast beef. The 6% Connecticut sales tax made it slightly more expensive than the one in West Springfield, but the layout was exactly the same. Tim Reinhart is the General Manager. Also in Brookside: Staples, Marshalls, Pier 1 and a Shaw's Grocery Store at the end. In the parking lot I saw a jazzy little red car with the bumpersticker, "If it's too loud, you're too old!" All in all, Enfield is packed with stores, leaving no reason to go to Springfield or even the Ingleside Mall. It's not convenient to shop in Springfield because there is no grocery store downtown, but Enfield appears to have few hardware stores. Finally, I drove to Hazardville and admired their old high gothic Methodist Church. Across the street was a well-stocked tobacco shop with expensive cigars. On the way back, traffic was backed up at the Connecticut line but I eventually scooted up Sumner and home.
Last night was the United We Stand Concert at the Springfield Civic Center. It was broadcast on TV57 and the concert was unexciting, with the Halleluiah Choir and not much patriotic stuff. After the Star Spangled Banner, Congressman Neal made a speech and Albano also spoke. They briefly showed anti-war protestors demonstrating outside the Civic Center led by a white-haired Frances Crowe. Later it was reported that $60,000 had been raised for 9/11 relief. Eamon called and told me that his homeowner's insurance is with the Henry Beauchemin Insurance Agency in Chicopee. Eamon said he got 30 calls in the first two hours after he put up his latest telephone answering machine editorial. On it he says that Springfield has "a culture of corruption" and a "goon squad mentality" that can also be found in Providence and Waterbury.
Misty/Overcast 65 degrees at 6am. Primary Day.
The author of a math book has to know English, but the author of an English book doesn't have to know math.
Osama bin Laden has released a statement urging the Arab world to rise up against "Bush the Crusader." Senator John Kerry says there "needs to be a higher state of vigilance" against future terrorist attacks. 9/11 was the cleverest military victory since the Trojan horse! Massachusetts insurance executives have announced that they will pay all 9/11 related insurance claims, and O'Connell of MassMutual was one of them. The power grids of New England, New York and Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are merging and there is fear that New England will lose out because the other states use more power than all the New England states combined. Today was Springfield Day at the Big E.
WFCR was playing Issac Stern all morning. Kevin Rhodes, the new Springfield Orchestra Conductor, played piano at Mercy Medical Center yesterday afternoon. Last night I received a very professional sounding recording of Paul Caron urging me to vote. Karen Powell was on the news urging people to vote against Albano due to the stadium fiasco. Albano had two full page ads in the paper today, which Eamon said cost $7,000 apiece. Yesterday Fred Whitney called and said somebody called in sick at the last minute, he's desperate and can I work Ward One, Precinct A tomorrow at the Riverview Administration Building at 82 Division Street? I said okay but I didn't really want to. So I got up at 6am left at 6:20, it was not rainy but damp out.
When I got to the polling place, I was told that I would be the warden and that Elena Ayala had already gotten things started. We were short one poll worker, so I called Kathy Fleury at City Hall and she said she would send someone out. The other workers besides Elena were Ana Rosa, Esther Torres, Gladys Romain and Luis Perez. The regular warden in Gloria Fernandez, who is a secretary at the Police Department. Clerk Elena Ayala wasn't as much help as she should have been, but newcomers Torres and Rosa are delightful bilingual Hispanic women. Rosa was fabulous at checking addresses. That is the toughest job because you have to keep calling downtown for people who are not on the list. We turned away Julio Rodriguez who wasn't registered, Ramon Jimenez of 122 Clyde, Jose Cruz and Marie P. Martinez of 117 Sanderson, a woman who was born 2/23/39. The cop working the polls was Lieutenant Frank Vacirca, who lives in Agawam and has worked these polls for a dozen years. He had a laptop computer that made musical beeps occasionally.
The polling place was the Aretha L. Matthews Community Hall, recently dedicated on August 5, 2001 in honor of a black woman whose framed photo is on the wall above a tablet saying she was a Riverside resident for 37 years. The walls were done in a sage green with an abandoned post office that is now a storage room. An adjacent kitchenette had a phone in it, much more conveniently located than at Johnson Elementary where I've worked the polls before. The cornerstone of the Riverside Administration Building says it was built in 1961.
There was a box of Dunkin Donuts and a box of coffee that was donated by Rep. Cheryl Rivera, who came in and gave everybody a big hug. I went on break in the morning so that the others could take their break in the afternoon. I drove out to Glickman Elementary to vote and was the 36th voter. Outside Karen Powell was holding a Caron sign and waved. There were others holding Albano signs. I voted for Nicole Jones for Mayor instead of Caron as a gesture of thanks to her for running. When I got back from voting all was well, and at 11:30 Rep. Rivera stopped by again with some grinders neatly wrapped in butcher's paper. She came back one last time at 3pm with cans of fruit and several bottles of Poland Springs water. At 3:15 Bob Collamore, son of Leonard, dropped off some soda and chips from the Big Y and told me, "It looks like Caron is getting hammered in the North End." In all it was the best fed I've ever been while working the polls.
Later Caron himself came by accompanied by Councilor Puppolo and I wished them both good luck. Fred Whitney also checked in, he looks good as if he's lost some weight. He said his rock musician son is still struggling with Parkinson's disease. Fred also said he was talking about the fall of Monarch with Roger French, an insurance man in Worcester. Whitney urged me to put up a sign for Charles Rucks on my treebelt, he's the black Marine who graduated from Cornell that is running as a Republican. I said to tell Rucks he can put a sign up on my property if he wants.
At 7:30 we started to get ready to close and Officer Vacirca complemented me on how quickly we shut down at the 8 o'clock poll closing. At day's end we had a total of 296 voters. The cop drove me in his grey Explorer and we zoomed down an alleyway I didn't know existed under the expressway that zipped us into downtown without having to stop for any lights. He parked right in front of the old Worcester Federal and I turned the ballots in at City Hall. Officer Vacirca left immediately, but I stuck around where the media reporters were sitting around watching the returns on a hard to read screen. Bill Pepin was buzzing around. It appeared Caron was trailing Albano by about ten points. Nicole Jones, to no one's surprise, was way behind and destined to be eliminated.
I walked to my car and drove up to Caron's headquarters. It was jammed, with people standing outside on the sidewalk and the hardware parking lot next door was full. There were pastries of all sorts and soda. Caron was speaking to the media, stressing that he said he needed to come within ten points of Albano and had succeeded. Yet clearly Caron had not done as well as he had hoped. Sean Landers waved to me from across the room, so I walked over and saw he was with his parents. Sean said he took the day off from school to work the polls, but didn't miss any tests. I had never met Mrs. Landers before, she is very sweet and her son looks just like her. Jim Landers said he was down to the Visitor Information Center today and their computer system is a joke. He asked them about when the Cat in the Hat sculptures would be ready at the Quadrangle and they didn't even know what he was talking about! Landers said he worked as a printer at Monarch Life from 1962 until 1971 in the basement of the building by the Supply Department. He said he had heard of "the bigshot executive John W. Miller."
Ray Herschel was waiting to interview Caron so I chatted a bit with him, telling him at one point that he should call Eamon's number and listen to his editorials. At the sound of Eamon's name Herschel frowned with disapproval. Bob Powell was circulating throughout the room taking pictures. Rosemarie Coughlin was there in a rose colored dress talking with Angelo Puppolo. An impeccably dressed Mitch Ogulewicz and his wife Cyndi were chatting with Karen Powell and Maureen Turner of the Valley Advocate. Maureen never came anywhere near where I was.
63 degrees at 12:20pm.
Zero Corporation is closing its Monson plant with the resulting loss of over 90 jobs. This morning's paper has a big story about the State Police confiscating over 100 poker machines from 40 places, including Just Friends. The illegal gambling machines have been operating with impunity for years. Good grief, this is truly a crooked town! The Reminder came today. It was sitting by the mailbox when I got back from buying some veggies at Angelo's and getting two fish sandwiches and fries from the Boston Road McDonald's.
This morning I saw that someone had knocked down my Puppolo sign, so I went out and fixed it. I swung by Caron's headquarters, but there was no one there except a few ladies cleaning up after last night's party. One of them was Katie Cowles, a retired UMass official. She said she is annoyed by how the paper underestimates the turnout at Caron's rallies. She said she is also helping with the Jose Tosado for City Council campaign.
Then I drove over to Fred Whitney's. Fred's car was in the garage and a white station wagon was in the driveway. I found Fred sitting in his kitchen with his son Frederick the III the rock musician, who has long hair and was wearing a black and white plaid shirt and a backward baseball cap. He speaks fine English and seems a bit too reserved to be a rock star. I gave Whitney a report of my experiences at the polls, and Whitney said he was glad to hear that the workers helped out, because Gloria Fernandez told him in the past that she has had to do most of the work. I reassured Whitney that C. Rucks could put a sign on my lawn.
Karen Powell says that the City libraries have been warning patrons not to vote for the referendum to increase library hours. I noticed last night that Karen went around passing out pro-referendum flyers to the people in the crowd. The final vote totals in the primary were Michael J. Albano 9,682, Paul E. Caron 8,015 and Nicole E. Jones of Parker Street with 455. There was a big picture in this morning's paper of Albano hugging Cheryl Rivera.
Eamon called and I told him about the cop at the polls yesterday living in Agawam. Eamon claims that city employees use Springfield during the day as "a cash-cow" to get a paycheck and then run to their nice neighborhoods in the suburbs at night. Eamon said that Thomas Haberlin, community development director for Springfield, resides in Longmeadow, but meets the residency requirement by renting a condo at Classical. At times Anthony Ardolino stays in it since Haberlin is never there. He also said that Mayor Albano was seen leaving the Sheraton two mornings last week, once accompanied by former School Committee member Carmen Rosa, the other time with ex-Rep Valerie Barsom. Eamon says people are speculating about the nature of the Mayor's relationship with these women.
Eamon said he got a picture in the mail from an anonymous source of Richard E. Neal doctored up to look like an Arab sheik. The envelope was postmarked as mailed in Springfield. It is based on the attack on Neal and his Washington roommate Marty Meehan by Rush Limbaugh for their criticism of President Bush so soon after 9/11, which Limbaugh characterized as unpatriotic. Howie Carr in Boston and other talk radio hosts around the state have latched onto the controversy. Eamon said prominent people in the media and across the district have received the anonymous mailing of the Neal picture, but the question is who is behind it? Is it the Republicans, or is it Neal's enemies within the Democratic Party?
Big, white, fluffy clouds over the Acres, 57 degrees at 10:55. Gas is $1.35 at Watershops Pond.
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
The Union-News now charges $4 per line for their obituaries, which used to be free. The Hartford Courant has also started charging a similar fee. WFCR this morning had a story about a Traprock Peace Walk from Brattleboro to Holyoke. The walkers are in Northampton today, will reach Holyoke tomorrow. Accent Travel is closing its Bliss Road office. The offices in Monarch Place and Tower Square were evacuated yesterday following a bomb threat. Fire Department Lt. John Friberg said the FBI searched both buildings and concluded that the threat was not credible. The TV news showed Tony Cignoli, who has an office in Monarch Place, being interviewed and he said he's annoyed by the interruption in his work schedule.
Called Belle-Rita Novak this morning and told her I will come by soon to pick up my books, including Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Got the new Valley Advocate from Louis & Clark. Then I went to the AAA Centennial Luncheon. I took I-91 up to Exit 17B for Easthampton, 141 was bumper to bumper up to the Log Cabin restaurant, where I parked near the gothic gazebo. Inside the Log Cabin they have wonderful antique paintings and woodcarvings. The restrooms were flawlessly clean.
Promptly at 11:30 the door to the dining room opened and I was seated at a table with a bowl of flowers in the middle. The room seats about 300. Seated beside me was Gidson T. Miles, who graduated from A.I.C. in the late 1930's and works as a funeral director at Messier Funeral Home in Holyoke. He said he recently had a triple by-pass. According to him, the Log Cabin has expanded over the years. He said it used to be run for about 40 years by a Mrs. Green who was famous for her generosity. You couldn't do anything for her without her giving you a pie or some pastries. Miles said he dislikes the Valley Advocate because it is too liberal, but he did like their recent article attacking Albano. I told him that in my opinion the Valley Advocate is the best paper around.
TV reporter Sy Becker was the master of ceremonies, then they gave an award to the oldest living member of the AAA, someone wearing pea green pants who joined in 1930. The pants reminded me of the pea green uniform I used to wear at WNEC Law School. Then we saw a fifteen minute video of the history of the AAA, but no mention was made of its forerunner, the Automobile Legal Association. The food was okay, with a salad, pot roast and warm peach cobbler. All in all, it was a nice experience, but I'll never go again.
Eamon called and said he got his flu shot yesterday from Dr. Hee. Eamon said he takes medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol, medical problems from which his brother Ray also suffered. He told me he heard a rumor that Guy McLain is about to get a big promotion at the Quadrangle. Eamon says that Caron's vote totals weren't high enough, especially considering that Albano's own polls showed Caron ahead just three weeks ago. Eamon says that Caron can still win because a lot of people who didn't vote in the primary will vote in November, but Caron still has to get his act together quick.
Eamon went by Caron's HQ to talk about the primary results, but Caron was at a meeting and Leon wouldn't be in until late afternoon. Eamon thinks that if the paper keeps accusing Caron of running a negative campaign he should hold a news conference and declare, "If you think this is a negative campaign, then you haven't seen anything yet!" While he was there Eamon chatted with Hosea Lopes, a student in computer science at Harvard, and then Rosemarie Coughlin came in and she agreed with Eamon that Caron needs to tighten up his operation.
Eamon says that after all the work Coughlin has done for Caron, if he wins he will have to offer her a job. He said Rosemarie is bright despite not having much advanced education. She attended UMass briefly, but Eamon said he had to help her with some of her writing assignments. Coughlin was County Treasurer for ten years, but Eamon thinks the job should require someone with a CPA. I suspect Eamon and Rosemarie once had a romantic relationship, but he has never overtly said so. Eamon says the big rumor at City Hall these days is that if Albano wins he intends to replace Eamon's cousin James "Deezer" Sullivan as Election Commissioner. Deezer is a very friendly gentleman, but Eamon says he drinks heavily. I told Eamon about the new fees for obituaries and he said he doesn't care because he doesn't want his obituary to appear in the Springfield paper anyway.
Sunny, calm, 62 degrees at 2:25pm.
Got up late today, guess I slept pretty good on that Log Cabin food. Today was the quintessential perfect fall day, as beautiful as summer but cool and pleasant. There was an anti-war demonstration at Pulaski Park in Northampton yesterday. The Automobile Legal Association had an office at 1887 Main Street in Springfield in 1951. The ALA eventually merged with the AAA, and amazingly no mention was made of the ALA at the AAA Centennial luncheon the other day.
When I opened the garage door this morning the redhead next to the Gallagher's was having a tag sale. I stopped over but the sale was mostly kid's stuff. She said she is supporting Caron for Mayor and is also working on the Ken Shea for School Committee campaign. She asked if I wanted a Shea sign to put on my treebelt but I declined, telling her that I am not particularly impressed with Shea. There were a lot of other tag sales today. First I drove out to the United Cooperative Bank in the Acres to cash a check. Then I swung by the Big Y on Boston Road, whose parking lot was so crowded I took pictures to finish off my film. Prices on things are getting ridiculous. A half gallon of ice cream is now $5, milk is $1.89 after having been $1.59 for a long time. On my way out there was a large black man collecting signatures to abolish bilingual education. I signed it.
The next tag sale I hit was at 111 Jeffrey, where I bought nothing. Then to a tag sale at 26 Granger, where they had a copper chafing dish marked Manning, Bowman & Co. patented April 7, 1903 on the bottom. I bought it for ten bucks. Another tag sale at 91 Lumae had a Tosado sign on their lawn and an Albano sticker on their car. They had a book of French stories I wanted, but I only had large bills so they just gave it to me. I told her that there are two types of people in the world, sons of bitches and nice people. When two sons of bitches meet there is a fight. When a nice person meets a son of a bitch, the nice person gets taken advantage of. When two nice people meet then nice things can happen. The two nice ladies running the sale looked pleased by my remarks.
I brought my film to Walmart to be developed and then picked it up after tag saleing. I later gave pictures of Sweet Pea and Honey Pot by the Morning Glories to Mudry and Kelly. I drove out to Wilbraham to a gigantic tag sale on Victoria Drive. The sale was all junk, just rich people who can buy with impunity getting rid of their old stuff. Victoria Drive is a development of pretentious, half million dollar mansions. I bought a hot dog from a nearby umbrellaed vendor, Bill's Hot Dogs of South Hadley, and it was awful. While I was in the area I decided to drive up Maynard Road to my family's Fernbank. Nothing has changed, but King Drive is badly deteriorated and almost treacherous to navigate. No vehicles down to Rattell's.
The Athenaem now glistens with a new coat of white paint and the shutters in the gothic arches are a deep green. On Faculty Street, Mrs. James Brody McGuire's house has been completely scraped for painting. G. Owen Flynt's house and garage are being covered with white vinyl siding. Back in Springfield, I swung by Belle-Rita Novak's. She came to the door in a bathrobe and slippers, and was delighted with my birthday gift of Collier's Junior Classics in ten volumes. I inscribed it to "an outstanding public servant." She also returned my books, but when I got home I realized she had given me only Peter Nahum's Fairy Folk in Fairy Land and Silas Burnett's Progressive Road, but she had neglected to give me Through the Looking Glass. As I drove back home, I saw there was a Spanish Albano poster in the window of El Salvadore restaurant. Across the way was a Hispanic staffed convenience store with Rucks signs all over it. There were 32 cars in the Wesley Church parking lot. I saw two Albano signs across from Walgreens reading "Proudly for Mike Albano Our Mayor." When I got home Lucius was washing his bright red Cadillac and Colleen's garage door was open.
Artist Josh Simpson of Contemporary Glass sent me a letter urging me to attend a fundraiser at his studio in Shelburne for Senator Susan Fargo of Lincoln, "a close associate and ally of Senator Stan Rosenberg and a lifelong friend of the arts." Of course I won't be going, but I was flattered to receive the invite, complete with Simpson's signature. I was cooking pork chops for supper when Eamon called and said he likes going to Northampton because it is a dynamic and vibrant city, unlike Springfield. Eamon says he can't understand why people in government still take advice from David Starr, who has never shown the ability to learn from his mistakes. Eamon said he got a letter today from Michael T. Ryan urging him to attend a fundraiser at the Student Prince for Councilor Timothy Ryan at $50 per ticket. Eamon says he is still sore about all the work he did for Charlie Ryan in 1995 for which he received nothing, and said that the Ryan's have plenty of money without needing any from him.
Eamon says his spies told him that Mayor Albano has been going door to door in Hungry Hill with former Mayor Billy Sullivan. Eamon gave Caron a check today for $100 and told him that he needs to go door to door more often, especially in Wards 1, 4 and 5. Eamon said Caron gave Jim Landers a check for a thousand dollars to cover all the printing and running around he's done for them. Eamon said he was talking with James R. Johnson of the Commonwealth who said he has been busy with the financial mess in Pittsfield and said that Springfield is close to a severe financial crisis of its own. Johnson told Eamon, "I hope that crisis doesn't happen, because I don't want to have to go to Springfield every day."
Eamon claims people are saying that when Caron first decided to run for mayor, Albano was hurt and depressed, feeling that he had been betrayed by a friend. Now that sadness has turned to anger and Albano is determined to win re-election by any means necessary. The rumor is that Albano is using his influence with House Speaker Tommy Finneran to get Caron's district redrawn so that it will be difficult for Caron to run for re-election to the legislature should he lose the mayoralty. Eamon said Caron had better win this race, or else Albano will end Caron's political career and "exile him into political oblivion."