October 2000

October 2, 2000

Sunny and mild, lovely day, 62 degrees at 1pm.

A bunch of new saints have been cannonized, including Catherine Drexel of the USA. Sainthood is utter nonsense. Doubltless they were wonderful people, but they had no magic powers. The Olympics ended today. Sen. Brian Lees was on TV commenting about the upcoming presidential debate, saying that George Bush "needs to sound intelligent." That's it? Today was the day of the Boston TV Party, with people throwing TVs into the ocean to protest the exclusion of third party candidates from the debates. Wayne McCary of the Big E was on TV22 yesterday saying the Exposition had an all time high attendance for one day with nearly 150,000. There was a parade yesterday in Northampton. U. Francis Florian is the Chairman of New England Fidelity. Elaine M. Bristol is the Marketing Director for Essex Meadows in Connecticut.

This afternoon I fixed the rotted trim on the top of bedroom window. Mother was always going to have somebody fix it, then after she died I intended to do it but never got around to it until now. I went out and put caulk around the cracks and seams and at last the job is done. The caulking I used was GE Silicone II, which is what Tony Maggi recommended. Rachel called from the American Cancer Society of Massachusetts. I asked her where she was calling from and she said Covington, West Virginia. I told her all these fund drives for medical research are a rip-off, since all they do is subsidize the fat salaries of doctors. At that point Rachel said she had "another call to make" and hung up, but not before I strongly implied that I'd like to hear no more from her organization.

I haven't received my Wilbraham tax bill. There is a chipmunk hole behind the Birchland corner of the garage, and I hear them in the eaves all the time. They use them as decks and balconies from which to look out over the place and each generation does this. I came across an old metal boy's lunch box I bought at a tag sale somewhere with illustrations of U.S. astronauts on it. Inside there is a label reading, "David Dionisi, 103 Duggan Circle, Springfield, Ma."

When I went out, I found my Moriarty for Governor's Council sign stripped from its pole and lying in the gutter in front of the black raspberries. The pole I found lying in front of Nichols. I called Marshall and got him directly instead of his voicemail and told him I'll keep his sign in protective custody for a few days and the put it back out. Moriarty was friendly, almost jovial, but said nothing about the Valley Advocate memo I sent him. Then I drove over to Angelo's Fruit Mart and bought grapes, bananas and a melon. I stopped at the Boston Road McDonald's but they had no free newspapers lying around. I got hotcakes without sausages, asked for two extra syrups and got them at no extra charge. The only McDonald's that has charged me for additional syrup is the one at the Eastfield Mall food court. The staff at Boston Road is mostly white compared to the mostly black staff at Allen Street.

From there I crossed the street to Big Y and got soup and milk on special. In the parking lot I saw a bumpersticker reading, "Sheet Metal Workers Just Bang Away." I headed over to Aunt Maria's to spy on her. I drove past her house three times and ascertained that there were two vehicles on the property, a small, ivory colored van and Aunt Maria's blue Ford. No vehicles over at Joe's and the grass was mowed. There was a single sunflower standing in the flower garden. I went to Stop&Shop and then to the post office before coming by Aunt Maria's for one last drive-by. I then went to the Country Buffet, where I was delighted to discover that they were serving liver and onions, which hasn't been on their regular menu in years. But the salad bar had no cottage cheese and not much fruit. I got a lime colored computer poster from a light pole in front of the Country Buffet. When I got back I found a box from Mrs. Staniski with a birthday card, eight brownies and some reading material.

Tonight I dined on a Hungry Man Pot Roast Dinner. Eamon called and told me that he only gets $400 per month in Social Security, but collects $2000 per month ovrerall. He wondered whether there will be a Friendly's in the food court of the new Basketball Hall of Fame, saying there definitely won't be an L.L. Bean. Eamon said it is not generally known that Priestly Blake owned Polar Bear Ice Cream Sandwiches. Eamon claims that Springfield has one of the highest tax rates in the state, which drives out business and jobs. He also admitted that the letters he writes to publications are often too long and therefore never get published. Eamon recalled there was a Dr. Baker who worked in Research at the Department of Education who used to say to him after receiving a long memo, "Sully, you're on your soap box again!"

October 3, 2000

57 degrees at 9:50am. Gas is $1.53 at Watershops.

Today is my 59th birthday. When my Father had his 59th birthday he had a son lately graduated from Harvard who was teaching at a college. I, of course, have nothing like that. WFCR celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Boston Symphony Orchestra Hall by performing Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, the first work ever performed there. In Rutland, Vermont they are working on an ordinance that would enable the ticketing of any car whose blaring radio could be heard at a distance of fifty feet. Sarah Mancinelli is an Assistant Vice President of Hampden Savings Bank. C.S. Browning was the Treasurer for the Town of Ludlow in 1918.

Matt Groening has a new book The Simpson's Guide to Springfield: A Travel Guide to America's Favorite Cartoon City. I recall how the Art League used to exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, but they tossed them out so they now exhibit at First Church. H. Howard Lynch was one of my favorite teachers at Classical. His wife Muriel (Streeter) was the archivist at the Fire & Marine Insurance Company. Muriel Lynch tried to get into the Daughters of the American Revolution, but couldn't establish a genetic line to a Revolutionary War figure.

I went out about 9:30 to make copies, but first I left a Herald at the Penniman's and a Hamilton catalog to Mr. Lucius. I then drove down to Massachusetts Avenue and parked in order to attend the Tuesday Morning Music Club concert at AIC. I was parked behind a car with a bumpersticker reading, "Caution: Driver Singing." I found the concert highly competent but boring. Cookies and coffee were served after the concert. I thanked each of the artists afterward, especially Peter Demos, who has been a good sport about doing a concert each fall and Long who is a real perfectionist. I showed Jerry Lesniak the Red Baron catalog with the double harp in it. He said he has been to Red Baron auctions in the past and said they are festive, three day affairs with roast pig and fine liqueurs to get everyone in the mood for bidding.

I told the President of the club that although the concert was technically perfect, it was boring. I also told him I was disappointed that the performers did not receive a standing ovation at the end, because Demos and Westfield State have been good friends to the Tuesday Morning Music Club and deserve special respect. I also checked out the AIC art exhibit, which was indeed special. The galleries at AIC have too often been empty or just had Paige's stuff, but this was actual material from an AIC art class taught by Doyle the Twig Painter. I pulled down several posters around campus, but with purple hair and a biker jacket I couldn't overdo it.

From there I drove into the city, and the new black barber shop that gave me the Black Harambee poster at 158 Chestnut Street facing the Tarbell-Watters building is called the Masterpiece Barber Shop. For its black clientele it is like Tony's is for Italians. It has four barber chairs and had customers in each one. I gathered seven posters downtown, then went up to STCC and got more. When I got home I called People's Pawn at 746-5600 and the woman who answered said that whenever they have auctions they advertise them in the paper, but I haven't seen one in some time. Then I called Mrs. Staniski, who told me she is reading Pilgrim's Progress. I told her I would loan her my illustrated copy if I can find it.

Dined tonight on Progresso Beef and Barley Soup with fruit juice and apple pie. Eamon called and said that Tom Vannah from the Advocate called and thanked him for the letter he sent. He then asked if Eamon knew Francis Lynch or George Martin, the pseudonyms Eamon used on two fake letters he sent. Vannah made no mention of my fake letter as Blanche Gleason. Vannah said he was trying to call Lynch and Martin but couldn't track them down, but Eamon denied all knowledge. Eamon said he is convinced that Vannah has better inside access to the corruption probe than Larry McDermott at the Union-News.

Eamon also told me that he got a call today from Deputy Spellacy, who although retired is still in the loop. He told Eamon that there is a big investigation into the Albano Administration involving some rigged bids. Dennis Murphy and Valerie Barsom are also being targeted. Eamon claims that everyone is saying that Murphy and Barsom are romantically involved, even though Murphy is married. According to Eamon, the state police are also looking into missing money and drug evidence in the District Attorney's office. Eamon's spies are telling him that Tony Hourihan, owner of TJ Hourihan's on Worthington Street is suspected of illegal gambling and was seen Saturday night in a car with John Mace, who once set a fire in the District Attorney's office in order to conceal evidence of corruption. Eamon can't figure out how Mace got out of jail so soon.

October 4, 2000

Sunny and 56 degrees at 8am.

I listened to the presidential debate last night on WFCR. Ralph Nader was denied admission even though he had a valid ticket provided by a student. Mike Jacobs and Nadine Kagan run the Matrix Gallery in Vally Stream, New York. Charles P. Milne, granite and marble memorial dealer, was located at 371 Bay Street in 1917. The Ludlow Cemetery Commission and Board of Selectmen were located at 488 Chapin Street in 1922. A granite quarry in Northampton has been ordered closed, I didn't know there was one. The famous bookseller, teacher John Gately is a UMass graduate whose office at STCC is in Building 13. Educator H. Howard Lynch taught at Classical High School in Springfield from 1940 to 1977, with leaves of absences to serve as an instructor at Springfield College and the Harvard Engineering School. He lived at 861 Center Street in Ludlow.

A number of postcards that are only worth a few bucks have none the less required me to spend years to find them. Always remember this about old postcards, sometimes what's on the edges of the picture is more historically important than what's in the middle of the picture, such as long lost buildings. I called Karen Powell and told her about the investigation into the missing funds and evidence from the District Attorney's Office. She told me she in monitoring the corruption investigations through some friends in Boston. She couldn't talk long because she was off to a library meeting tonight, but she promised she would write a letter to the Pulitizer Committee to urge that the Valley Advocate receive a Pulitzer prize. Unknown called at 10:49am and at 1:50pm but was not answered.

Went out at 9:15am and made copies at CopyCat after putting out the mail at Louis & Clark. The guy at CopyCat said that a student at WNEC made the "Neither for President" signs that are up all around the vicinity of the college. Arrived at the Boston Road Big Y at 9:50am and bought three hams for just under $30. Out of Big Y at 10:15am and dropped off some reading material at Mrs. Staniski's. She looks good but still has to go see her primary physician up on Liberty Street. Next I stopped at Redbrick Books and bought Howe on Tanglewood and Toth on the Indian statues. The prices were rather high despite my 10% senior discount. I also saw that Forest Park Antiques is not open yet, but there is an "Opening Soon" sign in the window. I bought a blue and white teddy bear tea set at Fancy That. I then stopped at Springfield College and left the Valley Advocate for R.B. Flynn the President. I also gathered posters around campus.

Next I drove to Eastfield Mall and dined at Orange Julius, where I had chips and a hotdog with mustard and onions for just $1.99 with a coupon! Even at that price they are still probably making a dollar profit on each order. Western Mass Electric was peddling modern lightbulbs that last for five years. When I got home at 1:55pm the mailman was just arriving and we remarked on a unique cloud formation in the sky that resembled whipped cream. I took three pictures and will give copies to the postman. When I drove past Fred Whitney's I saw he only has one sign up, Keep the Promise: Vote Yes on 4. Not even a Moriarty sign? Chatted with Eamon this evening about how Charlie Treiber is now selling insurance. He also said that ex-rep Dennis Murphy is no longer with Berkshire Power, having left about a month ago, and is now calling himself a consultant. Eamon believes he probably left with a nice golden parachute. Murphy is also building himself a fancy $600,000 home in East Longmeadow. We then discussed how the Westfield courthouse is owned by Peter Picknelly, who leases it to the state.

Eamon then told me that he spoke with Tom Vannah today, who told Eamon that the Advocate has received ten letters so far, all of them to some extent critical of David Starr. He told Eamon he would like to print them all, but can't verify the ones from Francis Lynch, George Martin, Mildred Parker, Jim Howell and Margaret J. Thompson. Again, there was no mention of my fake letter written as Blanche Gleason. Vannah said the letters all came in different envelopes and on different paper, but they all have the same flag stamps. Vannah told Eamon he's afraid that Starr may have people writing in so that if they print them their hoax can then be exposed and the Advocate embarrassed. He said it is too bad because "they are all great letters." Eamon told me that at one point Vannah said he is thinking of contacting me because "Attorney Miller knows everyone" and I may be able to help him identify the letter writers. It will be interesting to see if Vannah can unmask Eamon and I as the real culprits.

October 6, 2000

Overcast and 58 degrees at 8am.

Dr. Theodore "Unabomber" Kazynski is listed in the Harvard Alumni Directory as "Address Unknown." Who are they kidding? A 53% stake in the Boston Red Sox is now for sale for around $700 million. Insurance Commissioner Linda L. Ruthardt has determined that New England Fidelity is insolvent with debts of $2.6 million. I thought Hampden Savings was the sucker left holding the bag but it was SIS. The Deacon Brothers Monument Company was located at 495 State Street in 1922. Ida H. Streeter lived on Bethel Street in Springfield in 1922. Muriel Lynch was the Chairperson of the Ludlow Historical Commission in 1922. Richard Barnes lived on Putnam Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1952.

There are many things a kid can learn from taking up postcard collecting: Philately, geography, history, languages, numbers, watermarks, organization, bargaining, selling. The other day I went by Mary Alice Stusick's house and her husband was just pulling out in a beat up blue car. The property itself is a mess with litter all over the lawn. Mary Alice, who was brought up in an environment of rigid tidiness, has opted for a messy adulthood. It can be understood.

The leaves are starting to come down, but not much color. My front corner tree is usually a beautiful peachy color, but it's still mostly green. Yesterday I got a Girl Scout tag sale poster at Stop&Shop. I also got a Union-News out of the trashcan in front of Louis & Clark. Some newscarrier regularly jettisons his extra copies there. I was up last night from 1:30 to 5am and baked a canned ham. I also added milk and potatoes to wax beans so dinner for the next few days is ready.

In the mail today I got a humorous birthday card from Ann Staniski-Flentje. It shows Moses parting the waves of a swimming pool. I also received a three leaf mailing from The Judge's Chambers. A new law increases the prize limit for Bingo games to $3,000. TV22 described this as "a boost to charities." Bravo. the arts paper, has announced that it is merging with the Springfield Journal. This could make the Journal a formidable competitor with the Valley Advocate and The Reminder. It is probably The Reminder that is most at risk because they have never had comprehensive entertainment listings.

Eamon called and read me the obituary from some Monarch bigshot, but I've never heard of him. Must have been someone Father had little or no contact with. I told Eamon about how I remember years ago Monarch opened an office in Vermont, it may even have been Springfield, Vermont, and Father was offered the job of being boss up there. I recall we went up and looked at the brick building it was going to be in, but Mother kept stressing how one of her girlfriends permitted herself to be sent to California and never returned. Father declined and eventually retired from the Massachusetts office at a ripe old age. Eamon said he is thinking of calling the Advocate and confessing to Vannah the whole phony letter scam. I said don't do that, because it is a test of Tom Vannah's investigative skills whether he can track the letters back to us.

October 7, 2000

Slightly cool fall day.

Billy Bulger is coming to Wilbraham but not to Springfield. The Pond Ridge at Ashlar Village Assisted Living Center is located in Wilmington, Connecticut. Arbor at Hop Brook is in Manchester, Connecticut. I'll probably spend this weekend reading my new books, working on my papers and writing a letter to Nader the Hatter. Tonight I dined on ham and beans, onions and a day old Boston Creme pie with three cherries on whipped cream marked down to $7 from $15.99.

I was up at seven and put lavender color in my hair after shaving where there should be no hair. Then I went down to the tag sale at Trinity Lutheran Church on Wilbraham Road. I got a Hotel Kimball dinner plate for $9, plus four books, two ornamental eggs and five silver plated goblets from Spain. The Kimball plate is a real treasure and the books were good ones. Young Kosiol was there, but I haven't seen his father recently. Lots of people stared at my purple hair, mostly older folks of respectable inclination, but nobody said anything. Out of there about 9:30.

The mail brought the Herald from Vermont, plus Undiscovered Italy which is a veritable picture tour of the Italian countryside, and an invitation to a wine tasting and three course dinner at Storrowtown for Fleet One premium customers. They must be trying to make up for not paying 8% interest anymore. I'll probably go to see what it's like, but I'll dress and act however I like because I don't care if I'm never invited again. Recently I visited a tag sale on Lumae and bought a Liberty Bell Avon bottle and three books. The books have the name Alesin Barbaro written in them.

Mr. Allard drove by as I was going out today at 12:45pm. Seeing my hair, he stopped and backed up, then asked me how to get a patent on something. I said they're pretty expensive to get and I'm not licensed to handle them. He shook his head when I said they're expensive, but I told him the least he should do is write down his invention describing it in the most detailed way and have it notarized. That was all the help I could give him. I noticed there was a U-Save rental truck and a lot of cars down to Bradley's. Is he moving out? I stopped to give a Boston Herald to Mrs. Penniman, who was sitting outside, which is somewhat unusual. She laughed at my purple hair and high queer costume. She said her husband is still at home but goes to daycare three times a week to give her a break.

From there I headed out to the Wilbraham Public Library to see the Jeff Kern art show. Kern has won many awards for his paintings and gives painting lessons at his Wilbraham studio. Not many people at the opening and the works on display were disappointing considering what he's done in the past. None of them I would describe as major paintings, a lot of still lifes, lesser landscapes, some in pastel. I told Kern that I think some of the institutional art he's done for banks, etc. has been just great and I compared him to Joseph Sweeney which flattered him. He said he just did a mural of the Pioneer Valley for somebody's house. He signed one of his handouts for me, and told me that he photographed the unusual cloud formations the other day. I guess a lot of people did. At one point I noticed a Library Code of Behavior on the bulletin board, so I asked the librarian if I could have a copy. At first she didn't know what I was talking about, so I pointed to it and told her, "You should know what's hanging up in your own library." She made me a copy and that was that, but as I left I told her I was going home to study the code so I can figure out what I can get away with.

October 8, 2000

Sunny, clear.

Refuse to lose! - John Calipari at UMass.

Lawrence A. Lemoine lives at 131 Birchland Avenue, a little house on the corner of Birchland and Ballard right next to Lucius. I think his wife Dianne works at Mass Mutual. Larry Lemoine is a friendly fellow with a nice little house. Renee J. Bernasconi is Director of Marketing at Seabury Life Care Retirement Community in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

I sat up late last night writing Nader the Hatter a four page letter. The Hatter is currently living in Adventura, Florida and his sister Kathy LaRose lives on 16 Telbar Stret in Springfield. I drove out at 9:35, and dined on a sausage McMuffin for $1.04 at the Allen Street McDonald's. There were plenty of free newspapers lying around. Then I drove to the Allen Street branch of Hampden Savings Bank and photographed the sign in the front window saying they are selling New England Fidelity Insurance with a picture of a fist clutching money. Next I went over to Food Mart and checked out the specials. From there I went to Pride in the Acres and bought $10 worth of gas at $1.56 per gallon.

At Louis & Clark I mailed my letters to Nader the Hatter and his sister. I don't think that Burton was at WNEC when I drove by, but who knows? The mileage on my car is now 99,258, so I'll have to watch to be sure I don't miss the 100,000 turnover. From Louis & Clark I went hunting for street literature in Mason Square, but found nothing worth taking. I then decided to drive over to see if New England Fidelity was still being advertised at the Hampden branch in Longmeadow. It was not. I noted that there is a big iron gate across the entrance to King Phillips Stockade. There is a silly though good looking guardhouse there and at Picknelly Field. Coming down Sumner Avenue, a sporty car zoomed through the red light by Friendly's. I really honked at him as he went by, a middle-aged white guy.

Coming up Allen I spotted an Open House sign for 88 Mayflower Road. It turns out that is the home of Fred Berard, the house builder. They built a lot of the small but well built houses along Island Pond Road. However, the Berard residence is a Longmeadow worthy ultra-modern split level mansion. Mayflower is a narrow road about 300 feet long, with the house on a rise with a field sloping down. At the far end of the house is a built-in pool with a shed that may be used as a dressing room. The house has a long porch along the swimming pool side, the feel of the house is much like that of the Gill home in Longmeadow. There was a lovely antique Tiffany lamp in the living room window overlooking the back lawn. Of course there was a fireplace. Old Mr. Berard himself was there, stocky and using a cane, but getting around okay. I complemented him on having such a nice house and I am glad to have had the chance to see this significant Springfield residence.

There is an article in the paper today saying how Community Development Director Thomas J. Haberlin has said that the due date for The Cecil Group's master plan/economic development report has been put off until sometime around Thanksgiving. It was originally commissioned in March 1999. The name of Peter Picknelly's planned hotel for the 31 Elm Street building is The Royal Court, a boutique style hotel modeled after those in New York and Boston. Are they coming up with anything that's original? Eamon called and said he gets something in the mail from Nader the Hatter every four or five days. He said someone from Storrowtown called his phone editorial today, they have never called before. Eamon claims that the latest Quadrangle trustees include one from Berlin, Connecticut. I told Eamon about the Berard Open House and he was very interested, saying that Berard was a big political supporter of Rose and Francis Coughlin.

October 10, 2000

44 degrees and cloudy at 7:30am.

Columbus Day was yesterday. Sunday night we had a record low of 25 degrees, the former low having been 28 degrees in 1953. That might have been the year I had the little snow fort in front of our house on Crest Street. I turned on the furnace for the first time today, did some picking up and a load of wash. The stock market was open and Friendly's is down to an all time low of 3.5. Northeast Utilities is also falling.

WFCR had a story about how Hartford and Springfield Have been approached regarding creating a Heavy Metal Hall of Fame similar to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Mayor Albano was on saying he invited the developers to come talk about their proposal. There was also a story on WFCR saying that 90% of law firms offer part time work, but fewer than 4% of lawyers are working part time because, in fact, law firms want the body, soul and every waking hour out of their lawyers.

The mail brought a Wilbraham tax bill on green colored paper and with the Zip Code wrong. The mail also brought an invoice from American Heritage Invention and Technology with a hole ripped in the envelope by the postal machinery. Nobody can get anything right, right? According to my phone ID Anne D. Rooney called and said she'd like to make a noontime reservation. I said, "I'm sorry, we are completely committed for today" and she replied, "Oh, are you really? Thank you." She must have thought she was calling Storrowtown. Unknown called at 1:44pm but when I picked up there was no voice on the other end.

Once perpendicular to the ground, my mailbox now leans decidedly south. Why? This morning I had bacon and eggs with Ocean Spray Cranberry-Raspberry Juice. I heard that this year there was a bumper crop of cranberries in Massachusetts. Drove out and found today's paper in the trashcan outside Louis & Clark. I withdrew $1500 from the Bank of Western Mass and deposited $1400 of it in the Fleet in the Acres. Went to Walgreens and bought some Tussy Creme Deodorant. I arrived home at 3:35pm, and for supper I had Swanson's Fish and Chips.

Eamon called and said he spoke to Nader the Hatter for about five minutes today. Eamon claims that the corruption probe is looking into the relationship between Murphy, Barsom and Ardolino and the granting of liquor licenses. He says Raipher Pelligrino is also a target. Eamon told me that he called Rose Marie Coughlin, a friend of builder Fred Berard, and told her what I told him about the Open House. She told Eamon that Fred is old and not feeling well. Coughlin said his son B.J. has been living in the mansion and that the son was recently divorced after having a baby with another woman.

This info prompted Eamon to call and talk to Fred Berard himself. He told Eamon that his son B.J. has gone through a lot of money and Berard has been supporting his son, his girlfriend and the baby. The old man set his son up in a cigar business somewhere, but things are not going well and the son has caused his father a lot of anguish. Berard invited Eamon to come look at the Mayflower Road house but Eamon declined, saying that the house is far too big for him.

October 11, 2000

Temperature 46 degrees at 4:25am, clear sky with stars twinkling, raspberry sky in the east.

The Palestinians and the Jews are at it again, with two Israel cops lynched and 100 Palestinians killed. Also, an American battleship has been rammed by a little boat filled with explosives, probably the work of a suicide terrorist. Hampden Savings Bank has a commercial showing people seated around a table. Tom Burton is shown with a beaming smile, then a black lady says something. It's the first commercial I can remember Hampden having in a long time.

I was so busy today that I couldn't observe a lot of my rituals. My basic achievement was writing checks to cover the bills and sending out 30 pieces of mail, mostly letters of various sorts. I made some copies at CopyCat this morning, after leaving some magazines for the Cohn's on their doorknob. The guys at CopyCat said they are having a disagreement with their landlord over a flickering overhead lighting fixture. They say the landlord should pay to have it fixed, he says it's their responsibility. I was unable to find a Valley Advocate anyplace, which was frustrating since Eamon and I want to see if they will print the phony letters we sent them attacking Starr. I even stopped into the Goodwill, but nothing. Their book department has been shrunken somewhat. They had a sale on souvenir plates they acquired from some recently deceased old lady's collection, a dollar for the smaller ones and $1.50 for the large. Patty was there and in good spirits, she said that originally there had been a lot more plates. She also said she is still having foot problems.

From there I went to the McDonald's on Allen and since breakfast was over, I had a double cheeseburger and fries for a bit over two dollars. Next I headed to the Goodwill at the X, expecting to find a big pile of Advocates and then bringing them up to Eamon, but nothing. I fell asleep in one of their chairs for almost an hour, then woke up and checked out their book section, ultimately buying two choice legal items. I noticed that there were boxes by the back door with records in them, perhaps they are going to have a record sale. I wonder if those are the remnants from the Final Vinyl sale?

I decided to head downtown to mail my letters at the main post office. Then over to my credit union to deposit $483.89 with Elaine. Got a Union-News across the street at the Springfield Newspapers building. I strolled down Main and saw that there is a new sidewalk in front of the Paramount. Of the people downtown, very few were white. I left an envelope at the Info Center for R. Denver, and saw sitting in the little pizza restaurant in the SIS mall that Peter Picknelly was holding court with some men in suits holding architectural portfolios.

The mail brought a postcard of the Best Western Black Swan Inn in Lee from Mrs. Staniski, saying that she and her daughter Ann stayed there overnight. The postcard was badly frayed at one end by the postal machinery. Sentry Insurance agent Nathaniel E. North, a chubby man in a white shirt and tie, no coat, arrived today to sell me house insurance. He asked a few questions but did not ask to tour the house, we simply sat there in the kitchen. He said he is frequently in Springfield so I urged him to check out Ruby Tuesday. I gave him a check and saw him out the door.

Right after North left, the telephone rang and it was Eamon all in a rage! He has the latest Advocate and they didn't print any of his letters, not even the one that he wrote in his own name. They also didn't print the letter I wrote using Mother's maiden name, Blanche Gleason. Apparently Vannah saw through our ruse. The only letter about Starr they printed was one from former City Councilor Mitch Ogulewicz. Eamon threatened to sever all ties to the Advocate, shouting "Fuck them!" He said it is an insult to be so totally rejected "after all I've done for them over the years!" Eamon recalled how he used to give lots of information to former Advocate reporter Gary Nielson, who went on to work at the Anchorage Daily News and ultimately won a Pulitzer Prize. Here is the letter from Ogulewicz, a good reply considering it was Ogulewicz who years ago was taunted by Starr who told him that if Mitch ever got hurt as the result of Starr's actions, he wanted Mitch to know it was "nothing personal." The letter was titled "Starr Retort:"

I was intrigued by the letter published in the September 26th Valley Advocate from semi-retired Springfield Newspapers Publisher David Starr. Mr. Starr is a man who over the years has been accused by the Advocate of virtually everything but murder, and yet he has never seen fit to respond to his critics except in this recent matter involving his wife's maiden name. Does the fact that he was compelled to correct this trivial inaccuracy, but suggested no other comments needing correction, mean that everything else the Advocate has ever written about him is true?

Mitchell J. Ogulewicz

October 13, 2000

Sunny and 53 degrees at 10am.

My latest book The Reports of Sir Edward Coke in Verse is the most conspicuous early volume of legal poetry, reaching back to the longstanding tradition of legal maxims. Years ago, Ben Jones hired me to inventory the Monarch archives (Father was Chief Underwriter there when he retired after 42 years) and I accepted payment in several pieces of Fire & Marine memorabilia. I have the ornamental wall calendar, an antique poster and a print. The CopyCat Print Shop is having a contest for who can make the best Holiday card with first prize being a $100 American Express Gift Certificate. The rules specify that the card cannot be religious.

When I was downtown the other day, I went to City Hall and paid the water bill. When I went by Subway at 3:45pm they had no customers. At Monarch Place I left a memo with Frank Dunn to deliver to Peter Picknelly. Something is going into the first floor of the Morgan Square building. There are new stores on either side of the 1597 entrance. Opposite the old Enterprise (now Asylum) we have Young Beauty Supply on the corner of Worthington, then the law office of Michael J. Cruz beside Cruz-Ortiz Professional Services and then Alex Jewelers.

My geraniums are in full bloom right now. My tomatoes, the smaller ones, are reddening up, but the others are stalled at green. On WFCR they noted that this is the 10th anniversary of the death of Leonard Bernstein, also noting that no one has really come along of sufficient stature to replace him. There was a tag sale over to the Coburn's and things were pretty pricy. I saw a wide winged chair that was fairly worn selling for $75 that they would be lucky to get $10 for.

I found out that Merton M. Sealts died in June. Professor Sealts was a very fine gentleman because he was old fashioned and modern at the same time. He did everything according to form, but knew where things were at and respected the opinions of people younger than him. Mother was superstitious about Friday the 13th. I spent today going through the material in a drawer of one of Mother's chests. It consisted of about 500 letters and cards from the 1990's. A lot of things were from Mother's best friend Mrs. Staniski, with some interesting stamps on some of them, including one of the Supreme Court building. Saving only the most useful material, I discarded 75% of it. In all it took about six hours, minus the time I spent checking the mail and walking around the Coburn tag sale.

I often go to bed at 7pm and then wake up around 11:30pm to do work. Today I came across a copy of Peter Negroni's masterpiece Creating High Achieving Schools: A Proposal with a Supporting Action Plan. Eamon called and said he hasn't seen the new Hampden Savings Bank commercial. We both agreed that their sudden advertising blitz means they must be in trouble. Eamon said his paper didn't get delivered today, so he had to go out and buy one. He said Harry Marsh down the street got no paper either. The stock market was up today but Friendly's continues to fall. Currently Friendly's is having a sale on kid's meals for $2.99, but one share of Friendly's stock is selling for 2.93, less than a kid's meal.

Dined this evening on Stouffer's Lasagna and peas. TV22 news showed Rich Tettemer introducing the dignitaries at the Hall of Fame enshrinement. They also had Frank Faulkner on talking about the naval terrorist attack, but it was poorly edited. Electronic media serve sloppiness and inaccuracy very well. This morning I got a voiceless call from Unknown. Considering that there is a new Bernie's going up at the Ingleside Mall and an expansion of the Big Y in Longmeadow, it looks like both stores in the Acres may be doomed. We are slowly seeing the collapse of 16 Acres center. You could see it coming when the Acres proved unable to support a McDonald's.

October 14, 2000

56 degrees at 9:50am.

I'd say with a hundred Palestinians killed in the last couple of weeks, and only two or three dead Jews, that the Palestinians are right when they say that Israel is the aggressor. Thirty-nine victims are still in the hospital from the naval terrorist attack. Teddy Roosevelt was shot at on this day in 1912, but was saved when his glasses case deflected the bullet. Linda Nardi was the Pharmacist at Walgreens on Wilbraham Road in 1995. I noticed recently that the Presbyterians are constructing an addition on the back of their little church.

TV22 news at six showed the groundbreaking for the new Basketball Hall of Fame. Mayor Albano was on claiming that "This Hall of Fame will be the best in the world, providing great economic advantages to Western Mass." The local unions are mad that the construction jobs are only 85% union, they want it all! The Landry-Lyons real estate office in the Acres has closed. The building that housed the Heritage/Community/Fleet bank appears to be abandoned. I fear that even the Acres' Friendly's may be endangered. If they close Bernie's because they're expanding at Ingleside, and if they close the Acres Big Y because it's too small, that would be a disaster.

I'm currently using Manic Power purple hair coloring. I went out at 8:15am to the tag sale at the Church in the Acres. It was a good enough sale, I bought seven books by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen that had Church in the Acres stamped in them. From there I went to the 16 Acres Big Y and bought eight Stouffer's dinners with dollar off coupons. I stopped by Marshall Moriarty's house but nobody was home. When I got back I saw eighteen cars parked in the street for the second day of the Coburn's tag sale. While I was there I saw only one person buying a single book. I did get to talk to young Koziol, who said he likes to go to tag sales because he can get things cheap and why pay store prices? Many people say, "Why pay more?" but tag sale shoppers say, "Why pay store?" The Coburn's tag sale ended at 4:15pm.

Dined on a Hardy Man Dish Fried Chicken Dinner today. This evening I listened to the 100th anniversary of Boston Symphony Hall concert on TV57 in the parlor on the color TV, which I have seldom used since Mother died. Leonard Bernstein was very conspicuously honored, which is good because he never got an honorary degree from Harvard. I called Aunt Maria's number and Maria herself answered, but quickly handed the phone over to Bonnie when she recognized my voice. I told Bonnie that they should tune into the concert and she said okay. As I look back, Aunt Maria never learned the discipline of work. She rarely cleaned house, and Uncle George didn't want her fooling with his machinery because he knew she would muck things up. Aunt Maria did mow the lawn and do the farming, but she was never into housekeeping.

Milton Bradley, in business since 1860, is now a division of Hasbro Games. A&P is now Food Mart, everybody is changing their names! Eamon called and said he went to the 99 Restaurant at Liberty Plaza and it was packed. He recalled that the Vanilla Tree on Lyman Street was a bar he used to spend a lot of time at. They had black hookers who used to frequent there, which he liked. The Vanilla Tree was run by John Gamellis, whose best friend was Judge George Bregannis.

Eamon's current phone editorial denounces Springfield's 37 municipal departments as an absurdly excessive number. Eamon said he heard that a disgruntled employee at the Hu Ke Lau was putting dog and cat food in their recipes. It was discovered when someone noticed the discarded cans. Eamon said that the Ding Ho on Ferry Street was a Chinese restaurant he used to frequent, until the Board of Health discovered that the kitchen was full of cockroaches. Eamon said he once caught a glimpse of the kitchen and the Chinese workers were all sitting and playing cards. There were a couple of good bakeries Eamon used to like nearby, he exclaimed that it is amazing all the places in Springfield that have gone out of business.

October 15, 2000

President Clinton was on talking about the summit in Egypt and kept stressing "our historic ties to Israel." The Palestinians want an investigation into how the latest violence started, but Clinton wants to get the peace process back on track and forget about how it all started. I do feel we should be more even handed towards the Arabs. The Jews should have been given Bavaria or Yorkshire, and not so much of Palestine. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ox nor his ass nor his real estate, it's just as simple as that.

The William G. Carellas Insurance Agency is located on Union Street in West Springfield. They advise, "Select and consult an independent insurance agent or broker as you would your doctor or lawyer." The leaves are pretty much at peak color around here. Did I mention that that I saw a kid on a motorized scooter zooming past the 16 Acres Friendly's the other day? A James J. Clancy called here, wrong number. Eamon called and said that the Valley Advocate got scooped by the Union-News in a front page story on the various Grand Juries meeting here, with characterizations of the people involved but no names.

I drove out shortly after noon and got gas for $1.55 a gallon at the Citgo on Allen, but had to wait because the door was locked with a sign indicating they were changing shifts. From there I went to the Food Mart/A&P and bought four cans of DAK luncheon meat for $1.29 each, which I like better than Spam. But when I got home, I realized they had charged me $1.59 for each can. I went back and went up to customer service and after looking me over real good (I was dressed in solid black with freshly purple hair) they said store policy entitled me to the first can for free. I told them I live five miles away and I want all the cans for free. They called the manager Bob Farrell and soon they were handing me seven dollar bills and when I said that was too much, Farrell said keep the change. So I got a real deal on the luncheon meat.

From there I went out to Wilbraham-Monson Academy for Glen R. Clark's Political Memories and Memorabilia Show. His collection spans the presidential election of William McKinley in 1896 to Bill Clinton. Only 36 people attended, despite students getting extra credit if they did. For refreshments small cupcakes were served. Clark is a young looking fellow in his late thirties. He said he was the Executive Assistant to Paul Caron for eighteen months and has ties to Richie Neal. It was hard to hear without a PA system, but since I sat in the front row I got most of it. Clark had a double row of fifty presidential candidate posters lined up on the back wall. There were also eight tables covered with bumperstickers, campaign buttons and political souvenir plates.

Clark cheerfully warned me to be careful because the plates are easily busted, and I said not as easily as a drug dealer! Clark praised his Technical High School teacher Michael Peacham for getting him interested in collecting political memorabilia at the age of seventeen. He said he knows Jack Hess and said his favorite poster is his one of FDR. He had nothing from Wavy Gravy's Nobody for President campaigns and no Jesse Jackson posters. He did have one from Shirley Chisholm's campaign. At one point Clark made mention of JFK's speech in Court Square in 1960.

I was introduced to Don Nicholson, who for 17 years has been the head of the Academy's History Department. He said he is a graduate of Keene State. I also had a nice chat with the town archivist Coralie M. Gray of Stony Hill Road. She said she is also the archivist for the Episcopal Diocese. Gray told me she has town Indian artifacts in her house and maybe other stuff. She also informed me that Wilbraham would like to acquire all the Chicopee Riverfront land for parks and bikeways. She said her son is a special-ed teacher at Wilbraham-Monson Academy and told me that her son has dyslexia himself. At one point she described John Lovejoy as "abrasive." Gray claimed to have seen my article on the Springfield library's foolish book discarding. After I left I just had time to swing downtown to catch the Pipe Spectacular Show at First Church, starring organist Joyce Jones. The playing was excellent, but Jones did some gimmicky pieces like the bumblebee thing at the end. I noted while downtown that the local Gore-Lieberman headquarters is in where the Five Cent Savings/Heritage Bank was. Home at 6:13pm.

October 16, 2000

Heavily overcast and 59 degrees at 7am.

President Clinton was on the radio announcing a ceasefire, but I don't believe for a moment it will work for the long term. A Jewish spokesman on TV57 said that Israel wants to "focus on the future rather than the past" regarding the Palestinian's call for a fact finding about how 100 Palestinians were killed. These are the same Jews who would say "Never Forget" what's been done to the Jews, but who certainly don't want anyone to remember what was done to the Palestinians. The whole situation in the Mideast is tragic.

Ralph Nader says George W. Bush is the worse of the two major presidential candidates, accusing him of being a front for the big corporations. Nader says Bush is "a corporation disguised as a human being running for president." Nader characterizes Gore vs. Bush as the bad vs. the worst. He claims that the only difference between Bush and Gore is "the velocity with which their knees hit the floor when a corporation or special interest asks for something." I love WSPR because you get the news condensed into just ten minutes. The latest issue of BusinessWeek has a feature article titled "Why Service Stinks: Companies know just how good a customer you are, and unless you're a high roller, they would rather lose you than fix your problem."

Communist Gus Hall died last Friday. At Boston University there are calls to require the faculty to be in class or in their offices eight hours a day, four days a week. The students deserve something for the $34,000 a year tuition and there should be strict performance reviews for tenured, big shot professors. Clifton J. Noble is a noted area composer for choir, brass and organ. Woronoco stock was up to 12.75 today, but they were buying back some of their own stock. How long will that last? Deborah Frasco was a Client Representative for Palmer-Goodell Insurance Agency on Roosevelt Avenue in 1993. At 2:23pm I received a voiceless call from Unknown. Eamon called and said he is no longer having trouble getting his newspaper delivered.

Dined on stuffed peppers with zita and Ragu sauce tonight. Food Mart's motto is "We're Fresh Obsessed." My little tomatoes are ripening well, although the larger ones are just starting to ripen. I saw a grey cat walking along the back fence this morning and I ran out and chased him away before he could catch any of my chipmunks. The tree colors are great this year on Birchland Avenue. Colleen's enormous Maple in her front yard is yellow-green, but the tree by the picture window in my dining room is yellow-orange. The tree in front of Salvon's is still green, it is always a late dropper. I went out at 9:35am to make copies and saw that at Louis & Clark there was a pile of Sixteen Acres Civic Association newsletters by the pile of Valley Advocates. At CopyCat the problem lighting fixture is still flickering.

Then I drove into the city to Springfield Technical Community College and parked by Building 13. John F. Gately II the bookseller is in room 210, the first office on the right on the central corridor. The offices for professors in Building 13 are immense. There are pictures of John Brown, Emily Dickinson and others by the door. Gately was in, a tall, thin man in a sportcoat in his early forties. Gately remembered me and was friendly. He said the Antiquarian Book Fair will be at STCC in November. He told me he has worked with Guy McLain from the Quandrangle in the past and found him "very difficult to deal with." He also denounced the Forbes Library in Northampton for selling nearly all the books they had that were of any value. I said that it was strange that someone with his credentials has never been asked to lecture at the Quad. Gately shrugged and said that except for the recent article in the paper, no in Springfield would know he is a book expert. He says he doesn't use the internet much looking for books because he prefers to interact directly with dealers. Our meeting ended pleasantly and I promised to stop by again sometime.

October 17, 2000

There is an island in the middle of Massachusetts Avenue and it ends maybe fifty feet short of Wilbraham Road. In that area there is a grate that says UELCO, meaning United Electric Light Company. There a manhole nearby that also says UELCO. Today I went to CopyCat and got four reproductions of Father at this party for 25 years with Monarch. He is shown with Vanderbrouk and the other honorees, who all received gold Omega watches.

Alvar Nyman, Frank S. Vanderbrouk, Gordon Grady and John W. Miller, May 1954.

Today I went down to the Quadrangle and the parking lot was full, including the diocese parking lot and all the spaces in the street. The attendant in the parking shed said there was a meeting of docents today. The Quad renovations have gone beyond digging up water pipes and installing drainage. They are now installing pink granite tiles and the price must be enormous! The area where the DAR tree was has been completely dug up and replaced by a concrete surface. I was able to carry off a thin sliver of one of the granite tiles that had been cut off to fit around one of the light fixtures.

In the city library, I looked up Eunomous and they have the 1774 first edition. I filled out the pink call-up slip for Pre-1956 NUC and gave it to a young woman who seemed confused. "You know what the Pre-1956 NUC is, don't you?" I asked. She replied, "No, but I'm new." I said "Everyone who's been to library school knows what NUC is." An older woman came over and took her down to the stacks and they brought up the book together. There was nobody in Rice Hall except for nine kids on computers, one with an orange FUGITIVE t-shirt on. The Gutenberg exhibit is gone, and the glass cases it was in are empty. Reggie Wilson was there and waved so I walked over and shook his hand and congratulated him on his promotion. He invited me to visit him at his new job at the Mason Square Branch sometime. I went down to the Periodicals Room and copied the article Eamon told me about concerning the various Grand Juries meeting in Springfield.

I then went to the AIC library where I looked over the jobs section of the Chronicle of Higher Education. They have relocated their freebie rack to the back of the Periodicals Room. On my way home, I swung by the Boston Road Big Y and bought stuffed peppers, two for $4. I stopped by Marshall Moriarty's house twice over the weekend, but neither he nor his wife were home. He has a Bush/Cheney sign on his lawn and a "Keep the Promise" tax cut sign but no sign for his own Governor's Council campaign. The Reminder didn't come today so I picked it up at Louis & Clark.

Back on Birchland, I dropped off a Boston Herald at the Penniman's. I also dropped off the Aramco book and some other things with Mrs. Cohn. She is always very friendly and thanked me for the Newsweek about the Middle East. I called Storrowtown in West Springfield today to reserve a seat at the Fleet Bank gourmet dinner. I spoke with Jean who said the event was "booked up." I thought that was a pretty tacky reply. Fleet Bank has made me plenty mad, as everybody being unreliable cuts enormously into the time I have to be creative and productive.

Received a voiceless Unknown call at 7:42pm. Eamon's latest phone answering machine editorial says he hopes the corruption probe will bring the wrong doers at City Hall to justice "but don't hold your breath." Eamon called tonight and said he has been up in East Otis for a few days. Eamon also told me that he has heard nothing from Tom Vannah lately.

October 18, 2000

Overcast and 49 degrees at 7:15am.

Always do business with a local bank. Al Gore has announced that he supports affirmative action, so I may as well write-in Jesse Jackson. Donald W. Murray works for the Lawyer's Service Center in Dedham, Massachusetts. I took a little trip at 9:15am over to Angelo's. It was lightly misting as I drove over, and they didn't have much to offer. I did get an immense parcel of broccoli and two melons for under $2. I was surprised to run into Mrs. Staniski there. She said her nose operation will be November 8th, and they are going to remove the tip and replace it with flesh from her cheek. She also said her daughter Ann will be in town for a few days, plus she asked me if I would put up a storm window for her the next time I come over. She claimed she was at Angelo's so early because she wanted to avoid the rain, but Mrs. S. is a natural early bird.

Old Storrowtown Tavern is located in a village of 19th century buildings in West Springfield. I got the day off to a good start by calling Storrowtown one last time and spoke to a man named Fred, who told me "unfortunately we can't take the reservation." So I decided to call Regional President Richard Zilewicz at his home in Longmeadow. When he answered I asked, are you the man connected with Fleet Bank, and he said yes. I identified myself and gave a capsule summary of my story after reminding him "you've had dealings with me before." I said I have a reputation for being irascible and whenever I encounter unprofessionalism I always let the people in charge know.

I stated that it is wrong for the bank to expect me to spend my time and pennies to make a call for an event that was booked up. I told him I have about $90,000 in your bank and "I don't want to come to your stinking party!" Then I repeated my name and address very loudly and hung up in his ear. This incident makes me wonder about the Bank of Western Mass Investor Seminar with economic consultant Richard G. Dederick at the Yankee Pedlar. Dederick served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs during the Reagan Administration. Will they have enough room for everybody? Later I called Karen Powell and asked her if she got an invitation to the Fleet event and she said yes but she threw it directly into the trash.

Eamon called and said he spoke with someone who went to the Basketball Hall of Fame exhibition game and was told that whoever did the national anthem was absolutely awful. The press claimed that 6,300 people attended, but Eamon's friend said they were lucky if they had 4,300, as there were "lots of empty seats all over the place." When Albano didn't show up at the Basketball Hall of Fame they sent somebody to go looking for him and they found Albano drinking at the Sheraton. Eamon has seen Marshall Moriarty's Governor's Council ads featuring his wife and thinks they are good, but insists "he isn't going to win." Eamon thinks the fact that Charlie Ryan's wife Joan is an Elms graduate is the reason that Barbara Garvey has such influence with the Ryan's. Eamon believes Charlie "doesn't have the balls" to oppose his wife and Garvey on issues involving Elms College.

Eamon feels that at the rate things are going the mob is going to be running everything throughout the Entertainment District. According to Eamon, the mob is upset that the corruption probe may interfere with their access to City Hall. He said the mob swindled Tommy McNamara out of the Tic Toc Lounge and put him in a new place in the South End with Victor Bruno's name on the liquor license. Eamon says that Anthony Ardolino and his brother Chester the cop are no longer operating out of City Hall. Eamon says he would like to know what Anthony Ardolino intends to do next.

Rumors are rampant that Albano may not run again because of the corruption probe. Some are suggesting that Melinda Phelps, the wife of Frank Faulkner, is thinking of running for mayor. They have two kids, both girls, and live at the end of Cunningham in a massive colonial with pillars. They also own a place with five or six rooms in County Kerry, Ireland. He said Frank Faulkner has a reputation for being "wild" with a girlfriend on the side. Eamon claims that Faulkner is "a nut, a screwball who drinks too much." Eamon told me that the FBI is using code names for the key players in their correspondence about the corruption probe. Anthony Ardolino is The Bishop, Chester Ardolino is The Altarboy, Dennis Murphy is The Truant Officer and Mayor Albano is Purseboy.

October 19, 2000

Sunny, 51 degrees at 8:30am.

George Bush's mother Barbara is out campaigning for him, a lot of people think she's neat. Mrs. Bush says the same issues are important to both men and women. The Bush campaign is distributing a 24 page color booklet setting forth his positions on a variety of issues. The average Social Security check is $845 per month. Sen. John McCain was in the area supporting Rep. John Olver's opponent for congress. McCain said on TV22 that "Arizona is so dry the trees chase the dogs." Nancy Dell is the registered dietician who appears regularly on TV22. The 99th annual meeting of The Maine Mayflower Society will be held November 18th in Portland. Suanne W. Muehlner is Director of Libraries at Colby College in Maine.

District Attorney Bennett and Chief Meara were supposed to speak at Kiley last night, but there was nothing about it in the paper, leading me to suspect that the event was a dud. Smith & Wesson, which once employed 1800, is currently down to 600. Enamelon toothpaste is in Chapter 11. Michael Waring is Superintendent of the Southwick Public Schools and is not allowing the Boy Scouts to distribute literature in the schools because of their anti-gay attitudes. Robert Miller, a teacher at Warner School, is the target of a $2.4 million child molestation suit that may have to be paid by the city. Today is the deadline to register to vote. The Exeter Building on the corner of Worthington and Chestnut is still standing.

A chipmunk has nibbled a hole in one of my tomatoes, so I'll let him have the whole thing. I drove out at 12:35 to Linden Towers to get a pneumonia shot. I parked easily in the street and the place appears to be inhabited mostly by minorities. It is well maintained, tidy and clean. Even the benches at Linden are freshly painted with pretty flowers planted all around outside. The people administering the shots did an awful lot of talking and not much shooting, but I got mine in due course. The nurse said I could get a booster at age 65, but theoretically it should last for life. A Mrs. Prevost handled the paperwork and Pat Bankman gave me the shot. The social worker for Linden Towers was a cute, proper young woman with her fingernails bitten way down, further than I've ever seen nails bitten. She advised me to go to the Southwest Medical Center if I needed free care, which is something to remember. I said bye to her in a very friendly way. I wonder if what she really needs is to be treated sexually like a pig. Something is probably missing in her life, would a good fuck cure it? When I left it was raining.

My ears were ringing this morning. I left Mrs. Berselli a voicemail but she never called back. Allison from Restaurant Business Magazine called looking for David McGern at Storrowtown Tavern. I demanded she send me a free subscription for bothering me with her wrong number, and when she replied that I should speak with her manager Greg Bell I hung up. Eamon called and said he wants to replace Cuadra as his doctor. He also recalled that when Florshein shoes was in Baystate West the owner told him that Baystate West was their worst performing store. Eamon's friend Kayman the tailor told him that "the worst business decision I ever made was moving to Baystate West." He said he wished he had gone to Northampton instead.

Eamon says the state is investigating more than 100 consultants being paid by the Department of Education. Eamon said he has had several conservations with Matthew Doherty, who told him that people in payroll told him that there are about 700 consultants on the Dept. of Ed payroll. I told Eamon that gee, maybe I should become a consultant. He told me I should contact Department head David Driscoll in Malden. Eamon claims that if Driscoll is not in his office, I should call around to the bars in downtown Malden, which is where Eamon hears Driscoll spends most of his time.

October 21, 2000

Sunny, beautiful, 46 degrees at 9am. Gas across from Angelo's is $1.53 per gallon.

Wall Street Week is in its 30th year and will have a special party on November 30th to which the Mayor of West Hartford will be attending. There is also the 25th anniversary of the MacNeil-Lehrer Report. MacNeil was interviewed for about twenty minutes, telling about the history of the show, listing everyone who was involved in the show's creation in a major way, including someone named Jim Wesley. MacNeil retired five years ago but remains active. This is Volleyball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Day in Holyoke. Keystone Plumbing at 555 Cottage Street is now closed.

I called Aunt Maria's and Shirley Whittier answered on the first ring. I told her my reason for calling was to tell her that Big Y is offering Maine lobsters at $5.99 per pound this week, and reminded her how Aunt Maria likes lobster. Shirley told me that she was recently in Ohio and also visited her mother up in Randolph, Vermont. She said Aunt Maria's blue Ford is still roadworthy and is parked in the garage. Shirley said that Aunt Maria's overall attitude is improving. Ruth visits and Aunt Maria sees Edith at church along with Doris and others.

I drove out about 10:30am and got the Valley Advocate and a bag of oranges at Angelo's. The facade of the Breckwood Shops sign cornice is now a lovely hunter green, it must have been painted in the last couple days. I then left off a roll of mystery film at Walmart. I spent the rest of the afternoon until 4:15pm cleaning out the back blackberry patch, which has been invaded by sweet pea bushes. The hedge is a massive headache, really. Salvon was out mowing his lawn and so was Coburn. I asked Coburn if his recent tag sale was worth the trouble and he paused and admitted it was a lot of work but at least he cleaned out his cellar. Barry Simpson was over to Colleen's and there was a green Ford hatchback parked over to Nichols.

Eamon called and said he has just finished a book on Patton. He said he loves Patton and would have liked to have served under him. Personally, I see much wisdom in General Patton and we should have had someone like him in charge of the Vietnam War. Eamon said he got a voicemail message today from Patti Smith urging him to call her at the TV22 direct line 377-1169. When he called it was answered by Mark Wiernasz who said Patti was out. Mark said he hadn't heard whether or not Anthony Ardolino is still in Mayor Albano's office. He also told Eamon that the phones at TV22 have extra security so that their number doesn't show up on phone ID technology. Eamon told me he chatted briefly with Tom Vannah this week, but no mention was made by him of the fake letters controversy.

Eamon asked me for directions to the Berard place so he could check it out. Eamon explained that he has always had trouble with directions and that I am lucky to have such a good concept of spatial relations. Eamon called back later and said he just got back from visiting Fred Berard, who is 85 and has shingles. The house was a mess with dirty laundry everywhere, the bed not made, and a kid running around. They went down to the cellar, which smelled musty and had water on the floor. Eamon was told that the house was built on a swamp that had formerly been a "conservation area." The place was a pigpen as far as Eamon was concerned. Berard told Eamon that he started in the construction business after World War II and built over 1,000 houses, including many in that neighborhood. He served on the City Planning Board for over 17 years and the Building Commission for 20 years. He told Eamon that he once gave $250 to Albano's mayoral campaign but it didn't help when he tried to get jobs for people, complaining that Albano hired instead "dummies who didn't know a rafter from a nail."

October 22, 2000

Blue sky, 52 degrees and rather breezy.

Nader the Hatter sent me a note thanking me for my long letter. Nader also sent me a Ralph Nader for President clipping and urged me to support him for President. David Starr has never thanked me for sending him tickets to the Tuesday Morning Music Club. I am sending Professor Moriarty at Elms From Downtrodden to Dangerous by Kenneth Pomeranz and an old woodcut of Irish laborers that says on it that "Irish bodies were different from 'American' ones and ideally suited for physical labor." Jesse Sobel is the new female reporter on TV22. Dr. Jim Butler is the Pastor of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on Wilbraham Road.

I left this morning at 9:45 and went to McDonald's on Allen Street and had an Egg McMuffin while I read the paper. Then to Food Mart for some trash bags, but then ended up buying everything but the trash bags! Food Mart is really undercutting Big Y on the specials. Then I went to an Open House at 1503 South Branch Parkway. It has a fireplace in the living room and the current owners are moving to a larger house because they have kids. There are nice old cabinets in the kitchen but there were dirty baseboards and other signs that the cleaning was cosmetic. The joke is they want $97,500 for it but the house is definitely worth no more than $70,000. Unknown rang four times at 6:03pm. Dined this evening on a tossed salad from Angelo's and a Red Baron Deep Dish Pizza. It is nothing like Pizzeria Uno, a real rip-off and I will complain.

When I was a child I had a little green wooden wheelbarrow with decals on the side. As Mother's death becomes increasingly remote, her collections of stuff are being gradually cleared out. In a drawer today I found a list of needed home improvements Mother made shortly before she died. Fixing the driveway wasn't on it, but I'm glad I did it. When I was in Rice Hall at the library the other day, I picked up a notice of a book sale at the Pine Point branch on the 21st but ended up missing it because I didn't look at the notice until today. Why didn't the Friends of the Library send me a notice? I predict they are ultimately going to disband the Friends of the Library and start steering people into Quadrangle memberships. Perhaps the Friends of the Library is purposely choosing uninteresting topics for their meetings in order to discourage attendance.

That reminded me that I wanted to call Mary Sheila McElwaine on Meredith Street and get some biographical information on her. She told me she has a Masters degree from the University of Washington at Seattle in Social Work. Her Bachelor's was in English in 1963 and she is currently trying to get her 17 year old son into a good college. McElwaine informed me that Joe Carvalho has a Masters in history from the University of Virginia and a certificate from the Harvard Business School. I gather she dislikes Fran Gagnon because McElwaine complained that Gagnon is always bragging about courses she has taken at Harvard. She also told me she knows some things about me from talking with the Powell's and Belle Rita Novak, who told her that I was "very well brought up and always send thank you notes." So I have been talked over! We discussed the book sale and she said that Janet Edwards "was ripshit over what she found had been tossed in the dumpster after the library book sale." She wanted to complain but "you have to be careful what you say" if you want to stay in the Quad's good graces. She said that "after the big firings of 1995" everyone at the Quad has been afraid to be critical.

The latest Valley Advocate has a great piece by Vannah in his Between the Lines column attacking the Springfield Newspapers:

Union Activity by Tom Vannah

Every few months I get a call from the Springfield Union-News.

The really amazing thing is, I rarely answer the phone between 6:30 and 8pm - the prime time for telemarketers. But when I do, it seems to always be someone asking me if I'd like to get the newspaper delivered. The woman soliciting my business is always very cordial. She listens patiently as I explain that I'm already a regular and loyal reader of the Springfield Newspapers.

"That's great," she'll say politely. "But our records indicate that you're not having the paper delivered to your home. We can do that and right now we have a special...."

That's where I cut her off. With great pride, I tell her that I, too, am in the newspaper racket, and that I get the Union-News at work. We all read it, I enthuse. And not just the Union-News. We love newspapers. We read the Daily Hampshire Gazette and the Greenfield Recorder. We read the Holyoke Sun and some of the other small weeklies. And, of course, the Boston papers. And then we read all sorts of newspapers from around the country, most of which are now available on line. But we especially get a kick out of the Union-News. In fact, I can't imagine what life would be like without it.

After we hang up, I always feel a pang of guilt that I didn't accept her offer. I know I often criticize the Union-News and the Sunday Republican. And I think that, probably to a greater degree than most daily newspapers of its size, the Springfield paper has a lot of problems. But still, the Union-News is an institution in this region. It's the main daily around here, and I'm one who believes that everyone should read a daily newspaper. As much as I'd like to see the Union-News clean up its act, I'm sad to see it falling on hard times. And if my buying a subscription would help it rejuvenate itself, maybe I'd better get out my checkbook.

I think a lot of readers have the same love/hate relationship with the Union-News that I have. Smart readers don't rely on just one paper to tell them the whole truth about anything, but whenever I talk to people about the Union-News, I'm taken by the level of skepticism I encounter. The bigwigs at the paper, Publisher Larry McDermott and President David Starr, have earned a reputation for using their paper in less than forthright ways to meddle in civic affairs, and readers, in turn, probably have a jaundiced view of almost everything they read in its news pages. Still, if you want to keep up with local issues, you have to read the Union-News.

And that's the heartbreaker. In a market filled with interested, often well educated people who love to read newspapers, why can't the Union-News put out a better paper? Maybe it's just a matter of bad karma, but the Union-News seems destined to be second rate...Given the Union-News' tendency to gloss over the Valley's worst social and economic problems in its day to day reporting, it's no shock that it's having trouble dealing with its own fiscal problems. As a loyal reader, I can only wish it would start taking a different approach.

October 23, 2000

Clear sky with stars, 47 degrees at 2am.

WFCR says that in five years the majority of households will be without children. People think that because you don't have children, you don't have anything important to do. G.E. is taking over Honeywell, having bid more than United Technologies of Connecticut. Xerox may file for Chapter 11. How things change! Robert Miller is the Party Chair for the Vermont Progressive Party. Vermont for all Vermonters! T.M. Custom Concrete and Masonry was on Talmadge Drive in Springfield in 1996. Indian Orchard Plumbing and Heating Supply was on Main Street in Indian Orchard in 1998. The Pine Point Library is located at 204 Boston Road.

Tonight was the day of the big wine and cheese gourmet dinner party Fleet Bank invited me to, but then didn't let me come to. I called Mrs. Penniman and had a good time telling her all about my troubles with Fleet. She said she also received an invitation, but threw it away. She continued by saying that "there is nothing good I can say about Fleet" but all her direct deposits ended up there and it is too much trouble to change them. Mrs. Penniman described Fleet as "not very efficient" and said she used to like Valley Bank. The mail came today at 2:30pm by the usual Saturday substitute, and included a whopping IRS refund on Mother's estate tax of $1,130.57, which included $50.53 in interest. The WMass Law Tribune also came today with a story about how WNEC Law School will host a conference on the Supreme Court on October 21st. So the conference was all over by the time time the announcement of it had arrived. I called the Law School Faculty Office and spoke to Carmen and explained the problem. I asked her to forward my complaint to whoever was in charge of the conference and she said that would be Arthur Wolfe. I bid her adieu and that was that.

Michaelann Bewsee was on the news standing in front of the police station Sunday evening demonstrating against police brutality. UMass students were among those participating. There was no mention of the Black Fight Back Day, but I think that was the observance. At one point Nick Morganelli the weatherman was shown standing with the spire of First Church and a part of the Richardson Courthouse in the background as he said "looking towards City Hall." Later he did in fact have a City Hall shot. Eamon called today but I missed him because I was down to CopyCat printers. Olde Tyme Food in East Longmeadow also called while I was out. During the news a Cathy Stapleton called from Ohio on behalf of the American Heart Association, telling me that heart problems kill someone every 33 seconds. She asked if I would volunteer to mail their literature to everyone on my street. I asked her what 16 homes time postage is and she immediately replied $5.28. I told her that expense doesn't include my time, and then I explained to her about how little I think of medical fund drives. I then read her the riot act, telling her explicitly to take me off their list and never call again!

I was out tying up branches this afternoon when a white school bus van turned onto Birchland Avenue at such a rate of speed that an eastbound car honked at it loudly. I got four bundles of branches and one bag of garden waste. The bag ripped, they simply don't have the tensile strength of the bags I've bought in previous years and I will complain. I tried to call Joe Carvalho today, but only got his secretary, the sweet sounding Valerie. She was very polite and remembered who I am. I reminded her that David Starr isn't going to live forever, and he is creating ill will towards the Quadrangle that will be difficult to overcome even after Starr is gone. I told her that I thought the way Sheila McElwaine was treated was unprofessional and that although I have been a frequent critic of the libraries, I have always attacked the institution, not the librarians. I also told her to tell Carvalho that I don't think much of all the publicity he's been getting lately. She suggested I take my complaints to the Friends of the Library President Cathy Joyal, but when I asked for her number she replied "I can't give that to you."

October 24, 2000

Cloudy, 48 degrees at 7:30am.

Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones is 64 today. Some judge has ruled that tattoos are an art and protected by the First Amendment, thereby legalizing tattooing in Massachusetts. American Eagle Outfitters at the Holyoke Mall is hiring. This year's Winchester Square Reunion at the John Boyle O'Reilly Club was held in honor of Walter "Tux" Sullivan, Matty Ryan, Ray Tulles and Dan Crowley. The Buckingham Junior High School Reunion tickets are available from Carole Johnson, Elaine Scott, Ruth Malone or David Montgomery. In 1891, Dr. James Naismith invented basketball at the Springfield YMCA.

Even if the Cecil Group economic report comes out before Thanksgiving as promised, it will still be a year overdue. Linda J. Petrella is the Springfield City Planner. WNEC Economics Professor Michael Meeropol spoke in the Brooks Room of the Wilbraham Library on Alan Greenspan is Not my Hero - A Dissenter's View on October 18th. Meeropol read from his book Surrender: How the Clinton Administration Completed the Reagan Revolution and discussed the upcoming elections.

Did a lot today with a lot of details, some of which may get away. Dined on another Red Baron little pizza with some vegetable soup and a salad. In the evening I had a ham and cheese Hot Pocket. Drove to the city about 9:30am and parked at the Telephone Worker's Credit Union, depositing Mother's estate tax refund with Dede Rodriguez. Then I put out a lot of mail at the Main Post Office, after which I went over to the Peter Pan bus terminal, but there were long lines at both the men's room and McDonald's. The bushes in their Garden Court are growing and their Halloween decorations are up.

I stopped at the Springfield Newspapers building where there was no counter copy. I asked for one, and she asked me if I wanted to buy a copy of the paper. I replied no, I just want to look at the counter copy. She said the counter copy is supposed to be for people who want to buy advertising. After some foot dragging she got one and wrote "counter copy" on it. I didn't make a fuss, but in due time I will. The problem is I don't go in there often enough to pursue the issue. Outside, I ran into Scott Santaniello in his Union-News workman's uniform and he gave me a big smile. I swung by City Hall to pay my taxes, but on the way there I stopped at Antiques on Boland Way, which was having a 25% off sale so I bought a lovely bell with German poetry on it for $18.

I ended up using the toilet at Tower/Baystate where there was no congestion at all. I left some stuff at Edwards Books, where Janet offered to validate my parking. I went through the Sheraton, passing through the lobby where Security Officer 4270 approached me. He said that there is a trespass order against me, to which I replied that I know Picknelly does not want me going up to his floor, but I didn't know the trespass order extended to the entire building. He was friendly enough and I left quietly. There were only three people in Pizzeria Uno at 12:05pm. At the corner of Main and Worthington a large white Waybest Chicken truck honked loudly at some Latino girls walking by, thereby so disturbing me that I plan to complain.

I went to Fleet Bank where I was immediately waited on by Earleen D. Gadreault. She said the boss wasn't in, but soon Assistant Branch Manager Carol E. Quinlivan appeared at her desk. She remembered me, but called me Mr. Wesley, which I politely corrected. I told her that the way the bank treated me over their dinner was unprofessional and uncivil because they didn't have enough seats for everyone invited. I added that I have had nothing but difficulties with Fleet since the merger with Bank of Boston. I was surprised when she agreed with me and offered a $50 gift check as compensation "if that will satisfy you." I accepted, thanked her and departed.

When I got home, Mrs. Staniski called and said she is calling a plumber because she has a clogged drain. I asked her when she wanted me to come over and put up her storm window but she said she and Ann already did that last weekend. Mrs. S. said her doctor is a new woman at 125 Liberty "who has yet to learn the niceties of dealing with old people." She told me she had to have a blood test and EKG.

I called Eamon and he has been up to East Otis over the weekend. He said he was talking with a friend, an Italian who was brought up in Springfield but who now only visits Springfield once a month or so. He told Eamon he thinks the summer concerts downtown are good, but there is still no place to shop. Eamon asked him what he thought of Albano's Entertainment District and he responded confidently and without pause, "Oh, that's just a money laundering operation." He told Eamon that all the major Entertainment District businesses are either "directly or indirectly" owned by the mob, claiming that the amount of actual trade they do is irrelevant, since their primary purpose is to simply launder the illegally made money from mob scams. The friend told Eamon that he is friends with West Springfield IRS agent McGrath, who told him that the Mardi Gras is one of the worst tax offenders, with even the strippers cheating by using phony names and not reporting their income. He also repeated that Tommy McNamara, called Tommy Mac, has Victor Bruno on his TicToc liquor license, although McNamara isn't doing very well since they moved him off of Worthington into the South End.

October 25, 2000

Sunny and 61 degrees at noon.

Talk is cheap.

AT&T is breaking into four companies, a better word would be disintegrating. TV22 says the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut is expanding again. Robert J. Brink is the Executive Director of the Social Law Library in Boston.

I had pizza from Tony's in Pine Point for lunch today. I found a broken beer bottle (Bud) under my dumpster, all the trash went first thing this morning. Mrs. Staniski dropped off on the gate two Harvard Gazettes from Ann and the Al Gore book. I always tell her there is never a rush about returning things. Walked the Bethel paper down to Mrs. Penniman's and she told me that the man across the street at 65 Birchland is legally blind and is originally from Vermont. She says he is unable to work, but babysits his little kids. At 9:20am I called Jill the receptionist at Waybest Chicken in South Windsor, Connecticut. She connected me with one of the owners Jack Gordon and I told him about the horn honking incident at the corner of Main and Worthington at 11:55am yesterday and the resultant ringing in my ears. He agreed their trucks "make a loud sound" and said he would speak to the driver. I left my name and our parting was pleasant.

Then I called New England Fidelity and asked them if they have been placed in liquidation. Someone named Melissa said "You'll have to call the Mass Department of Insurance about that." I asked for their number and she said, "I don't have it, you can get that from Information." I hung up, as they were as surly as you can get without being openly impolite. Someone from First Securities called saying I should hire them "because of our expertise in high tech stocks." I told him my broker is A.G. Edwards and I have no interest in high tech stocks. He seemed amazed, exclaiming, "You have no interest in high tech stocks?" then hung up. Finally, someone named John called asking, "Is this Storrowtown?" I suggested he consult a phone book.

Put two more ripened tomatoes in the refrigerator. I was raking the lawn for part of the afternoon, hauling four tarps of leaves out to the treebelt. Taking up leaves has been pretty easy this year because the weather was mild and the leaves were dry, so dragging the tarp was easy. In the mail today I received an Albano bumpersticker with an announcement that he is running for re-election for mayor. Eamon has a wonderful new editorial today that hits on all the issues:

Springfield's dull in the extreme downtown lacks the diversity and density of people and places to make it work economically. A healthy mix of retail stores, fine restaurants, free parking, employee shoppers, tourists and conventioneers is missing. Some tacky bars and a few strip joints in a so-called Entertainment District run by wise guys as a money laundering operation creates an unhealthy environment attracting vagrants, bums, prostitutes and the kind of people not conducive to attracting businesses to a dead downtown.

I called Eamon and left a message saying this is one of the best telephone answering machine editorials he's ever done.

October 26, 2000

66 degrees in the breezeway at 7:30pm.

Ocean Spray the cranberry juice makers claim there is an oversupply of cranberries. So why don't they reduce the price? Ms. Gloria Steinhem is in the area addressing the Woman's Fund. Former WNEC President Beverly Miller lives at 3 Brookside Road in Wilbraham, a barn red colonial with a breezeway and a two car garage on the corner of Wilbraham Road about a block beyond Owen Flynt's place.

I drove out to the Wilbraham Town Offices and Dottie said T.P. Sullivan the Tax Collector is not in today, but Janet Costa was very helpful. She said that everybody has thirty days from when they receive their tax bill to pay. I paid my bill and congratulated her on her professionalism. I left Wilbraham at 9:35am and drove into downtown Springfield. First I stopped by the old Heritage in the Acres and they still have a sign up about safety deposit boxes. Out back cement blocks are going up on the old hardware store site.

As I came down Wilbraham Road, a little white Honda Civic sped by me, 1158 EV, going 40mph in a 35mph zone. There was a red light at Breckwood, which brought them to a stop, so I tooted my horn as if to ask where did all that speeding get you? The light changed and they zoomed on, until they were stopped again by the light at Watershops/Alden. I tooted again. When I tooted a third time after we were stopped at Roosevelt Avenue, I finally got their attention. A bunch of young guys in baseball caps stuck their heads out the windows so I waved and shouted, "Why all the rush?" They were stopped once again at Mason Square, but I didn't toot and they finally turned in at the Mason Square McDonald's.

When I arrived downtown I went to the Post Office and picked up an enormous catalog for Office Depot, which has cheaper prices on typewriter ribbons than I get from Reliable. I spent no time fooling around downtown and drove right back to shop at Angelo's Fruits and Vegetables. However, on Boston Road I came upon the cutest little parade, an authentic happening with signs and pennants and wonderfully dressed people. I pulled into Barber Street and got out my camera, soon discovering that this was the Massachusetts Interfaith Prison Pilgrimage and it was being led by none other than Michaelann Bewsee. I asked her to stop and took a couple of pictures. I think she was thrilled that I showed up and photographed her from the way she giggled. I took pictures of all the others and a tall man in tan gave me their brochure. As they trodded on I got back into my car and parked at Our Lady of Sacred Heart and crossed the street to Angleo's.

From there I drove to Walmart to leave off my camera film, which they said will be ready by Saturday. I got home before noon and caught the news. They said that 10 percent of the schools in Massachusetts have no libraries, whereas all the schools in Vermont have them. Lorraine Plasse was on saying that the books at Brookings School are old and outdated. There was also a story saying that ARISE has abandoned its lawsuit for ward representation, but they will continue to campaign for City Council candidates who support the concept. Bewsee must be sad about that, but the hike today in the fresh air must have lifted her spirits.

Eamon called and said he is going to watch the World Series. He has bought an alligator watch strap from Willie Switzer for $50, which cost $200 dollars when he saw one just like it in Boston. Eamon says he hasn't received the results of his prostate screening, saying he'd just as soon not since they will probably want to sell him further testing. Eamon claims that he has to take five medications a day "otherwise I'd be dead." He also suggested that I read a good article in the latest Chronicle of Higher Education by the Dean of Columbia University on the future of education.

Eamon told me that when he was in Otis he went to Shaw Pond with the Whitcomb family. He also said that Patti Smith of TV22 called today and informed him that she is a Columbia graduate. Eamon advised her to stop by the License Commission and look at the names on the licenses to see who is really running the so-called Entertainment District. He also talked to her about the need for term limits and at one point she agreed with him that the political coverage of the Springfield Newspapers is inadequate.

October 27, 2000

55 degrees and overcast at 10am.

The news says that 143 were killed in the last few days of violence called the Palestinian Days of Rage. The latest presidential poll for Massachusetts says 52% of Mass voters plan to vote for V.P. Gore, 28% want Governor Bush and only 8% want Nader. Ralph Nader is suing the commission that organized the presidential debate in Boston, which refused to let him in even though he had a ticket. Nader complained he wasn't even allowed to watch the debate from a side auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Boston campus. Associates First Capital, a Sears spin-off I have always considered jackasses, has merged with Citicorp. The Springfield Homeowners Fair will be November 18th at the High School of Science and Technology. It is sponsored by Mayor Albano, Banknorth and Hampden Savings. Peter Picknelly lives in a Tudor style home at 330 Park Drive in Springfield.

I forgot to mention that yesterday when I came by Fleet Bank in the Acres, where the old Heritage/Shawmut was, there were four kids with skateboards edging the curbs and terraces around the building. While I was watching the news today, I heard a rapping on the breezeway door and it was Ken Mills, the leaf man. He's about 22, tanned, thin and doesn't have a business card. Mills lives at 19 Edendale Street between Page Boulevard and Carew. He is of Italian, French and English ancestry and is married with three kids. He suggested that for $40 he will take away all my leaves and I agreed. He asked if I have any old furniture or antiques I want to sell, he said he's not a dealer but wants stuff for himself.

Spoke briefly today with Richard E. Onofrey Jr. about the Massachusetts Fire Assurance Company merger of 1927 and their archives. We discussed my CLU Journal article, naturally. Next I called David Montgomery of 67 Tallyho about the Buckingham Reunion this weekend. He said it is a three day event costing $55, with t-shirts extra. He said the Quadrangle put together some historical material for them, but he had never heard of my booklet on the history of Buckingham Junior High School. I told him how the Mason Square branch had a copy, but threw it out. He said he's heard that "they've thrown out a lot of things they shouldn't have." The weekend consists of a Friday night fish fry at the Waterfront, cocktails and dinner at the Oakes on Saturday, and jazz on Sunday at the Nights of Columbus on Page Boulevard.

I then called Arlene Mackey, the church secretary at Wesley United Methodist Church. She said their centenary banquet will be on November 18th. She says she thinks they will accept a restricted $100 gift, but said I should contact the minister Rev. Corella Brown. I recalled how Mrs. Staniski was Dorothy Smith's assistant and attending Irwin Evans furneral. We also discussed a number of things, including the burning of the original church and the many pictures I took of its demolition. I voiced my opinion that the demolition of the original church was unnecessary. I told her about how I was there when the beautiful stained glass windows were placed in a moving truck to be used in a pizza parlor in Seattle. I suggested to her that the church archives should be donated to the Quadrangle. Our conversation ended with my telling her how my parents were one of a handful who stayed after the congregation turned black, but they felt compelled to leave when the church was torn down.

Voiceless called at 3:33pm. Eamon called and said he went down to his tailor this morning and "downtown was as dead as a doornail." His tailor told him his rent is $2,000 per month and that he gets most of his business from stock brokers and lawyers. However, he said that overall business is slow. In fact, Eamon said that no customers came into the shop while he was there. According to the tailor, some merchants are getting very substantial tax breaks to be downtown, such as the antique shop and art gallery. He said Dunkin Donuts in Tower Square did good business for a while when it first opened, but it died out. Eamon informed me that the immense space in the old Valley Bank is still empty with a sign saying to contact the Fleet Bank Real Estate Department if you want to rent.

October 29, 2000

Sunny and 44 degrees at 8am.

First day of Eastern Standard time, the clocks being set back yesterday. Suffolk University is having a two day conference on bullying. Studies find that women bosses do more bullying than men, and women bully female employees more than men. So women are the worst bullies and they bully other women more than men. Hampden Savings Bank is starting a first time homebuyer's club. It's been several weeks since I've seen a Hampden Bank TV commercial. I recently noted that Westbank now has signs in the same shade of black and orange as Hampden. I wonder if they both hired the same ad agency. For breakfast today I went over to the McDonald's on Allen Street and had a sausage McMuffin and read the paper.

Went to the Antique Fair at the Expo today, and on my way to the sale I noticed that over the driveway between Muhammad's Mosque and the old Monarch print shop is a sign that reads Unity Mall. At the fair I bought a large Swiss cowbell for $35 from Jake Jakiel of Victorian Times Antiques. I also bought several lots of postcards and 15 stereo images at two dollars apiece. I now have 200 choice stereo pictures bought inexpensively in bits and pieces over a decade. The viewer I bought for only $75. Susan Smith the book dealer wasn't there, and the Matrix Gallery guy told me he's in chemotherapy. Robert T. Brown the ephemeris thanked me for the copy I gave him of Aunt Jennie's Poems, saying it's "very well done." I bought nothing from him this time. At Spice of Life I bought an Estev Organ No. 444949 for $175. I left the Industrial Arts building via the side door and arrived home at 11:50 with some light snow falling. As I went into the house I spotted Kelly walking her dog.

I forgot to mention that on the way back I swung by the Open House at 95 Patricia Circle. It's a colonial where they have rebuilt almost everything until really it is a brand new house in an old shell. Even the lawn has been reseeded with new shrubs. Still, I feel the house was overpriced. The real estate agent was Carrie Fisher, and I told her she doesn't look as good on her business card as she does in real life. When I got home I cleaned the organ up and stamped my name in it and played it. The sound is simply beautiful. I'm glad I went to the Antique Show this year. I called both Eamon and Mrs. Staniski and played it for them over the phone. I then called Aunt Maria and Shirley picked up after one ring. She said my Aunt spent the morning listening to Fantasia. Shirley described Aunt Maria's condition as "stable" I played the organ for Shirley and she said it sounded good and the price seemed reasonable, although she admitted that she doesn't know anything about antiques. She asked if it was snowing in Springfield like in Agawam and I said yes. Finally, I called and left a message with Bewsee at ARISE saying that I have ten pictures of the march for prisoners and she may have them for a thank you note.

I hope Vince and Claudia Robillard aren't selling their shop, as they have sold me many things over the years and we have done kindnesses for each other. Dined tonight on a Hearty Man Roast Beef Dinner with a tossed salad that included the second of my little tomatoes. I turned on the furnace this evening, it's been off for a long time but when the thermometer starts slipping below freezing at night it's time to turn it on. Eamon called and said that Rich Tettemer's assistant at TV22 has been named Director of Sports for Western New England College. Eamon also heard from Baystate Hospital that his prostate is somewhat enlarged and the results have been sent to the Vets Administration in Holyoke.

October 31, 2000

Overcast and 41 degrees at 7:30am.

They had 13 inches of snow yesterday in Allagash, Maine and 6 inches in some places in Vermont. A commentator on TV57 said that Sen. Joe Lieberman "has lost all the things about him that were attractive, such as his independence and integrity." That is sad. 180,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. Dowboro House Antiques is in Lochmere, New Hampshire. Falcetti Music has stores in Springfield, Chicopee and Pittsfield. The Community Music School of Springfield and Yamaha Corporation of America are having a special piano sale. I see that the Springfield Conservatory of Music is now located at the former Arthur Johnson photo studio on Sumner Avenue. I'll have to stop in there sometime.

The parking lot and the Greenleaf athletic field next to the 16 Acres Library is all dug up. The State Street hill by the Armory was beautifully paved this summer, but now they have dug a trench in the new pavement from the vacant lot by Commerce up to Federal/Hancock. The mail brought a Sentry Insurance policy bill for $9 and my semiannual statement from A.G. Edwards. I also received a very diplomatic letter from Moriarty at Elms saying, "Sorry I can't respond to all your correspondence, but I read them with interest." That will do. I got a postcard from Paul Fussell with a couple of errors whited out. He may be an old man and unable to do more.

Someone rang seven times at 3:48pm. Leonard Collamore's phone was constantly busy between 4:30 and 7pm, but I finally got through and he actually sounded grateful when I told him of the Oak Knoll Catalog offering of Henry Vignaud on Columbus and Toscanelli (1929) for $15. I myself bought the Goodspeed biography from the catalog for $35. I called Barnes and Noble and the man said that Sealt's Closing the Door is being published by Vantage, a vanity house, and no word on when it will be out. I then called Friendly's and got Marty Chagon in Human Resources She handled the call very professionally and I was pleasant. I said that I am a stockholder and with the stock values having fallen so low, I think they should sell out at once to Ruby Tuesday and be done with it. I said the President and Secretary of Friendly's should dine at a Ruby Tuesday and not to miss the bargain salad bar with any entree. She replied, "Thank you for calling."

I chatted with Mrs. Penniman about my new organ. She said her husband is not doing well and has been in bed for the last few days. She also said her daughter was up from New York for the weekend so she missed the antique sale. The news said that the Election Commission has hired extra help to send out absentee ballots, and one of the new hires was Brian Santaniello! Also on the news, Sy Becker had a story about a Greenfield charity that helps old ladies called The George Davenport Generosity Fund.

Much of today was spent removing materials from the 1999 and 2000 MLA programs and mounting them on bibliographical noteslips. I also worked on my papers in the basement. I have moved Little Red Riding Hood to Father's bed and placed tulips against Mother's headboard. I am going to place the print Old Time English Merrymaking in the parlor on the sofa. The dealer said the frame has the original glass. For lunch I had oranges, broccoli and a cheese sandwich. I have one last little tomato that is ripening. For supper, I had Tony's Pine Point Pizza and a can of Progresso Pea Soup.

There is something fishy about the recent activities of Peter Picknelly. Eamon called and said he is almost always in bed by 9pm. He also recalled how his mother had three sisters, one whose house was full of bric-a-brac. One of Eamon's sisters claims to know for sure that minorities in Holyoke bring their kids to East Springfield to go trick or treating. He also said he spoke to F. Berard on Sunday and Fred is lowering the price on his big place by $20,000 to $200,000, but Eamon thinks it is only worth $175,000.

Eamon believes that organized crime has been big in Springfield for at least 40 years. He recalled the time that he ran into Skyball and Baba Scibelli when he was out with Norm Vester and they told Norm, "Take care of that little guy" referring to Eamon. Eamon recently spoke with Tony Ravosa, who said he used to see Dennis Murphy in his bar with Melinda Phelps. How many girlfriends does Murphy have? If Melinda is married to Frank Faulkner, then who was the male who answered the phone when I called a couple of times last summer while Faulkner was in Ireland?

A friend at the courthouse told Eamon that Dennis Murphy voluntarily went to the FBI at the start of the corruption investigation and was wearing a wire for two months. According to Eamon's friend, on it Murphy captured evidence of A. Ardolino making a bribe. Eamon believes Murphy went to the FBI first because he felt it would be to his benefit in "saving his own ass." The FBI is mad because Murphy refused to wear a wire at a meeting with Soco Catjakis and Mayor Albano. Eamon told me that some cop told him that Murphy is suspected of taking a $35,000 bribe and Valerie Barson is somehow involved. He claims that Murphy has hired a Boston lawyer to help him deal with the FBI. Eamon regrets no longer being able to get all the information he wants anytime from Brian McLaughlin of the FBI, now retired. Eamon complained once again that the local TV stations too often just report what is in the paper and don't develop their own stories. He finally hung up because the news was coming on.

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