82 degrees at 3:15pm.
The big event today was the coming of Roy to inspect my oil burner. Up at 6:30am and went to Pride to make copies. They had no Valley Advocates and I was back home at 7:05 just as Lynch was leaving his house. As I opened the garage door I saw Ciantras walking quickly by hoping not to speak to me. I said hi to him and said a couple of other nice things. Penniman was in his garage and we exchanged waves. Some geraniums are sprouting, I cut them back. Purple Iris are out, I photographed Sweet Pea and Honey Pot by them. Roy arrived in his Punderson truck at 12:30pm. He found a puddle of water under the oil tank and left at 1:50pm.
Went out after Roy left and put out the mail with Joanne at Breckwood, where I ran into retired Officer Brown in sandals and shorts. He said the Powell's are annoyed over the painting of Albano's Clean City campaign slogans on city trucks. Heading down to the Square, I noticed that the Motorcycle Building along State has their broken windows covered in plywood painted green. I went into the Martin Luther King Center for posters and found a special one for a meeting held at the Cherry Bomb Lounge on State Street to plan the Schoolfield Classic basketball tournament. The city had to pay $700,000 to the Schoolfield family in 1999 and I fully support their claims.
Next I bought gas at Cumberland Farms at the X and passed through the Goodwill. Over the freebie stand there is a fine color snapshot of Farmer's Market clients with their names below, one of which is Jessica Knox, Belle-Rita's mother. Then I drove over to the Longmeadow Shops to get posters off their bulletin boards. Big Y in Longmeadow was giving about priceline.com cards. Went to Stop & Shop in East Longmeadow and they have one toilet, most inadequate compared to their newer stores. That Stop & Shop was originally an Edwards. None of the places I went are close by if you consider the price of gas.
Dined on Stop & Shop rotisserie chicken and Spanish rice. Called and left word with Melinda McIntosh about the City Library book sale. Called Tom Vannah to alert him to the new Western Mass Law Tribune, whose editor and publisher is Vincent M. Valvo. Unknown called four times but I didn't answer. Eamon called and said that at the dedication of the Boland School, Eddie Boland talked about former Armory School teachers but Eamon doesn't think that all of the names he mentioned actually taught at Armory.
Boland mentioned May Abbey several times. She used to say there are two ways of spreading light, be the candle or be the mirror that reflects it, a decidedly Victorian analogy. Miss Abbey had compassion for poor children and often said, "You are a king by your own fireside as much as any Monarch on a throne." A Miss Batchelder used to say, "I can resist anything but temptation." Miss Wells, Mrs. Melville (her husband taught at Tech, Eamon thinks) and Miss Gritzmarker were teachers Eamon remembered from Van Sickle. Gritzmarker was very masculine and could throw kids up against the blackboard. She was good friends with Wells and they may have been lesbian lovers. Most of Eamon's teachers were "old maids." Eamon told me that Tom Devine called his phone editorial twice today.
Sunny, cool,clear with low humidity.
There is a story on the front page of the Globe about the Rev. Donald B. Cozzens saying the "priesthood is or is becoming a gay profession." Matt B. and Jason B. (aka Crash and Burn) held a Haunted Woods Nigh on Halloween 1998 at 205 Fairlawn Street in the 16 Acres section of Springfield. I left word on Leonard Collamore's phone about the New Haven Columbus statue. I also told him about the postcards from Jacobs at the Matrix Gallery. I wish I thought he was serious about collecting Columbus stuff, I've given him plenty of help but have never actually seen the collection.
One of the plastic pieces over the back breezeway window fell last night with heavy rain, but no water came in. There are branches down, a big one by the front Maple. A lot in the street. At 12:24pm today I spotted a chipmunk sunning itself on the brick pedestal by the grill, the first this year. My books from Oak Knoll came today, lovely books with fancy green binding. One book has a picture of Romantics scholar Hyder Edward Rollins where he looks like an anemic fellow pretending to read in a chair in front of the fireplace. It originally sold for $25.50, I paid $25. I spent an hour overlooking my new Cabinet of Irish Literature, a lovely set I'm considering giving to Elms, but Eamon says they wouldn't know what to do with it.
Took Heckler, Dunnigan and Grossman and loaned them to 141 down the street, who loaned me two volumes by Robert D. Kaplan, which he is sure I will like. Sent out mail today to Moynihan, Chimney Corner Antiques, Business Solutions subscription, LaRose, Tom Vannah and Garrett. My next stop was the St. Paul United Methodist Church tag sale. The church and parsonage front lawn was covered with loads of stuff,but not a lot that was particularly desirable. Saw an Olympic typewriter, priced at $10 and I gave them $7 for it. Like new, but dusty. They had an Olympic in the Teacher's Assistant room at the University of Wisconsin which I used a lot so I'm familiar with it. The lid was too high so I always used the Madison machine with the lid off. I have placed this model on the dining room table, Mother's side, and have the lid off and it hums along just fine and I prefer the elite type. So I could pull both of the Royals out of service and fall back on the portable and this 1970's Olympia.
Had toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I parked about 12:40pm on Dwight and wore my orange overalls, Bookends t-shirt, collar, chain and dog tag, freshly shaved head except for Apache, biker jacket and boots with purple socks. I walked down Bridge and came to an antique car show in the Steiger Rogenbagengarten. The wind blew over a sign with literature affixed to it at Bridge and Main. As I was passing 300 Bridge Street I saw there is a new store specializing in art deco and modern furniture. Was Altman the furrier in that space?
At the car show I spoke to Keith Korbut, who was selling a 1938 Buick, about selling my 1935 Ford, which I described to him. He said I should get on the internet and contact the Ford Owner's Club. He said some people collect different years, some all from the same year. The auto show was a real success with a lot of Rolls Royces and other luxury cars, a Duryea and some old Indian motocycles. No Edsels. Lots of people taking pictures. There was a drawing for a tailgate basket by the Union-News which I entered twice, for myself and Eamon. Attendance was multicultural and cut across all socioeconomic planes. There were about 300 people attending at the time I was there. Harvey Clay, tall and talkative, told me he never played basketball or football but did play ping-pong.
There were three Peter Pan buses in front of the Civic Center. The Basketball Hall of Fame had a little booth set up on Court Square passing out a glitzy magazine. The art shop in Baystate West was not open. At the Convention & Visitor Bureau the Armory Museum poster was still up. I went inside and noticed that their door was propped open with a white spiral binder. Although I didn't trip on it, I did hit it with my foot as I walked in. I told the woman behind the counter about it and she sassed me saying, "Nobody is around, what's the matter with the entrance?" I said I nearly tripped going in. She insisted it wasn't a problem. I asked her name and offered her my card but she snapped, "I know your name!" She refused to give me hers and demanded that I leave, which I did, but she followed me outside and seemed to be looking for security officers. She was bossy, cranky and someone with questionable credentials for working in public promotion.
The Gay Pride Block Party used to be down on Hampden by Just Friends, the most wholesome of the city's gay bars. Last year's party in Riverfront Park was largely a success. This year it was held in a new outdoor spot behind MARS. The Pub had balloons and had maybe 30 people in there when I passed through. Everybody had copies of The Pink Pages and other queer publications. I paid $5 to get into the perimeter. There were only five tables compared to the twenty or so last year. They were giving away wonderful little multicolored flags. I was in there maybe five minutes and came home having done my duty and given them my support.
Eamon's latest phone editorial says that the Football Hall of Fame in Canton draws 375,000 visitors per year, Baseball in Cooperstown get 400,000, Yankee Candle claims 1.2 million and the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield draws a mere 70,000. Eamon called and we had a long chat. He got a letter from the Fire Chief inviting him to the groundbreaking Wednesday June 11th for the Raymond Sullivan Memorial Fire Station. Eamon said he can't go because he is already scheduled to be consulting in Cambridge that day. He wrote back telling the Chief that the city is a mess, but he hopes the fire station named after his brother will be something positive. Eamon then complained to me that by putting an emphasis downtown on restaurants, the city is putting all its eggs in one basket. He said he has received two anonymous calls from people claiming that the Hall of Fame is considering relocating to Orlando, Florida. Eamon believed the Hall's recent round of pay cuts indicates far deeper problems than they are admitting to.
Eamon said he spoke with Thomas Haggarty of North Adams, who took his kid to Forest Park for the first time and was aghast at the condition of the park. He said the park was filled with blacks, Puerto Ricans and cars with Connecticut license plates. Eamon also told me he ran into Joe Falcone, someone he hasn't seen for years, up to Stop & Shop and they talked for half an hour. Falcone is an old retired typesetter for the Springfield Newspapers, who complained that when the Newhouse's took over "they screwed everybody out of their pensions." Falcone was active in the union, but couldn't get them to sue the company because most employees didn't want trouble. He was with the paper for 41 years and hated to say what he was getting for a pension. Back in 1941 there was a strike, but a lot of employees were strike breakers, including Eamon's Aunt Ellen O'Connor, a linotype operator close to Mary Gallagher. Eamon's dad, a loyal union man from the Chicopee rubber plant, was pretty sore at Ellen for strike breaking. During the strike, even Sherman Bowles drove a truck and after the strike failed all the scabs were taken care of.
Joe Falcone accused Republican Company Treasurer Sidney Cook of "doing something he would have gone to jail for" and when the Newhouses found out they demanded he cooperate with their plans or they would turn him in. Falcone had a chance to switch to papers in Hartford and New York where the unions were stronger, but he wanted to stay in Springfield. Eamon then told me a story about a Dell Forni, a typesetter in Ad Alley. He wanted a raise and got into an argument with his boss Nick Zades, the foreman who was known for his terrible temper. They got into a shouting match that ended with Zades yelling his refusal and then he ordered Forni to do some sweeping up. Someone must have gone and told him what was happening because suddenly through the double back doors came Sherman Bowles, demanding to know what was going on. He ended up granting Forni a pay raise larger than he asked for and then he grabbed the broom from Forni and thrust it at Zades shouting, "Why don't you sweep the floor!" Eamon said that Bowles used people and that his employees were deathly afraid of him, but on the occasion of the big fight between Forni and Zades, Bowles stood up for the little guy.
Overcast and 68 degrees at 1:45pm.
June is Violence Prevention Month. With a major earthquake yesterday in Indonesia, who needs war to control population growth? Literary studies are so dumb they go around and around in circles without considering all the possibilities. I'm going to give Eamon the Conservative Union's book about Hillary Clinton when I finish it. Moles have started growing on my body in profusion. They start out small but get bigger.
At 10:20am I went down to the Breckwood Shops and sent mail to Morton Baker, Frank Faulkner of Hungry Hill Magazine, North Atlantic Books, the Harvard Club, Wesleyan University and Shelburne Bay. At CopyCat I ran into Mrs. Boyle preparing invitations to her daughter's PhD party. Her doctorate is in International Relations. Mrs. Boyle gave me a copy after I told her it was for my archives and I promised not to come. She said she has never heard of my archives. The party will be at Helen Boyle's house on Patricia Circle in Springfield. We discussed books and she asked me what I intended to do with my library. I said that since nobody has ever given me a job around here, I'll probably have to sell my books to support me in my old age. She was surprised I knew of the Cathedral of Learning.
From there I went to Angelo's and got a lot of nice things. I dined exclusively on fruits and vegetables today. When I got home Mr. Cohn was out so I asked him where his blue and white SHALOM flag is and he said he gave it to his wife to clean and it was ruined in the wash. I told him how Johnson's Bookstore had a problem with their book bags running. In my yard I took pictures of Sweet Pea and Honey Pot in the grass. One of Mother's favorite plants was the Baby's Breath which had been her father's, but it died when transplanted to our camp in Wilbraham. Until close to the end Mother had perfect handwriting.
I washed the kitchen floor. The mail came late but there was plenty of it. In the phone book I happened to stumble upon a Jodi Fearebay of Point Grove Road in Southwick. I wonder if she is any relation to to George Renfrew Fearebay, the jailbird from Maine who claimed to have a relationship with Grandmother Wilson? I called Reeds Landing and told Elizabeth I was accepting their invitation to lunch on the 29th. Chandler J. Howard is the Executive Vice President of Fleet Bank. Next month, the Fleet Branch located at 1930 Wilbraham Road is consolidating with their Boston Road branch. That means my safety deposit boxes will be relocated even further from home. I called the number on the letter and Mrs. Reardon picked up directly. She said she doesn't want to move any more than I do. I told her I got my boxes there so they would be close by and I don't appreciate them being relocated to Timbuktu. She said she is sorry but their branch is closing on July 28th.
60 degrees and raining at 9am.
This is the 56th anniversary of D-Day and the grand opening of the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. The sale of residential single family homes in the Greater Springfield area dropped 15% during April, according to a report by the Greater Springfield Association of Realtors. Donald J. Devine is Second Vice-President of the American Conservative Union.
The white lilac in front of the bathroom window has sprouted again and hopefully will grow until mature. The one several years ago died. The rain has drowned the peonies, I'm so happy I photographed my dolls Sweet Pea and Honey Pot with them. Reading the Hillary Clinton book and so far it has talked mostly about Bill's affairs. It's a good summary. I am also reading Deena Weinstein on Heavy Metal, which I have decided is my genre rather than punk. It's an extremely well done book, however, I think her very limited comments on homosexuality may be off base. She claims that most Heavy Metal fans hate queers but she doesn't mention the leather and hyper-masculine crowd. She underestimates the role of S&M in it all.
I put on my bondage helmet real snugly about noon and left it on until 6pm. Being in a bondage hood is rather like being in a separate world. It blocks out distractions and makes concentration possible. A perfect meditation setting. I had trouble reading because I couldn't put my glasses under the hood, but now I have rigged up my old glasses with a post office rubber band so I can put the glasses over the hood. It works fine.
Nobody on the street put out recycling trash this Wednesday, but I did first thing. I have never received a proof from the PMLA of my tiny piece that they are publishing for the 2000 issue. My refund check from A.G. Edwards came in the mail today. I also got a $5.80 royalty check from sales of The Reports of Sir Edmond Coke in Verse for the past six months. Jennifer Ratajczak is Director of the Royalty Department.
Dined on the last of the Spanish rice, two hot dogs and some fruit. I am eating too much, I cook something and it's more than I should eat at one meal, but I hate to throw anything away. I have cut back dramatically on fries and fried food and burger and other meat since Mother departed. I eat lots more veggies and salad. Mother always had plenty of fruit, but her dislike of broccoli and sprouts was a problem. I still have my little barbells on a mat and every morning when I go out I lift them over my head. Right arm doing okay, left side having trouble making it. The confessions of a wimp.
Eamon called and said he has just received in the mail some literature from Nader the Hatter about Florida condos, urging him to move down there, but Eamon says he can't stand hot, humid weather saying, "We'll see how much the Hatter likes Florida when summer comes." Larry McDermott has printed a Sunday editorial praising Dr. Negroni and Eamon said that if Negroni is so good, then why do so many schools have a worst placed ranking? I asked Eamon why he isn't still working and he said that even if you have good ideas, if you are not on top you can't get anything done. He figured there was no sense in just standing around so he was better off out of it. Fortunately, he has a wonderful pension.
Eamon then recalled how he was Springfield's Director of Emergency Preparedness from 1959-62 under Mayor Tommy O'Connor. He was responsible for putting up 32 siren horns around the city. He put in reserve fuel oil tanks and back up generators in all the hospitals, many of which are still in place. Much of it was built with surplus property from Westover. Eamon mentioned how John C. Parker, who lived on upper Union, told him that Westover Field was the finest airfield in the state and noted that Concords could land there. Parker used to write letters to the editor on all sorts of topics, designed Cape Cod style homes and claimed he did his best work at 3am soused with sherry. Eamon said Municipal Hospital is considered the highest point in the city and that a Rev. Avery from the Council of Churches opposed some of the security measures. Eamon was interviewed 75 times on television, including once with Tom Colton. Mayor O'Connor complained to him, "Who's the mayor, you or me? You're in the media more than I am!" Eamon has been friends with everyone and knows everything.
A lovely day, 54 degrees at 6am.
In the news, there was an explosion at Putnam High when a kid mixed Coke and Drano in a can, closed the lid and ran. By telling us exactly how it was done, I could now do that myself. The Chamber of Commerce breakfast honored six teachers and the tenth anniversary of the Business Education Collaborative. Sylvia Nadeau-Poole is in charge of getting businesses involved. Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas are located at 1500 Main Street in Springfield. Susan Houle is the secretary to Melinda Phelps. Ginger Marszalek is a licensed agent at Hampden Insurance.
Mother's yellow rose bush, which she gave to Mrs. Staniski, is in full bloom. The bell that Aunt Mabel gave my parents when they got married I have placed in Mother's urn. My main thrust today was getting out the rest of my June correspondence. I wrote and sent mail to Deena Weinstein in DePaul sociology, the Appellate Tax Board, Luttrell, subscription payment to the Herald, Kathy Tobin at TV40 and Gareffi at TV22. They were all mailed from the Breckwood Louis & Clark. Shortly after 9am, I drove out to Fleet and deposited $200 from my A.G. Edwards check. I came through the Goodwill but bought nothing. Made copies at Pride in the Acres where they had the current Hungry Hill Magazine, which has a picture of Police Commissioner Melinda M. Phelps in County Kerry where Springfield police officers are marching in a parade in Tralee.
I stopped and bought squash at Angelo's and Angelo himself told me local peas may be around next week. Then I went to Redbrick Books but bought nothing. The lady working there said they have their annual sales in May and October. Went to McDonald's by there, which has a Burger King right next door (Allen Street has a Wendy's right next door). I bought a burger for $1.39 and a small order of fries which I dunked in sweet and sour sauce. Went downtown and parked on Boyleston behind the Union-News. I dropped off something for Onslow, then stopped in at Just Friends. The same thirty-something I spoke to at the block party was there and told me about 200 attended. He was flattered when I told him I thought last year's gay pride event was fabulous. I dropped off material at Robinson-Donovan, where the receptionist kept getting one call after another. I told her it is wonderful how she holds up under all those calls. Later I was surprised to encounter her and a girlfriend coming out of Dunkin Donuts and I told her I was glad to see her taking a break.
The art gallery in Baystate West wasn't open. I went into the antique shop and he said he is only open from 11 to 1 on weekdays. Stopped at Morgan Stanley where John S. Bonitakis told me that interest rates on CD's are falling "because of what Greenspan did to the economy." Their offices are fancier than A.G. Edwards, but not as fancy as when they were on the corner of State and Main. Went over to the Court Square Building and found where a number of shops are empty including Branchini's Eros Lingerie. When I got back, Melinda McIntosh called and said she can't make the sale on Saturday but she's sure she'll run into me soon. The mail brought two leaflets from Hampden Insurance and my certificate from the Wisdom Hall of Fame. The trash and recyclables were picked up early, Kelly's leaf bags were wet and disintegrated on the bottom leaving a clump of leaves on the ground. The news said more men are resisting marriage because liberated women are unreliable. Gays have always had their fun without responsibility or financial danger.
I called Mrs. Cohn and told her about the book sale Saturday. She said she'll email Zachary about it. There is a story in The Reminder about St. Andrews in Longmeadow and their fund drive to raise $750,000. I called the church and got Hops Turner who said they used to have tag sales but they haven't lately. She said they didn't have one last year or the year before and they probably won't until construction is done. I said I spoke with some church members who said they found the sales too much bother to mess with. I instructed her that tag sales are a way to recycle goods, raise money and showing that you are willing to work for the money. I also noted that tag sales are a social event that brings outsiders to your church. I concluded that a church that doesn't have tag sales is a church that will probably always have trouble raising money, then I hung up in her ear!
Sunny and 56 degrees at 6:30am. Gas is $1.57 at Alden and the Pond.
Radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger is being criticized for calling homosexuals "deviants." On the news, Dan Elias said the Census Bureau is having trouble hiring people even though they pay $15 per hour. Lynn Maziarz is the receptionist for Jeffrey L. McCormack at Robinson-Donovan. Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas was founded in the 1920's. Atty. Robert B. Atkinson works for Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas. Frank D. Dibble is Chairman of the Litigation/ADR Department at Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas. Their Business/Finance Chairman is Ronald P. Weiss.
I drove out to Pride in the Acres for two cans of gas for the mower at $1.59 per gallon. That station is brand new, but they have cut holes in the cement slab and macadam around it. The girl working there said it was so the Fire Marshall can conduct tests. I told her it is too bad they are making a mess of something new.
There has also been a lot of digging between WNEC and Gateway Village by the telephone company. They put in nice new streets and then someone comes along and digs them up, often creating a dip in the road.
I drove downtown at 10:35apm and parked in front of the church on Salem. For some days now, the owners of 29 Mattoon Street (the Haskell House built in 1872) have been reconstructing the front steps. The brick foundation was replaced after the heavy brownstone posts and railing were removed. There are stale posters up all over downtown. Downtown Springfield leaves stale, outdated posters up because they look like activity. There was a big yellow poster for the Taste of Amherst on the bus stop behind SIS.
I proceeded toward Court Square and found a thin man in a brown suit and yellow tie painting a sort of compass thing in the middle of Main Street. The painter was from Hartline Painting of East Longmeadow and I asked if he was an artist. He said he just needed some extra money and wanted to try something new and different. So the street mural is in the hands of a clown, but I didn't say that and secured his card. TV22 later had a story on the painting with Bill Turin of the Business Improvement District talking about all the music and art they will have downtown this summer. They also had Dave Madsen and Harvey Clay from Lincoln-Mercury on puffing up downtown. I toddled over to A.G. Edwards where George said Microsoft is at a good price so I bought 15 shares. Northern Nurseries of West Suffield was putting Locust trees in the planters. I went over to First Church to see the art show in the 2nd floor back room. I found the show a great disappointment compared with previous years. I don't know if it was because Heather Haskell has lousy taste or they had lousy submissions. I was able to snag today's newspaper out of the trash.
Went to Subway for a deli-baloney and then sat between Sovereign Bank and Tilly's and watched people going by. Everybody was dressed pretty casual, it seems like only older men still wear suits. Jim Conorvich greeted me with a big smile and said they have a lot of books for the sale on Saturday. He was very pleasant and said he was sorry he couldn't come to my lecture in May but he was very busy. I said that was okay, I just wanted to give him a chance to see where all his books end up. One man walked by wearing a Union-News-Sunday Republican t-shirt. At ll:45 I walked over to Tower Square but found the art gallery again closed. The postal boxes that used to be in front of the old Third National Building are gone. Back to the car and home at 1:05pm.
When I got back I did the lawn. Someone in a sporty little car drove by and waved. Lucius at 141 drove by in his red Cadillac but apparently didn't see me. Went over to Colleen's garden. She has installed a wooden trellis to grow roses on. I think my parents had one on Crest Street, but I'm not sure. Her new trellis looks flimsy, we'll see how long it lasts. It's probably made with specially treated wood. The garden itself is lovely and I counted 12 or more goldfish in the fish pond. She also has a new rainbow windcatcher.
My call identifier said Remax Quality Real Estate was calling but I didn't answer. I called Leonard Collamore and left word that Redbrick Books has a book about Columbus for sale. Mrs. Cohn called and said she called the City Library and there will be no preview the night before the sale. I told her I hope Zachary can stop by here after the sale and pick up the boxes of books I have for him. I want no cash, although if he could give me a few old law books that would be nice. Eamon called at 2pm sharp and said he got his new phone book today. Eamon told me that Nader the Hatter called him last night and told him that he has bought an $82,000 condo on the 17th floor of a 26 story building. I told Eamon about how Brenda Branchini is being ripped off by the city over her former business on Court Square and he agreed it was wrong.
The dedication of the new fire station in honor of Eamon's brother was yesterday, his sister didn't get her invitation until the same day as the event. The TV stations didn't cover it, but there is a picture in today's paper with Eamon's nephew Gareth Sullivan in it. Eamon also talked to Charlie Ryan, who is now representing Barbara Garvey in her suit against Westfield State. Eamon said Ryan and Garvey are old friends and the lawsuit is really about her getting a higher wage so she can enhance her pension benefits. Eamon then recalled how he once asked Ryan point blank what Joe Napolitan did for his 1995 mayoral campaign and Charlie could not state one thing.
Called Wesleyan Church and left word on their tape about the possibility of my donating to them my set of books on the works of John Wesley. Then I called Mrs. Huber at Trinity and she wrote my offer down. I called St. John's and the lady asked if I could call back Monday when the pastor would be in, but I said that's not possible. I then called Wilbraham United Church and the lady who answered was very rude. She was combative and said she didn't know if anyone would want Wesley's writings. I told her that I would contact Pastor Bob Stuart and suggest that she be discharged from her position in the church and she sarcastically stated, "I'm terribly frightened!" Then she slammed down the phone. It certainly is difficult to do people a favor.
Amherst College has acquired Emily Dickinson's Vergil book with her markings in it. Bruce Moore of the East Longmeadow Historical Commission will give a tour of Pine Quarry on June 10th. The Real Estate Department Chairwoman for Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas is Felicity Hardee. Roy Scott was on WFCR this morning begging for funds. Jay Presser, the Six Flags attorney, was on TV asking that the law be changed to allow kids to work until 11pm as they can currently only work until 10pm.
Today I completed the Great American Puzzle Factory children's puzzle Easter Egg Hunt. I also completed volume one of Read's Cabinet of Irish Literature. A nice set of books. There were a few of those little moths flying around the breezeway again, I have to be alert for termites. I applied Spectracide Terminate to the foundation and all around. Remax Quality called while I was outside, the recent pick up in interest from them is interesting. Then I did the dishes, a load of wash and took a bath. Later I cooked up some summer squash and parsnips.
I went to West Springfield this afternoon and quickly stepped into the Hampden Savings Bank where I discretely picked up their Statement of Condition for 1999. There were other people in the bank and I spoke to no staff person. The manager lady didn't notice me. For this raid I shaved off my beard, wore my leather cap over my Apache with my jacket and jeans so I didn't look like the last time they saw me. When I left, on the other side of the street, a man got out of the driver's side of a deep blue car and pointed a camera at me. He then got back in the car and drove down the street. I was able to get the license plate of the car - 688KDA. Very strange.
A letter came today offering me membership in the Academy of American Poets. I wrote on it, "Get lost, refused, return to sender!" Mail brought nothing from Hein but I got my long awaited BID Bulletin featuring Robert L. Turin, their "new" Executive Director. I called Aunt Maria's number to tell Shirley about the book sale, but after a long, cumbersome pause Aunt Maria herself answered so I said nothing and hung up. Next I called the receptionist Marguerite who took my reservation for the Grand Opening of Orchard Valley in Wilbraham. Then I talked with Eamon's niece Barbara Lucia at Bank of Western Mass about their CD interest rates.
Eamon himself called tonight and said he used his new Weber grill to make cheeseburgers with a thick slice of onion the way Friendly's used to make them. He also bought a 500 pound floor safe for $800 with black and gold trim, about two feet by two feet. Eamon said he talked with Nader the Hatter who asked him why he hasn't heard from me. Dorothee is helping the Hatter decorate his new condo. Eamon told me he called the Valley Advocate to try to speak with Tom Vannah but was told Vannah is on vacation by Maureen Turner's boyfriend Sean Glennon, a music critic.
Lovely day, 80 degrees at 1:05pm.
At 3:15am I woke to hear rain hitting the air conditioner. Mother's red roses in the garden are out, the poppies have gone by. The Miller Machine Company was started by Manuel Miller in Bethel, Vermont in 1937. My Aunt Lucille Miller typically spoke with great fluency. The Environmental Law Department Chairman at Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas is Christopher B. Myhrum. The Estate Planning and Administration Chairman at Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas is Martin D. Turpie. WFCR says 54% of Americans use e-mail.
I wanted to take the East Longmeadow quarry tour today, but that turned out to be not possible. I called the Cohn's and Irving told me that Zachary is not going to the library sale. That was a relief, actually. I set out for the Quadrangle at about 9:20am and had no trouble parking. When I left I saw more moths in the breezeway. Kelly had her umbrella up and was mowing the lawn. The Quad is all dug up for the foundations of the Dr. Seuss statues, so instead of being held under the shade trees, the sale was in the glaring sun along the front of the W.V. Smith Museum with the cash box on the loggia steps.
It was bigger and better than either of last year's sales. There were about 20 old city directories for sale, and several people were interested so we agreed, at my suggestion, to share them. I got the 1946 and 1949 Springfield directories and 1970 directories for Chicopee and Holyoke. They bear the stamp of Atty. Louis Kerlinsky, 31 Elm Street, Springfield. I also got an autographed photo of poet J.G. Whittier in Cambridge. I got a copy of Dukakis' Betrayal by Harvey Robbins (1988) and the February 19, 1905 musical program by the pupils of Louis A. Regnier of 336 Chestnut Street. It is probably the only surviving copy.
Mrs. Napolitan was there and greeted me politely. Real nice guy Jim Conorvich was there doing more work than anyone, as usual. A lot of old art catalogs were scooped up by a woman who said she knew where she could sell them. They had a lot of poetry books given by Henrietta C. Harris, but they duplicated what I already have. For Eamon, I bought Sick Cities by Mitchell Gordon (1969) and Manchester's American Caesar about General MacArthur. On the way home, I swung by Angelo's but not much was available, then went and bought the specials at the Boston Road Big Y.
I dined mostly on fruits and salad today, after bacon and eggs for breakfast. The mail brought membership invitations in nearly identical formats from the ACLU and the National Trust with little I ACCEPT and I DECLINE stickers. So I put the silver sticker saying I ACCEPT from National Trust on the ACLU invitation and and a blue ACLU sticker saying I ACCEPT on the National Trust invite and I am mailing them in. When questions are asked, my reply will be that since the proper sticker was not used no valid contract was formed.
I called Aunt Maria and got Shirley Whittier, who was friendly and said Aunt Maria is doing okay. I told her about the book sale and reminded her that it is pea and berry time and Aunt Maria likes both. I also said it is lobster time and she can get lobster rolls at the Stop&Shop over the hill. I also noted that there is rhubarb growing on the property, but to be careful as there is poison ivy all over the lot. She thanked me for calling. I called Leonard Collamore and left word that Columbus was mentioned on Letterman's Top Ten List last night. Chatted with Eamon and told him I'll give him the Cabinet of Irish Literature when I'm done with it. He recalled how his teacher May Abby used to say, "Every leaf is a flower." Eamon also claimed that Mass Mutual tried to sell Baystate West but couldn't. Eamon's latest phone editorial laments that Springfield voters lack the intelligence, perception and common sense "to see through the high fog index surrounding Mayor Albano" and that he hopes that one day the citizens will finally wake up.
I mentioned the Dukakis book I purchased and Eamon recalled how there was somebody named Gerald T. Indelicato who served as Dukakis's special assistant for educational affairs from 1983 to 1986. Eamon was hoping to get a job in the Dukakis Administration, so working through the Governor's Western Mass aide an appointment was set up for Eamon with Indelicato. At the interview, they were chatting and at one point Indelicato reached into his suit and pulled out a letter Eamon had written to former Governor Ed King in which Eamon had described Dukakis as "a social tinkering, permissive limousine liberal." Governor King had left the letter behind and Dukakis found it and kept it on file. Said Indelicato, "Mr. Dukakis can not help you." Eamon said that eventually Indelicato ended up going to prison at Cedar Junction for stealing money from government programs. Eamon laughed, saying all he had done was call Dukakis what he was and didn't care if a future jailbird threw him out of an interview. Eamon had a friend McNally in Cedar Junction who later told him that Indelicato got caught stealing meat from the prison kitchen.
Rain later in the day and evening, 64 degrees at 1:30pm.
I love the typewriter I am using to write this. Layoffs were announced today at Mercy Hospital. The leaders of North and South Korea are meeting. The funeral of Assad of Syria is today, his successor son is an optometrist expected to be less repressive than his father. Atty. Peter H. Barry of Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas was born in Salem in 1950 and admitted to the bar in 1975.
Ruth called from Edwards Books and said they have a copy of Kaplan's The Coming Anarchy that they are saving for me. She punched Gus Edwards into the computer and nothing came up even though their supplier is Ingrams, one of the largest. Then I called Barnes & Noble and got Debbie, who also looked for the Gus Edwards book but said, "Nothing came up matching so it must be out of print." I asked if they had my book Coke in Verse and she replied that it is "not something we carry but we can order it from the publisher for $58.00." For fun, I then called my publisher Hein and asked for my book and Marita said, "we do have it in stock" and told me it cost $48.50 plus $7 shipping. I also asked about my Curiosities and Law of Wills and also Famous Divorces and they said they could order them from the publisher and get them within eight weeks.
Before driving into the city I stopped at Breckwood to look at the morning paper and mail my underpayment of $3 to Hamilton. Found in the trash can in front of Louis & Clark was a copy of today's paper. Gas at the stations at Alden and Wilbraham was $1.57 and $1.59 when I drove into the city today, but were $1.58 and $1.59 when I came home. Fred Whitney's house was a deep chocolate brown, then was completely stripped and now it has a new coat of deep chocolate brown once again. On State I stopped at the all boarded up Friendly's just before St. James and pulled a number of posters off the plywood.
Parked on Salem, then over to the porn shop Video Expo which has an Under New Management sign on the door. The clerk said he hasn't seen a copy of The Leatherman in months. When I left, a Latino woman in a van asked me where the church is on Salem Street and I told her to go around the block until she sees the steeple. At the Visitor's Bureau they had an expired Taste of West Springfield poster not seen elsewhere downtown and a green and white Mass Department of Agriculture Farmer's Market poster. By Court Square I ran into Tom Elmore whom I told they should hose away the dirt from the pavements. He said they'll do that if the rain doesn't wash it away. They have placed forest green park benches around the base of all the tree planters. I was sitting on a bench reading BusinessWest when I saw Russ Denver coming from Tower Square. Our eyes didn't meet and he may not have seen me. I also saw Tom Burton and a young fellow in his 20's coming along. Burton has a funny walk and was careful not to look in my direction.
I made my fourth attempt to find the Tower Square Art Gallery on the 2nd floor open. The light was on, but there was no one in there. I picked up my book from Mrs. Edwards herself. When I arrived she was speaking French to an elderly gentleman buying a number of magazines including The New Yorker. She is obsequious, especially to people with collars, queer Apaches and leather jackets. When I left, I went back to the art gallery and it was finally open so I carefully inspected each work of art. They have carpeting on the floor, a few fancy lamps and furniture, but overall it's just walls with art that overall is completely blah. They had four Victorian landscapes covered with dirty varnish priced $195 to $395. There were works by several local artists of mediocre quality and a few other unusual but not exceptional pieces. Nothing bright and wonderful. I thanked the guy working there politely and left.
Next, I drove to Dick's Sporting Goods in West Springfield where I bought rollerblade knee protectors for $9.99. Then into Hometown Buffet where they no longer have liver and onions on Mondays. I asked for fried steak but they said only on Thursday, so I had sausages with fried onions. The manager came by and I said I wish they would open up again in Eastfield Mall, which I told him is coming back to life. He said he'd pass the word along.
Judy Matt says on the news that there will be 30 food vendors at the Taste of Springfield, although Wednesday's paper said only 28. Today is the last day for the Springfield schools, but school was cancelled at New North due to a water main break on Birnie Avenue. The Armory kids are also attending New North while the Boland School is being constructed. Today was the deadline for applications for Superintendent of Schools, but they got only 16 applications and O'Shea says they were expecting 30 so they are thinking of reopening the call with a higher salary than the $135,000 they put out. There is also the possibility that they looked over the applicants and none of the candidates were kinky enough and THEY WANT KINK. Eamon called and said he got the stuff I left yesterday by his trash can. He thinks they got so few Superintendent applicants because the city's school system has such a terrible reputation.
Overcast at noon.
TV40 announced tonight that Barbara Garvey has lost her lawsuit against Westfield State. Today's paper gave the schedule of events for the Taste of Springfield. There is also an article about Mike Albano having $400,000 in his campaign account towards his re-election. I haven't received any mailings from the Albano Committee lately. Kelly A. McCarthy of Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas was born in Springfield in 1964 and was admitted to the bar in 1989. Melinda A. Phelps was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1956 and was admitted to the bar in 1983. Deborah D. Ferriter was born in Springfield in 1958 and admitted to the bar in 1994.
The street sweeper came by. When I went out around 9:50am to haul in the dumpster, Simpson went by and then Cressotti came around the corner and paused. I was wearing my rollerblading outfit and he laughed. "Riding a motorcycle is a lot easier," he said and I replied, "Yes, but it's not my speed." This was my second time practicing in the driveway, I was out for 15 minutes last night after the rain and now twenty minutes this morning. I sometimes wear my rollerblades around the house. It exercises my body along with my lifting weights in the breezeway every morning without fail. My right arm lifts the 25 pound weight okay, but my left arm has trouble, although it is improving.
I returned Lucius' copy of Anarchy to his front porch with a thank you letter telling him I got my own copy at Edwards. I still have his copy of Spengler's Aphorisms and Kaplan's tour of the western states. I saw there was a little green car with Mass plates in Dick Nichols driveway. Dick mowed his lawn the same day I did mine. To the Taste of Springfield I decided to wear my jeans with my locked collar plus my dog tag which says "Queer Fag Sissypansy" on it and turquoise t-shirt from the Bookends porn shop in Enfield. I really slicked up my head today, shaving it right down so it shines with lots of Vaseline on my Apache haircut so it stands several inches high. You don't see as many biker jackets around as you did when it was a fad several years ago. Nor do people comment as much, perhaps because my jacket is definitely not new and so looks routine.
Around 2pm I drove into the city and parked on Salem. Missionary Paul Johnson was coming across the street from the parking lot behind SIS. He was eager to keep moving, but paused to ask why I don't dye my Apache red and I replied that I've been thinking of that. He urged me to have a nice summer. Springfield Electrical was installing a big tall switch box for anyone who needed power for the event. There were not many people at the Taste on a gloomy afternoon. All the radio stations were there with Rock 102 distributing round stickers reading "I'm Sticking to Rock 102 Springfield's Classic Rock." One cop stared at me and a number of people smiled at my Apache.
Peter Pan was giving away plastic swizzle sticks with a parrot on them. There were a number of Peter Pan buses on display, including a new one, the Futureline from the 1939 World's Fair. The Court Square Theater marquis read "Future Home of Park Place." There is a little bar in the corner building where Chicopee Savings used to be. Does Tony Ravosa still own the building where he lives on the top floor? He usually boycotts the Taste of Springfield. NOKIA was passing out flashlight keychains, otherwise nothing really. No free food coupons anywhere, no McDonald's although Friendly's had a big booth. I saw Tom Burton hobbling up to his brown car. He was wearing a navy jacket with chino pants and I think he saw me, I'm certainly easy to recognize.
On my way back I stopped at Freihofer and Stop&Shop, then bought a double cheeseburger at the Boston Road McDonald's and home. Ruby Tuesday looks like it's about to open. When I got home at 4:25pm there was a jeep like vehicle stuck at the corner of Birchland. I asked if they needed help but they said they already called. The mail came and no sign of the John Wesley books that were supposed to be shipped on the same day the order was received. The real estate tax appeal form came, which made me recall how Hampden County sold its old law books to somebody in Ontario, the better to get them out of sight so the locals won't complain. I screamed and some of the old stuff in the stacks were saved, but I no longer see any of it so it's hard not to believe it's been discreetly slipped out the door. Unknown called at 6:12pm.
On the WFCR news this morning they said that a lot of Justices of the Peace are resigning rather than perform gay marriages. This is stupid because if they resign a new group of people will move in and take the power. The only way to hang on to power is to hang on, not to give it up. Today in my files I found a letter from Mr. Thomas Jemielity to Tom White dated 2 September 1977 about a coffee cup. Kathleen A. Abbate was born in 1952 and is a paralegal for Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas.
I am reading Kaplan on Anarchy. I'm still waiting for the works of Wesley and the A.G. Edwards refund. Dined at noon on one of the nine pork chops I bought at Stop&Shop yesterday, plus the rest of the parsnips, microwaved potatoes, ginger ale, donuts and chocolate cake. Chatted on the phone with Mrs. Cohn about the books I got yesterday. She said she has heard that I got a pair of rollerblades and seemed to approve.
Eamon called and said he felt bad Barbara Garvey lost her lawsuit. He said he just got off the phone with Gingras the teacher who he said asked about me. Gingras laughed over the article in the paper praising Commerce for graduating 151 students this year. Gingras claims there were over 300 in the class originally, so what happened to the other 150? Dr. Negroni was quoted as saying the school has turned around, but Gingras says that's hokum. If that's true then why did they fire the new principal?
Gingras went to a well attended farewell party for Negroni at the Red Rose and at one point Gingras had a conversation with him. Negroni told Gingras that he wants to work for the College Board for a few years and then maybe run for congress. Gingras told him to his face that he should have done that years ago because his talents seem to be more for the political than school administration. Gingras said Negroni didn't look too cheerful about that statement.
Julie from Harvard Magazine called and straight out said this call may be monitored for quality control. She asked if I wanted to "continue to support Harvard Magazine" and I told her that the gift I gave last year was special on account of their centennial. I told her that people think all Harvard grads are rich and it just ain't so. She asked what I do and I said I'm a lawyer who is into leather. I asked her if she knew who Robert Mapplethorpe is and she did. I then told her that Harvard is one of the best magazines I get, but I was disappointed when they were scooped on the Unabomber by The Atlantic. I said the Unabomber is a murderer and should be treated like any other, but I endorse his manifesto that technology is out of control. I suggested that Harvard should do some stories they don't want to do, that there must be other Harvard grads in jail, they could also do a long piece on the history of antisemitism at Harvard. Julie was a young, friendly woman and we had an interesting conversation.
Going out for the mail this morning wearing rollerblades I took my first fall, but fortunately my helmet took the beating. Good thing I had it on. I also chafed my right elbow. It's good to get banged around. Went out to Breckwood at 3pm and mailed out Cocksucker's First Love Sonnet and some stuff to BusinessWest. I bought the Wall Street Journal to read their article Mafia on Wall Street but no firms were mentioned that I'm familiar with. Then down to the Martin Luther King Center for some black newspapers.
I stopped at A.I.C.'s Shea Library for their freebie literature. While I was there I also looked up James David Haig in Edward's British Museum Catalog and found a few titles about him including mine. AIC has a complete set of British Parliamentary Pages and a fine collection of German literature, but they don't even teach German. I had a chat with the librarian about their collection, who said they periodically review their holdings but are under administrative pressure to cut library costs. He says he has friends who work at Mt. Holyoke who are having similar problems with their administration. I told him to tell the administration that a library is a laboratory just as much as a place with test tubes and animal cages. He asked me to list what titles I want him to save and I gave him my card while declining to mention any special titles. I did mention how I publicly thanked AIC for the use of their library in my 1990 poetry book. I suggested that the local colleges should all merge their library holdings and surprisingly he agreed. He told me there are plans to possibly make STCC into a full fledged university. In all an enlightening talk.
Just after 5pm I drove out to Orchard Hill Assisted Living at 2387 Boston Road in Wilbraham. It is directly behind the nursing home and looks like another of those proto New Hampshire Hotels of the Gilded Age. There are balconies at several points on the building, but individual rooms have none. Peaches are orange so they had orange, white and Kelly green balloons up, appealing to one ethnic group but not to others. Small front lobby and the usual parlors and other public spaces, one fireplace but no piano. The sample room was rather small although it had a nice walk-in shower with grab bars like I wish I had here. At the second level is an alcove with several bookcases stocked with Reader's Digest Condensed Books and other bottom of the line tag sale leftovers. There was some shlock art expensively presented with matting and framing and a real pastoral painting over the fireplace, possibly an expensive reproduction, enough to create an illusion of elegance.
The food was fabulous, books for dunces, art for fools, be stingy with furniture and accessories, but bring on the best food. In fact, it was the best spread of food for free I've seen since Ben Jones' retirement party. They had a lot of fancy little pastries, a chef cooking thin pancakes with peaches on them, a peach drink fountain and chocolate covered peach candies. They had peach cobbler, a tray of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and all sorts of grapes. There were shells done up with fancy topping, although I tried none. In the fireplace lounge they had a big tray of cheese, sliced sausages and a man carving a tenderloin. There were several bowls of nuts, but no spoons to ladle them. There was lobster and scallops and shrimp done in various ways. The also served meatballs and coldcuts and macaroni dishes. It was a real feed but I didn't make a pig of myself, although I did try one of mostly everything including two slices of tenderloin.
They had a bar with a good variety and I had a glass of red wine. A guy who was playing the harp came up to me at one point and said, "Hi, J. Wesley Miller." I asked how he knew me and he replied, "From the Tuesday Morning Music Club, I'm the treasurer." Laurie Bongiorni the nice real estate lady was there and I congratulated her on being elected to the Wilbraham Planning Board. A photographer took my picture by the fish bar. After I left I decided to swing by Fernbank and discovered that that the underbrush is very heavy on my land this year. I parked on King Drive and walked around finding everything in order. I noticed that the first house on Maynard is up for sale for $189,000. The real estate agents are Justin and Anna Pelissier. I also drove past President Caprio's house at Seven Wagon Drive, a palatial modern thing on a good street with a gazebo. I estimate the house is worth at least $300,000.
Home at 6:55pm. Unknown called while I was out.
A sunny, hot day. 79 degrees on the breezeway at 2pm. Gas is $1.60 at the stations by Lake (really pond) Massasoit.
The NBC Evening News said this is the warmest spring with the average temperature 55 degrees higher than normal. My book Legal Laughs - A Joke for Every Jury was published in 1993. The Lawyer's Alcove was published in 1990. Paine Webber Incorporated is located at One Monarch Place and John J. Petterson is their Senior Vice President. The house at 24 Dennis Road, off Shaker Road in Longmeadow, was built in 1960.
First thing this morning went out and pulled some rhubarb and cut other vegetation away. I also found a plastic bag by the back door delivered by UPS from Timothy Hawley Books. It contained the wonderful Curiosities of Street Literature by Charles Hindley (1871) with a new introduction by Leslie Shepard in 1966. I bought this for the street literature, not realizing that it also has a fabulous anthology of dying speeches and horrible crimes illustrated with woodcuts. Just what I need!
The Western Massachusetts Law Tribune came in today's mail, but they didn't print my press release. The mail also brought my Millennium statement from PMLA which left in everything except my list of role model teachers.
The main event today was going to the First Congregational Church tag sale at 11am. The last couple of years they have been fantastic, but this year was substantially a dud. All I got were three books and another Kiwanis bell. The little black nurse was there with her granddaughter looking for Chinese stuff. She told me that it was her own mother who taught her to go to tag sales. She also said she used tag sales to fill her 150 year old house with nice things. She said she sold a lot off and now regrets it because the things can't be replaced. Also there was the English woman Jeane Bowden and her black retired Air Force husband. Her real first name is the Welch Gwynth. I still don't know which of the many Bowdens in the phone book they are. He is now cured of his cancer and they were in England in March. Bowden told me that they rarely go to London and that Tony Blair was smart to keep England out of the Euro currency. I then asked her what she thought of the situation in Northern Ireland and she replied, "That's a touchy subject," so I didn't press her. Instead I told her that the South Church had no tag sale this spring.
After the sale, I bought a Subway deli-baloney grinder for $1.04. By Sovereign Bank is a plantless planter that now holds a large multi-colored cube with three dimensional letters reading City Block. So that is the name of this new urban space and a sign said it will open Monday. A big black guy with a t-shirt that read BEWARE walked by and I discreetly followed him to a juvenile clothing dive carrying a complete line of martial arts stuff. I introduced myself to the man and he told me his name is Hiawatha. He also told me he's a singer. I bought a bright red martial arts athletic cup with hefty black straps supporting it. It's almost like a pair of shorts. No doubt about it, I am experimenting with my sexuality.
On the way back I swung by former Rep. Whitney's and noted that his house was painted by DSA Painting 796-7341. I also dropped off a bag with Heber at Trinity of the Pink Pages and all the gay stuff from the Springfield Pride. State Street from Eliot up to the Alexander House is all dug up while they install plastic pipes. When I got back, Carol Bright of Business and Legal Reports called and offered to sell me a book on how to deal with my staff. I thanked her but said this firm can get along without it.
Eamon called and talked about somebody he knows in the laundry business who bought all his machinery in Germany because it was better than American and affordable even with shipping costs. He also discussed how his father was a very meek man and that is how most Irish families are - "the woman rules the roost!" TV22 reported that there was a 3.3 Richter quake centered in Westfield last night, but they didn't give any time. Later I called the station and asked what time and the girl said "about 1am." I then scolded her for "leaving out the most important facet of your story!" She hung up on me without even apologizing.
I hope I shall have the wisdom to stop collecting posters except for the most remarkable ones. South United Methodist Church presented a concert of Sacred Music directed by Earle G. Bidwell on May 21st. CopyCat Print Shop is having a 10% off sale on offset printing orders.
Today I dressed in purple once again. I put on my gigantic oriental martial arts athletic protector and then my long purple pants. Over them I wore my purple dyed briefs, put on my purple topped socks with lumberjack boots, Bookends t-shirt and biker jacket. I also shaved my head and slicked up my Apache with Vaseline to make a super slick impression as an impeccably groomed masculine oriented queer. I got up early and made copies at Pride, then came through the Goodwill but no books of interest there. Then over to put out the mail at the Forest Park station, where in the trash I found a brochure addressed to Steve Hays, Drama Studio Incorporated, 175 Forest Park Avenue, Springfield.
From there I headed out to Longmeadow for the house tour. I parked in front of the school where I sat in the car from about 9am to 9:45, when I walked across the green to register at 780 Longmeadow, the Wilkinson House. I paid $25 for the tour, which benefits the Pioneer Valley Girl Scouts, and was given ticket number 265. The garden at the Wilkinson House is wonderful. Out back there is an unterraced sloping lawn with narrow walks between the flowerbeds. In the distance is the vista of the hills, although I couldn't see the river. There were rhubarb clumps just the other side of the gate and a garden plot for herbs. The fireplace in the living room still has the cranes from which pots were hung in the early days. The dining room has a Queen Anne highboy built by the owner's grandfather. She showed us the key to the antique front door which has an immense lock on it. There is a nice, modern kitchen.
Next, we went to the Gill House and as we left I saw a cop riding in on his bicycle. Was he looking for me? The Gill House is invisible to the street. Go in the front door and you're in a long curving hall with a large Victorian painting of a seascape. It occurred to me that the owners may be related to the local art dealer named Gill. There was an old Webster's Dictionary on a stand that was most unusual. By the kitchen door is an atmospheric painting of a sunset, much like the one that used to hang outside the President's door at the Springfield Institution for Savings. There was an immense cathedral living room built of redwood with floor to ceiling windows. What I noticed most was the paintings, a Victorian still life of grapes and over the fireplace an 1875 painting of the valley with Mt. Tom in the middle. There was also a painting of sheep. Of course, these paintings reminded me of my own paintings of grapes, sheep and landscapes. I asked for the hostess and she was in the garden. I told her about the sheep painting in the World Colombian catalog and of my Gill woodcut of the valley. I told her about registering the painting with the Smithsonian, of which she hadn't heard. She told me the house was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright in 1949.
The next two houses I visited were garden only and they were both duds. The first place had a terrible long walk down a hill to one large area of flowers and that was it. 844 Longmeadow had a shaded, terraced lawn with plantings on the side. It had a few little garden statues and a tiny birdbath. It wasn't bad, okay, but not great. Next I drove over to 15 Parkside at the edge of the cemetery, an old Victorian farmhouse, two stories like the houses along Wilbraham Road, wide porches across the first floor and a little porch upstairs, a home for a well-heeled middle-class family. The lady asked to see my ticket and then made sure she accompanied me around. I was there only briefly. Then to the Carpenter House and there were very nice antique prints and tons of little accessories. It created a very cluttered, feminine environment with an immense back room and a nice backyard lawn not billed as a garden but nicer than some I had seen.
The next house was around the corner on Dennis, a new house maybe worth $250,000, a substantial but not luxurious Cape Cod with a really nice shaded backyard. They said the owner is Dave DiRico, a golf pro, and there was a little den behind the stairway with his memorabilia in it. They asked to see my ticket but not as stubbornly as before. As I walked around the back yard, Mrs. DiRico graciously offered me a glass of lemonade from a very fancy pitcher. There was also a bowl of munchies and I thanked her for her gracious hospitality.
There was an interesting incident as I left the DiRico house. A big black car turned onto Dennis and out jumped a little lady with a butch haircut and a camera exclaiming, "I think you look awesome!" She said she's visiting relatives and is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and asked to take my picture. Her name was Heather Daniels and the car registration was 992 CME. She wanted to know if I rode a bike and I said no, this is my queer uniform. "Isn't it hot?" she inquired. "It's the price we have to pay for being queer," I replied, tugging at the locked chain laced through my bondage collar. She told me she's a lesbian so I let her take my picture and gave her my card.
Tired by now of looking at second rate gardens, I headed up toward Springfield and arrived at what turned out to be an enormous mansion on the edge of Forest Park with a fence with elements from the Springfield Armory fence. This house belonged to businessman Joseph J. Deliso Sr. who was a founder of STCC. It had a huge living room, a piano, pastoral paintings and contemporary prints in expensive old frames. There was a little lavatory with the finest touches of gold and marble. There is an enormous crystal chandelier over the staircase and a library full of Reader's Digest Condensed Books and a very old encyclopedia set. The guide described it as a "working library" and not for decoration. She said her name was Melissa Binns, the wife of Dennis Binns, who worked with Gordon Oaks at Monarch. Harrumph!
On the way back I stopped at Big Y for a couple of things and I saw the woman who used to be the crosswalk lady for Ashland. I did not run into Professor Anzalotti. I got home around 12:10pm and there was a green car over to Dick Nichols along with his old Dodge and the truck. Mrs. Staniski called to tell me she is going to Maine this weekend. The mail brought a letter from Eugene D. Hill of Mt. Holyoke wanting to buy my old volume of Lodge. I wrote him a nice letter saying I have so many books and haven't seen it for years but will contact him if I can find it. A letter also came for Mother from Baypath, although they must know she's deceased because they printed her obituary. There was also advertising from the Spellex Corporation that was filled with errors. I called their number and got their recording and left word that I will "correct your grammar problems, but be prepared to pay me." I spent the remainder of the day reading Charles Hindley's Curiosities of Street Literature. How fortunate that I got this book.
Very overcast at 1:09pm.
Tiger Woods won the 100th U.S. Open in what is being called the greatest golf game in history. On the ABC Evening News they said that the Millennium Dome in London is "a bust" with too few visitors. News also said gas in Chicago is selling for $2.36 per gallon. This is Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire. Lenscraft has a new TV ad with the slogan, "Nothing is more precious than your eyesight." I had planned to go to City Block with my rollerblades today but did not.
The local weather people say temperatures this June have been below normal. That certainly has been my view. Judy Matt was on TV40 saying the Taste of Springfield drew 120,000 people over five days and they had their biggest Friday night ever. Eric Bachrach of the Springfield Community School of Music was on TV22 asking people to donate instruments they can loan to kids. Today to my alarm I found I weigh 200 pounds, which surely means I have been eating too much. I do have a pot belly and I have been going to bed too early. I don't like TV or like to use my eyes at night, so what is there to do but strap on my bondage helmet and masturbate? I should do more reading.
Today I worked on this diary and read in Kaplan. I also wrote a few letters, one to Professor Moriarty at Elms and the other to Charlie Ryan. Got a newspaper out of the trash in front of Louis & Clark at 9:30am. I also mailed out letters to Gardner in New Jersey, Eugene Hill at Mt. Holyoke, Art in America, Wilkinson at 780 Longmeadow Street and Gill at 808 Longmeadow. Also mailed was my complaint to the Harvard Club director and a nice questionnaire reply but no money to Bob McCollum. I also sent a letter to the Freedom Alliance telling them to get lost with their fundraiser for Ollie North. Then to Angelo's where Angelo told me he has no peas yet.
Home at 10:05am and I finished the hedges along Birchland. The mail came at 10:15am. It included the Herald with an article about Bethel granite that mentioned me. I also got some Jobs With Justice material. Still no John Wesley books, where are they? And where is my refund from A.G. Edwards? I finished the hedges at 10:40. Dined on two ham and rye sandwiches with tomato, pepper and onion plus fruit and fluid. Glenn Andrew called for Ann Kennedy of Storrowton at 11:52am. I called Karen Powell, but she said they were just leaving so I said call back when it's convenient. She never did, so maybe the word is getting around about what a terrible lecher I am. Good. Eamon called and said Nader the Hatter's old man arrived in Florida yesterday. Eamon also commented on statistics in the paper today showing that in 1980 there were 175,000 people living in Springfield, but by 1990 it had fallen to 157,000 and is now at 144,000. Eamon says all the best people are leaving and all the wrong people are staying.
Eamon and I talked longer than usual because I told him all about the Longmeadow house tour. Eamon told me that Joe Deliso was a multi-millionaire who owned Hampden Brass. He was close to Bill and Kitty and knew the old man Roger Putnam as well. Eamon recalled how one day he was at the little statehouse at 235 Chestnut Street when he ran into the prominent local Republican Atty. Robert Moran, who was one of Deliso's lawyers, and Edwin Satter, who ended up with a job in the Nixon Administration. Moran asked Eamon how to get a couple of Italians into the country that Deliso wanted to work for him. Deliso often brought over strong, hard working Italians to work in his foundry. Eamon suggested Deliso use political asylum as an excuse. Eamon also suggested they contact Congressman Silvio Conte and ultimately that was how it got done. Deliso was "very friendly" with State Rep. Tony Scibelli and they used to go on trips to Florida together. It was rumored that Deliso had ties to the mafia, but Eamon never saw any evidence of that. Of course Scibelli was another story.
Sunny and warmer than yesterday.
The Summer Solstice will be at 9:48pm today. I wonder if George Bush picked Dan Quayle for his running mate because he wanted a dolt so there would no one positioned to run against his fine sons in a few years. Completed Kaplan's The Coming Anarchy. It would make a splendid book around which to organize a freshman composition course. The albino milkweed didn't come up this year on the side lawn. A one bedroom apartment at the Shelburne Bay Senior Living Community in Vermont is $2050 per month.
I laced on my bondage hood last night and wore it all night. There is no place more secure and placid than inside a bondage hood where no distracting sight catches the eye, no distracting sound catches the ear, no breeze massages the flesh and the whole skull is securely frozen in place and unable to move. The bondage hood is probably the last peaceful place on Earth. This morning I pulled off the blindfold and mowed the lawn in the bondage hood, at one point having to sit at the picnic table to catch my breath for fifteen minutes. I saw Kelly, who said nothing about the note I sent her mother. Barry next door told me he's now the manager of the Friendly's at 1811 Boston Road. I also added oil and anti-freeze to the car.
Still no sign of the Wesley books in the mail today. I wrote to Bethel High School and Hein and Mrs. DiRico who served me lemonade, and enclosed a Universal Golf Dictionary for her golf pro husband. I then went down to Louis & Clark to mail them out, including some reading material for Moriarty at Elms. Then I went to cash a check at the Bank of Western Mass and noticed there were pastel colored balloons outside Ruby Tuesday. They have Victorian woodwork outside and a neon sign. I stopped and was told today and tomorrow are their Grand Opening. There is a bar, but with a family restaurant menu featuring steaks, burger and a nice salad bar.
The carpeting was drab but there were chandeliers all over the place and Tiffany stained lamps over the tables. On the walls were memorabilia, postcards of Springfield courtesy of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum and photos and pennants from Smith, UMass and Springfield College. I ordered a hamburger with Wisconsin cheese, which came with a large handful of fries. At the salad bar I took a big serving of diced ham, black olives, broccoli, tomatoes, cottage cheese, peach segments, watermelon cubes, pineapple slices, sunflower seeds, raisins, hard boiled eggs and shredded coconut. The place has everything. In a nutshell, it looks to me like a Friendly's done over by Pizzeria Uno.
When I got home I tried to call Guizonis at A.G. Edwards three times. The first time he was out to lunch, the second I was told he had just stepped out and the third time at 3:21pm I got him. I asked him about the City Block activities and he said there has been "a lot of negative feedback from my co-workers because of the disruption of traffic." He said, "I try to like it," but doesn't think clowns and hot dog vendors will do much to bring business downtown. He told me my refund check will be for $4,166.64.
I called Restaurants and Institutions Magazine and told them I found a typographical error and suggested they send me a can of beans to thank me for calling the matter to their attention or at least a thank you letter. Next I called the Powells and left a message that I'd like to talk to Bob about fixing the left rear light on my car. I also said I think Mo Turner's article on the libraries was fine, but she should have addressed the issue of staff size. It has grown a lot and many of them no doubt are patronage hires. During the news a B.M. Patryn called but hung up when they heard my voice. I called back and the lady denied calling but when I said I got her name and number from my call identifier she said maybe her sister called the wrong number and added, "I'm sorry." At 1:14pm wrong number "Tammy calling from MBB Medical Services" wanting to know if I had anything available for a wedding reception. I said I did not.
Dined again on another ham and rye with onion, tomato and pepper with fruit and the last of the cake. Eamon called and said he is enjoying the books on Irish literature I gave him. He told me his mother used to say,"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." We talked about the big feature in the paper on the Pellegrino family with nine pictures, including one in color. The article was written by JoAnn Moriarty and Eamon has written her a sarcastic letter. I suggested that after some of the scandals involving the family this is an attempt to "rehabilitate them." He liked the term. He also told me that his friend Spellacy has been hired to be a part time greeter in the rotunda of Mass Mutual. One of Spellacy's kids is in the secret service's presidential guard unit and another works for the CIA. Eamon told me he talked to Charlie Ryan recently, with Ryan saying about the Northgate fiasco that when dealing with the city's attorneys he had "never before seen such ineptitude."
Sun out at 8:30am, 72 degrees.
Bad Boy - A boy that's too good.
Dexter of Windsor Locks, the longest trading company on the New York Stock Exchange, is selling itself off in four pieces to avoid a hostile takeover. So it goes. Baystate Medical is complaining of a Medicare payment shortfall of $15 million so some services will be cut. I say the healthcare industry is a rip-off, the slogan of which might as well be, "Your money or your life." Manual S. Miller's license plate was always GMR for Green Mountain Riflemen. On May 6, 1999 Springfield Technical Community College had a March for Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence. On Sept. 19, 1999 the UMass Black Student Union presented the Black Comedy Tour at the Fine Arts Center. Interskate 91 is located at 2041 Boston Road in Wilbraham.
Tiger Lilies coming out. Jozephazyk has been uncovering his pool, a little late I think. Usually, he has a big family event to mark the occasion. Wrote checks. Out shortly after 9am and left a bag for Mrs. Staniski, who was out but had her laundry on the line. Headed downtown, where The Telephone Worker's Credit Union has redone their interior so that the teller stalls are against the cityside wall and there is open space in the middle with customer service desks to the right. The receptionist's office is where it always was and they have employee lockers in the back. There was less waiting than usual and I was waited on by Rodriguez
I walked into the city at 10:34am and at the Federal Building a few white, clean-cut young men were being sworn into the Navy. There was a sign on the front door of the Bank of Boston at Tower Square saying they are closing July 7th. Went to Charlie Ryan's office and left off some Elms and Hungry Hill material. The short woman at the reception desk was very friendly and gave me a receipt but I lost it. Johnson's back building has a sign saying that a Hampden Savings walk-in Consumer Loan Center will be opening in the downstairs first floor portion soon. Hampden has been renting the upstairs for offices for some time. The Third National Bank Clock is still keeping time.
Next I went to the City Collector's Office and paid two bills. I asked the clerk what she thinks of City Block and she said it only started this week but she didn't see "how anyone will make any money off it." I replied that it's a shame they can't bring back Forbes, Steigers and Johnson's and she agreed. They no longer have free papers in the City Hall front lobby and not much is available at the newsstand downstairs. While I was waiting for the City Hall elevator former Mayor Ted Dimauro came along in a wine colored sports coat.
When I got outside I went and sat on one of the metal benches between Sovereign and Tilly's. I asked a woman coming out of Sovereign what she thought of City Block and she said she hadn't really noticed it and then smiled and walked on. In due course a man sat nearby and introduced himself as Mr. Divenuto. He is retired, majored in the classics at John Hopkins, taught in the public schools and at Holyoke Community College and speaks five languages. Wow. He told me he was just passing time until his appointment with the Mayor about a grant for a neighborhood computer center. I must do a further investigation of him. Jim Vinick the TV stockbroker was standing nearby so I asked him what he thought of Microsoft but he declined to give me any information for free although he was friendly. A couple of bag ladies were shuffling around as well as a man digging cans out of the trash.
A Channel 40 van pulled up by Court Square and a young cameraman in cargo pants, love beads, bracelets and a black rock band t-shirt jumped out. The camera people are the fun people, not the newscasters. On the planter facing State Street at the end of City Block was a sign reading "No Bicycling - No Skateboarding - No Rollerblading." So City Block is a No-Fun, No-NoLand. I shouted to the cameraman, "NO BICYCLING! NO SKATEBOARDING! NO ROLLERBLADING.!" The cameraman laughed and said that City Block would be "a great surface for skateboarding." At one point I did see a policeman tell a black kid on a bike that he can't ride it at City Block.
On display were some obnoxiously fancy merchandise carts with wheels, natural wood, domed top and big brass pipe fittings. Mike Rivas came along passing out the City Block rules to all the vendors. He didn't know who I was so I asked about setting up a sales stand. He said I would need a license for $250 and asked me what I sell. I told him booklets with poetry in them for $2 or $3 each. He told me I would also have to rent a cart for $1,000 for a 10 week season. I said, "Gee, that's pretty expensive, can't I use my own table or cart?" He said it would have to approved by the City Block committee. I asked if the carts were from one of the malls and he replied, "No, this guy out of Cambridge."
At five to noon four people in their thirties, actor types, began juggling. They were very skilled. Jason Russell, the TV40 weatherman, appeared in a suit and wingtips. I counted noses and got 119 people at noon with about twenty more sitting outside Tilly's for a total of about 140 on hand by noon sharp. Love's Downtown Dogs were selling chili dogs for $2.25. Sprint had a fancy wagon selling cell phones, a black fellow was selling candles, Blue Moon Coffee Roasters of Sumner Avenue was there and someone was selling Silver Forest jewelry from Vermont. The Basketball Hall of Fame was selling t-shirts and mugs. Before departing at 12:15pm, I counted again and got 171 persons present. On my walk back to the car, I cut through Baystate West/Tower Square and there was a good crowd in the Food Court, maybe a hundred diners around. Champions had about twenty customers and Pizzeria Uno had ten or twelve. Not bad, but awful compared to happier times. By The Fort I saw a uniformed cop get out of a black jeep 9818 ET. Forgot to write down the time I got home.
The evening news said a survey showed only 14% of women work mainly for personal satisfaction. Jobs got women wage slavery, not liberation. 37% of women are the primary wage earner. The primary point is this: I support Women's Liberation 100%. Women should be treated equally and should be liable for military service while still respecting the differences between men and women physically and psychologically. The sexes are different and intended to be complementary, not the same. But women working has masked the fact that the American standard of living has been falling for the last thirty years. Everyone in the family has to work to maintain our standard of living. What a man could provide in 1958 now a husband and wife both must work to provide. People are nickle and dimed into buying lawncare, cell phones, cable TV, internet, etc, etc, etc, stuff you buy but have nothing to show for. We are paying more and more for less and less, until the day will come when we pay everything for nothing.
What sounded like a kid called from Keith A. Korbut, 783-5624. I asked who they were and what they wanted and when I heard no reply I hung up in their ear. I called Mrs. Staniski who said she got the stuff I left her but she said it is too hot to read in the summer. She said her daughter Ann is taking her to Boston. The mail brought a thank you note from Joann DiRico. Where are the works of John Wesley? Eamon's latest phone editorial is very good, including phrases that are from talking to me: "The chickens have come home to roost for the never gainfully employed Pellegrino family, repeatedly cast in a bad light of their own making. The Union-Snooze is trying to rehabilitate the family's image with an absurd puff-piece of photo-journalism that ignores the facts, record and the truth, from the political hack appointee judge to the Mrs. who was removed from the Police Commission for general incompetency. The apple didn't fall far from the tree. Raipher, a lightweight lawyer booted off the City Council, is best known for his mishandling of the illegal basketball stadium land taking case."
A mild day, 74 degrees at 10:45am. Gas is $1.61 at Cumberland Farms across from Angelo's.
I am typing on the Olympia in the dining area. Governor Cellucci was in the area for a ribbon cutting at the Chicopee River Business Park and also visited the State Police Tactical Operations Center. Wasn't today supposed to be the groundbreaking for the Basketball Hall of Fame? I remember Mayor Albano saying it would be, but it wasn't and I wonder if there are serious problems. It could be that Larry O'Brien's projections are out of line and created impossible expectations. Later on TV22 we were told that the groundbreaking was postponed because of a scheduling conflict. Former Mayor Robert Markel, who is presently with the Boston Management Consortium, is a candidate for City Manager of Lowell.
Cleaned house, did a load of wash, did the dishes and took a bath. Orchard Valley called while I was bathing. A Rollin Atkinson called and apologized for dialing the wrong number for Storrowton. Later Karen Powell called but I was napping. The mail came at 1:45pm and Barry Simpson and I were out by our mailboxes at the same time. He is a good looking fellow and thanked me for recommending he check out Ruby Tuesday. I asked but he declined to say where he got his education, but told me has been with Friendly's for 17 years. He used to run the Friendly's at Baystate West and he blamed the local politicians for downtown's decline. A nice fellow.
Dined today on a pork chop, microwaved potato and a tossed salad. Went to Louis & Clark mid-afternoon, then to Angelo's for some rhubarb at 59 cents a pound, nice, big stalks. Matties Cafe at 750 Boston Road features comedy every Friday night. Arriving home, I found the Penniman's sitting out by their garage so I stopped. He can understand what people say but can't talk. Mrs. Penniman must be greatly burdened by the responsibilities of caring for him. She told me they haven't been to Vermont for a long time and her youngest child just turned 40. Her eldest is 48.
The School Board wants to crack down on absenteeism, but of course Eamon gets no credit. I chatted with Eamon, who just had some clocks fixed by Gary Block Jewelers on Walnut Street in Agawam. Eamon also visited his friend Serkin of Finestine Leather, who told him the Santaniello people have told him he has to be out by July so they can begin demolition. That was a good block for little shops and Eamon feels it is a mistake to tear it down. I said no thanks to Fran Gagnon, who has been a development friendly historical commissioner. Eamon suggested to Serkin that Gary Block has space to let on his second floor, but Serkin said bolts of leather are heavy and he needs a first floor operation. Serkin said he might be moving to a new location in West Springfield, so there goes another business! Sadowski of Williams Distributing, the liquor dealer, whom Eamon thinks runs a wonderful operation, is moving to Chicopee. Lots of good economic news for everybody but Springfield.
Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush joked that Democrat Al Gore has no chance against him in the general election because the vice-president went to Harvard instead of to Yale like Bush. The comic Apartment 3G is by Frank Belle and Lisa Treslani. Karen J. Goldstein is the Curator of Collections at the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth. On the evening news First Notice Systems were advertising for workers that have a pleasant personality and can type 25 words per minute. They are also offering a $1,000 signing bonus. The moving of the Eurasia restaurant to Bridge Street is a blow to the Johnson family. What if they reach a point where they can no longer pay the taxes on their building?
Every morning before I leave I make it an ironclad rule that before I go into the garage I lift my weights over my head. My left arm is improving a bit, which is nice. I heard on television last night that the best cure for pain is to just keep moving. I have always thought the same about exercise, just do it! These are truths I learned from my body, not from Father and Mother, who approached everything with a be careful attitude. There was an Open House at the Glickman school today but I went to the job fair instead. First I mailed some stuff to Vannah of the Valley Advocate at Louis & Clark, where I also got today's paper out of the trash can. Then over to the Meline Kasparian Center behind Sci-Tech, where they have a photo of her in the hallway. There were only about 25 cars parked outside. The recruitment materials were really glitzy and some were quite clever. I spoke to one Robert Starr about construction work and he said you have to be able to lift 80 pounds in 80 degree heat. I told him, "I think you are trying to scare me away," to which he replied, "I'd rather overstate it than understate it."
From the Labor Fair I went on another House Tour. I parked at MacDuffie and walked down. It starting at 220 Maple, the house of James Shriver, the former Chamber of Commerce head. I was dressed High Queer with my Apache haircut, bondage collar, name tag (Queer Fag Sissypansy), padlock and chain, purple pants and underpants pulled tight over my Oriental jock strap, purple socks and lumberjack boots. Jill, the lady at the door, recognized me and said, "You were first last week and this week!" She told me that Mrs. Wilkinson in Longmeadow was very pleased with the note I sent her. Mrs. Wilkinson also told her it is very hard to get a house ready for tourists and it was nice to know someone appreciated it. They called the Shriver House gothic, but it's not really. Shriver was friendly but the house had no oil paintings. There were nice flowers all around and a pool out back.
Then to Tifft Hall, which is the headmistresses residence. It has a large double kitchen and a smaller one for everyday use. The Wallace House was an enormous disappointment. It has some Victorian touches, but most were lost during a remodeling. Then over to Ingersol Grove, where Fran Gagnon's house is the grey one on the corner. She has a lot of weeds in her lawn and the house needs painting. I wonder if Gagnon runs around the city so much that she neglects her own property. 28 Ingersol Grove is a palace. The tour was by the meek Dr. Robert F. Kinder, who is a retired consultant to the Connecticut Department of Education. He showed us around this massive mansion furnished with both real antiques and reproductions of the the expensive sort. There was a lot of Jewish stuff, although Kinder said he's Christian. It is his partner Ed Zuckerman who is Jewish. There was an enormous glass case of Jewish candlelabra, all sizes and about 50 of them. Outside, Kinder showed us an immaculate garden, an impeccable lawn and a large, black water fountain. It was once the home of James Gill the art dealer. He was married to Emily Abby, whose first husband was the contractor who built extensively in the Forest Park area. Emily, who came from Chicopee, gave a total of $16 million to various colleges in the area. The Gill grandfather was President of the Peerless Handcuff Company and I was right in guessing that they were related to the people in Longmeadow with the nice paintings.
Next was 179 Clarendon where I met Paul Kenny, who collects the sort of paintings I do. 190 Longhill belongs to a diplomat and is full of an incredible collection of Islamic brass and paintings. An immense house ruined by modernization but full of Islamic treasures. There is a sun room with maybe 50 hookahs, big and little, a wonderful assortment. Several doors were custom hand-hewed for the house. Everywhere there were museum quality curatorial signs. 218 Longhill is impeccable and black owned, the windows were open and it was breezy with fresh air. They had two bride's baskets like Mother got from Mrs. Hayes. But ultimately nothing special, no interesting collections, nothing distinctive but everything kept nice. Barnshaw's 237 had some especially nice Western things, including a bronze sculpture of a bison on the mantle and a fabulous garden out back.
Following the tour of Ingersol Grove and Clarendon, I drove over to Springfield Cemetery. Don D'Amato the trustee was just leaving as I arrived. I found no one in the office so I drove up to the crematorium. Unfortunately, two guys came out and told me that I couldn't go in but in a friendly enough fashion. I looked the chapel over and there is a podium with an oak thing to put a coffin on beside it. On it was written "Blessed are the Pure of Heart for They Shall see God" and 1886 in Roman numerals. The balcony is full of boxes, indeed the chapel overall doesn't appear to be used very often and it is in need of major repairs. I don't believe there has ever been a postcard made of the chapel.
On my way home I swung by the porn shop at Apremont Triangle. The clerk told me that he had no idea what became of International Leatherman magazine. At the corner of Mattoon and Eliot there was a tag sale sponsored by the Mattoon Street Association where I bought an Avon bottle in the shape of the Eiffel Tower and 34 political buttons from the 1960's for a dollar apiece. One lady asked me, "Do you live around here?" I stopped at Louis & Clark, where Mr. Lucius was mailing a letter wearing chinos and a white t-shirt. I wonder what he thought of my purple outfit? When I got home, in the mail I received a check in the amount of $25.20 for royalties from the sale of five copies of Reports of Sir Edward Coke in Verse. There is a letter in the paper from Mary Lou Connolly of Del Mar, California. She is the daughter of Eamon's brother Raymond M. Sullivan. She didn't attend the dedication of the fire station, but wrote praising the city for honoring her father "in a tangible and representative way."
Hot and humid, 77 degrees at 7am.
Today is the 50th Anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The news last night said the USA is tops in the expensiveness of our healthcare. Milton Bradley, founder of the Milton Bradley Game Company in Springfield, lived from 1838 to 1911. Last night I wrote a poem:
The more smut you read, the smuttier you get.
The more religion you read, the more religious you get.
But there is this difference:
Religion is nonsense.
Smut is reality.
Smut is the nature of Man.
Religion is not.
Smut is real.
Religion is not.
Last night I got into my white, plastic suit naked except for my martial arts jock strap, put on my bondage hood and spent the night that way. I almost think if someone offered to make me a slave and keep me in a cage for a year I'd do it for the sheer adventure of it. Life is boring so we do things to escape boredom. Therefore, I try to train myself to endure all sorts of "unpleasant" things that I should be able to handle as someone's slave.
Yesterday I had fruit juice, french toast with syrup and two grilled cheese sandwiches. I am overweight so today I dined on salad, juice, fruit and two hot dogs with mustard. That's it. Stayed home most of today and wrote a lot of letters. I did go out to make copies and was aghast to discover that Pride in the Acres is now charging seven cents each for copies. That makes their price the same as CopyCat, but their quality is not as good. Briefly stopped at the Open House at 49 Bellamy Road, located among some of the houses owned by WNEC. I bet they'd like to sell it to the college. At Lewis & Clark I mailed things to Hambley at 190 Longhill, Kinder and Zuckerman at 28 Ingersoll, Kenny and Sims at 179 Clarendon, Helen Boyle, the Gills of Longmeadow, Shriver at 220 Maple and Jill at the Pioneer Valley Girl Scouts. There was no newspaper in the trashcan.
The mail was here at 1:33pm with no Wesley books but there was my $93.32 tax refund from the Feds. There hasn't been a word in the paper about the Hall of Fame groundbreaking having to be postponed. No mention on TV40 either, only on 22. There is an interview with Bob Turin of the Business Improvement District in the paper today. Karen Powell called and said she has tried to reach me several times. I told her I have been out a lot shopping, on house tours and monitoring City Block. I told her quite a bit about those topics. I asked her about Wizard Auto Body in Hampden and she said they're "good but expensive." I asked her if Maureen Turner is getting married and she said not this year. I told Karen not to mention to Mo that I was inquiring.
Misty, hot and humid.
Club Infinity on Liberty Street features hip-hop, R&B and reggae. My black raspberries are starting to fill out and turn pink. Wrote more correspondence this morning. When I went out to make copies at 8:55am, there was a Bud can on the front lawn. I found today's paper in the trash can by Louis & Clark's front door. Next, I headed to Sixteen Acres for the dedication of the extensively remodeled and expanded 16 Acres Library. I wore my logger boots, orange jumpsuit, my Apache sticking up and of course my bondage and chain collars, dog-tags and padlock.
The ceremony was very nice with all the big shots present, including Sen. Brian Lees and Mayor Albano. The ceremony started at five to noon and was over at 12:15pm. The Mayor had a big red plastic pair of scissors to cut the ribbon. Inside, they had refreshments consisting of iced tea and pink lemonade, finger rolls of egg salad, tunafish and seafood salad. There were assorted cookies and tarts. They gave away shopping bags with 16 Acres Library Grand Opening on them. They also gave out coupons for $2 off any round trip fare on a Peter Pan or Greyhound bus. There was no sign of the Liberty Bell or the picture of Mrs. Corriveau. I mentioned them to Emily Bader who was friendly and said they haven't got all the furniture and decorations back in place yet. I also told her that the children's room needed little furniture for little patrons. She told me she never knew Mrs. Corriveau.
A photographer took a picture of me chatting with Dominic Sarno in his red suspenders. There was a tablet naming all the people involved in the renovation, including Helen Boyle, whom they said in her earlier days used to be a librarian. I told Boyle she should be getting a letter from me soon. There was no mention on the tablet of the people involved with constructing the original building. People from 3M were there setting up the automated check out system. I asked but no one knew how many people are on the library staff. I also chatted briefly with Eamon's nephew Pat Sullivan of the Park Department, who told me the skateboard park in back will be opening soon. Fran Gagnon and I wound up standing next to each other at one point. We didn't speak until finally I leaned over and asked, "Should we say hello?" She was very friendly about saying, "Hi, how are you today?" That was that.
When I left at 12:50pm it was sprinkling and it occurred to me that they should have added a sidewalk going from across the front lawn towards the shopping center parking lot. From there I went over to the 16 Acres Big Y and bought several items, including a container of potato salad that I noticed at the checkout counter had an expiration date of June 5th. The girl checked, then said it was a "misprint" and should've said July 5th. I asked if I could have the potato salad for free for discovering the error and she said, "It's yours." "Thanks, sweetie," I replied, "I've taught you how to do business." With a frown she plunked the salad container in a bag. Professor Anzalotti was there and as always greeted me like a great friend. It was still sprinkling when I came out of Big Y. On my way home I took the latest Randolph Herald to Mrs. Penniman, who thanked me with a bright smile.
Today I dined on half a grapefruit, a peach, raspberry yogurt, a baloney and cheese sandwich and some potato salad. Back at the Expo Business 2000 or whatever I asked Don Wesson of Veritech to send me material about their firm and gave him my card. He remarked about my comment on the card about being in solidarity with those in jail for doing drugs by asking, "Do you do drugs?" I said no, but I believe my ancestors in the American Revolution, all thirteen of them, fought for the right of all Americans to get stoned in the manner of their choosing. Anyway, the promised material never came, so today I called their number and got Melinda, who said that Don Wesson is Vice President for Sales and Marketing. She was friendly and told me she would "remind Don to send the information."
The mail brought my semiotics handbook but not the Wesley books, which The Scholar's Bookshelf in its advertising states that they ship all orders within 24 hours. My Saturday Evening Post subscription has expired, so I wrote them saying I would not renew because they no longer carry the comic Hazel and are too out of touch with the times, are aimed at old folks and lacking diversity in its advertising, which is mostly medical products that make it seem like a magazine for hypochondriacs. A wrong number today from Sister Catherine, a meek, sweet nun at St. John's Congregational Church, calling looking for Robert F. Trabka of the City of Springfield, who inspected their furnace last week. I told her Trabka was not here. Unknown called four times and I never answered.
A lovely, less humid day, 67 degrees at 7:30am.
The Federal Reserve has decided not to raise interest rates. New Hampshire is first in the nation for standard of living. Hurwitz was on the news saying the costs of remodeling the Civic Center have gone up, but Governor Cellucci says no way. Club Asylum on the corner of Worthington Street holds teen dance parties for those 15 and older. The Exeter Building is being torn down for a parking lot. Eric Brown is the Mortgage Development Officer for Sovereign Bank. The Best Western Hotel on Riverdale Street in West Springfield is showing the film Healthcare: The Hidden Truth. The 7th Annual Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Luke Golf Tournament was May 22 at Oak Ridge Country Club in Feeding Hills. The Pine Theater in Northampton in 1999 featured performances by Buddy Guy and the Pat Metheney Group. Theodore's had a Remembering Duke Ellington show in May 1999. Theodore's has an ad stating, "Fat Jack's Quote of the Week - When a man is tired of beer, he is tired of life."
I drove downtown at 11:15am and deposited $150 with the Credit Union. I intend to have another $2,000 CD with them. I came through the Springfield Newspapers building and read the paper, where they described the library as Richardson Romanesque" instead of the proper "Richardsonian Romanesque." Arrived at City Block at 11:37am and picked up the new Valley Advocate. Ann Burke was there in the same tan outfit she always wears. Later I saw her talking on her cell phone as she bought a hot dog and soda and then sat down at a table with Bob Turin. Performing was the Unity Band, sponsored by AIC and consisting of keyboard, sax, guitar and a black drummer. Turin talked to the band as they were setting up. Their gear was stored in a black truck. Turin was wearing black loafers, grey socks, light brown pants and a blue shirt.
Soon someone representing the AIC Live Jazz Series announced that the band would start playing and the music was very good. The sax player introduced himself as Carl Lieberman and told us they would be playing again Thursday outside Gus & Paul's. Later I came up to him and corrected some of his language, explaining that I'm a grammarian and he said he was sorry but he never went to college. There were two cops on Smith & Wesson bicycles riding around, one of officers wore badge 140. Kids of all ethnic sorts were also riding around, some quite fast but nothing was done about it. At noon I counted 148 people. They had a new vendor with a southsea islands motif selling Mauwi Wowi smoothies for $4. Another vendor sold bottled water and candy bars. Blue Moon Coffee Roasters was there as well as Sprint with a tent roof. The best buy was was a vendor by Court Square who was selling hot dogs for a dollar. There were some black kids playing hopscotch, which reminded me of how at the First Church tag sale kids were drawing pictures in the sand of the churchyard. Kids invent their own games if they have no fancy toys.
Tilly's had five umbrellas up with Corona Extra printed on them. They have a white lattice fence all around their property line to contain the tables. There were 34 customers at Tilly's. Cafe Eurasia had a CLOSED sign on their door. Thirteen little black kids accompanied by three adults walked by but did not stay for the music. Councilor Dominic Sarno came along in his suspenders, saw a piece of litter on the ground and picked it up. Attorney John Thompson came by and stared at me for several moments before finally saying hi. I told him about my Blackstone poetry book. Turin eyed me several times as I talked to Thompson but never approached me. I decided to walk around and at 12:25pm and discovered Champions had only four customers. However, Pizzeria Uno had seven customers inside and a whopping 26 sitting outdoors. At 12:40 I went back and counted 211 at City Block. Music is a weak organizer because unlike a concert, it is throw away music and most people were throwing it away rather than staying for the duration.
On the way back to my car parked at the Credit Union, I stopped for burgers at the McDonald's in the Peter Pan bus terminal. There are no chairs in that restaurant. When I got home at 3:05pm, I found that Mr. Cohn had returned three of my magazines. Brian from MDS Auto Sales in Ludlow called and said he heard that my land in Wilbraham is for sale. I told him to send me a letter as a stating point for any discussion of selling Fernbank. He concluded, "Okay, very good." Had a nice chat with Mr. LaRose this evening, who called the intro to my book "eloquent." I told him to tell Nader the Hatter that I will write him eventually. Eamon called and told me how when he was a kid they had a chicken coop in the back corner of his lot and a garden where his lawn is. Everybody did, and he also recalled how his father used to have a competition with an Italian neighbor to see who would get the first red tomato. One time his father fooled the Italian by taking a big red tomato and tying it to the bush.
We talked about the plans to move the Federal courthouse from Main Street to where the Alexander House now is. Eamon complained that it will only move more people away from the downtown core. The current courthouse has ventilation problems and that is why the FBI has already moved out. The FBI moved first to the Fuller Block and then out to Brookdale Drive. Eamon said the Main Street deli by The Fort where Nader used to go a lot used to get customers from the nearby Unemployment Office. The office has been replaced by a nightclub and now the deli is long gone. A lot of the courthouse people go to Jake's, a little restaurant in the front corner of the Hotel Worthy. He wonders if that may also close when the courthouse moves.
Eamon says that Kevin Claffey, the court reporter, has graduated from law school and passed the Bar. His brother is also a lawyer. Claffey has not been assigned to cover several major cases recently and Eamon thinks the paper is trying to get him to leave. Eamon said his answering machine shows that someone named Edmond J. Miller calls a lot. Someone at the Basketball Hall of Fame called three times today and someone at the Springfield Newspapers calls twice a week. No calls from Fred Whitney in a while but Tom Devine calls all the time. Lots of calls from City Hall and the Hampden County Sheriff's Department. He said he also gets calls from Commerce and Central high schools. Many of his calls come from anonymous sources and Eamon wondered, "Who is hiding behind them?"
According to WFCR the release of the 4th Harry Potter book is causing quite a stir. Berkshire County goes out of business at midnight, the last county to be taken over by the Commonwealth. The ads for Club Escape in Chicopee use the phrase, "If you miss this you're slippin." Reflections on Hancock Street in Springfield has Hot Body Contests. Rachel Jones is the Young Adult Librarian at the Springfield Library.
I was supposed to go to a Mormon business seminar, but it was set for 7pm and a thunderstorm arrived so I stayed home. Can't go to everything. This morning I went and made copies at Breckwood, where a black woman at Louis & Clark commented on my appearance, which obviously pleased her saying, "You're unique, not queer." From there I went to Angelo's for some nice veggies and bought gas across the street for $1.63 per gallon. I told the cashier, "At these prices I ought to get green stamps or a turkey platter." Then over to Reeds Landing, arriving at 10:10am in my plastic suit and logger boots with my biker's jacket, full bondage collar and my Apache straight up in a fresh application of Vaseline. I had no problem with anyone. I was greeted by Linda Maloney and brought with me my Camp Massasoit postcards. I told her I brought them today so the residents could see them and I showed her the Underwood cards which are extremely rare.
They had tables set up and thirty or so old folks seated and being served coffee and muffins. There was a table showing handicrafts the residents had done. I said I'd skip the coffee and spread out my postcards on top of the piano. Only a couple of people looked at the postcards before Maloney introduced the day's program. The morning started with a very nice slide lecture by a thin man named Dick Martin. It included a shot of the Tech High cornerstone and the old South Church building on Bliss Street. After the slides, Dr. Markarian came out and did sit down exercises. I made a list of just what the exercises were. Markarian said the secret to good health is to keep moving and I am of the same mind.
Following that presentation, we were broken up into groups and marched to the store, the library and the hairdresser. In my group was Mrs. Wilson Forbes, a very friendly lady who used to work for the telephone company but would have been good in Hall Galleries or someplace like that. The tour culminated in the dining room, where I sat with Mr. Forbes (who is in a wheelchair) and Mr. and Mrs. George Nieske of Wilbraham. We were served ice cream topped by strawberries and banana slices. Next we were shown the apartments. Barb Kieth in 108 has lots of Oriental stuff. Bernice Aborn has a lovely Victorian living room set upholstered in rose. Her bed is very high and I told her how Mother sometimes slept on a cot close to the floor.
The Forbes' are in a large and fancy cottage that was featured on the cover of The Landing newsletter. Mr. Nieske was a dentist and his wife was his receptionist. She is a slender, vivacious can-do gal. They have a collection of weighing scales. Wilson Forbes was a mechanic for Western Mass Electric. Addie Falk came over and said hi. Joyce's kids are doing very well, one is in Pennsylvania, the other is an athlete and getting offers from Ivy League places. Falk's psychologist/lawyer daughter is lecturing on law in Russia. I promised to send Addie a notice when my new book comes out.
From there I headed downtown and parked on Salem Street. Two black men were fixing a staircase on Mattoon Street. I found a copy of the Union-News in a trash can on the corner of Dwight and Bridge. At City Block T.J. Conroy Jr. was performing with a guitar, keyboard and an adjustable mike. The music was lovely but didn't fill the space as well as the jazz the other day. I counted 121 present, 31 of them in Tilly's. Ann Burke was there talking to a chubby man in a Springfield Electric Company t-shirt. The candles vendor wasn't there, and the jewelry stand was replaced by a t-shirt vendor, which probably has better prospects. A kid in his 20's looked at my outfit and smiled as he said, "How ya doin, buddy?"
Shkenna was sitting on the bench in front of Subway where she works and a woman in a PVTA shirt was retrieving soda cans from a trash can. Is it worth the effort? No cops anywhere in sight. Albano's red haired aide went into Cafe du Jour and came out with a cup of coffee and headed back towards City Hall. Turin in a striped shirt sat down on the bench by Tilly's. A guy walked by wearing a shirt that said, "I got my pork pulled at Theodore's." A woman and her little boy laughed at me. Before I left I counted 39 people at Tilly's, an alltime high.
From there I went to the porn shop and still no Leatherman or Brush Hill publications. What happened? They were doing so well. I checked out the Exeter Building at 172 Chestnut. The black man running the trophy shop confirmed it is being torn down. I looked in the stairwells and the marble has been stripped off the walls and plaster is all over the place. It's a nice two story building that is great for small shops, exactly what the city would need if it ever makes a comeback. A senseless waste to tear it down for parking.
On the NBC news tonight they mentioned the Summer Concert Series in NYC so it seems everybody has such a series. Eamon called and read me the Thomas Sowell column Teachers May Protest, But Facts Remain. We agreed it is splendid, just what we have been saying. Eamon told me that Serkin of Finestein Leather is still searching for a new location. His worker Al had to be rushed to the hospital recently for a colon operation. Eamon also talked about a TV show he saw about the Springfield Campanile. He says it is very rusty and in disrepair, a typical example of the city letting things go to hell rather than keeping things up. An attorney named Flanagan is collecting pennies from school children to repair it and has raised $72,000. Eamon says Mass Mutual should volunteer to pay for the repairs. It has only 12 bells, which are on hammers rather than wheels. I told him hammer mechanisms are common on carillons because the action is faster. Presently they don't work at all, but they would make nice background music downtown at noon and attract people to Court Square.