Monthly Archives: julhet 2013

Things that fly.

     I was watching ABC News today, which is what I usually watch, and they featured a golf course in Ohio where you may rent a flying golf cart for one nine hole round for 175.00 dollars.  It turns out it is a hovercraft designed by a professional golfer who wanted to ramp-up his image and the image of his primary backers.  It flies over the land and the water and is guaranteed not to improve your game.  Jim Moriarty may not need one, because his game is pretty good and he does an excellent radio interview about his game at the City’s, but with my handicap, I would have to have a guarantee that it would improve my game.
     I have been golfing since I was five.  It was my father’s second favorite sport, after football, of course.  He had miniature golf clubs made and got the golf course to charge us a quarter for eighteen holes of golf.  Pretty fair trade, as far as I was concerned at that age.  A quarter could buy you five candy bars, so you really had to want to golf.  My brother Tom and I did.  Why, we once spent an entire dime calling home after taking each other on in a game.  The dime was spent at a telephone.  Quite a hefty sum for us.  But the round of golf was worth it.
     We carried our golf bags, we did not hovercraft them.  However, it goes to show how different today is from yesterday.  Golf carts were relatively new and scorned by many as being an easy way of playing the game.  You hit, and rode, and hit, and rode.  Now, even to me, the newness of the idea of a hovercraft golf cart seems worth the initial price.  And it balances your soda or beer.  What could be better?
     To me, golfing is not on the same par, good pun there don’t you think, as a good fishing trip.  I like the fact that the hovercraft hovers over water, which just might tempt me to drop a fishing line.  Other than that, I do not see myself traveling to Ohio to ride on one, but you never know.  It would certainly be a different way to go boating.  I like standard boats myself, and I have one.  So, I believe that I will fish from that.  I like game fish, and basically I am a « throw it back » fisherman unless I was lucky enough to catch a huge gamefish, which I just might be inclined to barbecue.
     Fly fishing seems to be the ultimate in giving the fish a fighting chance.  Bait fishing, which I enjoy, probably hooks more fish, but it kills those who swallow the hook.  So I am giving bait fishing a hiatus for now.  I am tempted to talk about my experiences fishing and boating, but believe me, boating is a subject that I have to relate later.  Too many stories, not enough time.  Do keep in mind, though, that Butch Milot, the Commodore of the Lowell Motor Boat Club, extends his invitation to a few good people who want to join.  All you need is to have two members vouch for you and sign your application.

meandering with shakespeare and vampires

 It has occured to me that I am not too good at this computer stuff.  I just tried to update my profile on LinkedIn and wrote in « Wedding Preparations. »  It turns out that the landscaping company was helping someone in wedding preparations and it grabbed that title for the Facebook or LinkedIn.  I understand one thing about computers and that is that they are machines with electricity going through it and advanced programming threading that electricity so we can enjoy our time with the damned machine.  Other than that, I am clueless.  My kids understand their computers very well, and so does my wife, but I am clueless.  I do not think that I can even program the television correctly and when I do I come up with shows like « Criminal Minds. »  The only criminal minds on that show are the writers.’   They come up with some situations that are so bizarre, even the criminals are in awe of their sheer mindset.  Then there are the vampire shows.
     The vampire shows have whole minorities of vampires trying to make it in a nonvampire world that hates them.  Why?  Well I would have to guess it has to do something with the vampires killing people by gnawing at their necks.  The prettiest women on the shows love the vampires, it seems, and there, as Shakespeare would say, is the rub.  Do not get me wrong, their are a significant number of people out there who believe that vampires are Shakespearean material and that, given the chance, he would have written about them.  I am not of the ilk, even though I do believe that he scuplted his characters for the masses.  Uneducated groundlings sat in the « cheap seats » or, as history would have it, on the ground, thus the name.  And they could not even read.  But, unlike all but the most educated of us, they understood Shakespeare and he understood them.  Think about his contributions.  In « Hamlet, » he deals with ghosts of dead kings.  In « Richard III » he deals with the death of an unpopular king, whose remains were just uncovered in the Tower of London.  For some strange reason, they took DNA from a direct descendant to prove it was the king.  Now, bear with me for a bit, if the dead king has descendants, doesn’t that make them the heirs, the true Plantagenet heirs, to the throne?   In the absence of the heirs of Harold the Saxon, who was the king before William the Conqueror, the Plantagenets have the right to the throne, not the Windsors who now occupy it, because the Plantagenets are direct descendants of William.  The man who gave the DNA sample should, by all English laws and traditions, be king.  That is how I see it anyway.  However, I digress.
     I told my wife that while she watched the vampire movies, I would sit outside on the deck and if any vampires came by, I would certainly invite them in.  That, according to the shows, it the only way a vampire can enter your house.  After perhaps a year, without vampire sightings, I was ready to pack it in.  Then, right in our dining room, a huge bat flew right at me.   Now, it is well known that vampires can appear as bats.  So I wrapped it up in a towel, and threw it outside.  But, I gave up saying that I would invite a vampire in, because one came in in the shape of a huge bat.  Where it gained access to the dining room I do not know.  However, I became a believer in letting my wife and daughter watch vampire shows.
     Getting back to computers, which is what televisions are now, the programs on television are, in my opinion, not too good.  I have another friend who sells his used car by putting a sign on it « Runs good. »  He sells every car.  He has a doctorate in History but uses that phrase because the average person understands it.  My father had his doctorate and he would have written a dissertation on why you should buy his car.  Not this good doctor, he is direct, to the point, and wastes no words.   Even he, to be honest, cannot understand current television programming.  He does not believe that television « runs good, » and neither do I.
     In my opinion television is an huge disappointment.  It is geared to the lowest common denominator.  It is disappointing.  The only show I really enjoy, and I have no idea why, is the daily « CityLife » with John McDonough and George Anthes.  I do not often agree with much these two say, but, like Captain Nelson, « I defend to the death their right to say it. »  So those are the meanderings of my mind for tonight.  I hope it makes some sense, because I certainly do not believe that it does.  Thank you for understanding.

Atrocities Against Native Americans

Native Americans were treated poorly by the English.  Passaconaway and Nhnancomock consented to giving up their rights as independent nations shortly after King Phillips War.  My father told me that more European and Native American men died, as a percentage of the whole, than in any war in American history including WWII and the Civil War.  It was a close contest because roughly two percent of the nation’s young men died in the Civil War while over two percent of the colonists and Native Americans died in King Phillip’s War.  It seems, if I am reading this document from the Massachusetts Archive correctly (Vol. 30, Pg. 3), that Passaconaway, who was a god to his followers, and Nhnancomock signed over their rights to be free and independent and instead sought the protection that Governor Winthrop and the English could provide.
     Other nations were not so compliant.  The Kancamangus would go to war over the restrictions in this document, but the English fought back with bacterial warfare.  Pieces of cloth, coated with the smallpox bacteria, were shipped by ship to the recalcitrant Native Americans, who had no means of survival of this germ waarfare.  The result was staggering.  Nineteen out of every twenty Indians were killed by this tactic.  Lowell Cemetery was a favorite Native American Burial Ground and between 1842 and 1862, hundreds of Native American bones were uncovered with artifacts that were buried with the dead.  Apparently, there was little concern for the bones of these people either.
     The Penacook Confederacy and the Pawtucket tribes vanished.  The English insistence on compliance or death had resulted in death.  In the first year of village incorporation, 1826, the last Native American left Lowell for good.  He was without family or friends, the last of his kind.  Legend has it he headed north, but no one knows for certain.
     In past articles, I have listed these atrocities.  We have Merrimack Street, a Native American name.  We  have virtually nothng of Native American interest beyond a few streets named for the Native American nations.  It is time to rectify our mistakes by allowing the remaining Native American nations to tell their story in a museum dedicated to their culture.  If anyone has any interest in this, then I guess you could like me on Facebook.  And, list the reason why.  I will get back to you.

A few thoughts…

I had an interesting experience the other day.  At four-thirty in the morning there was a strong rap on the door  My daughter went to the door and there was a police officer there.  He looked at her when she opened the door and said,
     « Your sprinkler is on and your neighbors complained that it was ruining their yard. »
     My daughter went and turned it off, relating the visit the next morning to those of us who are heavy sleepers.  I never imagined a turned-on sprinkler to be a police problem but either they had little to do or did not know where the turn-off valve was on the side of the house.
     Speaking of people sleeping, I called the Avellone campaign three times.  They had told me that they wanted to discuss the Lowell political scene with me, so I was just calling to schedule a time.  Strangely, I never got a call back, so my first foray into the arms of the Avellone campaign has been short and sweet.  Maybe I do not know as much as they thought, I see John McDonough of CityLife to be much more appealing in that regard than I am.  He and George Anthes keep up the politica banter all of the time  Jim Campinini might be a good person to touch base with, he certainly knows Lowell politics.  I might just recommend them to set the Avellone campaign straight.  As one conventioneer told me, the man has to become known outside of Wellesley and Worcester.  A little visibility might help, but expanding past your circle is paramount.
     I am barbecuing and I always burn the beef.  I used to have a gas barbecue, but one of them had fire shoot out of the handle and burn me, one of them burnt itself to a crisp on a barbecued chicken regimin, and two propane tanks burst into flames and burned the back of my house down.  Fortunately, Chelmsford carpenter Steve Gilchrist braved the winter elements and we eventually got back into our house.  But, I went on a no propane diet.  I bought a really cool charcoal barbecue grill at Lowe’s and use it almost as often as I used the gas grill.  Something about barbecuing in the summer is irresistible.
     One thing that some people have noticed is the number of buildings being built by the University.  They state that there is a problem because the land is not taxable « anymore. »  The fact is that most of the buildings constructed are being constructed on sites that were University-owned before  the buildings were ever constructed.  And the building at St. Joseph’s was never taxed anyway.  So most of the buildings, if not all, had no tax status anyway.  Let us just be glad that the Crosspoint Towers are now taxed.  That, Target, Lowe’s, Marshall’s, etcetera are all new taxable properties.  I believe, but cannot prove, that one of the Market Basket stores has a TIF, but, again, I am not sure  Besides, a TIF is an incentive to put your business in Lowell and that can only be a good thing.
     My business is trying to get a house ready for wedding traffic by putting in a display of flowers, a new brick sidewalk, and a few other improvements so I have been extremely busy.  When putting in a brick patio, buy your stone dust from a reputable dealer.  I go to Parson’s Tree Service in Chelmsford because,  to the best of my knowledge, local businesses do not sell stone dust.  At this time of year it is wise to by annuals, even though their color is only good for the rest of the season.  They are very pretty and vibrant and a good buy if you can find them.  Mahoney’s still has some.
The « first baby » is the Mayor’s son, and is he cute.  He looks alot like both of his parents and when he visited he could not keep his head up so he had a sideways view of the world.   My wife made him a present, but we have not given it to him yet.  The Mayor is doing well, and I am impressed with the number of youths he has inspired to go into politics.  He does not put any pressure on them, they just watch him and lean in that direction.  He has been extremely effective in that regard.  He is also a good breakfast companion and we have enjoyed many nice meals at Marie’s on Lawrence Street and the Club Diner downtown.  Only use cash at both, however.
     I am also impressed with the cash only price of gasoline at Haffner’s and the cash or credit price at Hess.  I have to get gas in my boat and I am an inveterate card user, so I guess I will head for Hess.  When I have cash, I head for Haffner’s.  My boat is still not in the water because the purveyors of the dam keep dropping or raising the water level and I cannot find the right time to put the boat in.  At this rate I am going to miss the season.
     Dick Howe’s Blog seems to be doing well, and I get a lot of information from it.   One thing that I admire about Dick is that he is so successful and chooses to remain in Lowell.  I peronally believe that you should live where you work.  But, of course, that puts my wife in Lawrence and me in Lowell, so there goes that argument.  One irate caller to the discussion on the City Life Show said, « What about Brian Martin? »  Brian, of course, lives and loves living in Lowell.
     I do believe that it would be nice if the City Manager lived in the city, though.  My father, as Superintendent of Schools, was required by contract to live in the city and without that experience, I would never have fallen in love with the city as much as I have.  You can find anything in the city, and the downtown is full of little shops that are trying to make it.  So try to make it down there and check things out.
     So, a note to my mowing customers.  My son, Rory, is handling the mowing while I work on that wedding.  I hope that is OK.  To everyone else, I hope this little exchange has been in some way, useful.  It is a little bit about everything.  No major buildings were torn down this week and that is just fine with me.  And, I still want to have the University build that Native American Museum where Manzi Dodge used to operate, across from the Francis Gate.


One thing that I enjoy probably as much as anything else is fishing.  This week, the World Fishing Network decided that it wanted unique fishing stories.  I have a few, mostly concerning my time spent fishing with my father, but quite a few dealing with times fishing with my kids.  I have three boys and one girl.  The biggest fish ever caught by any of them was a large bass caught by my two year old, Rory.  His big brother Jeremy was excited to catch a fish and handed the rod and reel to Rory to see how fishing felt.  Rory took the reel and a big bass ate Jeremy’s smaller fish whole.   Rory caught such a big fish that we kept it in the freezer for years, planning on getting it taxidermied.  We never did get to that but we had the fish frozen for twenty years.  It was a high point in Rory’s childhood.
     Years later we sponsored a Peters’ Fishing Tournament, but by then most of the kids had moved onto skateboards and bicycles.  So that did not go too well.  But, we sponsored trophies and presented them to the winners.  Throughout our house are trophies with jumping fish on them.  They shine as brightly as our many baseball and soccer trophies, and excite some interest from guests to the house.
     Adam was also an avid fisherman, although he gave it up earlier than his siblings.  Chloe took to fishing in New Hampshire, catching a large bass when she was four.  So those might be the stories that I would write to the World Fishing Network.  However, there were others with my father.  He was an inveterate fisherman, a man so enthralled with catching the fish that he once spent two days at Twin Lakes in Iowa fishing for a large Northern Pike that he just knew was in the murky waters.  On the second afternoon, he netted a six pound Northern Pike, and at his funeral I recounted the story and said that it showed that he had perservered.   He was like that.  Later, in my tenth year, I went on a Canadian fishing trip with him and netted my own Northern Pike.  He was very pleased for me and that was nice.
     Other stories abound.  My wife is a good fisherman, who jiggles the bobber and always ends up with the most fish caught at an outing.  My brother once caught twenty-five fish in a single day.  The day after my father died, I was on a Yankee cruise and caught seven cod.  I had never caught a cod before in my life.  My friends attributed it to luck but I told them my father was in the sea, hooking the cod on my line.  No one else caught many fish that day.
     I was introduced to fly fishing by good friends who want to remain nameless.  Just say they are super guys whose friendship and Republican leanings I greatly value.  Anyway, I caught my first trout while fly fishing and it was with great excitement that I pulled it in.  It will remain one of my favorite times in my life.
     What, if anything, is going on politically?  The mid-term Convention is over, which is kind of a relief, and the next phase is the elections for local office.  I am fairly certain of my School Committee picks but a bit less sure of my Council picks.  George Anthes pointedly asked me the last time I visited the television station who I wanted to see go.  I stated that I would appreciate it if Rodney Elliot would « stand down. »  I do want to see him get his chance to be mayor but I am opposed to scare tactics being used for political gain and that is exactly what was used to tie up the Council’s time with the Library for all citizens but those with a sexual deviation record.
     What burns me about this is the fact that it is unenforceable.  When my children were children, we were responsible for their whereabouts while in the library.  They could not go to the restroom without their father or mother present and certainly not if there was a strange man in there.  Taking that responsibility out of their hands is paramount to neglect.  It is not the librarian’s duty to police the people who come in the library.  What has happened is that there is a sign-up sheet for sexual deviants, but, according to a library employee I asked, there is no further effort to determine if that normal looking man over there is a sexual predator.  No one approaches a person to ask if they are on the Police Department’s list.  It is just as dangerous to send your child unattended to the Men’s Room as it always was, and always will be.   It made for great press in the paper, and got Rodney quite a few votes, but it did not, in my opinion, protect a single child.
     Marty Lorrey’s attempt to get rid of panhandlers is a bit different.  These are people who openly approach a vehicle, usually, and ask for money.  They glare at you if you refuse.  Oftentimes they have something to say that is derogatory to the person who does not give them money.  There are, I believe, ordinances against that type of activity.  All Mr. Lorrey is looking for is a check by police to get rid of unnecessary harassment on street corners.  These are probably not dangerous criminals but they bother us, and after a hard day at work, their presence is not necessary on the streets.
     Other than that, the City Council race looks to be well planned and well fought.  I wish all 21 of the candidates their time in the spotlight so we can make valued and wise judgments on who is the best person for Lowell.  And, this time, get out and vote.  Do not leave it to the small number of us who always get out and vote.  Take the responsibility upon yourselves and overturn, if that is your desire, the government.  Lowell needs your voice.

Meanderings about the State Convention

     I must admit to going into the idea of attending a major convention is not necessarily a good fit for me.  I am basically reticent and I do not get involved with crowds, notwithstanding my time on early morning television.  But, that is a controlled environment and there are only three or four of us there.  So I try to stay away from crowds.  A convention is not the place to test your degree of reticence, or stand-offishness, or whatever holds you back.  I knew when I signed up that there would be a great many people there and there were at least a couple of thousand.
     So, it generally takes a leap to get myself to a group involving thousands.  Sometimes you find out things about yourself in a large group, however, and I did.  I found that sometimes it is easier to go into a crowd that large instead of being locked into a smaller crowd, especially if you have not had a drink in fourteen years.  Sometimes a crowd can consist of you, yourself, and one or two other people.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but akin to being thrown into an elevator by yourself.  You could make conversation but the impetus is kind of lost.
     Those are the situations in which I found myself at the convention and its pre-game style opening.  I was primarily interested in meeting the candidates for Governor because I believe that that is the most important state-wide office in the Commonwealth.  So I went where they were supposed to be.  I went to meet Steven Grossman, I went to meet Joe Avellone, I went to meet Joe Curtatone.  I did meet all of these men, and they seemed like pretty nice guys.  After meeting them, I decided which ones seemed the most organized (Steve Grossman and Joe Avellone), and which shared my views on historical architecture, abortion, and taxes.  I believe in historical architecture, I only believe in abortion in matters of rape and incest (which still separates me from my church), and the subject of taxes.  I believe them to be far too high.
     Steve Grossman’s camp was a carnival-like atmosphere.  There were tons of people wearing orange Steve Grossman shirts.  When I got my chance to speak to the candidate, he looked at me for three seconds and turned to someone else.  I waited for the opportunity to speak to him for a minute but it became clear that that was not going to happen so I left him.  He had been my favorite candidate, but I found his lack of concentration slightly annoying.  I then went to Joe Avellone’s party next door.  He was not there, but came in later.  I was impressed with their table of literature and brochures.  By this point it was not taking a lot to impress me.  I then went to Joe Curtatone’s party which was supposed to start at six and it was close to seven.  His two workers had signs on the outside of the building but had not yet placed their sign, which they were wrestling with, on the column.  No literature was evident.
     I went back to the Athenian Corner to see Steve Grossman, but the lines were longer and I ducked into Joe Avellone’s camp.  While there I met his very nice wife, his sister-in-law, and, when I asked for a chance to speak with him, it was allowed.  I found out from his wife that they knew Paul Tsongas very well, and that he had been an adviser in the quest for the Presidency in 1992.  They had even rented the « little house » on Cape Cod from Paul and Niki during some summer hiatuses.  He mentioned that too, when I spoke to him.  He also mentioned the part about being on Paul’s advisory group during the campaign.  So, I was favorably inclined.
     Back to the Grossman group one last time.  I had no better luck.  I decided to mull over my experiences and come to a conclusion later.  I did not go to the big party at the Old Court Restaurant but instead went out to eat in a much quieter place out of the city.  I do not usually dine outside of the city, but it seemed the thing to do.
     I went home and related my impressions to my wife, Vicki.  I informed her that I was definitely going to the Convention in the morning.  I learned from Joe Avellone’s literature that he had been spending a great deal of time in the Worcester area.  I wondered where the references to Lowell were, but did not really formulate that question in my mind until now.  I believe that you have to love Lowell to get my attention.
     Getting up the next morning was not hard.  I had a mission after all.  Participate in the elective process at the convention level.  I parked in a friend’s space and walked to the Tsongas Center.  Unlike the night before, when I had appeared in work clothes, this time I got dressed up.  Shirt and tie.  I went to find a breakfast for another Gubernatorial candidate but it was over and they were cleaning up.  I wandered around the Tsongas Center and came upon some friends, Maria Sheehy and Patty Kirwin-Kielty.  I saw thi  s as an opportunity to learn a bit more about my party, elective politics, and some of the candidates.  Joe Grossman used his opportunity to announce his candidacy (very little surprising there), while the other gubernatorial candidates were not given the chance to speak to the convention.  It was chutzpah.
     After 12, I had to leave to do a lawn for an hour and when I got back, everyone was involved in discussion on the issues that had brought us together.  After that it was time for the final lunch at the downtown University hotel.  There I found Curtis LeMay, his wife, Susan, Patty Kirwin-Kielty, Maria Sheehy, and someone I knew but could not and cannot name correctly.  Names have never been a strong point, even though I recognize what a pleasant surprise it is to know someone’s name.  I had a stroke ten or twelve years ago and I lost my short-term memory, so I gave up on remembering people’s names.  This despite the fact that Governor Patrick had correctly called me Jim when he greeted me.
     So, for a day, I was on the Democratic side of things.  A bit of a change from all of my Republican friends.  Especially those at the Lowell Motor Boat Club.  Oh, and one last thing.  Commodore Armand « Butch » Milot invites people to apply for membership in the Lowell Motor Boat Club.  He wanted me to tell people that.

Trayvon Martin and the President

     Today, President Obama said, much to the chagrin of Conservatives and some Liberals alike, that he could have been like Trayvon Martin, shot to death in a Florida scuffle, because, it was implied, he was the same skin color as Trayvon.  When I lived in Chicago, the African Americans in the town that I lived in stated to my parents that it was not the European Americans they were afraid of but the African Americans making the one mile trek to their suburban homes in the middle of the night.  They implied that they were the targets of illegal harassment by their own kind.  Many of the kids in the suburban town of Harvey, Illinois were my friends, and my best friend, Carroll, was the one man I had in my wedding party.
     The President is right, he could have easily been Trayvon Martin.  Shot by a person who, in his defense in court, hid under the myriad laws of Florida that were geared towards excusing crimes against African Americans.  Was George Zimmerman the victim here?  The defense lawyers would have you think that was the case, but the question resonates with one simple question in and of itself.  That is, who had the gun?
     Trayvon Martin did not have it.  He was shot by it, and there is the problem.  One of my best workers is a young sixteen year old African-American who asked me the day before the verdict what I thought it might be.  When I told him that Zimmerman would go free he looked at me as if I was two or three-headed.
     « How can that be? » he stated.  I was not driving so I could look at the disbelief in his face.
     « The defense made it seem that Zimmerman was screaming, » I said.  « That doubt will resonate with the jury making it impossible for Trayvon Martin to be  exonerated. »
     He had nothing more to say.  He sat silently in the truck, saying nothing.  You could hear the wheels whizzing over the hot, sun-choked blacktop as the truck continued to move on.  This young man had a cousin, and later that day I asked him what his take on the case was, but I could guess.  He stated that the defendant would be found guilty at least of manslaughter.  I told him my theory and he too, did not believe me.
     The next morning I got my coffee, read the and was not surprised to hear that Zimmerman was acquitted.  Granted he was acquitted on a bit of a technicality, that being the Stand Your Ground law.  My understanding of that law is that a person can protect themselves with a firearm if they feel their lives are in danger.  My two young black friends could not believe the verdict, I could.  It reminded me of the saying that excuses many human rights violations in communities of color, « The number one killer of young black men is young black men. »  Too often we use that excuse to justify the criminal way that we treat people of color in their communities.
     The President is right.  In a similar situation he could be the victim of a hate crime.  I personally am surprised that he has personally bridged that gap with his words, and not his actions.  He could have issued an Executive Order against all « Stand Your Ground, » gun laws.  He could have sacrificed his honor by showing anger over the verdict.  All that he did was to say what my father used to always say,  « There but for the grace of God, go I. »
     So, who was right and who was wrong.  Well, it is like Harvey, except that in this case the killer of the young African-American was partially an European-American.  He walked the streets to supposedly keep the streets safer.  He was armed and apparently able to use those arms.  He was dangerous.  As a protector of the neighborhood, he was out of his element.  We can go over this case ad infinitum but the solution is simple.  We need stronger gun-control laws.  We need a President who does not just see the story but acts on it.  Trayvon Martin will never come home again, and he needs to be remembered at least for what he was, a young man walking home one night who got in the way of a bullet.  There may have even been a struggle, but he never had a chance.  He should be lionized for putting up a fight, not degradized for not submitting meekly to his own death.  Only George Zimmerman knows what really happened that night, and he is not telling.
     Finally, do the Blackstone Rangers have any right to take Zimmerman’s life.  Of course not.  The Blackstone Rangers were active when I lived in Chicago and they were scary.  Zimmerman is right to be scared, but he cannot avoid all black people all of his life.  He has to come back to the America he thought he was protecting sometime.  I just hope it is sooner rather than later.