Monthly Archives: decembre 2013

My Case for Deval Patrick for President

I just read a note from John Walsh that Deval Patrick’s Holiday Party was a big success and I must admit that I do not think it could happen to a nicer person. I could not go as I did not have the money to buy my way in, but a great many people apparently could – and did. Deval is a special person to me. My son, Adam, drove for him when he was running the first time and Adam has some amusing stories to tell. I am hoping Deval takes the time at some point to run for the presidency. I think he has done an outstanding job as Governor, and deserves a chance to take the reins for awhile. I do not believe that he would be a patsy for the current president, but I do see where they would share some familiar characteristics.

People in Lowell may not agree with me on this one, the blogs are full of praise for Hilary Clinton, but I personally believe that Deval would be a better candidate. I am from Iowa and I would be happy to coordinate an effort in my home state. I have lived in Massachusetts for forty years, but I was born and raised in Iowa and, like all hometowns, it has a special meaniing for me. Do not get me wrong, I do not especially believe that the current occupant of the White House has made it easy for a Democrat to be elected President in the next election. But, if there was a man made for the task, I would say it has to be Deval Patrick.

When I first met Mr. Patrick, he came up to me and I said, « I am Adam’s father. » Each time I have seen him, I have said again that I am Adam’s father. The last meeting was during the state Issues Convention, in June, I believe. He came out a door, I was alone in the corridor, but I went over to say that I thought the past eight years have been genuine and nice. I started with « I am Adam’s father, » and he interrupted me and said, « I know who you are Jim. » I was sincerely surprised that of the millions of people he has living in this state, he would remember my name.

When he was once on national television for « 48 Hours, » or a show like that, I cannot remember which one, he so impressed the audience that they were polled afterwards and someone stated that that was the man who should have been elected President. Seeing a certain stubborness in our current President, many in the audience seemed to agree with that person. I see Mr. Patrick as a great healer, and the fact that he lived a few miles from me when we were both growing up is not the reason that I believe he would be good in that office. I believe he would be good in that office because he knows how to compromise – a talent that seems to be lacking in the current White House.

We can blame John Boehner for all of our troubles, but the software indicates that all of our problems with Obamacare are not just a Republican problem. In fact, the Republicans who were so acerbic in their condemnation of the entire process and law, are looking alot better since the launching of the law. People are being written off by their insurance company. In my case, I incurred a three thousand dollar invoice for a heart test because I told the doctor that I had a pain going down my arm.. Without explanation, the insurance company rejected the doctor’s recommended procedure. I do not know if that is because of Obamacare, but it was the first time anything like that has ever happened to me. So I have to raise that money on a retired medical disability’s retirement fund. I do not know, again, if it had anything to do with the act, but it is a new one for me.

So I would like to see calmer hands on the wheel of the ship-of-state. I want to see Deval Patrick’s hands on that wheel. I believe that he would be a good President, that he was an outstanding Governor whom I strongly supported in both the original election and his re-election efforts. I believe in Deval Patrick, I do not know, or care to know, Hilary Clinton. We clearly have a number of good Democrats to choose from, and we should make our choices in the arena of public opinion.

Learning from Old Books

I started reading some old books I have in my library and found some interesting information for our grandfathers and fathers. One book was on writing acceptable business correspondence and it kind of laughingly tells its readers that you can sell more goods if you give inducements to ordering. A man, they tell you, wants money or coupons as an « inducement, » while a woman wants a « premium article. » It must be a special privilege for a « premium time. » « The letter to the business man may state that the price quoted is merely introductory and will soon be raised. » A good reason must be given.

The « stimulus to action, » comes at the end of the letter. This is to allow all functions to be performed. This mode of communication must only be made for a short period of time. Whatever a woman’s « Premium Article » is is not stated. It is apparently a prize for someone to induce her to order whatever is being sold. In my house, most coupons are looked at by my wife and daughter and I would believe that those « inducements to ordering » are coupons, which give monetary value to purchase of a certain type of object. That would be solidly in the book’s advice to men. Men crave money, and limited time offers. That seems to be the impetus to all of us, man or woman, to go shopping at a specific store.

One of my favorite stores is the Christmas Tree Shops, and although most of their items are made in China, it is still difficult not to pick up something which says that it is patterned after a Nantucket theme. They make ample use of short time sales and other items that keep us buying at their store. Both men and women try to buy what seems to be the best value they offer.

Another book I am reading is on the Economy. This one is a little less sophomoric. It has some fairly heavy arguments for buying and selling in the global economy but it was written years ago. It says that China will become a major player in the free market. It also says that the United States is not ready for the economic downturn that is sure to come as we lose market share. It states that a « balance » in the international market means that there is an equilibrium in economic forces. A balance can be acheived by simply balancing the national budget or it can be acheived as a more light-hearted description of acheiving equilibrium between the budgets of nation states. It can be honestly stated that the balance is currently not there as we skyrocket 17 trillion dollars in the red. I firmly believe that we are asking for a response from a creditor nation like China. It is very interesting that China is building nuclear aircraft carriers at this time. Whoever controls the oceans controls the world.

Anyway, the name of the second book is « The Imperious Economy, » by David P. Calleo. It was pubished by the vaunted Harvard University Press of Cambridge and London. If you can find a copy, it is well-worth the read.


Why is it, in Lowell, that the land just on the other side of the protected borders set by the National Park Service are unprotected and buildings are being torn down at an alarming rate. This is a never-ending subject for me. We have torn down, and replaced, with inferior, in my opinion, buildings in places like the Butler School, as was a part of the mill on Anderson Street, a barn on Andover Street, and other buildings which define the history of our city. A friend showed me the old train station and it was superior to the current one. He also had a picture of Tom’s Diner on Gorham Street which is no longer there. Not only are we tearing down our history, but we are not placing photographs of these places anywhere at which they would be visible to the public. We stand to lose the oldest house in Lowell in the Highlands and yet no City Councilor has even asked to view it for historic value, to the best of my knowledge.

I have a beautiful picture of what’s left of the mill that used to stand on Gorham Street across from Gene’s Appliance Parts. It is a beautiful picture, of a dam over the stream and the water flowing over it. It shows the color of the fall leaves in the water, the sunlight on the scene, and a fishing spot that kids used for years to idle the time away. But, the mill is gone.

What is happening to the Sacred Heart Church? And, where the heck did Sage Bank come from to take over of the Lowell Cooperative Bank? We have lost all of our banks of yesteryear in this city except the well-managed Lowell Five Cent Saviings Bank. The Central, the Lowell Institution for Savings, Union National Bank, Butler Bank, and the Lowell Cooperative all have gone the way of the dinosaur. Only the memories remain.

Enterprise seems to have the momentum to succeed in filling the void left by the banks who apparently could not handle the new freedoms of the 1980’s deregulation. But it is a young bank, filled with people who believe in its promise. I have all of my accounts there, and could not exist without their assistance and listening ear.

Anyway, how many of us can remember the Strand Theater, McQuade’s Mens Store, Pollard’s, the Bon Marche, Talbot’s, the wooden bridge over the railroad tracks up around Lawrence Street, the S bridge on the way to Lowell State College, the University of Lowell from which I graduated, the zoo at Fort Hill or the remains of the cages, the Old Butler School in use, the Pawtucketville Memorial School dedicated to memorializing the dead of WWI, and a thousand other memories that we coud all come up with if we tried. Even more recently, who actually remembers Mickey Ward’s fights, or Paul Tsongas, or Jimmy Martin? All grasps of them have rolled through our thumbs.

I remember Jack Kerouac’s funeral and the motorcycles that followed the hearse. I remember the lone Hell’s Angel who lived up above Paul Tsongas » headquarters at the old Dillon’s Cleaners on Andover Street, and I remember the smell of cookies coming from the Educator Biscuit Company on Jackson Street. So I ask you to list what you remember and email your memories to me at
Maybe we can write a book together.