A message on my home answering machine alerted me that the book I had ordered had arrived. The call was just in time because even though I had forgotten the title of the book, I knew the Pollard Memorial Library book club meeting was next week (Thursday, September 1 at 630 pm in the library’s ground floor community room – open to all). After work today, I dropped in to the circulation desk and asked for my book. The clerk returned with it, saying “this is timely.” The book? “Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938” by R.A. Scotti. So I’m off to read about what might be in store for us this weekend.
The Patriots took a break from their study of practice film last night and saw a real movie, The Fighter. The evening was particularly special for the players because joining them for the movie and a discussion afterward was Micky Ward (shown above with Deion Branch). Here is the reaction of some of the players from an article in today’s Providence Journal:
“It was a great movie. I’m glad I had the opportunity to watch it with the guys,” Deion Branch said. “Coach knows exactly what he’s doing. … I think he knows when to push the little buttons and when he needs to keep his foot down.”
Newcomer Andre Carter said this:
“You know, I’ve had five or six coaches,” the veteran said. “I’ve never experienced that before. … It was great to meet the actual man behind the story. It was a great story, great for him to come in and talk about the movie, talk about the struggles he’s been through in his life.”
It made Carter admire Belichick that much more.
“I’ve seen a lot of the reasons why he’s successful,” he said. “He’s definitely an X’s and O’s guy, from special teams to position meetings to just so many details. I’ve never seen a coach so hands-on. He takes great pride in his job, great pride in his craft.”
And here’s Logan Mankins who I suspect is one of the toughest players on the team if not in the entire NFL:
“It was a good movie, a really good movie to watch. It was nice to hear from Micky about his side of the whole thing,” he said. “It’s about how you have to keep fighting, keep going when you’re down and don’t think you can keep going.”
Chancellor Marty Meehan has invited the UMass Lowell community and the public to join him and guest speakers to honor members of the campus community lost on 9/11/01 on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m., at the site of the UMass Lowell 9/11 Memorial.
The ceremony will feature a rededication of the 9/11 Memorial, titled “Unity” and designed by then-UMass Lowell art students Gail Milligan, Rebekah Hermans, and Janet Wittlinger. The sculptural tribute was installed in May 2004.
Those remembered with names inscribed on the circular stone sculpture are Douglas A. Gowell, ’71, Methuen; Robert J. Hayes, ’87, Amesbury; Brian K. Kinney, ’95, Lowell; John Ogonowski, ’72, Dracut; Patrick Quigley, husband of Patricia Fleming Quigley, ’86; Jessica Sachs, Billerica, former student and daughter of alumni Stephen R. and Karen D. Sachs, both ’69; and Christopher Zarba, Hopkinton, who studied at Lowell in the 1970s.
Location: Lowell Riverwalk behind Letich Hall, 111 Pawtucket St., UMass Lowell East Campus.
Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony. For details and to RSVP, contact the UMass Lowell Alumni Relations Office, firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-934-2236.
The front page of the “Home” section of the NYTimes today has an article headlined “The Jack Kerouac of Junk,” which is a profile of the co-star of the popular “American Pickers” weekly program on the History Channel (5.5 million people watch). The “antiques” dealer who started rescuing bicyles and fixing them up for sale says one day he had an epiphany. “‘What am I doing here, man? I need to be on the road.’ So I closed the shop, bought a cargo van and hit the back roads. I was a full-on hobo—a Jack Kerouac of junk.”
Well, there you go. Read the article by Steven Kurutz here, and get the NYT if you want more. The photos are terrific.
Photo by Michelle Litvin (courtesy of nytimes.com)
Our colleague and occasional contributor Steve O’Connor (author of “Smokestack Lighting” and “The Spy in the City of Books”) passed along an anecdote about a recent encounter in the Old Worthen Tavern with a patron who was curious about the place and its Kerouac connections. Steve asked him where he was from. “Argentina,” said the man, who then explained that all of his friends in Argentina were crazy for Kerouac and reading the novels and poetry in Spanish translations. He was tracking Jack in the real Lowell after discovering us in fiction. True-story novels, in Kerouac talk.
Well, there you go. Again.
While I’m not surprised that a candidate pulled out of the Lowell City Council race, I didn’t expect it to be Franky Descoteaux. Two open seats on the City Council will really change the election dynamic! Councilor Descoteaux has certainly made a difference on the City Council.
Just posted on the Lowell Sun breaking news site:
LOWELL — First-term City Councilor Franky Descoteaux announced Thursday morning that she will withdraw her candidacy for a second term.
Descoteaux, who pulled and returned papers to run for a second term just prior to the filing deadline earlier this month, said in an e-mailed statement she feels a greater duty to focus on her family and children.
The downtown business owner’s announcement means the city will no longer have to hold a preliminary election in September.
I suspect there’s been dirty tricks in politics since there has been politics. Nixon’s resignation as president of the United States really grew out of dirty tricks on steroids. So the internet is not the cause of modern political shenanigans, but it has helped the “art form”, if you want to call it that, to evolve. But electronically delivered dirty tricks are still a novelty and when one is discovered, the autopsy is fascinating.
Such is the case with the “CrazyKhazei” Twitter episode. For those unfamiliar, here’s the story thus far: some time ago, a Twitter account named “CrazyKhazei” began making outrageous tweets mocking Democratic US Senate candidate Alan Khazei. If the owner of a Twitter account chooses not to use his true identity, then it’s awfully tough to pierce that veil of anonymity so no one knew who was behind CrazyKhazei. But earlier this week, a CrazyKhazei tweet appeared not on that Twitter account, but on the account of Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to both US Senator Scott Brown and presidential candidate Mitt Romney (both Republicans, as you all know). It was clear that Fehrnstrom was the author of CrazyKhazei and that he had mixed up which account he was posting to and consequently outed himself. If you’re interested in reading more about this, check out David Bernstein’s “Talking Politics” blog at the Boston Phoenix or Blue Mass Group which is covering this in depth.
Ironically, today brings an accusation of something somewhat similar in Lowell politics. Jack Mitchell at Left in Lowell has a lengthy post in which he alleges that two electronically vociferous supporters of city council candidate John MacDonald aren’t who they purport to be. Jack provides quantities of circumstantial evidence but also offers the MacDonald campaign a donation of $200 for the privilege of meeting these two internet boosters.
Leaving the Lowell allegations aside for now since they’re still in the accusation phase – presumed innocent until guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt might be a good standard to apply here as well as in the courtroom – the question remains as to the impact of the Fehrnstrom-CrazyKhazei revelations on the Scott Brown and Mitt Romney campaigns. Assuming this is the extent of the dirty tricks, I don’t see anything that requires Fehrnstrom’s resignation although I wouldn’t be surprised if either or both campaigns cut ties to him. For the rest of his career, Fehrnstrom will be damaged goods. Any time he has something to say in the media – and his history to date is that he is often in the media, usually being critical of an opponent of one of his customers – his impact and his credibility will be diluted by this episode.
The Moses Greeley Parker Lectures’ new season has already begun. Click here for the 2011-12 schedule. The programs are free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of Mr Parker many decades ago. The series began in 1917.
The Lunchtime Lectures require reservations because of food service planning. See details about RSVP in the schedule information.