The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Post Snow

Some pictures.

As I noted yesterday there was a big snowstorm in the Valley, but fortunately it is finally over, as evidenced by this patch of blue breaking through the clouds this morning over the main UMass parking lot.

There are hardly any cars in the lot, since the students are still away on their winter vacation. A student's life is one of leisure and freedom - the shame is they seldom appreciate it until after graduation.

The snow certainly is pretty, as you can see from this shot of downtown Amherst.

However, if I hear one more media person use the phrase "winter wonderland" I'm gonna puke!

I spent most of the day in Northampton. This person was trying to make a snowman but all his friends abandoned him because it got too cold. I told him I'd run his picture anyway as a reward for his good intentions.

It certainly was cold! Even a penguin was spotted wearing a silver scarf.

With the Valley paralyzed by snow we could've used a few superheroes to the rescue. Modern Myths had the call out for Batman and Superman.

Yet whatever the weather the duties of commerce are unyielding, as this person roams the streets drumming up business for lunch.

Over at the local history center this banner proclaims the city's pride in its most famous resident, President Calvin Coolidge.

At a nearby antique shop I discovered this old sign from a local radio station.

That station used to belong to my old TV/radio buddy Dan Yorke. Here is a picture from 1994 of Yorke displaying a copy of my "zine" The Baystate Objectivist on his WGGB-TV40 program. Before this blog was started in 1998, it was a print publication that sold advertising and actually made a profit. The first issue appeared in 1991.

Lord have mercy, I can't believe I'm still doing this fucking shit seventeen years later! As Mr. Garcia would've put it, "What a long strange trip it's been!"

Here is a little excerpt from a Providence Journal article that touches on Yorke's ownership of WSPR:

In 1985, Yorke moved to Springfield, where he had a morning show on WSPR-AM and became news director at WMAS-AM. After a brief stint at a Hartford station, he bought WSPR in partnership with his father in 1988.

In 1991, though, the station went under. Yorke, who notes that there was a recession at the time, was the one who signed it off the air.

"Other than my father's death, and my mother's illness, that was probably the worst day of my life," Yorke said.

That version glosses over some important details. While there was a recession underway, the failure of WSPR under Yorke had a lot more to do with politics than it did economics. The type of aggressive, in your face radio journalism that Yorke did was unheard of in this area when Yorke arrived. Many local pols didn't like it one bit when Yorke began holding them to a higher standard than the rest of the sleepy media did. The Springfield Newspapers, which never ran such stories about other struggling businesses, ran a devastating article saying that Yorke was in financial trouble, an article that served to scare away most of Yorke's advertisers.

After the station went broke, Yorke went on to become the highest rated and highest paid talk show host in the Valley, proving that the radio station would have survived had the newspaper and its establishment allies not played that dirty trick. I couldn't blame Yorke when he finally moved out of the area entirely. He had never received the gratitude he deserved for all he sacrficed in our Valley's behalf.

Speaking of the newspaper and dirty tricks, someone appears to be trying to pull one on The Springfield Republican in this photo taken in Hamp yesterday of a paper box vandalized with the image of a bum and the price of the paper incorrectly listed as a quarter a copy.

Who did that and why? Who knows, but it shows that the paper still has its critics.

I couldn't find an angle to take this picture that didn't have a lot of reflection in it. Can you make out what the sign says?

It reads: It's too bad that the people who really know how to run the country are all making art.

The novelty shop Faces is selling art by Andy Warhol.

Years ago Faces used to be a hippie head shop called Faces of Earth.

Last summer my sexlife was white-hot wild and free. Now however my sexuality has relocated to the town of Dullsville. That makes me jealous of these maniquins going at it hot and heavy in the window of a Hamp eyeglass store.

Oh well, at least me and my friends can sit around a coffeehouse on a cold day.

The globetrotting Jordan Williams is really traveling far afield with his recent trip to Istanbul. Here he is relaxing in a hash den.

Finally, aren't you glad this isn't your kid?


P. Mastrangelo said...

Hi Tommy, thanks for your words on the station Dan owned, I did not know about that. I really like your blog for this reason, you are always writing about things I find very engaging.

Re: that sticker on the Repupblican box, the person on the sticker is not a bum. His name is Jon, he is one of those local characters you see on the street all the time. He has that big belly that just out akwardly, and always asks for money for coffee. That sticker has recently appeared all over town in the last day or two, they are on multiple walls and surfaces. It is yet another street art project undertaken by someone. I have no idea what it means or references.

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