The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More Polito

The photo record.

When I was writing about Jim Polito recently, I was surprised by how difficult it was to come up with a photo of Jim to use in my story. In the end I couldn't find one, and had to go instead with a generic picture of the WGGB headquarters on Liberty Street in Springfield. Amazingly, for someone whose face once saturated the media, Polito has become an almost Orwellian non-person about whom no physical image can be found.

A big part of the problem is that most of the images and articles about Polito were on the WGGB-40 website, which appears to have gone to considerable trouble in order to erase them all. When I told Polito he had become an internet non-entity, he sent me some pictures to put on the web, thereby restoring him from cyber-oblivion to the land of the living. Polito helpfully supplied his own explanations with each picture:

This is a picture that was taken last summer for the intern in the picture. His name is Brendan Monahan. He was an intern from UMass and was very good. His cousin Aaron Saykin used to be a UMass intern at the station years ago. Aaron is now an investigative reporter in Pittsburgh. I took the picture for Brendan on his last day. He thought it was hilarious that I was wearing shorts to anchor the news one weekend last summer. He thought it was confirmation of the old cliche that anchors wear jeans, shorts or boxer shorts underneath the desk where viewers can not see them. I did not do it for the laughs. I did it to stay cool. The air conditioning always crapped out in the studio on very hot days. The temps could get above 85-90 degrees under the hot lights.

Someone took this picture of me riding on the sands of Daytona beach during one of my spring trips down south. This is one of the only times you'll see me riding on my Harley without a helmet. The speed limit is 15MPH on the beach.

This is a picture of a picture of me doing a live report from ground zero on the one year anniversary. Sorry about the quality. I do have images of me at ground zero on 9/11/01 and the days that followed but I have not converted them from video to stills.

This picture was taken by abc40 chief photographer Bob Hastings from his car while we were driving east on the MASSPIKE on 6/18/06. It's quite amazing that he got this picture in one shot with his cell phone camera at 65MPH. That's why he's the chief photographer. I was driving to my parent's house with a father's day gift for my dad, the green bag on my luggage rack contains two books. Bob was driving to his part time job at New England Cable News. It's quite a coincidence that we met up. I won't tell you who passed who.

I included the above picture of me riding on the highway for another reason. My biker friends always say, "Jim, you ride a motorcycle but you're not a biker." They would point to that picture as proof. One, it's not considered cool to ride in shorts. Two, for safety reasons you should at least wear jeans in case you fall and slide. However, these same biker friends hate wearing helmets and take them off in state where it's legal to do so. I don't, no matter what the law. So, if we wipe out, I may have road rash all over my body, but there's a better chance I'll still be alive. As for helmet laws, I have no opinion, I'd wear one whether it were the law or not

This is how I ride when I take off for two weeks. That's all my luggage and included in there is my wireless laptop computer so I can check in with the world (including your blog, Tom) while traveling. On that particular trip I towed my bike up to Toronto with an old girlfriend who had family there. Then I loaded up and did 3600 miles. I zig-zagged down the east coast, visiting old friends, until I made it all the way to Key West, the southern and eastern most point in the US. Then I repeated some of the stops on my way home.

So thanks for the pics Jim, and now those searching for photographic evidence of your career will have somewhere to look!

I am shocked and dismayed by the recent closing of two major restaurants in downtown Springfield. The worst blow comes from the closing of L'uVa located by the arch which was one the city's best high class restaurants. It was the last thing holding back that end of Main Street from turning into a complete slum.

Almost equally devastating is the loss of the new deli that took the place of the beloved Gus n'Pauls at Tower Square (Baystate West). Here is a picture I took of that establishment after it closed.

To everyone's delight, the Ryan Administration successfully engineered a quick replacement. Here I am shortly after the grand opening posing with Lady Liberty and restaurant co-owner Stu Hurwitz.

Yet after only three months it has gone belly-up, a stunning setback that only increases the growing sense of impeding doom among the business community of downtown Springfield.

Speaking of downtowns, here's something I came upon in downtown Northampton during yesterday's storm that you don't see very often: A giant tow truck taking away a bus disabled by the snowstorm.

I spent some of yesterday's blizzard relaxing downstairs in Northampton's Haymarket Cafe. My eye caught something I'd never really noticed before, a battered red sign just outside the door.

Stepping outside I saw that it was an old sign from the original Haymarket Cafe which if memory serves was originally only on the ground floor. It goes back to the days when it was also a bookstore. As far as I know, there is no longer a book to bought in the place. (click photo to enlarge)

I believe that sign was originally located at the top of Cracker barrel Alley and directed people to the what was once the front entrance but is now the back. Here is Cracker barrel Alley as it appeared yesterday as I left the cafe.

The learned doctors who pry and probe at my psyche are convinced that I have an impulse control problem, which means that I have a tendency to do what I want to do when I want to do it without always thinking through the consequences. Some of those poor choices can be sexual, so as part of a recent session on sexual self-control I was given a bunch of condoms. A whole bunch, much more than I'll ever use in my current semi-celibate state, so when I got home I put a dozen or so in a basket by the door for my fellow druggies. I was amazed the next morning to see nearly all of them gone!

I didn't realize that everybody was gettin' so busy! Am I the only one in the house who's not getting steady action?

Oh well, if I can't fuck, at least I can sleep.


Bill Dusty said...

I had a similar problem trying to get photos of Polito. The guy has zero Web presence in photos! (Except, now, for those on your blog.)

Citygal said...

Hey Tom,

What's the big deal about restaurant closings, I worked downtown on State Street and saw
many closings. The Friendly's--two of them, one on State Street and one in what is now
called Tower Square. The Van Horn spa closed, as did a deli on State Street along with
an Irish pub on State Street. If springfield has such high levels of poverty plus blue collar
workers who order out for pizza, how can restaurants thrive? Do they do market studies
before opening?

In our office, there were 20 people and guess what? Most of them brought their lunch to
work and only ate out about once per week. I rarely heard any of them talking about
going out to dinner "last night."

Get real Tom, this is a big country town trying to be a city,