On to Xmas!
Hey, hope you all had a nice holiday! The day before Thanksgiving the Amherst Survival Center put on a free holiday meal for the entire community at the Lutheran Church just down the road from UMass.
Lots of folks from the community volunteer for that event, leaving regular volunteers like myself the freedom to do what we never get the chance to do - just show up and eat. My friend Damon Reeves entertained everyone on piano while they ate.
Mary Carey of the Hampshire Gazette/Amherst Bulletin was there in her professional role of reporter. She took my photo....
And I took hers:
So now it's on to the next big holiday! Sure enough, by the library I ran into campus activist Ed Cutting, who was enroute to start setting up the UMass Christmas tree.
Recently I've been going through some old photographs and I thought I'd show you a few. This is my family on Thanksgiving on Hood Street in ol' Pine Point in 1948. My father is the person on the far right.
This is Wally's Fruits and Vegetables on Boston Road in Pine Point in 1954. Dig the five cent Cokes and Dreikorn's Bread sign!
My Uncle Wally was the proprietor, until he sold the business to a local vendor named Angelo, who developed it into one of Springfield's most popular food stores. Today Angelo's is out of business and the building is vacant.
Here are my sisters outside the World Famous Thomas M. Balliet Elementary School in 1968.
This is me at age 13 with my grandmother at the former Riverside Park (now Six Flags). I remember the day, dig that haircut and shirt!
Like most observers, I was not surprised by the conviction of Jason Strickland in the child abuse trial regarding Holly Poutre, the poor child who was abused into a permanently brain damaged state. The evidence against him seemed overwhelming, although most of the abuse appears to have been carried out by his late wife.
I was sickened by some of the details of the case and the sheer evil of of the acts. For example Holly loved to dance, so they hit her on the knees with a hammer. The terrible cruelty of that fills me with hatred. I can forgive a lot in the way of human failings, but child abuse of any kind I have zero tolerance for. That is the lowest of the low, and I hope Jason Strickland gets the harshest possible sentence.
I am not a death penalty supporter, but I can't help but wish that Jason Strickland could somehow meet the same fate as his wife, who was shot in the head by her own mother (who then shot and killed herself) thereby thankfully imposing on her monster of a daughter the just punishment the courts could not.
Bill Dusty made this interesting video about Monday's panhandling rally in downtown Northampton.