Yesterday I came into Springfield on the bus, and outside the bus station I saw this nice welcoming sign. The Picknelly's never were cheap about spending an extra buck to help Springfield look good.
Of course I headed straight up to ol' Pine Point, where I was amazed to see that the Dodge dealer went out of business. Guess the auto industry really is in a bad way.
A little ways down is this old inoperative firebox. When I was a boy they used to be painted red and found at intervals all the way up Boston Road. They date back to the days before people had phones, so when your house caught on fire you would run to one of these boxes and pull an alarm. When the street was widened over a decade ago they all vanished but this one that survived because it was located above the section that was made wider. The building behind the box used to be an A&P or something where everybody used to go food shopping when my parents were kids.
I took this little shortut into Saint Michael's Cemetery through a hole in the fence.
It leads to this trashstrewn creek that you follow onto the cemetery grounds.
That creek was once much larger, and I'm told my Uncle Steve used to cut ice off of it for use in iceboxes. Those were metal contraptions that held a big block of ice that would serve as a primitive refrigerator. I'm told it kept things pretty cold and of course it operated without electricity.
You can still see the wall that was once thought necessary to keep the water in check.
In the cemetery itself there used to be a large field where ceremonies for veterans were held dating back to the 1800's. Six or seven years ago the cemetery built a giant mauseleum on the site but put up this monument to the vets, perhaps partly out of guilt for stealing their parade grounds.
The mauseleum itself has a large picture window that looks from the outside like an arrow pointing towards where the residents hope to go.
Of course I walked in bold as brass and took a picture of how the window looks from the inside.
In the heart of the Point I noticed this doorway with a metal screen over the front.
The appearance of such screens usually don't mean that the crime rate has gone down in the neighborhood. Instead it means that the merchants are retreating into survival mode.
Speaking of survival mode, I stopped in to visit Doyle the Twig Painter. He still has remnants of better days on display, like this Tom Shea column and a copy of a painting Doyle once did of an Irish cottage.
Doyle doesn't paint anymore now that he's gone blind. This is a painting on his wall which he did of a scene up in Maine.
Now for the first time I see a painting on the wall Doyle did not paint.
Later I took the bus back to Hamp.
Did you know there's a new line of R.Crumb sneakers?
Much Virtue in Herbs
Today at UMass they had the herb festival. No not that herb festival, that's called the Extravaganja. This is the festival for herbs that are good for you, acknowledging that "good for you" is a relative phrase.
This display was passing out free samples of a guanana drink.
At first I thought I had never tried guanana, but when I tasted it I realized it's the stuff that gives energy drinks their lousy aftertaste.
I invite you to blow your mind.