Valley Historian Ralph Slate has alerted me to the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, a part of the Massachusetts historic archives collection, which is putting a lot of photographs online from their files of some of the older buildings in Springfield. For example here is the Magidson, Saul Commercial Block in the Pine Point section of Boston Road as it appeared circa 1985:
Here is a picture of the same block taken just a few days ago.
My main memory of that area is not of a building but of a person. There used to be this incredibly hot looking kid who used to walk his dog all the time past that building, often shirtless in the summer, about 18 or 19 years old, openly queer and so sexy that all I can remember about his dog, despite seeing it with him all the time, is that it was brown. In his presence somehow I couldn't focus on the dog.
I was about ten years older than the sexy kid, and while there may not be much difference between someone who is 38 and someone who is 48, in the gay hierarchy of sensuality the difference between an 18 year old and a 28 old is very significant. I had no chance of competing with the circle of lusty teenage studs who were always vying for his attention, but still, I remained a wistful admirer from afar.
Eventually some older guy with a lot more money than I ever had (money is the ultimate sexy) whisked the beautiful boy off to live with him on the west coast. Soon afterward I heard that the boy had left his older lover's mansion and become a part of the Castro Street party scene in San Francisco. Then I lost track of him entirely.
Many years went by, until one day I was in a bar and I noticed somebody whom I recognized as a friend of his. I had to go up and ask if he knew what had become of the beautiful boy. I was shocked and saddened to hear that he had contracted AIDS and died before reaching the age of 30. I guess that's the downside of being so beautiful that everyone loves you.
I not only saw my first robin of Spring the other day, but I managed to get its picture.
UMass students with tax policy suggestions.
UMass has always been a place with a lot of graffiti, probably dating back to the school's origins in the 1860's, when no doubt you could find in the campus restrooms scrawlings such as "Go Ulysses S. Grant!" or "Eudora lifts her petticoats!" Perhaps in an attempt to cut back on the writing on buildings, this bird sign was put up recently for folks to write their thoughts on.
Here's a thought I like.
The annual UMass record convention attracted sellers from all over, including Nick Williams of Feeding Tube Records in downtown Hamp.
Speaking of Northampton, the Forbes Library has a new sign in front featuring a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge.
The view out the back window of the Starbucks in Northampton.
The entrance to the mall out the bus window.
Finally, a video of Springfield's North End filmed through the bus window.