“Meanderings” by Jim Peters

Frequent contributor Jim Peters shares his thoughts on the recent election:

It has been a good few weeks. In the first place, we (Democrats, or the American People, or some group), won. Three weeks before the election, I walked into the Tsongas Headquarters and told a few of the people there that we would “sweep” the election, Obama, Warren, and Tsongas would be winners. They were. Historians will decide in years from now exactly how and why that happened. My feeling is that women played a major part in the victory, or loss, depending on who you were rooting for and for what reason. Others credit the Hispanic and African-American populations. The fact is that the Republicans became the party of the white American male, which comprises something like 40% of the voting population.

Politics is not something that all subscribe to. Many of my friends find my love of politics to be the antithesis of what they hold dear. But, I remember wanting to major in History in my eighteenth year. Instead, I opted for Political Science and I remember State Representative Connie Kiernan asking me what, in heaven’s name, I intended to do with what he termed was a worthless degree. I had no idea. I wanted to become a lawyer, but I fell in love early and married early. A really beautiful, smart, and savvy Greek girl named Vicki Tsongas, the younger sister of a man who I would look to for advice and political ingenuity. To my often-asked question, “How did you succeed so well?” He would answer the same way everytime, “I was lucky.” When he won the Senate seat, I asked the often asked question and he said, “Like every other person here, I started with a City Council seat, and just got lucky.” Once, when he did want to impress me, he told me that he had just gotten out of a meeting with Red Auerbach. I was suitably impressed.

When I got married, he was not supportive, but he was also not negative. In fact, when I needed a Greek Orthodox man as my Best Man, I asked him and he said yes. Thirty seven years later, I am still grateful. We raised our children together. Katina and Jeremy are three months apart, while Molly and Adam are something like thirteen days apart. They grew up together. Rory and Chloe Peters came a bit later, with careful raising by their big brothers and older cousins. They are still close after many years of playing together and learning together. We have had a blessed life. Not just in politics, but also in education and recreation. We have spent many moments at Cape Cod, even renting a spot on a campground place there and buying a trailer. It is still our favorite vacation spot.

Having Niki be so successful has been nothing short of spectacular. We are very honored that she is our sister-in-law. And a Congresswoman. We probably enjoy her campaigns more than she does. Those active in them are our friends, many going back scores of years. The names are endless, and they are of all kinds of nationalities, religions, and both genders. They are straight and gay, and all kinds of religions. We take pride in their actions enhancing Obamacare, and many of the country’s progressive initiatives. I never believed that my life would be an answer to Connie Kiernan’s question. I never believed in destiny, being a little like Forrest Gump, I believed in a little bit of both.

Lowell is a center for political study. Paul used to think it was the “Center of the Universe.” I believe that it is too. So many immigrants to study and catalog. So many people to get to know. It truly is a great place to live.