“Meanderings” by Jim Peters

Frequent contributor Jim Peters shared some of this thoughts from the week past:

The question of the week, for me personally that is, was how do you keep up with Dick Howe, Jr. I have been a friend of the Howe family since Dick was just a kid, but somehow, somewhere, he picked up steam I have never been able to harness, and I am manic. I went to his book signing, where he wrote a very meaningful thing in my book. I would like to think that I worked fairly hard this past week, but everytime i went somewhere, Dick was already there, had already been there, or was expected at any minute.

Anyway, I caught up with him at a Markey for Senate event. I try to help, but the campaign does not even know who I am, what I believe in, or who my relatives might be. Most times, I run into someone who says, “You are Tom’s brother, is he running the Marathon again this year?” Yes he is, proudly running in his twenty-fourth consecutive BAA Marathon. Or, “How is Liz?” She is proudly running her own bed and breakfast in Machias, Maine. Possibly, they may ask about Charlie, or Andy, or Estelle, or Mary. All of those people I could give life and lives to. But ask me what Dick Howe is doing and my jaw drops, I become lethargic, and I say I have no idea what Dick is doing next.

Now, we both stood up and gave speeches on behalf of Mayor Patrick Murphy at last week’s Council session. That much I remember. But what was said at the parking lots where we gathered up our papers for Ed Markey, I do not remember. I do not agree with everything Ed Markey says or does, but I cannot tell that to Dick because he is out of reach of things like satellites and cellphones. He is cruising somewhere and I just hope, after Mr. Markey wins, that he will be in visual sight once more for awhile. But what am I saying, Tony Harrington and I have already booked time to see him on his whirlwind tour of the Lowell Cemetery. That is one place where I, at least, plan on getting a rest. Just not too soon, I hope.

Speaking of missing things, I missed the great Senate debate tonight, despite having the strongest urge to go. I guess business kept me from it. I had some seed to spread, some water problems to straighten out, and a few other things that kept me from going. I keep looking at these two and wondering where the Paul Tsongas’s are now. Ed Markey is closest in terms of strategy and philosophy but I do not see anyone on the entire national horizon that is a bit like Paul. No one to cast the difficult votes that do not please everyone, no one to join with the Republican Party and make them see the benefits of joining forces to save Chrysler so there can be a “Big Three.” Now, because of things that both parties have done, little gets done in Washington, D.C. The liberals are having a problem giving Obama the right to whittle down the size of Social Security in order to allow the growth of major health legislation. We cannot have both. I have a little brother who works on the line. He is supporting those of his family who are not gainfully retired and who are one some form of Social Security. It drives him nuts, even though I attended a rally for Al Gore when he was Vice President that pretty much summed up the idea that Social Security as we know it would be gone by 2037. You see, when Social Security was first devised, it was for 65 year olds. The beauty of it was that most people only lived, if you look at the actuarial tables, for 51 or 52 years. No one made it to 65. Now most of us do. You do the math.

I do not intend to retire. I do not know what I will do but I have a couple of ideas. One is to be an historian and writer, doing genealogy when all others have given up on Ancestry.com. Then I intend to write books. Specifically, the one I am working on now has something to do with religion and its effect on aspects of Lowell’s population. Did you know that in the 1880’s, sixty percent of Lowell’s population was Methodist? For some reason I find that fascinating.

So that is where I am meandering to tonight. I am waiting for John McDonough to get me on his show so that I can bore people with my desire to build a Native American Museum on Broadway Street. Before this was a city of European-Americans, it was a city of Native Americans, tens of thousands of them. They deserve their own museum.