“Meanderings” by Jim Peters

Frequent contributor Jim Peters shared the following:

Richard Howe sightings will still be sporadic as Congressman Markey has a strong contender in Mr. Gomez. In addition to being a strong Latino candidate, Mr. Gomez is a political neophyte, in his first run for public office who finished with over fifty percent of the Republican vote in a three-way contest. He also is an ex-Navy Seal, and they are having a stellar couple of years which includes bringing on the demise of Osama Bin Laden whose claim to fame was that he cheered when thousands of Americans died in the suicide bombings of the two World Trade Center towers. In my opinion Bin Laden was a coward who deserved to be shot.

I look forward to a short, yet intense, campaign with politicians, of which Dick is one, campaigning aggressively. It is hardly the stuff of 1978, when Paul Tsongas beat Ed Brooke, but it is a Senate seat. Hopefully it will be spirited and hotly contested. In my view, no one can take it lightly, especially in these economic times.

Other than that, things are going well. The business is doing very well. I put an ad in a local advertiser and it is very profitable. I keep getting tips, so my work must be OK. I am on Angie’s List and they are very nice. Also, my cancer is in remission, which is very heartening. I told the people at St. Margaret’s that it is because of something special that they put on their morning praying of the Rosary. Other than that I cannot explain it.

My daughter and son continue with their Bachelor’s degree studies. If they graduate, each of my four children will have completed college. That will be a special day.

I am worried about Lowell. We have the mistaken impression that all of Lowell’s history is safely behind the fences put up by the National Park Service. In fact, we are seeing that Park affected by the sequester this year, with the Community Gardens effectively decimated. Now we could be like other neighboring towns, Acton comes to mind, and allow our citizens to administer their own community gardens, and we will have to start taking care of our own at some point, but that was a major hit for local gardeners. We also are not protecting what is ours. There is no reason, when you see the construction, for the Textile Bridge to be torn down, but my sources tell me that it is being torn down because no one wants the responsibility of taking care of it, and no one wants to delve into who gets the scrap it will provide.

In addition, I was looking out from the space where I will be interred at some point hopefully in the far future, and I noticed that the Omni Mill building had been replaced by very nice, but not mill building sized, condominiums. They say that everybody has that “not in my backyard,” syndrome. Well, do not tear down Mills in my backyard. When is some marketing guru going to turn the remnants of the one by Caviliero’s Restaurant on Andrews Street into an inside new or used car sales office. Indoor car buying is a perfect use of one of those mills. And the “yard” does not require heating. Just protection from the elements would be enough.

We are in danger of losing a farmhouse on Andover Street, a barn close by, and the oldest house in Lowell off of Westford Street. Most of Middlesex Village is gone. If you want to read about Middlesex Village, my father’s fictional but historically detailed story is still in circulation, or you can buy a copy from my mother. It is well-worth the read.

We are getting to the point where everything is a “remember when?” Like, do you remember Prince Spaghettiville?, or the wooden train bridge off of Lawrence Street? Do you remember the glassworks house in Middlesex Village or the glassworks building or the farmhouse? Who does not regret the loss of Merrimack Manufacturing? The University has to become more involved on saving old structures because they seem to be the only source with the wherewithal to be able to save them. And, while we are on the subject of Lowell, where did this ridiculous “bladder dam” come from? It is not attractive, it is not historic, and it is not necessary. It will ruin a perfectly wonderful view of the Pawtucket Falls with large balloons resting on the granite, granite that was hand laid by poor laborers back in 1825 or so.

The Richard Howe bridge is almost on place and it should be named after Richard P. Howe, Sr. He served in good and bad times with distinction and taste. He is a very good man to name something large after, and he deserves the honor. But, with the Howe Bridge, there also comes a need for the Textile Bridge, if for no other reason than that Jack Kerouac wrote about it. Next, we are going to tear down Cobblestones or perhaps even the Olde Worthen. Enough is enough, people. Take responsibility for your history. If you have an interesting story about a member of your family write about it and share it through this Blog or try to get it mentioned by sharing it with the Letters to the Editor of the Lowell Sun. It is my experience that the Sun is very interested in Lowell history. Try them.

I am writing a pamphlet or small book on the Lowell Motor Boat Club. If you remember any interesting stories about the Club, please call me and share them. There are many citizens out there who might remember something about the club when they were small and I would love to enter ther memories in the book.

And, for those of you who did not know this, Mayor and soon-to-be ex-City Councilor Patrick Murphy recently had a baby boy. The first baby, and mother and father are doing very well. For those who just read the paper, the Mayor did not lose his mind, he just garnered a son. His parents, Dan and Joan, are very pleased.