Meanderings (6/12/13) by Jim Peters

Frequent contributor Jim Peters sends shares some observations:

There is a lot of news on the local front right now, although you would not know it by getting the local newspaper. Since it dropped Lowell from its title, it has not had much to do with the city. Even the notorious “Column” is mainly dealing with suburban, not urban, issues. Which makes Dick Howe’s “Blog” one of the best places to get local news. Even the early morning television show is often dedicated to Dracut, or Chelmsford, or Tyngsborough.

So, what is going on in the city? Well, Walter Bayliss probably has his take on it. There seems to be an inordinate amount of pressure on Mr. Bayliss to tow some sort of line. He does not seem to want to do it, though. Even the City Manager must have to admit that this little tussle with a part-time employee is not worth the time it has taken to pursue it. In my humble opinion, Mr. Bayliss, by hanging in there, is the victorious party.

Landscaping is busy. It seems that I get five or so calls per day from new potential customers, and like any business I gain some and I lose some. I work alone, so that may have something to do with it. This year has been incredible because of the spring rains we have had, causing much growth and the need for a great deal of mowing. Any homeowner knows that.

I like to walk the city. Downtown looks great, with many of the stores filled with hopeful businessmen. I have been getting advice from SCORE, a group of retired businessmen with quite a bit of experience, offered through the Small Business Program at Middlesex Community College. They tell me when and where to advertise, which demographic to go after, and how to get the biggest bang for the buck. They are a terrific group of men and women and I really appreciate their help.

Speaking of help, the Chamber of Commerce is hosting a breakfast on Wednesday, June 12th. at 7:30AM to 9AM. The Chamber is another group that is there for its members, and they show a zealousness that is usually reserved for the friends of the few.

Changing the subject it is my goal to see all four of my children graduate from a four year college, and believe me, it is not inexpensive. But I am close to realizing that goal and, as Jim Neary, a close friend told me once many years ago, that would be a legacy worth having. I do not really care what they do with their degrees once they get them, I just want them to get them. Marty Meehan is making it easier for me by making education such a strong enticement to the younger generation. In my opinion, he has done a wonderful job with the university. I am not sure about competing only in top level sports, but I like what I see.

I was pleased to hear, or at least I thought I heard, that Sacred Heart Church would be basically conserved. I hope my hearing on that was good. Anyway, we need more of these private/public partnerships to be able to leave some of the greatness of Lowell to future generations. Now, if we could just find someone with deep pockets to step into St. Joseph’s former church and turn it into condominiums. I remember the late Father Armand Morrisette telling me that he had his own room in the rectory filled with his books and papers. “Father Spike” as he was called, baptized two of my children at home. He was a good friend and a true Lowellian.

I have all sorts of little prompts around me. “Boat U.S.” sent me a postcard, reminding me of how much I like the Lowell Motor Boat Club and the Merrimack River. Social Security sent me a paper entitled “What Social Security Means to You.” According to the Concord Coalition, less than it did a few years ago but it is still an integral part of our nationalistic fervor. I have a license on my desk from 2009 that I was supposed to have put on my rowboat, which I never use so no loss there. And, there is a book entitled “Cameras” which no young child knows how to use anymore. I am one of the few still using film, and I am proud of it. My granddaughter said that I should show her a picture that I took of her one Christmas immediately after taking the picture and her father had to tell her that Grandpa’s cameras did not work that way. She would have to wait. She did, and it was worth it.

The School Department might be naming a library computer room in the high school after my father, which is a very nice gesture. Special thanks to Mayor Patrick Murphy for his untiring work on that one. Speaking of Patrick, it must be time for my biannual pick for City Council winners. I predict that Stacey Hargis (I do not even know if I spelled that right), will win after a very spirited door-to-door campaign. Veasna Nuon seems like a winner to me as does former Mayor, and my first friend in Lowell, Jim Milinazzo. And of course, the very charming and hard-working former postman, Marty Lorrey. Time will tell, but those are some of the people that I see winning in November. I have been wrong before, I guess. We shall see.