Saturday, July 28, 2007

Friends in Need

It's Friday night. July 27th 2007. I imagine that right now the town moderator and ten chosen speakers are downing gallons of Maalox in preparation. I envision Marsha Brunelle soothed to sleep on fluffy purple pillows with visions of sending the gavel down on anyone who dares to interfere with her Zanex buzz tomorrow. Wayne Perkins won’t be tossing in his sleep tonight, what with that mind of his locked securely in a vault a Fort Knox. Somewhere, Steven Spataro rests on a credenza, crumpled like a ventriloquist's dummy, pondering what life could have been life but for a few certain decisions. And late-shift workers are, at this moment peeling the flattened carcass of Patrick ‘Tank Man’ Rogers off the pavement. Somewhere, Adam Bond finishes brushing his teeth, peers into the bathroom mirror and winks. In a nightly ritual, he turns his head slightly to the side, checking to ensure that his three-digit birthmark isn’t visible. It’s not. He’s ready. Bring it on.

I’m writing this on the evening of the historic town meeting in Middleboro tomorrow. I know most of you won’t get to read it until Sunday or later, and by then you’ll already have the benefit of knowing what happened.

But at the moment, I don’t.

So with these last few hours of uncertainty, I’d like to say a few words about the people I’ve worked along side with these past three months.

To Jacquie, our valiant and admittedly unlikely leader, who became a friend along the way – if you hadn’t been the one to step up and hold us together, Jacquie, this all really would have been a done deal. You are one amazing woman.

To Jim, who I've known on and off since childhood. Someone with a deep and sincere appreciation for this rural landscape of ours. When I think of you now, I am only reminded of those nights my children and I, wrapped in layers of fleece, freezing in the dark and comforted with only a thermos of hot chocolate and the promises of meteorologists, waited in the back yard for stars to make a wish on. I wonder if you and your children will ever get to have similar memories. Will a casino steal your stars and your wishes?

For Frank, a man nearly impossible to say no to. It was his voice that finally woke up the sleeping towns around Middleboro. He’s worked tirelessly since the beginning. I can’t even imagine the mileage, voice minutes and shoe leather he’s gone through.

For Rich who, this past month, has stood up with me in some gracious towns, and with me again in hostile ones. He has no idea how much I appreciated his bear hug after reading Tank Man. He has no idea of the awe he inspired in me as I watched him shove a sock in the opposition’s mouth at the last selectman’s meeting with his two-million dollar lesson on comp rooms. He probably has no idea of how much he means to me and the rest of the group. But he should.

For Jesse, the tireless queen of the clipboard. No one knows Middleboro more than this lady. She is insanely smart, ridiculously funny, and as tenacious as a pit bull with her teeth on the ankle of town hall. And most thankfully, she is on our side.

To AnneMarie, a force of nature. She took the thankless, relentless job of organizing volunteers and turned it into a horse race against billionaires. You deserve a spa day after this, AnneMarie. A bunch of them.

To the indomitable Chuck and Mrs. Shea. I’ve watched your bright and spirited presence put this group on the map. I’ve looked for your faces at more than one meeting for the strength to persevere. Thanks for being there.

For Iron Mike, the only person for whom I ever saw make Marsha put down the gavel. (I think she liked it.) You have been an inspiration since the beginning and I’ll admit to being disappointed when I didn’t see you at a meeting! You have the spirit of a fighter - and you know Gladys just loves that sort of thing.

For Judy W. – who doesn’t remember this, but when we were both much younger, interviewed me for a job I didn’t get. I hope, Judy, that I’ve finally managed to pass the audition. Thank you for sitting in those airless rooms with me with no audio or air conditioning and managing to remember everything with seamless clarity... and e-mail it to me later.

Thanks to the miraculously upbeat Judy G. for keeping me company through dog complaints and flying monkey attacks. Thanks for the laughter, the conversation, the humor, the endless, boundless energy. And truly, thanks for that Townie hat. I’m honored you even thought of me.

For Jim Knox, who stopped my heart with his moment at the mike at the last selectman’s meeting - and for his smart, witty and dead-on ideas. And thanks most of all, thanks for getting me to come out and hold a sign. What a great experience!

For Dave, who never stopped smiling. For Greg, who somewhere stopped smiling, but never stopped working. For Jeff for cracking jokes in my ear when I was desperate for a laugh. For Rob, for that sober earnestness thing he always has going on that I could never do in a million years. For Penny and Sharon who I never got to know very well...because they were always working so hard behind the scenes. For Les, who I never met at all, for his incredible efforts. For Terry and Melinda for their compliments on my writing – I don’t care - you’ll just never know how much that’s really meant to me - and kept me writing.

To Terry T. who was forced to stand and hold a sign beside an unshowered and uncaffinated Gladys during what, for her, are the wee hours, on a hot, very public Middleboro sidewalk for several hours one morning. Thanks for the coffee, the conversation and for not leaving me behind to be devoured by flying monkeys.

To those wonderful people of Plympton and Halifax and East Bridgewater who’ve done the most incredible thing – make me feel, finally, like I wasn’t alone. Like I wasn't the only one with an opinion but without a vote. Thanks for being part of the turning point in this fight. Thank you for your insights, your energy and your hard work. Thank you for stepping up when even my own town wouldn’t listen.

To everyone I saw at meetings but never knew your name. Thank you.

Thanks to all the people I didn't meet, or didn't get to spend much time getting to know, simply because you were the ones keeping the world in one piece for the rest of us. Thanks for coming home early. For staying up late. For being alone. For being alone with the kids. For putting up with us. For putting up with this. Thanks for just being there so we could be here.

And finally, for Mark, with whom I’ve often thought I shared a brain. Get me a picture of Davy Jones tearing the roof off town hall? No problem. Need audio of that twently-two minute dog complaint? No questions asked. Can any of you imagine where we would be if Mark hadn’t built us an outpost in the digital universe. Especially after we were no longer permitted commentary? Mark, like Dorothy said to the scarecrow, I think I’ll miss you most of all.

As of this writing I don’t know what the outcome will be tomorrow, and I obviously don’t know what the future will hold either way, but I do know that the people of CasinoFacts are some of the most intelligent, talented, moral, world-savvy people it has my honor and privilege to work with. We all took our own roads in this effort, but still came to the same place. Thanks for letting this prolific ex-patriot from Bridgewater tag along, to make you laugh, and be able to refer to you as friends. Friends Indeed.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to express gratitude towards selectman Bond, and give him some advicde as well. Firstly, Adam, you should always be aware of a microphone being on or off when you are in its vicinity. Secondly, thank for for letting me know that I am, to quote, and "Idiot" for voting against the agreement. I sat there intently listening to your conversation being broadcast over the PA system while doing the manual count with a number of other folks who heard your exact words.

Again, thanks for expressing this.

Sir, when I saw you pushing a stroller with your child in the 4th of July parade and smoking a cigarette at the same time, my exact thoughts were that you too are an idiot. I guess takes one to know one, right?

Anonymous said...

Alan Bond will be 'Recalled' in October when he is eligible by us idiots! Well said, Alan!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it curious how Victoria Bond experienced her miraculous conversion to casino supporter as she began house-hunting?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have Video of Adam's live mic "Idiot" statement? I think it would be great on YouTube.

Anonymous said...

Not I - but I do understand taht there was a newspaper reporter right there taking notes! Enterprise, I believe.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gladys for the laughs and insights. Levity in a serious situation really helps to keep us all focused and reasonable unlike the angry Mrs. Bond, who doesn't know how to switch gears or turn it off when attending other committee meetings. I'm glad to hear the Mr and Mrs. Bond feel so superior to all of us. I guess until Mr. Bond's recall they will replace the Royal Brunelles. We all have more work to do, as a result of the agreement being signed. I don't think you without a job yet!

Anonymous said...

It has been reported that Mrs. Brunelle is particularly appreciative that the town meeting planning has finally gotten Mr. Brunelle out of his underwear and out of the house! Way to go, Roger! There's more to life than deleting the emails of town employees who catch you buying a tv set and falsifying bills!

28 years in Middleboro said...

We had a stabbing and now a house burned down to the ground on Barrows street. These are most likely DRUG related.
Theres a Cocain problem in town and no one seems to care.
Whats going on ?
A Boston Globe artical showed the biggest jump in crime in the areas of the Conn Casinos was DRUG arrests.
We have a problem here in town and it needs to get fixed before it gets worse or more people will get hurt or die.
It also costs every tax payer in town... ...