I made it to Raynham with no time to spare. There was Brian, standing out in the corridor like a Roman candle in his lipstick red ski parka, gesticulating as he whispered something about $3 Million Dollars into someone's ear.
Ah, I said to myself, the bloviating had already begun.
I’ve seen Brian in action before, as you know, in Carver. And let me say this, if you already think the Middleboro Casino Circus is the greatest show on earth, you should really see them outside of their natural habitat.
As soon as he is given the floor, Brian assures the Raynham selectmen that he’s not required to be a cheerleader for the casino (which implies that the Middleboro Board of Selectmen are…) and that he’s NOT a cheerleader for it. He’s just trying to be ready if the casino comes.
But apparently, he's also recently received a booster shot of Kool-aid from that quintessential traveling casino-oil salesman, Clyde Barrow.
Perhaps that’s what caused him to low-ball the conservative traffic figures from 40,000 to 20,000. Never fear, Gladys was there to correct it.
For the record, I wasn’t planning on disrupting Brian’s meeting. I don’t share his gift for gab or his quest of the spotlight. But perhaps there was no one better than myself to have been listening to him that night as he painted a fictional picture of harmony and fellowship between his committee and surrounding towns.
His committee welcomed questions! You can ask us anything...
At this point I felt inclined to remind him of the “I don’t give a damn about Bridgewater” comment a member of his committee made this summer.
He brushed this off by saying that his committee had 6 weeks! Six weeks to come with a study for Middeboro! For Middleboro! There was a lot of stress. The comment came during one of his discussions about Middleboro after all.
Actually, I reminded him, it didn’t. It had come as a result of one of my questions concerning Bridgewater - because I’d made sure to ask a question about Bridgewater every time I attended one of Brian’s meetings, if, for no other reason than to remind the town of Middleboro that the effects of a mega resort casino wouldn’t be limited to Middleboro. But naturally, when Bridgewater did come up, it was summarily dismissed, never to be mentioned again until a whole bunch of other surrounding towns picked up pitchforks and torches and threatened to throw a cold bucket of water on Middleboro’s casino of dreams.
“It wasn’t exactly kumbaya, Brian,” I said referring to those languid summer nights at the town hall.
No, it wasn’t, agreed Brain, who thinks we should all just move on.
Moving on is fine, but don’t rewrite the past. Don’t pretend Middleboro ever gave a rat’s backside about anyone else during last summer’s casino orgy.
Brian continued on, proclaiming the wonderful helping hand his town could give Raynham, etc., going off on tangents of interest only to him.
When asked if Middleboro has dealings with the Tribe, I was a bit amazed to learn that they’re ‘around during the day’ and that apparently they’ve been coming to some of Brian’s meetings in the evening. (Really? How novel.) In fact, he can set up a meeting with them if you want. (He is their personal secretary?)
I’m certain they can see my eyes rolling from the front of the room.
Another person wants to know if Brian’s seen any plans yet?
Are there any plans? Even conceptual plans? And has he seen them?
He mentions that the casino will have a water park, which is funny, because just recently Middleboro Selectman Wayne Perkins said there wasn’t a water park planned. Go figure.
And then he goes on to say that the area around rte 44 in Middleboro is unlike that in bustling Raynham. Nope, nothing but trees and open space as far as the eye can see. Well... nothing but that and the KOA.
This would probably come as a surprise to all those people who’ve made their homes in the perimeter of the Precinct Street location. And perhaps the fact that Brian considers Oliver Mill, the historic Muttock area, and every man woman and child living on Plymouth Street, just a poker chip’s throw away, and running parallel to Rte. 44, as nothing but trees and open space, should give one pause.
Selectmen, spectators and the press asked many excellent questions that evening. Mostly about traffic. “You can’t fit a 5” piece of pipe into a 2” piece of pipe…” (something like that.)
Never fear. Brian is a water engineer. It’s what he does. And so he thoroughly understands traffic.
He also boasts, modestly, that the Governor used his committee’s report as part of his rejection of the Tribe’s land into trust application. This was interesting, I thought, since Brian seemed rather taken aback right after the Governor’s report came out.
“I can pretty much answer half the questions he asks in there, but he never contacted me or anyone else,” Giovanoni said in a recent Boston Globe article.
But perhaps the most meaningful moment of the evening arrived after Brain completed explaining how Raynham might consider dealing with the Tribe in seeking any remedy for impacts.
“They’re a sovereign nation, like England. And if you show them respect, well, then maybe they’ll be willing to help you out.”
At this point, Raynham Selectman McKinnon thanked Brian for his professional presentation, but asked the question we all, at some level, have wanted to ask since the beginning.
“Son, I guess I just don’t understand why your town would… give up it’s own control, and choose to depend on the Tribe’s benevolence.”
But it’s clear that this is one of those infinitesimally few things that Brian has no answer for.
And I don’t have any profound wisdom to impart to help him understand. I mean, how do you explain America?