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Fly the flag on 9/11 for the victims and the troops

It's a random thought kind of week here at the Reminder Publications Headquarters for World Domination.


My friend Tom Devine ( has an eye-opening entry on his blog about the Technical High School Building in Springfield. If you're a Tech grad, the series of photos he runs showing the sad condition of that building will undoubtedly sadden you.

With the construction of the new Federal Court House, many people have pointed to the Tech building and said its redevelopment is practically guaranteed. These photos would indicate that the costs of renovating the building might be higher than some might think due to the years of neglect.

The real estate is certainly now in a prime location and I'm sure that something will happen to that land. One wonders, though, if the Tech building will be part of that redevelopment.


In an effort to keep my limited amount of cash circulating in our local economy, I've been trying not to go to chain fast food restaurants. It's tempting and cheap. There are local lunch spots that offer great specials as well.

Now, one of my guilty pleasures in a life constructed of guilty pleasures are McDonald's French fries. I'm happy to say I've found a local product that blows the McDonald's fries away.

If you happen to be in downtown Springfield for lunch, order the fries at City Jake's at the corner of Main and Worthington. Order a sandwich, too Jake has a family to support but get the fries.

They are fresh cut potatoes cooked before your loving eyes. Bliss!

Where's your favorite non-chain lunch?


My heart aches when I see and hear about the condition of The Bud in Holyoke. If you're not familiar with the three-story brick building sitting across Dwight Street from City Hall, then you need to know that for most of the 20th Century, The Bud was more than just a bar. It was a focal point of Holyoke legend and lore.

I had the pleasure of bartending there in the 1980s when I was a talk show host on WREB radio. I heard the stories the place was haunted by former owner Wilbur Murray and there was a tunnel linking City Hall to The Bud and was enchanted by them.

Believe me I looked for the entrance of that tunnel.

Now the building is in sad shape thanks to the neglect of the absentee owner and the city is in the process of taking the building so it can probably demolish it. If this unique building had been in a trendier downtown, such as Northampton, it would have never descended into such a state.

If I hit the lottery, I'm calling Mike Sullivan and working out a deal.


I've just received an e-mail urging me to fly a flag at my home on Sept. 11 in observance of the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack.

It is, of course, a worthy message. I think, though, the flag's display should also be in honor of the men and women who have given their lives in the duty of their country fighting a controversial war in Iraq.

I mean no disrespect to the families whose lives were impacted forever by the actions of the terrorists. The people who died in the air and on the ground were victims of the lowest kind of warfare and should always be remembered.

The deaths of American citizens continue in this conflict, and they should not be forgotten either. I'd like our readers to know that two members of Charlie Company, the Marine unit whose training this paper covered, have died in the last month.

The war is not an abstraction we simply view on television. It is very real and affecting too many American families.

I believe the war in Iraq is one of the worst blunders in recent American history, but I support the members of the armed forces who are doing what they're asked to do.

So fly your flag for them as well.

This column represents the opinions of its author. Send your comments to or to 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028.