The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Monday, August 28, 2006


I think that I might have set a new record for mileage this weekend. The itinerary included Cummington multiple times, Gill (WHERE you say? It's not even in "the district!), Pittsfield, Ashfield. Sunday was unfortunately a WASHOUT....the people who ran the Ethnic Fair in Pittsfield really did a good job of keeping people's spirits up and ignoring the water dripping down!

But the real find of the weekend, besides the fact that there were so many WONDERFUL people at the Cummington Fair, was the OLD CREAMERY GROCERY in Cummington. You have NOT LIVED until you have eaten there! Wild rice salad to die for. Terrific gazpacho. Thai peanut chili (which I believe was vegetarian....) AWESOME! Nice people. Great atmosphere. A MUST STOP!

And then there's Elmer's. What is NOT to like about Elmer's. Got to go back Sunday a.m. and have a quick cup of coffee before church. "How's the campaign going?" the owner asked. IS THAT WONDERFUL? Even on a rainy morning, Elmer's was warm and cozy.

Customer Service. One key to a Western MA economy we can all be proud of.

Off to try on my Mother of the Groom dress. Yes, I do have to marry my firstborn off this weekend. Talk about living parallel lives.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


How to fit this all in when I'm about to hit the road for another fun-filled day on the campaign trail? Three separate trips yesterday to Cummington, for the amazing Cummington Fair, where we have a booth RIGHT BY THE ENTRANCE! Location, location, location!

But truly the best part of yesterday was attending the Grand Opening of "Rotary Park," a handicapped-accessible playground on Springside Avenue in Pittsfield. Seeing the kids (and the adults!) enjoy the park and remembering WHY we're going through this foolishness -- to actually help people and make their lives better -- was truly inspirational and it gave me a renewed commitment to hold my head high and keep working 24/7 to accomplish the goals of this campaign.

Which sometimes can be difficult, when one of the purveyors of Conventional Wisdom grins at you and says "Of course, Opponent X is going to win." "No he's not." I shot back. "I am." If the scene of this exchange were the holding tank of reporters outside a national debate, it would be called "spinning." In this case, it's just the truth. The individuals who are supporting me are very rarely in conversation with the people who spin the Conventional Wisdom.

I liked this note I received from someone whose view of the world and opinion I respect: "And then of course there's just the self fulfilling prophecy aspect of political cowardice (or self-preservation instinct if that's more charitable). Why do you think the polls in so many contests show a high percentage of undecided right up until election day? I maintain that it is not voters evaluating candidates, but sheep waiting to back the apparent winner."

So as they say, if all the people who think I'm the superior candidate would simply have the courage to say "She's the superior candidate. I'm voting for her," then I'd win. Which I will. Because somewhere out there are 7500 people who know what's good for them.

Monday, August 21, 2006


With less than a month to go in the campaign, things are heating up in what, I guess, are predictable ways. We had an exciting but busy weekend. Our friend Molly Heslip got married, and we either fit the wedding and reception into the campaign or vice versa, I'm not sure. But it entailed driving to Otis for the quilt festival on Saturday a.m. and then BACK to Williamstown for the wedding and then to Stockbridge for the reception, a quick jaunt to Tanglewood to soothe our souls and then overnight in Great Barrington.

Where my husband locked the keys in the car. Since it is a new car, he hadn't taken the spare keys out of the little packet in the glove compartment. I am now very grateful to the GBPD for rescuing us in time to make church in Sheffield at 10AM.

WONDERFUL day in Sheffield. We have two amazing volunteers who literally took us everywhere and introduced us to everyone. And if you're into chicken, the American Legion barbeque MAY just be the winner in the competition. Although I'd really have to be eating the Grace Church Dalton chicken AND the Sheffield chicken side by side to do them justice. Three of four major Senate candidates were there and three of four Southern Berkshire Register of Deeds candidates also attended. We were stepping all over one another greeting people. I told the Legion they probably should charge us extra!

I returned home to discover that rumors are abounding. This one is that I'm dropping out of the race. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!! While I have my suspicions about who circulates these rumors (I in fact heard that ANOTHER candidate was dropping now I know how that got started!) I have to learn that it is apparently all par for the course and part of the background noise of a campaign. I AM NOT ONLY NOT DROPPING OUT, I AM INCREASINGLY CONFIDENT THAT I'M GOING TO WIN! I am receiving support in unexpected places and realizing that our campaign is cutting through the fog of "same old same old." We're connecting with people and they're realizing that there is a person who, like Deval Patrick, represents the hope that things can change for the better.

Back to the trail. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there we're going to get my kid married off. Pass the rehearsal dinner place cards, please.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


at least when it comes to lawn signs.

We finally got tired of hearing every single person on the planet say "Your ideas on healthcare, divestiture from companies doing business in Sudan and affordable housing are great! But now, about your lawn signs....they're too small...."

So now we have new lawn signs. I hope everyone appreciates that we spent hard-raised campaign dollars on customer service.

Campaign dollars. Don't get me started. Another entry for the real story after the election.

This was the week of debates/forums. We had one in Great Barrington on Tuesday, one in North Adams on Thursday and taped two public TV Channel 57 shows on Friday. I keep trying to promote the idea of saving gas by all of us riding around together but it still hasn't caught on. On the other hand, we all have other commitments. Ben and Nate were off to Bertucci's while I had to get back to Pittsfield right away.
Stopped at the Organic Market, Clover's, on the way north and had a "to die for" natural tuna sandwich and also ran into a friend who took some "Dear Friend" cards so that was all to the good! This will definitely be a stop in the future. Excellent food.

Oh, sorry, I know you want to know how I did in all these forums/debates. I was great, thank you very much. In one of the articles, you could even LEARN that I said cogent things. Another one was the usual "everyone was pleasant." One frustration on Thursday was that the Transcript reporter left before it got interesting.

We are also not going to talk about endorsements. That will go into the "after the campaign" blog. Suffice it to say that no woman I know will be joining N.O.W. (not that they've been out here recruiting; their closest chapter is in Springfield.)

And of course I forgot to tell everyone that I am now AN OFFICIAL FULL-TIME CANDIDATE (with a little time off every once in a while to be the mother of the groom.) Wednesday was my first day of focus and although we're poverty-stricken, we do appreciate having only one schedule per day.

And a note to some of the other bloggers out there. I guess some of you have nothing better to do than to sit around in your pajamas and take pot shots at other campaigns. I think that's sad. Constructive problem-solving is what this country needs. For your information, I DO have time to blog and will as a Senator (women have been multitasking for generations) and I come from poor but humble beginnings -- a one parent family and a large college scholarship. I live in a house with one full bathroom. Middle class. Get over it.