Fitchburg 11:30 AM Wednesday June 3rd. Update 12:51 AM Thursday

I am scheduled to work on Wednesday from 3:30 till Midnight so as I write this I have no idea how things went in the 1st of two Fitchburg “protests”.

Wednesday’s protest is sponsored by 3 pyramids a local black organization and is scheduled to be a march from Crocker Field to the City Hall (I presume the temporary city hall as the regular one is under re-construction) and is supposed to begin at 2:30 which is just about the time that I will be finishing getting ready for work.

I took a drive, both to pay the water bills but actually to scope out the route. Externally things seem to be OK there is a city crew watering the common and clearing a monument, people are at Market Basket there is some traffic but thanks to the covid stuff the streets are pretty empty. I’m informed by DaWife that the local Dunkin Donuts has closed it’s lobby at noon but other than that I’m not aware of any other business closing although as you can see by the picture Enterprise Rent-a-Car has boarded up their windows (but oddly not moved their cars to a different location. While on social media there is at least one report of bricks hidden under some debris I scoped the potential path and didn’t see this, and I was looking for it.

Local business that would be in the path of any crowd that got out of hand that I talked to are worried but see little they can do about it. At one business an employee was instructed to close up & get out if there are sirens indicating trouble to close and leave. They seemed resigned that what will happen will happen, but people are on edge.

These are the days I miss the World War 2 generation and the Sicilians that once lived in the patch.

It’s very possible (even probable for Wednesday’s protest) that there will be little or not trouble but the potential is there, fed by the media and the desire to turn a local crime in Minnesota into a national story for the sake of scoring election points.

Here is the video I shot, sorry about the quality as I was walking with no monopod.

Again I am writing this at 12:52 PM EST on Wednesday. By the time this posts we will know if Fitchburg had a protest or a riot or both on Wednesday but the results of Friday will still be up in the air. But this description of previous protests from the Sentinal & Enterprise tell me that whatever happens will be spun to death:

On Sunday, peaceful protests were carried out in Boston throughout the day until the demonstrations turned violent in the evening, with reports of fires being set and looting.

Boston police later released a list of the 53 people who were arrested after the violence began.

In Worcester on Monday, thousands of people demonstrated peacefully during the day to protest Floyd’s killing. However, things took a downward turn at night when some demonstrators threw rocks and police in riot gear used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

God willing we’ll have good news.

Update: Got out of work at midnight it was a 20 minute drive back to Fitchburg and I checked out the area, I saw no signs of damage so I presume everything was peaceful or at least under control.

Several notes:

When I left for work I made it a point to drive toward downtown. There was a chopper hovering over the center of the city. Not sure if that was the authorities or the media.

Espresso’s pizza whose manager I interviewed a bit ago during my american success story series which was directly in the line of march of the protest as scheduled was simply plastered with Black Lives Matters signs all over the place. I don’t know if this was cheap insurance or not but the windows were all whole. Perhaps next time I order I’ll ask if my life and my family’s lives matters to them and will decide if I order then again based on their answer.

There was a solid police presence both on main street. Cruisers seems to be strategically placed to keep an eye on key spots from the policeman’s monument to key intersections. I saw car in the parking lot of the temporary city hall in a line that would block access to anyone attempting to drive by. There were a group of men in the lot, I presume officers. I presume they will be there for a while till the morning.

I saw very few people on the streets, when I stopped at Espresso to read the signs one person walking by seemed almost smug bragging about Fitchburg because there was no trouble. I pointed out that the Tea Party had held events on main street and protests and prayers had been in front of the planned parenthood that moved into town and no businesses had worried about violence or felt the need to close. But as violence & rioting (frankly there’s not much worth looting here) to my city was a worry I don’t mind grading them on a curve for the day. I also noted a few people in odd places who seemed to be watching things. Not sure who or what they were and frankly after a late night at work didn’t feel like checking

As I headed home from downtown I noted that Domino’s which is usually open till 2 AM was closed. I turned around to check out way and saw a sign on the door saying: “We are closed so our employees can support black lives matter.” Again I don’t know if this is their feeling or if it’s insurance but I’ll be sure to ask if my life and my family’s life matter next time I order.

When I got home I was told things were quiet but was also told that the National Guard was in town deployed at the Civic Center for a time but I’ve found no evidence of it online of course I’m not on facebook so I don’t know if there is some info there.

When it comes down to it, the bottom line is no trouble at least not yet. Hopefully the weekend with be the same, if it is I’ll be pleased but I still resent the fact that I had to worry about my city , my friends, my property and my family because the MSM decided to elevate a local story to play politics.

The Octave of Romano’s Market begins today

Yesterday I had a day with DaWife. We saw a movie (Last Full Measure, not bad at all) and ate at a two table hole in the wall Chinese place (Kiki’s Kitchen a mom pop and kid place in Fitchburg very good) and ended up at Market Basket to pick up some cheese to go with the ground beef I had bought at Romano’s to make a Mexican chips and cheese mix.

That one bag of cheese turned into $70+ in groceries but more importantly we ran into her sister who gave us the news that Roman’s Market would be closing permanently on Feb 15th after 100 years and 8 generations of Romano’s working there.

All the grandchild in the world and No Amount of his sons working weekends could replace Mike’s 80 hours a week and even if you hired two experienced meat cutters at a minimum of $25 an hour each, that $100K a year and that certainly beyond the owners draw.

Moreover thanks to the minimum wage hikes in Massachusetts and the onerous regulations both state and city the cost to bring the place up to code for a new owner who would not be grandfathered in as every regulation woke regulation was applied would be prohibitive.

Thing came to a head this week since the 4000 pounds of brisket that would have to be cut and corned in the barrels in the cooler would have to be ordered at once to have it ready for St. Patrick’s day. Their supplier offered to corn the beef themselves but the extra cost which would have to be passed down to the customers again would have been prohibitive and frankly might not taste the same as if they did it themselves.

So this week the orders will be big and the hours put in heavy as they inform customers that this is the last chance to order meat bundles that would go in freezers. I suspect from Tuesday through Saturday the place will look like the day before Christmas, with no more Christmas roasts being ordered, or the day before Thanksgiving with no more Fresh Turkeys coming in, or the week of St. Patrick’s with nary a bit of corned beef to be found or July 3rd as everyone gets their freshly made sausage, marinated tips and fresh ground hamburg for the very last time.

I’m a heavy guy and I love a piece of meat, or stuffed pork chops or stuffed chicken breasts but for 28 years since I moved into the neighborhood I’ve not cooked more than a few pounds of meat in my body that hasn’t come from Romano’s.

I’m going to miss Mike, but I’m going to miss Romano’s more. I guess that’s a tad greedy.

Here’s a glimpse of what Fitchburg will be missing.

Can you help my Great Niece & her husband who just lost everything in the huge IED fire in Fitchburg that left a bunch of people homeless?

Sunday on my ride home from work just before I reached the fifth street bridge to turn to my house I ran into a bunch of roadblocks from a huge fire that was practically flooding the road.

Continue reading “Can you help my Great Niece & her husband who just lost everything in the huge IED fire in Fitchburg that left a bunch of people homeless?”

Last Chance to Join Fitchburg MA Face to Face Dynasty Baseball league before Next Week’s Draft Tomorrow Zeda’s Pizza from 1-5 PM

Tomorrow I will be at Zeda’s Pizza in Fitchburg MA to finalize rules for the Sable/Gerbl face to face Dynasty baseball league.

If you are a fan of Baseball and boardgaming come on down, I’ll demonstrate the game.

The Draft is scheduled for Sept 28th, the tentative opening day is Oct 18th and we will be playing 3 games on alternative Saturdays.

Come on down and find out why Dynasty Baseball is not only the best baseball simulation on the market but one of the best board game for a baseball fan.