There was a lot going on at the Johnny Appleseed festival last week including some politics. After all what would a local festival be if candidates didn’t turn up. I had a chance to talk to two of them.
Geoff Diehl won the GOP primary and will be facing Elizabeth Warren in the fall.
Diehl was also co-chair of the Trump campaign and it will be interesting to see what going all in for Trump does in Massachusetts. He’s an unabashed conservative and isn’t shy about saying so. Moreover he remembers 2010 when he ran and won in the big red wave of 2010 (a year when Charlie Baker did not btw)
Yesterday I spent my day off at the WQPH 89.3 FM Booth at Leominster’s annual Johnny Appleseed festival held each year in honor of the most famous person ever born there. I spent the day promoting my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer (available here) , my radio show Your Prayer Intentions (Heard every Saturday at Noon on WQPH) , giving away blessed items and collecting stories.
I’ll be writing about some of those great stories over the next few days, some which have already been uploaded to Youtube if you can’t wait, but there is on story in particular that jumped out at me.
The festival ran from 9 AM to 6 PM I got there before 8 to set things up. The wind was pretty nasty early in the day so one of our volunteers Chris did a hardware store run for some Duct Tape and stakes to hold the tent and sign in place. When he got back before nine he came back with shocking news…Chick-Fil-A was set up right next to the main drag!
Now if you live south of the Mason-Dixon line the idea that your local Chick-Fil-A might be at a festival is not news. But if you live in a state where there was until a few years ago only a single Chick-Fil-A in the entire state, where both radical gay protesters, and far left pols, of which we have an abundance have used the company as a punching back to prove their liberal bona fides , and where even now the nearest of the five or so statewide locations is a solid 30 minutes away…
…having them set up at a festival in the city next to yours is a pretty big deal.
It was nearly 9 AM so by now our booth was well maned so I headed straight over not only to get the story but because I didn’t have time to eat before I left the house. That’s where I met Sandra and Kevin who were setting up.
Rather than selling individual sandwiches they were selling only meals which consisted of: A standard Chick-Fil-A Sandwich, a 10 ounce can of soda, a bag of chips and a thick cookie for $10. I thought the price-point was high for the festival but I bought one anyway (I’d never had the cookies there before, it was VERY good) and returned to my booth very happy.
As promised I swung by again at 4 pm to see how the day had gone so far, it had gone VERY well
It’s worth noting that the lady who asked about when they would come to Leominster was wearing buttons for various Democrats running for state office
By 5:30 the Kevin was packing up, the last meal had been sold and the last “when are you coming to Leominster?” question had been asked.
Now you might think it’s no big deal for Chick-Fil-A to sell a couple of hundred sandwiches at an annual festival in Leomisnter MA. But to do so when the company has been vilified for a decade in the state, in a city where their state rep is a Bernie Bro (actually a Bernie sis) at a price-point higher than anyone else at the place, that’s really something.
I suspect that before too long I won’t have to go more than 5 minutes out of my way to get a soup some Chick-Fil-A and if nothing else I’m Certain that they will be a fixture at the Johnny Appleseed Festival forevermore.
While I was volunteering for WQPH at the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Leominster MA I did several interviews for the station but there were also some political people worth getting on camera which of course could not be associated with the station.
So I left the WQPH booth and went out into the festival where I saw a tea party friend working a pair of booths, one for national GOP candidate Donald Trump and one for Frank Ardinger running for state rep in the 4th Worcester District His web site is here.(Leominster) who I interviewed here. (Full disclosure he is a subscriber to the website and has been for years.)
It turns out Gwen is now the chair of the Leominster GOP committee.
Three things really jumped out at me, the first was the giant Lost in Space Robot which really got some attention, The second was the list of events which indicate quite an outreach for the GOP, but the big thing that jumped out was the fact that in the blue state of Massachusetts the Ardinger booth was right next the Donald Trump one & sharing some staff while there was no booth for Hillary Clinton that I saw and if there was one I missed it certainly wasn’t near the booth for Frank’s opponent Natalie Higgins. That it had no Hillary signs anywhere near it speaks volumes and all of it in Trump’s favor.
Normally I would not have hesitated to do so, but as Tom is both a friend and a longtime subscriber to the blog I didn’t want to put myself in a spot where I might find myself doing an unfair interview. That wouldn’t be fair to the readers nor to candidate Higgins, although I would have really liked to ask her why I didn’t see any Hillary buttons in her group.
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When you listen to the show you might notice there are no calls. Because of a staffing issue that episode was pre-recorded and that left me free to go to the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Leominster mass to witness first hand that group of people that Harry Reid & the entire MSM insists are the most dangerous and odious group in the nation: The Tea Party!
Listening to the national political conversation one might be amazed to see the Tea Party at a family event since at the same time the Tea Party was giving out patriotic temporary tattoos for the children at the Leominster festival in Senate Majority leader Harry Reid was referring to them as “anarchists” claiming they were trying to “extort” the American people in their fight against Obamacare.
His vehemence was matched by the administration comparing them to suicide bombers and former vice president Al Gore who compared the tea party to terrorists. That would be a tough sell in the Leominster area. The local Tea Party leader is also active in the Fitchburg Republican committee, a Republican city counsel candidate at the Leominster GOP booth was another tea party regular and the heated rhetoric of their foes did not match the actions of the members who gave away copies of the US constitution and raffled off a gift basket for kids which included Amelia Hamilton’s children’s book 10 Steps to Freedom a Growing Patriot’s guide to the American Revolution.
I’m sure some of our friends on the left are shocked anyone got out of there alive but if they read Stacy McCain’s piece at the American Spectator perhaps they would be less afraid:
The history of Obamacare must be forgotten in order to suppose that Reid’s defense of this controversial and unpopular measure is more reasonable than the opposition of the Republican conservatives whom Reid labeled “tea party anarchists.” Of course, when it comes to real anarchists like the deranged mob that emerged two years ago as the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, Democrats were far more understanding. The media didn’t point that out to Harry Reid, however, nor did anyone in the press corps seem to note the irony when White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer compared Republicans to terrorists: “What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” You can insert your favorite Bill Ayers joke here, but the president’s avowed refusal to negotiate with his domestic opponents could also be contrasted with his foreign policy, as I remarked on Twitter: “Maybe if the Republican Party would change its name to ‘Iran,’ Obama would be willing to negotiate with them.”
John Chapman better known as Johnny Appleseed was born in Leominster Massachusetts back in 1774. Today in Leominster the Annual Johnny Appleseed festival is in progress.
In addition to information about Johnny Appleseed
There were many booths and causes, old friends like WQPH
and some groups familiar to people everywhere like the 4-H club.
and some causes like the Invisible Children:
Most interesting was the fact that the local Tea Party had a booth as well:
and Justin Brooks former president of the local tea party now active in Veterans groups talked to me about them.
Nothing is more dangerous for the establishment GOP or the left than booths like this, because the message of the Tea Party as horrible terrorists gets undermined very quickly when people see them in person
8 hours to the end of the week and still $56 bucks short for a full paycheck.