Through the years with Wayne Feiden

Why he is the most powerful person in our city government?   Under four mayors Wayne Feiden has steadily amassed power. I remember Wayne Feiden when he was young, just out of college, I think.   Not the city planner, but an ambitious assistant to our planner Larry Smith. Some well-connected people wanted to get rid … Continue reading Through the years with Wayne Feiden

The Elephant in the Room: Northampton in the Eighties

I became ensnared in the whole Heritage Bank failure back in 1988, when I was running for city council and these developers from Revere, the Rostoff brothers,  were trying to get the permits  and funding they needed to build a big 6 story addition to the  Hotel Northampton. It was obvious to a few of us … Continue reading The Elephant in the Room: Northampton in the Eighties

Cold Case: The Joan Andres Killing

Dear Marie,        I have finally figured out why I never wrote to you again.  It is because the only thing worth writing about is people.  And I have been spending the last few years retrenching into myself.  Now I have no one left to write about except for myself, and you know how boring … Continue reading Cold Case: The Joan Andres Killing

Looking for Danny Constance

Beardsleys restaurant today I called Danny Constance in 1999, but he didn’t want to talk to me. “Do you want to talk about the 80s, Danny?” I asked, and there was a long pause. He was thinking about it. “No,” he finally said in this gravelly voice, “I don’t think I do.” He was polite, … Continue reading Looking for Danny Constance

Airport Stories

Down at the LaFleur airport some time after midnight on the cold night ofFebruary 16, 1983, a young kid was trying to make a phone call on the pay phone. The airport is in the meadows area of Northampton next to Route 91. It’s your standard country airport, a tar strip, a scattering of planes … Continue reading Airport Stories

Mike Smith, fix my warning lights!

According to the papers, Mike Smith was now managing an auto shop, earning about $250 a week and living up over the garage. An innocent juror or newspaper reader like me would probably think that this new career of his reflected credit on him. Bank executive starts life over again managing a garage. Puts past … Continue reading Mike Smith, fix my warning lights!

The Great Cummington Farms Disaster (more tales from the eighties)

Cummington is an idyllic small town about twenty miles northwest of Northampton up in the foothills of the Berkshires. You take Route 9 to get there. You leave citified liberals behind and get into old Yankee territory, where men are still men and know how to keep their chain saws running without running to the … Continue reading The Great Cummington Farms Disaster (more tales from the eighties)

Part III: The Roof Falls In on Heritage Bank

“You know, I worked with Dick Covell and my impression was that he was a much more effective administrator when he was here in Northampton with NIS than he was at Holyoke. You see, he was very much of a ‘hands-on’ type of guy. When he was at 109 Main Street his office was right … Continue reading Part III: The Roof Falls In on Heritage Bank

Part II: The Fall Guys

The Plotters Northampton is a small town, and there is very little you can get away with without people noticing, and talking about it. The commercial and legal and political world is pretty well focused in about four or five city blocks in the downtown area. You can’t have an affair in Northampton, or if … Continue reading Part II: The Fall Guys