By Josh Resnek
The Mayor’s Parking Space
Sometimes a photograph says more about us than anything else.
Such is the case with the mayor’s personal parking space at city hall.
At 9 am Monday, the space was as empty as outer space. The mayor was unseen.
So what is unusual about this?
Nothing at all.
It is a way of life for that space at city hall.
If the space was a person he or she would be lonely being so unused.
In this instance, the mayor’s empty space, empty much more than it is used, says much about one aspect of and make-up that is fairly well-known in this city.
I am writing about his work ethic.
He is rarely in his office.
He only appears there when it is necessary.
All summer he will most likely be at his swimming pool behind his mansion.
Swimming in his pool on a hot summer day is much better than sitting behind his desk in the corner office running the city.
Who would argue with that!
The hard workers inside city hall, the folks coming into their of ces everyday like good soldiers to do their duty to earn their day’s pay, notice the empty space meant for the mayor’s automobile.
They are always there.
He is not.
They all know the mayor spends little time at city hall. They all privately joke about how he is never there – but not to his face.
Nearly everyone working for the city inside city hall will utter not a word about the mayor for fear of reprisal. They all know how little he comes in
The mayor, many believe, has become too important a public figure in his own mind to be bothered with working inside his office.
Besides, the mayor will tell you, he has important meetings outside of the city.
In the end, however, what is more important than the commander and chief spending some time in his office to run the city he heads?
Again, everyone at city hall knows the mayor is absent without leave much of the time.
One picture is worth 10,000 words goes the saying.
The empty space photo says it all, doesn’t it.
DiBlasi’s For a Great Sub
I drove from Church Street up to DiBlasi’s to introduce myself on Monday morning.
They are advertisers here – which we appreciate.
We want our advertisers to be our friends just as we want our readers to be our friends.
I parked my car across from McKinnon’s, walked across Broadway and pushed open the screen door.
I stepped into DiBlasi’s.
The place is immaculate and three or four people were working in the back room and out front getting ready for the day.
I introduced myself to owner Greg Maganzini.
Greg and I talked for a bit.
Great guy. Early 40’s. Married happily. Three kids. Working every day to make things happen in his business which he loves.
To make a long story short…I ordered up a small Italian.
That is, the nice woman behind the counter sliced the soft Italian sub roll, and then did exactly as I asked.
“I want just two slices of ham. Three slices of Genoa. Two slices of provolone, pickles, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and lots of seasoning and a gush of oil, please.”
She did it up perfectly – which is joyous for someone like me who is very fussy about the subs I eat.
There was a fuss about paying for the sub.
Greg said he wouldn’t take any money from me.
“I can’t do that,” I said.
I dropped a ten spot on the counter and ran out of the store.
I had things on my mind. It has been a difficult past week for me.
I got back to Church Street. Parked my car reached for the sub. Walked into the office. Said hello to our office manager Mary.
It was about 11:30 am Monday morning.
Walked to my desk. Unwrapped the sub, something akin to a religious experience when I am hungry.
Took the first bite – delightful. Just right. Even the tomatoes were just right. What a rush when I am hungry.
I took about ten minutes to devour it – every bit of it down to the last bite.
So good. So just right – and yet so basic and so well done.
Try out DeBlasi’s. You won’t be disappointed
A Personal Note
My mother died on July 11. She was 97.
She was my best friend and supporter, loyal, dignified, an all around great lady to me and my sister, my sons and daughters, her nieces and nephews.
She grew up in abject poverty in a three decker home in Chelsea during the Depression.
When her mother died when she was 24 she continued taking care of her father, and her sisters. She was absolutely devoted to her family.
When she was 27 she met my late father who was 25 years older, a successful guy from successful Chelsea family.
Not a day or a moment in her life after meeting my father did she ever have to worry about poverty again. They married in 1948. They moved to Marblehead where I was brought up.
It was a privilege to have such a great mother and father who loved me, who believed in me, who adored me.
My father died 25 years ago.
And now my mother is gone.
I am an orphan, as has been suggested to me by some of those expressing condolences.
It is impossible to deal with such a loss.
It is an impossible moment in my life – a reflection of what it is for all of us going through our lives on this earth.
Even at 97, my mother had it together. We were best buddies and friends.
What she gave me, I returned in kind to the end. Bottom line…those of you with mothers and fathers whose hearts are still beating on this earth, take a moment to call them today and tell them: “I love you.”
I can’t do that anymore and frankly, it feels a bit like the end of the world.
Call your mother and father today. Let them know how grateful you are for their presence in your lives on this earth.
Take comfort they are here – for you will not always have them.
It is one of those bitter things about life that we lose the people we really love, who really love us, and when they are gone, well, life is just different without them.
I am told to recall the great memories I am left with.
I’d rather have my mother right here on this earth today. That isn’t going to happen. Right now, life is like a cold rain falling.
Memories are all I have now.