— Eye on Everett —

THE BLUE SUIT

Frank discussions between Josh Resnek and the mayor’s Blue Suit

By JOSH RESNEK with THE BLUE SUIT

“This was a bad weekend. Very, very bad,” the Blue Suit said to me over lunch at the New Bridge Café on Tuesday afternoon.

“I think I know what you mean,” I answered.

The glow and feel of the New Bridge has been essentially the same for the past 35 years. The same bar, the same configuration of tables and chairs, the same lighting, even the same people tending bar and waitressing.

Woodlawn hasn’t changed. The New Bridge remains the same.

Tuesday about noon. I drive with the Blue Suit in the passenger seat from Elm Street to Chelsea. I cruise into the parking lot at Floramo’s Restaurant – “Where the meat falls off the bone.”

It is lunchtime. We walk inside the restaurant. We are seated immediately. Menus are brought to us. Hot bread and butter arrive instantly. Salads with Floramo’s dressing – wow, what a quick treat.

We scan the menus. We look around to see who’s eating at the tables near to us and seated at the bar.

The Blue Suit is distracted. I can tell when he’s uptight.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. “What can possibly be wrong? We’re here at Floramo’s. You’re about to eat about ten pounds of food. I’m going to pay and you look like you’ve seen a ghost. Actually, you seem like someone petrified. What’s got you scared? What’s with the uptightness?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“Look around, Josh. Look closely at whose eating here right now at nearly all the tables,” he said to me.

I looked around.

Lot’s of younger men with shorter haircuts wearing crisp dark suits were spooning their spaghetti or cutting into their ribs or steak tips while sipping on Coca Colas. None of them were drinking – a sure sign these lunchtime diners were not your average businessmen.

I excused myself. I had to go to the bathroom.

Walking past a booth with four men, who all looked at me as I passed by, I noticed a sidearm sticking out from under his suit jacket.

Now I knew why the Blue Suit was so uptight.

When I returned to order up my food I spoke to the Blue Suit. “I think I know why you’re so uptight,” I told him.
“This place is filled with FBI agents,” I added.

“You’ve got that right, Josh. I thought you’d never notice. I could tell they were FBI from the moment we came in and sat down,” the Blue Suit revealed.

“I get really nervous around the FBI. The carry badges and guns. They can knock on your door and take you away,” he added.

“Does Carlo get uptight about the FBI?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“Do you think Carlo is not human, Josh? Of course he gets uptight about the FBI snooping around. That’s real trouble. The closer they get to you, the more real the trouble you are in. The only thing worse is if all these guys were IRS agents,” the Blue Suit added.

“Let’s order,” I suggested. ”Let’s take your mind off the FBI agents. I mean, what did we expect? The FBI headquarters is about 100 yards down the street.”

The waitress was great as always at Floramo’s. She knew me and what I wanted.

“That’s baked haddock, mashed potatoes, no veggy, and do you need more bread and butter?”

“Yes. Yes and yes,” I replied.

A Coca Cola, too, right?” she asked me.

“Yup.”

‘What about your friend. I think I know him. I recognize him.

The blue suit gives him away. That’s Carlo’s Blue Suit, isn’t it?” she asked.

The Blue Suit perked right up.

“I guess I’m more famous than I can imagine,” he said to the waitress.

“What will it be, my friend?” she asked the Blue Suit. ‘I heard you have a great appetite,” she added.

“I’ll have an order of ribs and a plate of spaghetti. I’d like an anti-pasto and what’s the soup of the day?”

“Clam chowder.”

“I’ll have a bowl of clam chowder. I’d like an order of mashed potatoes, and I know this sounds crazy, but can I get an order of fries also?”

The waitress looked at the Blue Suit with astonishment.

“you want mashed potatoes and French fries with spaghetti and ribs. Wow! That’s something,” she added.

We talked about the Monday night meeting of the city council as we ate.

“Did you see the fit Stephanie Martins had at the end of the meeting? She was out of control. John Hanlon pleaded with her to calm down, to take her seat. She was beside herself after the comments made by a public speaker who claimed she set up Jimmy Le. Even Stephanie Smith stepped in to basically tell Martins that the council doesn’t need to conduct investigations into the behavior of other councilors or city officials. Smith seemed to say, ‘Let Rachel Rollins do that.’” The Blue Suit said to me.

“Martins stormed out of the council chamber like she was on fire,” the Blue Suit added.

“It wasn’t a pretty site,” he said.

“Yeah. I couldn’t watch all of the meeting. I was beginning to feel as though I might have a panic attack viewing the dysfunction of Everett city government. I turned it off before Martin’s fit.”

I watched the Blue Suit stuff himself. What a thing, watching a grown man eat mashed potatoes, french fries, spaghetti and ribs and then spooning clam chowder into his mouth as well! Yikes!

“You know what disappointing to me?” I asked the Blue Suit. “Tell me, Josh.”

“Wayne Matewsky had promised to give a vote to Sergio. Irene also promised a vote to Sergio for his reappointment vote. Luckily it never came up and will be discussed in an executive session. Watching Matewsky leave the chamber – but not before asking for two ridiculous items on the agenda to be heard before he left was depressing. If you promise a vote, you should remain for the vote. Wayne is a friend. But this was a disappointment. I am told he met with the mayor before the meeting began. That was the end of Wayne’s promise for Sergio. Shows you how things work inside city hall when its game time,” I added.

“I think Irene was upset. I believe she left the chamber to compose herself after being lambasted by Pastor Paul and Reverend Mimi.”

“What chaos and poor behavior. It is very disappointing but then, serving in public office in Everett is not easy, is not clean, and is not a seamless thing. There are always twists and turns,” I added.

Walking out of Floramo’s, an FBI agent approached approached the Blue Suit.

“Don’t I know you?” the FBI agent asked.

“You’re from Everett, right?” he asked the Blue Suit.

“Yes sir, I am.”

“What the hell is going on over there?” the FBI agent asked. “Are you part of the racism thing?” he asked the Blue Suit.
“No. I’m not a racist.”

The FBI agent patted the Blue Suit’s back.

‘I’m glad to hear that, son,” he replied.

“Rachel Rollins – my boss – she doesn’t look upon racism with a kind eye. Did you know that?” he asked the Blue Suit.

“I don’t know Ms. Rollins,” the Blue Suit answered.

‘You may be getting to know her sooner than you think. Have a nice day the FBI agent said.

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